Comparing federal, state and global tax burdens
IRS needs to improve its Tax Gap estimation methodology

Don't be a tax fool on April 1 or any day

Sad court jester-fool_Jan_Matejko _Stańczyk_Wikipedia Commons
If you fall for a tax April Fools' joke, you could end up as sad as this usually jovial jester. (Jan Alojzy Matejko painting image via Wikipedia Commons)

It's April 1, also known as April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day or the day of the year I hate the most.

Why do I have such disdain for the first day of April? Because too many people try to be funny on this day.

Call me a killjoy if you want. I've been called worse. I really do have a sense of humor, even about taxes. But not about fake anecdotes involving taxes. And too many people tend to take today as an invitation to come up with some fantastic tax fakery.

Taxes are infuriating enough when you're trying to get the correct information. Intentionally complicating tax matters with falsehoods strikes me as irresponsible and just plain mean, especially since the appended "April Fools!" often gets overlooked.

Plus, nowadays these fictional tax tales, however benignly created, spread way too quickly thanks to social media.

So take with a million grains of salt anything you see today about taxes that appears just too weird, fanciful, far-out, or sounds just not quite right. In fact, it's always a good idea, 365 days of the year (366 in a Leap Year), to double check tax information.

Tall tax tales: You can see some examples of April 1 tax untruths in today's first Saturday Shout Out to the Museum of Hoaxes' Taxation-Themed April Fool's Day Hoaxes page.

The most amazing thing to me in this list is that I found myself agreeing with the late Rush Limbaugh. After his tax lie was applauded, the conservative radio talk show host reportedly chastised his listeners for being "too quick to believe anything that hits a hot button."

I know, that shout out highlights the very thing I hate about this day. My very, very bad.

And a tax truth: To counter it, here's a piece of real April 1 tax information that is of most interest to my readers in the Golden State.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration issued a special notice on some new sales and use tax rates for various cities and counties that were approved by California voters in the November 2022 election. These rates are effective today, April 1, 2023.

Now I'm off to listen to some Astros baseball and update the ol' blog's righthand column of tax moves to reflect the new month.

Check it out later today for some trustworthy tips to help ensure we're all ready for the rapidly approaching Tax Day, which is on Tuesday, April 18, this year. No fooling!

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