Birds Feed

Gimme shelter

The Internal Revenue Service is offering a wide-ranging tax shelter amnesty and the deadline to get in on the deal is Monday. Tax shelter. Just the name conjures up shady accountants and hidden bank accounts on tiny tropical islands. But tax shelters aren’t inherently illegal. A tax shelter is anything that provides a tax benefit. Purchasing a home is a great tax shelter, since you get the tax benefit of deducting mortgage interest and real estate taxes. But abusive tax shelters, well that’s different and, shall we say, problematic. In these cases, the whole idea is to evade tax. I... Read more →

Our own personal Wild Kingdom

A bird got in our house Monday night. It was quite an adventure for us all. It began when the poor little thing, a house sparrow, flew into our den window. We were trying to read our backlog of newspapers with the Sugar Bowl game on the TV as background (our own "talking lamp," so to speak), so our attention was somewhat divided. At first, the noise sounded distant, like something had happened toward the back of our backyard. Being curious, we (and by we, I mean my husband) went to check it out. He opened the back door and... Read more →