Charity Feed

April 15 was Tax Day for most of us. That included President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. When Biden and Harris took office, they reinstated the annual tradition of our country's top elected officials voluntarily releasing their tax filings. The 2023 tax year returns of the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff earn this weekend's Saturday Shout Out. You can see the details at the White House's official Tax Returns online page. In addition to this year's filings, there are links to the returns filed by the president and... Read more →


Did you turn 73 last year? Belated happy birthday wishes. Now here's an important tax question about that septuagenarian celebration. Did you take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) from your tax-deferred retirement funds by the end of 2023? If the answer is no, then you've got to withdraw that mandated amount by next Monday, April 1. No fooling. Miss that RMD deadline date, and you'll owe Uncle Sam more money than just the tax due on your withdrawal amount. Ending tax deferral days: The Internal Revenue Code offers myriad tax benefits for retirement savers. Several of them provide tax-deferred... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service IRS is expected to process more than 160 million individual and business tax returns this filing season. Through March 15, the IRS had received nearly 71.6 million individual returns. Some taxpayers probably put off filing in the hopes that the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act would be enacted by Tax Day. Several of its provisions could help both personal and business filers. Whether that will happen is still unclear, as the tax bill that cleared the House has hit a lot of speed bumps in the Senate. Other taxpayers, however, aren't that concerned... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Spring officially arrived at 11:06 p.m. March 19. Have you finished your spring cleaning yet? Me neither. But I have started. To be honest, it was prompted when the hubby and I had some work done to our house. With the structure getting some sprucing up, it only seemed natural to replace some interior items. The next question was what to do with the old stuff? For many, a yard sale is a good way to get rid of unwanted but workable items. But those who don't want to spend a Saturday haggling with... Read more →


You're ready to file your tax return, but there's one problem. You don't have all the statements you need to complete your Form 1040 and associated schedules. Many of us, however, are just going to have to be patient for a couple more weeks. While some issuers have sent taxpayers the required statements, many don't get them out until close to, in most cases, the mandated Jan. 31 delivery date. The documents typically are snail mailed, but technology is gaining ground. Issuers of most of my annual tax statements now let me know by email the documents are ready. Then... Read more →


Photo by olia danilevich Millions will celebrate the end of 2023 on Sunday, Dec. 31. But the last day of the year isn't just for partying. Dec. 31 also is an important tax day. It's the deadline to take care of some tasks that could affect your 2023 tax bill. Other things that happen on the year's final day also have tax implications. Here are five common end-of-year situations that have Dec. 31 tax timing implications. 1. Getting married: If you say "I do" on 12/31, then the Internal Revenue Service considers you married for the whole year. That means... Read more →


Even if you're not a cat, you can appreciate Boxing Day as a way to help others by making charitable donations. Happy Boxing Day! This holiday isn't formally celebrated in the United States, but many people around the world embrace the day after Christmas as a way to keep the season of giving going a bit longer. There are many explanations as to how Boxing Day, and its name, came to be. One commonly accepted origin story is that when it began in the United Kingdom during the Victorian period, household servants were given the day after Christmas off as... Read more →


Cutting the Christmas tree is a family affair at this tree farm. (Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash) The first Christmas tree the hubby and I shared was a plastic one. A cheap plastic one. We were newlyweds on a budget, and we couldn't justify spending what even a small real fir cost back then. So we got the artificial tree, trimmed it with our few ornaments, watched the cat find creative ways to attack it (and the items hanging from it), and had a very merry first married Christmas. Our tradition was born. As both our finances and artificial... Read more →


This pup looks like he's asking it it's time to open gifts. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Next Monday morning, Dec. 25, many families will welcome a new member. I'm talking, of course, about a pet. A puppy, kitten, or other pet of any type of age can be a wonderful addition to a home. Pros and cons of pets as presents: But many animal groups and veterinarians warn against giving a pet, especially as a surprise, during the holidays. This already is a stressful time for many, and if everyone who will be involved in the... Read more →


Photo by Xingchen Yan on Unsplash If your work involves driving, the Internal Revenue Service has some good news for your 2024 business trips. Today, the tax agency announced that on Jan. 1, 2024, the standard optional mileage rate you can use to claim those eligible miles will go to 67 cents per mile. That's a 1.5 cent increase over the 2023 mileage rate. However, the other two mileage rates that the IRS evaluates and adjusts each year are going down. Travel for medical and, in the case of qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, moving purposes will be... Read more →


You have a lot to do, and which you'd rather be doing, this month. But also take some time to check out a few December tax moves. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) It's December! Are you ready for all the decorating and shopping and cooking and parties and tax moves to make? Me neither. Although I love the holidays and Christmas decorating, my time and patience get shorter this time of year as my seasonal to-do list gets longer. So I understand if you are rolling your eyes right now as I suggest adding some tax moves... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images As we have become more globally interconnected, worldwide tragedies affect more of us. We have family and friends scattered across the globe. We want to support and help them, especially in troubled times. But those connections can have a dark side. Crooks take advantage of our goodwill. Fraudsters tout fake charities to worldwide victims, seeking to divert much needed help into their own malicious pockets. After disasters, the Internal Revenue Service regularly reminds taxpayers to be alert for such cons. Fake charity scams also are, sadly, a perennial on the IRS' annual Dirty Dozen... Read more →


Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Andrej Lišakov The official holiday shopping season is officially underway. So is the identity theft season, which could cause lots of problems for shoppers at tax time. I know about the shopping season because my email box is overflowing with "Buy Now!" and "Bargains, Bargains, Bargains" and "Get 40% Off!" messages, mostly for stuff I have no intention of buying at any price. I know about the tax threat because next week, Nov. 27 through Dec. 1, is the eighth annual National Tax Security Awareness week. During these coming five days, just as online... Read more →


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash Taxes are all about the numbers, and this past week I've been posting inflation-adjusted figures that apply to a variety of tax provisions. Long-time readers know I parcel the numbers out in a 10-part series. But one of those posts, Part 3 on cost-of-living boosts in 2024 for tax-favored retirement savings plans, was published first because the Internal Revenue Service typically issues those adjustments first. Since that earlier Part 3 post hasn't gotten a sequential mention during this recent run of inflation series posts, I'm boosting it today. And I'm pulling out an item... Read more →


Substitute a cat for the dog, and that's pretty much how the hubby and I envision retirement! (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) OK, boomer. When that catchphrase meme went viral a few years ago, it marked the end of friendly generational relations. It also could be seen as a wake-up call to retirement savers. With Social Security already facing financial challenges, many point to the added challenges that Uncle Sam's retirement program faces as even more of the Baby Boom generation retires. Congress has yet to address Social Security's future. Of course, the House and Senate seem to... Read more →


…and possibly get a sweet tax break for your gift. Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images There are two kinds of Halloween candy people. There are those who low-ball their trick-or-treater count and end up running out of goodies to give out early in the night's festivities. They turn off the porch and interior lights, and ignore the doorbell ringing by costume clad candy seekers who refuse to bypass any house. Then there are those who buy waaaaay too much candy. Even when they start doubling the handouts to the later goodie-seeking groups, they end up with a lot, a... Read more →


Things can get even more complicated if you're donating to international relief efforts and plan to claim your gift as a tax deduction. World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers are among the first in areas in need of relief, like here delivering meals with the help of nonprofit partners in Beit Shemesh, Israel. WCK staff also are already on their way to Acapulco, Mexico, where Hurricane Otis made landfall as a powerful Category 5 early today. (Photo credit: World Central Kitchen/WCK.org) Sometimes, like today, it seems as if the whole world is totally out of control. In the past few weeks,... Read more →


Source: AmeriCorps Tomorrow, Sept. 11, is Patriot Day. It's not an official, formal federal holiday. But it was declared, by a joint resolution of Congress in 2009, as the day each year for remembering those who died or were injured during the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001. On the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance on Monday, Americans across the country will follow the urging of President Joe Biden's in his proclamation to participate in community service in honor of those our nation lost. You can find opportunities to volunteer... Read more →


County of Maui photo via Facebook Late summer is wildfire season across much of the United States, and this particularly hot 2023 season has helped feed ferocious fires. Our 50th state has been hit the hardest. A series of wildfires erupted on several of the Aloha State's islands in early August, fed by strong winds from Hurricane Dora as it passed south of Hawai'i. The worst fires were on Maui, where starting Aug. 8 they burned out of control. By the time the flames were out, they left tragic evidence. The Maui fire is the deadliest in the United States... Read more →


U.S. Senators today grilled professional golf representatives in connection with the planned merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the upstart league backed by Saudi Arabia. Critics, including many in the sports world as well as Congress, of the deal say it's a thinly disguised effort by the Mideastern country to sportswash its stained human rights reputation. Others add that it's an attempt to bolster its economic influence in the United States. The Senate Homeland Security Committee's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing ran around three hours, but apparently didn't resolve much. (Insert your own Capitol Hill dog and pony... Read more →