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 →


With the expansion of the white-collar crime of money laundering into financial adviser sectors, federal officials are looking to extend regulations to those areas. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, typically referred to as FinCEN, has in recent months amped up efforts to stop money laundering. FinCEN's latest proposals are designed to close loopholes that officials say foreign and domestic criminals use to launder money through U.S. financial sectors. This week, the changes got support from Capitol Hill and beyond. Seven U.S. Senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen... Read more →


Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash You made it through Tax Day. Now it's time to store all that information you used to fill out your Form 1040. While it's tempting to just toss it all, don't. It often takes the Internal Revenue Service a while to process filings. The agency could come back weeks, months, or even years from now with a question about an entry on your return. Just to be safe, you need to hang on to some of the material for as long as the IRS has to question your filing. Once that statute of limitations... Read more →


Getting a tax refund can feel like it's raining money. (Photo by Eugene Lisyuk) You filed your taxes, and now are awaiting a refund. The Internal Revenue Service's data shows the average it had issued as of April 5 was $3,011. That three grand average is a nice chunk of change. Even a smaller amount is welcome. So, what are you going to do with that money? Everyone's personal, financial, and yes, tax, needs are different. But here are some suggestions for all y'all getting a refund. 1. Open or add to a savings account or emergency fund. I know,... Read more →


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto The Internal Revenue Service's big tax party was yesterday and you didn't RSVP. Not even by filing Form 4868 to get an extension to show up as much as six months later. In fact, you didn't attend the Tax Day soiree at all. Maybe you had a good reason for not filing a Form 1040 on April 15. Maybe you simply forgot. Or maybe you started your return and got discouraged. While the IRS won't take your failure to file your return and pay any tax you owe personally, the agency isn't going to overlook your... Read more →


Federal tax returns get most of the attention during the annual tax season. That's because Uncle Sam's individual income tax laws apply across the country. But state taxes also are demanded of most Americans. And in most of the 43 states and District of Columbia that tax some type of individual earnings, April 15 also is the due date. No individual income tax states: The only states with no personal income tax at all are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. Tax savvy readers probably noticed that the Evergreen State is not on that list. That's because... Read more →


Running out of time to finish (or start) your 2023 tax return? Then get more by filing for an extension. (Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash) Put down that tax return. You know you aren't going to get it done by Monday, April 15. Instead, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. This Internal Revenue Service form is the tax procrastinator's best friend, whether you've put off filing because, well, taxes or you're still waiting for some tax statements that arrive annoyingly late every year. Yes, I'm looking at you Schedule... Read more →


Tax Day 2024 is Monday, April 15. Have you filed your 1040 yet? By the end of March, the Internal Revenue Service had received more than 90 million tax returns. Sounds like a lot, right? But that's just 70 percent of the almost 129 million returns the tax agency is expecting to get this tax season. So a lot of taxpayers (or their tax preparers) are busy this weekend. Of course, not all those 39 million yet-to-be-filed returns will be finished by April 15. A good portion will be extended, giving the taxpayers (and their tax preparers) until Oct. 15... Read more →


Today's post on the second half of the 2024 Internal Revenue Service's Dirty Dozen tax scams looks at a wide range of schemes and potential victims. Tax pros are targets, as are high income earners in schemes 7 through 12. Together with the Dirty Dozen's first six scams posted last week, there's a scam for almost all of us taxpayers. Take notice and don't become a Dirty Dozen victim. Last Friday, I shared the first six of the Internal Revenue Service's annual Dirty Dozen list. As promised, this post wraps up schemes, cons, and scams 7 through 12. This compilation... Read more →


Millions of people will be celebrating on Monday, April 15. The arrival of Tax Day means they are done with dealing with the Internal Revenue Service for another year. For many others, however, it's just the beginning of another round of collections. The annual federal filing (and paying) deadline also is the start of the current year's estimated tax payment cycle. Extra payments for certain income: The U.S. tax system is pay as earn. That's taken care via paycheck withholding if you're an employee. But even if you have a job where income (federal and state, if applicable) tax is... Read more →


A fourth, and final, Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday opening is set for May 18. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash The third round of special Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings is this weekend, April 13. But don't let the date confuse you. Just because Internal Revenue Service reps will be available to help taxpayers who live near the TACs open across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on April 13 doesn't mean the tax agency staff will help filers complete 2023 tax returns (or extension requests) due on Monday, April 15. They won't. These... Read more →


Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →


A scenic overlook is always worth a stop when traveling. But when it comes to taxes, you definitely don't want to overlook tax breaks that could save you money. (Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash) There are two ways to reduce your tax bill. You can take deductions, which reduce the amount of your money that's taxable. You also can claim tax credits, which cut any tax you owe dollar-for-dollar, and in a few cases get you refund. The options are not mutually exclusive. But they don't do you any good if you don't claim the ones to which you're... Read more →


Conversations in American Sign Language (ASL) are common. Getting tax help from preparers fluent in ASL, not so common, despite a large hearing impaired or deaf taxpayer community. (Photo by SHVETS production) The U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) says about 3.6 percent of the U.S. population, or about 11 million individuals, consider themselves deaf or have serious difficulty hearing. The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Deafness not only affects individuals, but also their families and friends, their jobs, and yes, taxes. IRS options for deaf taxpayers:... Read more →


While the Internal Revenue Service is in the midst of revealing its annual Dirty Dozen list another government agency also is taking tax-related action. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Enforcement Bureau issued a cease-and-desist letter against Veriwave Telco. The letter ordered the Dover, Delaware, company to halt its origination of an apparently illegal National Tax Relief Program robocall campaign. The FCC warned the company that failure to comply with the requirements outlined in the letter could result in mandatory blocking by downstream providers of all traffic from Veriwave. In addition, the FCC's enforcement branch issued a K4 Order, notifying all... Read more →


Perennial tax schemes, some tweaked ones, and a few new scams, make the 2024 version of the IRS Dirty Dozen. And these featured today are just the first six of the 12 cons the IRS calls out in 2024. The final 7 through 12 on the annual infamy list will be posted next week. This week, as it does every week, the Department of Justice's Tax Division announced civil and criminal actions against several businesses and individuals accused of betraying taxpayer trust and cheating the Treasury Department out of tax dollars. Some of those who were part of the tax... Read more →


Doing your taxes can be stressful, but don't add to it by making an avoidable filing error. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The tax filing, and paying if you owe, deadline is nearly here. Millions of us have yet to send our 1040 forms to the Internal Revenue Service. So next week is likely to be frantic, especially on the part of taxpayers who are doing their own taxes. This also means that these last-minute filers might make some mistakes as they hurry to get their taxes done by April 15. Don't be one of them. Tax... Read more →


Natural disasters aren't the only catastrophes that affect taxes. Manmade tragedies also are taken into consideration. The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers affected by terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel that began on Oct. 7, 2023, that they have until Oct. 7, 2024, to file various federal returns, make tax payments, and take care of other time-sensitive tax-related responsibilities. Who qualifies? The IRS notes that the tax relief is available to any individual whose principal residence is in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza. The tax relief also extends to any business entity or sole proprietor with a principal... Read more →