State/Local Feed

Scenic Georgetown is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. It’s where the D.C. Office of the Attorney General (OAG) alleged a bitcoin billionaire lived for years, but did not pay District income taxes. (Photo courtesy GeorgetownDC.com) Where you live affects your taxes, says the woman who’s spent most of her life in two states, Texas and Florida, without a personal income tax. For a while, though, I did live in two tax collecting jurisdictions, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Fortunately for the hubby and me, when we resided in the national capital, we weren’t on the District of... Read more →


Florida residents are getting some tax breaks on items to help them prepare for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which started this week and forecast to be the most active ever. The Sunshine State’s first of two disaster preparedness sales tax holidays began on June 1, the official start of the annual hurricane season. It runs through Friday, June 14. Florida’s second emergency preparation sales tax event will be Aug. 24 through Sept. 6, aligning with the time of year when the tropical season tends to increase. Long history of strong storms: Florida individuals and businesses don’t need a reminder... Read more →


The 2024 hurricane season has just begun, but some people are still dealing with disasters from last and earlier this year. Some of them now are facing a June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Mother Nature has been Mommy Dearest across much of the United States so far this year. Way too many federal announcements and media reports have included the phrase “A historic severe weather outbreak occurred” in 2024, meaning that millions of Americans have found themselves in major disaster areas. And the current hurricane season has just begun! Unfortunately, the disastrous start to this year was a... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service recommended, and the U.S. Treasury agreed, that the free tax software program created and operated directly by the IRS will be a permanent tax preparation and electronic filing option. Federal tax officials are encouraging all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to join the expanded Direct File program in filing season 2025. All U.S. taxpayers next year could have another no-cost option to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns. The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today announced they found this tax season’s Direct File pilot program successful enough to expand to taxpayers across the... Read more →


Students, and their families, have a lot to worry about. 529 plan savings can help ease some of the financial concerns. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Andy Quezada) Happy 529 Day! OK, it’s not an official holiday. It was started in 2021 by National Day Calendar and College Savings Foundation (CSF), and is one of the many commemorations that fill up the 365 days, 366 in Leap Years, of each year. Some of the special days are, to my thinking, downright goofy, although I do believe ice cream deserves to be celebrated every single day. But some merit serious... Read more →


It seems the Internal Revenue Service, or at least its Direct File program, has a new public relations agency. It’s a group of Capitol Hill Democrats and Independents. The U.S. Senators and Representatives signed a May 15 letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel lauding the IRS free online tax preparation and e-filing option. The Direct File pilot program, created and run by the IRS, was rolled out this filing season in 12 states. When it wrapped on April 15, almost 141,000 taxpayers had used it. Direct File users received more than $90 million in refunds.... Read more →


The tornado that struck Afton, Iowa, in Union County on April 26, 2024. That county is one of eight that have been declared major disaster areas, meaning residents are eligible for a variety of federal assistance, including tax relief. (Photo by Dean Baron via National Weather Service) Iowans in eight Hawkeye State counties that were struck by severe storms and tornadoes last month now have until Oct. 15 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. This latest Internal Revenue Service disaster relief applies to individuals and households that live or have a business in... Read more →


Free File, the Internal Revenue Service’s partnership with the tax software industry that allows millions of taxpayers to prepare their returns and e-file them for free, is still open for this year’s procrastinating filers. Private-sector companies will help those who filed for an extension (or who are just late filing) complete and submit their 1040s through the Oct. 15 extension deadline. And that no-cost filing service also will be around at IRS.gov for the next five filing seasons, the tax agency announced today. Extended through 2029: This year’s Free File program was its 22nd season at IRS.gov. Under this public-private... Read more →


The coming Memorial Day break is seen as the unofficial start of summer in the United States. It’s also usually been the start of higher summer gasoline prices. That’s not the case this year. So far. Pump prices rose nationwide this spring, but actually have fallen a tad recently. Today’s AAA national average of a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.598. That was up a smidge (0.008) from yesterday, May 20, but less than the $3.612 recorded a week ago. Record road trips: Will the lower gas prices hold? An expected record number of drivers hope so, at least until... Read more →


Some of the March 14 tornado damage in Indian Lake, Logan County, Ohio. (Photo credit: Indian Lake Chamber via Facebook) During the evening of March 14, supercell thunderstorms dropped numerous strong tornadoes across western and central Ohio. By the time things cleared, the deadly twisters also had left trails of destruction across the Buckeye State. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed three EF1 twisters, two reaching EF2, and an EF3 across Ohio. The NWS office in Wilmington, just north of Cincinnati, reported a total of 145 miles of combined tornado tracks across the state. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) investigation... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with George Dagerotip President Joe Biden last week endorsed the Department of Justice's (DoJ) move to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. Biden said in social media posts — X (aka Twitter) and YouTube — that the move would reverse “long-standing inequities” under the current criminalization of cannabis. "Look folks, no one should be in jail merely for using or possessing marijuana," the president said in his video statement. Not legalization, but lowering federal interest: The Justice Department move would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use, which currently is the... Read more →


This is the Internal Revenue Service’s fourth and final Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday opening in 2024. IRS reps will be accepting walk-in help requests at 59 TACs in 30 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Photo by Tim Douglas The Internal Revenue Service is offering taxpayers in 32 jurisdictions one more chance this year to get help at a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) without having to make an appointment. The agency’s final Saturday walk-in is tomorrow, May 18. At the select TACs — 59 total — across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, you can... Read more →


Photo by Aidan Howe on Unsplash U.S. commercial gambling revenue hit a quarterly record of $17.67 billion in first three months of 2024. It marks the gaming industry’s 13th consecutive quarter of growth, according to the American Gaming Association. And Caitlin Clark hadn’t even played a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) game yet. Clark’s WNBA May 14 debut with her Indiana Fever facing the Connecticut Sun drew an average television audience of 2.13 million viewers, making it the most watched WNBA game in almost 23 years. I’m willing to bet, pun intended, that is also was the most bet on... Read more →


Photo by Karolina Grabowska The Internal Revenue Service is about to turn out the lights on the 2020 tax refund party. The chance to get your part of more than $1 billion in unclaimed tax money ends on Friday, May 17. The eligible refund recipients are an estimated 938,800 folks nationwide who didn’t, for a variety of reasons, file a 2020 tax return during the 2021 filing season. Tax law says nonfilers have three years to file and collect their refund money. So why didn’t their deadline come and go on this past April 15? You might recall that three... Read more →


Our annual property tax protest has been filed. Not by us. We finally hired a company to take care of it. But the hubby and I and our neighbors are not the only ones concerned about property taxes. So are the government officials in charge of levying and collecting them, albeit for different reasons. Property tax problems: Real estate taxes are the primary financing source for city, county, and other local governments. Tax Foundation analysts found that in fiscal year 2020, property taxes comprised 32.2 percent of total state and local tax collections in the United States, more than any... Read more →


Among the nearly 141.4 million tax returns that the Internal Revenue Service had received by the week ending April 26, were 140,803 Form 1040s that arrived via the tax agency's Direct File pilot program. The IRS and Treasury Department in separate releases said these Direct File taxpayers claimed more than $90 million in refunds, and saved an estimated $5.6 million in tax preparation fees on their federal returns alone. OK, those Direct File returns were a minuscule part — 0.09960386 percent — of the more than 141 million 1040s filed as of last month. But it’s a start. And it... Read more →


Those who enter the New York Criminal Courts building are greeted by Thomas Jefferson's words engraved on the façade. The third U.S. president cited "equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion" as one of the essential principles of American democracy. (Photo by Carl Mikoy, Flickr Creative Commons) In September 2019, Donald J. Trump changed his official residence from New York to Florida. The then-president gave no official reason for the paperwork move. However, one reason likely was the Sunshine State’s lack of a personal income tax. Though Trump refused to release his federal or state... Read more →


Photo by Amina Filkins If National Small Business Week has you thinking about starting your own company, congratulations. You’ll be joining a growing sector of the U.S. economy. The Small Business Administration (SBA) describes a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. That covers enterprises from one-person shops to manufacturing facilities with hundreds of workers. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics indicate there were 5,358,600 firms that met that definition in 2021, the latest year for complete data. That was an increase from 5,322,155 in 2020. But small really is key here. County Business Patterns (CBP) data... Read more →


Photo by Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash It’s National Small Business Week 2024! Technically, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s annual recognition event started yesterday, Sunday, April 28. The kick-off yesterday of this year's National Small Business Week (NSBW) included an awards ceremony where this year’s National Small Business Person of the Year and runner-up were named, along with the Small Business Persons of the Year from each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The event, with a theme this year of Building on America’s Small Business Boom, continues through Saturday, May 4. Your small business taxes: The full... Read more →


Texas Severe Storms Association photo It’s spring here in Texas, which means storm season. We’ve already seen some recent storms drop large hail across the Lone Star State. Plus, residents along Texas’ 367 miles of Gulf of Mexico shoreline have got to be a bit on edge with forecasters’ already warning of a hyperactive 2024 hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1. Storm analysts at the University of Pennsylvania say we could see 33 named tropical storms this year. So the timing of Texas’ annual emergency preparation supplies sales tax holiday couldn’t be better. Weekend sales tax savings: Texas'... Read more →