State/Local Feed

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service has been making the news (and blogs) recently for its efforts to get more money from wealthy taxpayers. The new IRS revenue collection initiatives — new audits of business aircraft use and collection notices to wealthy non-filers — piqued my curiosity about other tax matters that focus on the rich. I found a few — seven actually — and am sharing them in this weekend's Saturday Shout Outs. Let's start with the man who heads the IRS. After the aircraft audit announcement, CNBC Wealth Editor (what a cool job title!)... Read more →


Photo by Rachel Davis on Unsplash A person's home is the owner's castle. Some homeowners think that's how tax collectors view their properties, especially when it comes to real estate tax assessments. In some places, local officials want to collect even more from grander abodes. But such mansion tax efforts in two of the country's largest cities, Los Angeles and Chicago, have hit roadblocks. Court blows down Windy City tax measure: Chicago's proposal to increase taxes on real estate transactions of $1 million or more was struck down on Feb. 23 by a Cook County judge. The tax was to... Read more →


A recent poll indicates most taxpayers support a direct-to-IRS option Direct File, the Internal Revenue Service's pilot program that will let some taxpayers in 12 states prepare and submit their 2024 tax returns straight to the agency, is off to a slow start. But that pace is intentional. As with all tests, it's a good idea to start slowly and with a limited group of participants. That helps detect issues on a more manageable scale. When the Direct File pilot began, it started with internal testing of nearly 1,200 taxpayers in the participating non-income tax states. They are residents of... Read more →


Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) members adorn the cover of the federal tax advisory committee's 2022 report. Do you constantly look at things and think, I know how to make that better? Then the Internal Revenue Service wants you. Specifically, the IRS' Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) wants you. This all-volunteer group with members from across the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico is committed to improving the IRS and the U.S. tax system. An additional member represents the interests of taxpayers working, living, or doing business abroad. "TAP volunteers consistently work to identify issues, and most importantly, come up with... Read more →


Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash Last August, parts of Michigan were struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding, prompting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue this month a major disaster declaration for nine counties. The Internal Revenue Service subsequently announced tax relief for those individual residents and business owners. One of the tax considerations is a new June 17 filing and payment deadline for the affected Michigan taxpayers. The Great Lakes State is the sixth to be granted the new mid-June Tax Day due to disasters. Some Michigan residents join those who were ill-treated by Mother Nature... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell Not only was last Sunday's Super Bowl LVIII the most watched National Football League championship game ever, it set a betting record. In case you were one of the apparently very few who missed it, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in overtime. The comeback was similar to the less dramatic result back in 2020, when the two teams faced off in Super Bowl 54. That year, MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes and not-yet-Taylor-Swift's boyfriend Travis Kelce raised their first Lombardi Trophy. The Nevada Gaming Control Board tallied $185.6 million in bets across 182... Read more →


Other IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) Saturday openings will be on March 16, April 13, and May 18. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash For the third consecutive year, the Internal Revenue Service is opening some of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) on Saturdays. Face-to-face help at these IRS offices usually is available only on weekdays, and taxpayers must make appointments. But on Feb. 24, March 16, April 13, and May 18 certain TACs nationwide will be open. Even better, on those four Saturdays taxpayers won't need to call ahead. They can just walk into the TACs, which will be... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Meg Aghamyan First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes filing your taxes together in one package. 💘💕💗💕💘 Or not. OK, I pushed it trying to rhyme marriage and package. Now it's clear why I stick to prose instead of poetry And that "or not" stanza is a bit counterintuitive on Valentine's Day, a time when we traditionally celebrate love and inseparability. But we are talking taxes on this heart day, so there's always an exception. Married filing options: It's true that most of the time, it's better to file one return jointly. Not only is... Read more →


Muddy tracks photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash June 17 is becoming the new Tax Day for many taxpayers. Unfortunately for them, the two additional months are because they live in areas hit by major disasters. West Virginia taxpayers are the latest to join this unwelcome club. Other states where individual and business tax filers have a disaster-related June 17 deadline are Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. In West Virginia, the Internal Revenue Service has announced tax relief for Mountain State taxpayers in Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Harrison, and Kanawha counties. Those five WV counties sustained damages from severe storms,... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ave Calvar You checked out my post on who has to file a tax return (thank you!) and confirmed that you're one of the lucky few who doesn't have to file a Form 1040 this year. But maybe you should. Even if you aren't legally required there are some good reasons to send the Internal Revenue Service a tax return anyway. Here are eight such should-file situations. 1. You are due a refund. Most U.S. workers have income tax amounts taken from their paychecks. Other sources of income also sometimes take some tax amounts off the... Read more →


Maine taxpayers join those in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Rhode Island disaster areas for whom Tax Day now is a mid-summer event. Maine road washed away after last December's severe storms. (Photo courtesy Maine Governor's Office via Facebook) Much of California is overrun today by an atmospheric river unleashing heavy rain and wind. Judging from the images of the damages, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) likely will eventually declare the hardest hit areas as major disasters. The Internal Revenue Service then will follow, granting tax relief to those in the designated locales. But that's a bit down the flooded California... Read more →


Most states hold sales tax holidays in late summer, pegging he events to the resumption of the school year. But there are a few tax holiday over-achievers. They supplement their back-to-school tax-free events with additional sales tax savings. The standard bearer of late has been Florida. The Sunshine State in 2022 and 2023 enacted a variety of tax holidays, some of which extended into this year. Florida also kicked off 2024 with a semester break back-to-school tax holiday in January. Other states' special shopping events will include no taxes on emergency supplies, energy efficient products, food, and even firearm-related purchases.... Read more →


This time of year, most taxpayers are focused on filing their annual tax returns. But most isn't all. Some individuals are trying to sort out other federal tax issues. The Internal Revenue Service is making more face-to-face time to help these taxpayers. More time for taxpayers: The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, across the United States. While tax return preparation is not a service offered at IRS TACs, the facilities do work with taxpayers to help resolve other tax-related issues. Now, nearly 250 of those offices will extend their usual 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekday hours to... Read more →


Some other taxpayers in areas hit by more recent major disasters get even later deadlines — Feb. 29 and June 17 — to complete various 2023 tax tasks. Major disasters can strike anywhere, any time. When tax deadlines and the catastrophes coincide, the Internal Revenue Service gives affected filers more time. Some of those deadlines are coming up in February. (Disaster collage courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Yes, the current tax filing season just started this week, and millions already have sent their 2023 returns to the Internal Revenue Service. But taxpayers in eight states and two U.S. territories... Read more →


Taking things a bit more slowly often is a good idea. For many, that approach also applies when it comes to filing their annual tax return. (Photo by Kay Bell) While millions of taxpayers are eager each January to get their returns to the Internal Revenue Service, there just as many who want to take their time. Some are just natural procrastinators. They wait until the last minute to finish every task. But when it comes to tax filing, there actually are some good reasons to not be in such a hurry. Here are seven. 1. To see if Congress... Read more →


Fortune cookie tax filing wisdom (Photo by Kay Bell) If the 2024 tax-filing season is anything like previous ones, millions of taxpayers sent their 2023 taxes to the Internal Revenue Service today, the official start of federal return processing. The most obvious and common motive for first-day filing is to get expected refunds. But there are some other reasons you might want to file your taxes early. Here are eight. 1. To beat tax ID thieves to the punch. The IRS and its Security Summit partners have made good progress in recent years in reducing tax identity theft and associated... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tax season 2024 officially starts Monday, Jan. 29. Lots of taxpayers have already filled out their 1040 forms and are just waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to start processing them next week. Most of these early filers are expecting tax refunds. They also likely have relatively simple tax lives. Lucky them. Others, however, have more complicated tax and financial circumstances. These folks have more tax documents with details that must be transferred to their return forms and schedules. They also need to consider how their situations might affect their tax returns. Below is... Read more →


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash In just more than a week, millions of taxpayers will be focusing on the start of the 2024 tax filing season. But some residents of Illinois, Tennessee, and the U.S. Virgin Islands also must pay attention to other altered tax deadlines. They live in areas declared major disasters by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As is typically the case, the IRS followed those announcements by providing the affected taxpayers some tax relief. Here are some reminders of the new tax deadlines — in February for some Illinois and Caribbean residents, and June for... Read more →


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963. (Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash) With much of the United States in the grips of severe winter weather, many of today's celebrations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and legacy have been postponed. If that's the case where you live, you can spend your extra time on this legal holiday reconnecting with King's works. A good starting place is Britannia's timeline of King's life, travails, and accomplishments. You'll also want to read some of his works. There is, of... Read more →


Free File is back for its 22nd filing season. The no-cost tax preparation and e-filing partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and tax software manufacturers opened today, Friday, Jan. 12, to eligible taxpayers. This year, Free File eligible taxpayers are those whose 2023 adjusted gross income, regardless of filing status, was $79,000 or less. 8 software options: Eight private-sector tax software companies are part of this 22nd Free File season. They are — 1040Now Drake (1040.com) ezTaxReturn.com FileYourTaxes.com On-Line Taxes TaxAct TaxHawk (FreeTaxUSA) TaxSlayer Each IRS Free File provider sets its own eligibility rules for products based on age, income,... Read more →