Shout Out Feed

Tax laws are full of unintended consequences. That became painfully clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a variety of tax relief provisions were created to help individuals and businesses deal with the virus' economic effects. Such was the case with the Employee Retention Credit, or ERC. "The ERC provided a financial lifeline to millions of businesses and exempt organizations during the pandemic," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in his prepared testimony for the Feb. 15 hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. "The IRS has worked hard to implement this credit, and we have processed about 3.6 million ERC... Read more →


Last week, I finally got all the documents I need to file my 2023 tax return. As an independent contractor, the bulk of my income tax statements were 1099-NEC forms. But some folks are getting 1099-Ks. And these tax statements still are causing confusion. Form 1099-K has become more common with the growth of the gig workforce, and the delivery of products and services through online apps and marketplaces, such as PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, eBay, Etsy, Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. Old form, new amounts: The forms are not new, but the amount of earnings that trigger their issuance has changed.... 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 →


Members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees who approved bipartisan legislation last week hope the eventual outcome of their effort will be as sunny as this view of the U.S. Capitol during warmer times. (Photo: Wikipedia) Congress actually accomplished something last week. Representatives and Senators kicked the can down the legislative road agreed to measures that eliminated the immediate threat of a government shutdown. Even more surprising was another bipartisan deal. While the stop-gap government deal was being brokered, the Democratic Senate Finance Committee chair and his Republican counterpart leading the House Ways and Means Committee signed off on... Read more →


The 2024 tax filing season has started. Sorta. Eight tax software companies now are available to eligible Free File taxpayers. Some business returns can be e-filed starting Tuesday, Jan. 16. On Monday, Jan. 29, the Internal Revenue Service officially begins processing all 2023 tax returns. While this filing season is expected to be relatively smooth, some taxpayers typically encounter problems. And every year, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) details the most annoying tax complications that we, and the IRS, face. 10 most serious taxpayers problems: Those concerns are included in NTA Erin M. Collins' 2023 Annual Report to Congress, released... Read more →


Things are brighter for residents of 12 states where taxes were lowered this year. (Photo by NASA on Unsplash) Most states operate on a fiscal year that starts on July 1, so many of their law changes take effect in the summer. But in some cases, state lawmakers set the start of a new year as enactments day for new laws. That makes things easier for resident, especially when the changes are tax-related, since tax years typically align with the January-to-December calendar. That's the new tax law case in 34 states, according to research from the Tax Foundation. Lower state... Read more →


It's the last weekend of 2023, and you're busy planning how you will ring in 2024 on Sunday night. Unless you live in Florida. Oh, Sunshine State residents will party on New Year's Eve, too. But many also are making back-to-school shopping lists. That's because Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, is the start of yet another Florida sales tax holiday. This two-week event waives the sales tax, both state and local option add-ons, that's usually collected on what state officials have deemed school supplies. Among the items that will be tax free during the Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 through Sunday, Jan.... 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 →


Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images College football fans are in heaven. The 2023 NCAA bowl season is underway. The first of the 42 games kicked off this morning in with Georgia Southern meeting Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. The event's sponsoring name notwithstanding, the event is actually more inland, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina. There are six more games today, all as appetizers to the main menu meal, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The one downside this year is the number of notable players —... Read more →


On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments in the tax case Moore v. United States. Charles and Kathleen Moore filed the lawsuit challenging the Mandatory Repatriation Tax provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. That section of the tax reform law was designed to discourage U.S. corporations from keeping funds overseas by reducing certain taxes on foreign earnings. But in exchange In exchange for those tax cuts, investors and corporations had to pay a one-time, retroactive tax on all foreign income dating back to 1986. The repatriation provision,... Read more →


Photo courtesy COP28 web page Around 70,000 participants are expected in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), over the next couple of weeks to discuss how to limit and prepare for future climate change. They're attending the 28th annual United Nations (UN) Conference of the Parties, known as COP28. The parties part of COP are the countries that signed the original UN climate agreement in 1992. And their current gathering comes at the end of a year of worldwide extreme weather events and a plethora of broken climate records. While climate change and human contributions to it are being acknowledged by... Read more →


Today is Small Business Saturday, a charge card marketing initiative that has become an accepted nationwide effort to celebrate small, independent retail operations. It's also an official tax holiday in the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico's Small Business Gross Receipts Tax Holiday falls each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today and ends at midnight tonight. For this one day, the state allows a gross receipts tax break on sales of qualifying items at certain small businesses. For the eligible companies, New Mexico provides a deduction from gross receipts for retail sales of... Read more →


UPDATED, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, to add a couple of new links as I found as I caught up on my own weekend tax reading. Source: Monopoly Wiki An inheritance from a friend or relative can be a nice surprise and a way to fondly remember that person. Such gifts typically do not have any tax implications for either the estate or heirs, at least not immediately, at the federal level. As noted in Part 6 of the ol' blog's annual tax inflation series, the value of an estate that is exempt from Uncle Sam's clutches goes from $12.92 million... Read more →


UPDATE, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023: My initial post's pessimism was unwarranted! Uncle Sam is going to make it through the holidays with all his offices open. The two-pronged continuing resolution (CR) measure approved by the House and Senate and signed into law late today by President Joe Biden provides funding for Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and energy and water programs through Jan. 19, 2024. All other federal departments will have money to operate through Feb. 2, 2024. Even better for the federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the current spending levels in the CR remain... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tuesday, Nov. 7, is election day. The hubby and I already voted. But, as expected in an election year that doesn't include national races, we are in the vast minority. With almost 18 million registered voters, an early count of early voters showed that statewide turnout was only 5.53 percent. I'm a bit surprised. I thought the property tax cut ballot initiative would have energized more of my neighbors. Texas property tax cut: The proposition was put on the ballot by the legislature in response to homeowner complaints about Texas' real estate taxes, which... Read more →


Taxes play a part in a business' success. And states' tax structures can attract, or discourage, businesses' decisions to locate within their borders. (Photo by Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) College football captures most sports fans' attention this time of year, but it's also prime time for baseball. So, with the World Series underway, it seemed fitting that this weekend's first Saturday Shout Outs goes to an item that uses a baseball measurement to evaluate and compare business taxes in the country's 50 states and the District of Columbia. As long-time readers of the ol' blog have already figured... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Alexander Mils The Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill is getting a lot of attention since one of its founders, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, sought to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The group, generally considered the most conservative and furthest-right bloc within the House GOP membership, was formed in January 2015 by conservatives who were emboldened by the Tea Party movement. You remember the Tea Party. It garnered much attention back in 2011 in its fight with the Internal Revenue Service over agency vetting of conservative (and, it ultimately was revealed, other) groups' applications for... Read more →


Tax time is almost up if you got a filing extension. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) It is Tax Day if you got an extension to file your 2022 tax return. Leading up to this Oct. 16 filing deadline, the ol' blog has been offering tips on how to finish up that Form 1040. They include — 8 tax tips for filers facing Oct. 16 extension deadline 10 often overlooked tax breaks 10 common tax filing mistakes Self-employment retirement plans with Oct. 16 contribution deadlines Free File 2023 still open, with 7 companies offering 9 no-cost tax prep/e-file options... Read more →


Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash There are nine states with no personal income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. I mention this today because the lone winner of last night’s Mega Millions $361 million ($157.3 million one-time cash option) jackpot bought the slip in Texas. If that person lives here, he/she/they are in luck, since the millions only have to be shared with the Internal Revenue Service. California, Washington special situations: The same goes for the other no-income-tax states, as well as California. Yep, although California is infamous for many and varied... Read more →


Actor Bob Odenkirk in the season 4 finale of "Better Call Saul," where his titular character, after getting his law license reinstated, legally becomes Saul Goodman. (Screen shot from that episode's final scene) It's all good, man, for AMC Networks and Sony Pictures in their legal fight with Liberty Tax In August 2022, Liberty Tax Service sued Sony Pictures, the producer of "Better Call Saul," and AMC Networks, which broadcast the "Breaking Bad" prequel, for trade dress and trademark infringement. But apparently, attorneys for Sony and AMC were up to (OK, probably better than) Saul Goodman standards. They persuaded the... Read more →