Tax numbers Feed

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 →


Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all the moms out there got everything they wanted today. Of course, we should be grateful for all that our parents do for us every day of the year. In additional to the emotional support, moms (and dads) literally pay for parenthood. A recent calculation of the average cost to raise a child to age 18 came to $312,202. That figure is for a middle-class family, and doesn’t include college expenses. Yikes! Isabel V. Sawhill, a senior fellow emeritus in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, told WTOP News that the true price could be... 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 →


Just days after tax season 2024 wrapped on April 16 for most filers, the Internal Revenue Service already alerted some taxpayers of changes coming for certain future filings. Specifically, the tax agency is expanding its efforts to track taxable digital asset transactions. That will be done in part via Form 1099-DA, with the appended initials designating digital assets. The IRS on April 19 released a draft version of the information return, dated 2025, for reporting digital asset transactions that will be furnished by brokers. The draft form is based on proposed IRS digital asset regulations issued last year. Tied to... Read more →


Earth Day 2024 is tomorrow, April 22. But today is so nice — we finally got some rain, and the butterflies and hummingbirds are taking over our backyard — that I decided to celebrate a day early. This special day dedicated to the ecological issues facing our planet was first held on April 22, 1970. Back then, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea separately. But they agreed that Americans should join en masse in grassroots demonstrations to highlight environmental threats. McConnell wanted Earth Day events to happen on March 20, which... 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 →


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 →


The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) helped many companies keep workers during the difficult COVID-19 pandemic days. But some ERC claims wrong, and the IRS is successfully recouping some of those incorrectly claimed and/or issued funds. The Internal Revenue Service closed out its Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) on Friday, March 22, on a high note. Going into the day, the VDP, which allowed those who got improper ERC payments to pay back most of the money, had produced more than $225 million from 500+ taxpayers. Another 800 submissions were still being processed, and even more being filed... Read more →


Expensive homes are subject to higher mansion taxes in 17 locales across the United States. (Photo by Daniel Barnes on Unsplash) A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about growing opposition to higher taxes on expensive real estate in Los Angeles and Chicago. So naturally, a recent Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) piece on these so-called mansion taxes caught my eye. Local mansion taxes have been around since 1982, notes ITEP local policy analyst Andrew Boardman in his article for the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. However, the momentum for them has built in recent years. Nearly all of today's... Read more →


Photo by Caleb Cook on Unsplash Back in February in posting about tax relief for Maine residents who endured flooding, I predicted that some Californians would be joining the growing group of storm-struck areas granted more time to file 2023 returns. That wasn't a bold prediction. I've been weather and tax watching for decades, so I was confident in my tax forecast, which was correct. But some southern Californians who were hit by the recent historic rains aren't the only ones for whom the IRS has granted tax relief and a new June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Some... Read more →


Consistent contributions to tax-advantaged retirement accounts can help them grow from seedlings to a solid and sizeable amount of money for your post-work years. (Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash) The stock market has been on a roll, rather than a roller coaster, of late. On Friday, March 1, The Nasdaq recorded its first record close in more than two years. The Dow and S&P 500 are off to their best start to a year since 2019. That's more good news for investors, particularly those whose holdings are in retirement accounts. These savers already saw their retirement vehicles achieve their... 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 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 →


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 →


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 →


Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash The major challenge for Congress right now is finalizing funding so the federal government won't shut down in March. But some members also are, as noted in yesterday's post, trying to get a mini tax extenders measure passed. And that's not the only tax bill on some lawmakers' minds. A bill to eliminate the federal estate tax was introduced just as the larger bipartisan House/Senate tax bill was clearing the House Ways and Means Committee. Estate tax elimination effort. Again: Some cynical Washington, D.C., watchers might say this bill was introduced primarily for political purposes.... Read more →


Tax filing season 2024 continues its rollout, with some business returns getting the go-head next week. The key word here is some. Some business forms must wait: While the Internal Revenue Service's Modernized e-File (MeF) status webpage says it will start accepting electronically filed business returns at 9 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Jan. 16, a follow-up announcement has put the brakes on some filings. An IRS QuickAlert email last week noted that some business forms will not be accepted until the full 2024 filing season starts on Monday, Jan. 29. Below is the text of the delay announcement, including... Read more →


The majority of taxpayers get refunds. They also file early each tax season so they can get their money as soon as possible. But some are always disappointed. While the Internal Revenue Service aims for a 21-day turnaround, from the time it gets your return and processes it until the day you have your refund in hand, that's not a rule. To borrow from Capt. Barbossa in the original "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, it's more of a guideline. The IRS used to issue a chart showing expected refund dates based on when taxpayers filed. Now that document, IRS Publication... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images If you're self-employed, use your car for work, and have taken your last business trip of 2023, go out to your vehicle and take a photo of the odometer. There's no Internal Revenue Service rule that you record your odometer's annual reading. But it's a good idea. A date-stamped smartphone image — either on the last day of the year, the first day of the next year, or, say some tax advisers, on both days — is a digital record that can help you determine how much you drove your vehicle for business. If... Read more →


Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash My favorite Christmas carol is "We Three Kings." As most know, especially the youngsters who donned paper crowns to play Christmas pageant rulers traversing afar, the song tells the tale of the biblical Magi in Matthew 2:1-12. John H. Hopkins, Jr. wrote the song around 1857. It was part of the United Methodist Hymnal, which was part of my childhood. As a youngster, I was fascinated by these three travelers, often referred to (though not in the carol) as the Magi. It was the first time this West Texas desert dweller had heard of... Read more →