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And be ready to pay tax on your winnings Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers will lead their teams Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl LIV. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs and Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers will lead their teams Sunday, Feb. 2, in Super Bowl LIV. I've been to Las Vegas. I love that city. But I know nothing about betting. My gambling, aside from a half hour or so at a Sin City slot machine years ago, is losing a few bucks on a lottery ticket every time the Powerball... Read more →

Congratulations! You made it through Thanksgiving. And Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Are you ready for one more special day before the end-of-year biggies? I'm talking about today, Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, a post-Thanksgiving fixture since 2012, is the unofficial kick-off of the annual end-of-year charitable season Today was designed as a global day during which folks are encouraged to give back to their communities and the charitable causes they care about. The timing fits right into the end-of-year solicitations by nonprofit organizations and the annual tax considerations of donors. Tax cuts also cut donor numbers: Over... Read more →

The Apollo 11 lunar landing mission crew, pictured from left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot. (Photo courtesy NASA/Wikipedia Commons) Today, July 20, is a momentous day for science, the spirit of adventure and humanity. At 10:56 p.m. Eastern Time (9:56 p.m. in my West Texas hometown's Central Time zone), Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember sitting on the floor in front of our black and white television with my younger brother. We had been allowed, actually encouraged, to stay up late to... Read more →

If the changes to Form 1040 this filing season frustrated you, there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Internal Revenue Service is revising the Form 1040 to be used for 2019 tax filings. No, it's still not quite a postcard. But there will be fewer schedules to file — three instead of six — if your taxes are a bit more complicated. The bad news is that many of us still have to fill out those schedules (and the accompanying forms for additional tax break claims that remained) instead of having things on... Read more →

Today was one of those days where personal stuff took precedence over work and tax matters. As a freelancer, I'm usually able to plan things so the I can do both without too much trouble. Not today. Personal issues won. That meant I missed out on a #TaxBuzzChat. This is a regular Twitter conversation among online tax folks on various, topical tax matters. Today a bunch of my Twitter pals — including, but not limited to @beanna_whitlock, @BrettNealCPA, @bstonercpa, @cbriancpa, @DebFoxFinancial, @MelindaNCPA, @RobergTax and @ShaunHunley — discussed year-end tax planning in light of the changes wrought by the Tax Cuts... Read more →

I spent most of today with my Mom, running errands with her and chauffeuring her to a couple of medical appointments. (She's fine. It was routine stuff. Thanks for asking.) But I did make time to hook up with my peeps, all the Twittering tax experts, accountants, writers, preparers, attorneys, Enrolled Agents and general tax geeks who set aside an hour at the beginning of each month to talk taxes. Specifically, we were part of the first #TaxBuzzChat of 2018, coordinated and moderated by, as the name (and my headline) indicates, As you guessed — OK, noticed in the... Read more →

Sports fans tend to be, well, fanatic. To many, it's what a player does during the game, not his or her off-field antics that matter. Moment of the Champions League final with FC Barcelona's Leo Messi, left, going against Patrice Evra of Juventus at Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 6, 2015. (Photo by Biser Todorov via Wikimedia Commons) That kind of no-questions-asked support was what the Barcelona football -- or soccer, as most Americans call the sport -- team was counting on in the wake of its star player's tax evasion conviction. Public outreach, tax backlash: Last week after Lionel... Read more →

I've occasionally jotted a note on a 1040. Usually it was to bring Internal Revenue Service attention to an attachment I included or to explain why an examiner might find an entry, shall we say, intriguing. But for the most part, I don't carry on written conversations with the tax man or woman. Donald Rumsfeld, however, takes a different position. The former secretary of defense who most recently served in the George W. Bush administration apparently writes a letter to the IRS each year and sends it along with his tax return. We know this thanks to Rummy's announcement on... Read more →

Tax-writing committee chairmen launch tax reform website

During my early years in Washington, D.C., when folks got worked up about an issue, they wrote their members of Congress. Honest to God pen to paper, postage stamp letters. Yeah, I know. Quaint meets geezer alert. But back then, it was what we had. We got bags and bags of mail on hot-button issues. And it worked. Just as well as it did at Kris Kringle's trial in "Miracle on 34th Street." 'Write Rosty' a tax reform winner: One of the most successful correspondence campaigns was in support of what became the historic Tax Reform Act of 1986. Back... Read more →

When the final week before Tax Day rolled around, so did concerns about taxpayer privacy. First came worries that the Internal Revenue Service might be spying on tax audit targets via social media. Infographic courtesy "Why Privacy is Overrated" It's unclear as to whether the tax agency has formalized such a strategy (more on this in a few paragraphs). But, as I noted last week at my other tax blog, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise for tax investigators to take advantage of all public resources. That means if you do insist on bragging about a high-dollar lifestyle... Read more →

Did you, like the Baltimore Ravens, come up a winner yesterday thanks to some bets you made on the National Football League's big game? Super Bowl XLVII medallion photo by Au Kirk via Twitter Uncle Sam thanks you. Gambling winnings, whether thousands of dollars on a sports championship or a few bucks from a lottery scratch-off ticket, are taxable income. Some of the taxable winnings come via the hundreds of prop, short for proposition, bets that are connected with major sporting events. Among the goofiest prop bets on the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco Forty-niners game were whether the coin... Read more →

President Obama spent about an hour this afternoon on Twitter answering a few questions about fiscal cliff consequences, proposals, negotiations and Chicago sports teams (you knew someone would ask). Not surprisingly, there were no stunning new revelations on how Congress, particularly the Republicans, and the White House are going to keep us from doing a financial Thelma and Louise. As soon as the White House announced the social media question and answer session, directly from the prez with his -bo online signature ... ... the #My2k hashtag, created by the Administration to collect stories of what the estimated average middle-class... Read more →

Lindsay Lohan wasn't among the celebrities who attended the Democratic convention last week, but she did the next best thing. Taking advantage of Obama's participation in social media, Lohan dropped the prez a Twitter request in response to a statement in his acceptance speech regarding tax cuts. Lohan has since deleted her online plea for tax relief for Forbes-list millionaires, but not before it was captured in screen shots. It's unclear exactly what Lohan wants -- 140 or less characters does have its drawbacks in dealing with complex topics such as taxes -- but the quotation marks around the word... Read more →

Jon Stewart's look at "The Summer of Recovery" and the brewing tax cut battle

Jon Stewart skewers "The Summer of Recovery" and the upcoming battle over expiring tax cuts. The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cFaces of Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party Thank you, Jon, for yet again making us laugh through our tax, financial, political and, yes, even our social media tears Video player note: When I click start, the Daily Show video clip's volume is totally turned down, which is better than being at the highest level, especially if you work in a cube farm! Related posts: OMG! What will happen to my tax bill if... Read more →

It's true, politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows, or in this case, tanning-bedfellows. The Jersey Shore diva Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi, and erstwhile GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain apparently are new social media BFFs, bonded by their common dislike of the 10 percent tax on UV tanning bed services. The bronzing bed levy is part of the funding for the new health care reform law. Collection of the tax kicks in July 1. In a preview for the next installment her MTV show, Snooki notes that she doesn't use tanning beds anymore because "Obama put a 10 percent... Read more →

It's Tax Twitter Tuesday time again! It sorta sneaked up on me, what with all the health care reform hubbub and the rapidly approaching tax filing deadline. So this month's T3 is going be a big shorter than usual. That, however, doesn't diminish its tasty Twittery goodness! So here goes. Given that most of us have been paying more than usual attention to Congress of late, let's start with the folks on the tax-writing committee. @WaysMeansCmte Our hearing has concluded. Thank you for clicking in. If you missed it, you can find information here @WMRepublicans Says Camp, the IRS... Read more →

Attention tax preparers. Does the complaint below sound familiar? Attention tax clients: Is @taxmegan talking about you? Now I'm sure -- OK, pretty sure -- that Megan is kidding about inflicting physical pain on her less-than-ideal client. But then tax hurt can come in many forms, as Megan, an Enrolled Agent, notes in a conversation with CPA Joe (@joebwan) few minutes later: What not to do: Failure to provide all necessary information to your tax preparer is a major complaint from those who make their livings doing taxes and tax planning for others. Being very late in finally getting your... Read more →

It's Tax Twitter Tuesday time again! We're in the heart of tax filing season, but some tax folks certainly know how to keep things in perspective: @taxmegan I like managers meetings. They usually lead to food and beer. All I have to say is can I work in @taxmegan's office!? Now to other tasty tax matters. @YoungCPANetwork IRS initiatives could change compliance landscape for practitioners, taxpayers in 2010: (@AICPA_JofA) @sherylschuff RT @DianeKennedyCPA: Is Your S Corp a Big Fat IRS Red Flag? @going_concern SHOCKER: Accountants Have a Conservative... Read more →

Welcome to the first Tax Twitter Tuesday of 2010! We're into the filing season, the economy is still giving us fits, we've been giving like crazy to Haiti's earthquake victims and, as usual, politics are playing a big part in tax legislation. What a way to get a year going! And all this means the Twitterverse is abuzz with tax talk. So let's get to it! @CPALetter_Daily Today's Top Story in #CPALD - Obama to propose aid to middle class, freeze on some federal spending @CLT_CPA North Carolina is now taxing digital property @freefrombroke RT @arohan 5 (plus... Read more →

Red Cross receipts for text donations

I'm in a charitable blogging mood today, in every sense of word, so here's another look at the outpouring of donations to help the folks in Haiti. Soon after the earthquake struck last Tuesday, social media became not only a way for the world to find out about the tragedy, but also a mechanism to lend assistance. Facebook launched a portal, the Global Disaster Relief page, for people who want to help. And Twitter was integral in spreading the word about donating relief funds via text message. Yes, the staid old American Red Cross, which has been lending hands and... Read more →