U.S. Holiday Feed

Photo by Durmuş Kavcıoğlu on Unsplash Some folks are already en route to their long Memorial Day weekend destination. Millions will be flying, with AAA projecting that this holiday's nearly 3.4 million air travelers will surpass pre-pandemic numbers. But the number of holiday travelers hitting U.S. roads will dwarf all other modes of Memorial Day travel. AAA expects more than 37 million will drive 50 miles or more starting today, Thursday, May 25, through Monday, May 29. Gas prices are lower this holiday compared to last year, notes AAA, when the national average was more than $4 a gallon. When... Read more →


If you fall for a tax April Fools' joke, you could end up as sad as this usually jovial jester. (Jan Alojzy Matejko painting image via Wikipedia Commons) It's April 1, also known as April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day or the day of the year I hate the most. Why do I have such disdain for the first day of April? Because too many people try to be funny on this day. Call me a killjoy if you want. I've been called worse. I really do have a sense of humor, even about taxes. But not about fake... Read more →


Photo by Chris F In February, Austin took another winter weather hit. A surprisingly heavy freeze ended with broken tree limbs taking out power lines, leaving tens of thousands of Austin households and businesses without electricity for days. We were among the powerless. During the three days we sat huddled in our increasingly cold house, griping about the third consecutive and unusually cold winter (thanks, no thanks, La Niña!), we realized we needed to look into making some improvements to our house. The energy efficient upgrades will also help in a couple of months when we're dealing with the area's... Read more →


U.S. President Joe Biden with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, meeting after Biden's secret trip to Kyiv on Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo via Zelenskyy Telegram account) We woke up this morning (some later than others…) to news that while we were sleeping, President Joe Biden was in Ukraine. The overnight trip from Washington, D.C., to an active war zone was under a cloak of secrecy for obvious security reasons. Only a handful of White House, Pentagon, Secret Service, and intelligence community personnel were in the know. It, of course, included a 10-hour train ride by the Amtrak-loving 46th president. The momentousness,... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Friday, Feb. 2, 2024 The Internal Revenue Service has its own Groundhog Day, but it's not limited to just one specific 24-hour period. Most often, this re-do of a tax return is when you find you made a mistake on your original Form 1040. The do-over is accomplished by filing Form 1040-X, an excerpt of which is shown below. See more tax forms and more about them at Tax Forms 2024. Fix errors: Nobody's perfect, and the annual filing season underscores that for many of us. When we do make a mistake on our taxes, filing an... Read more →


The first week of the 2023 tax filing season is in the books. But there are lots of other tax dates to look forward to, or at least be aware of, this year. As happens every year, there are the normal conflicts that delay some of them a bit. They are the traditional deadline shift the Internal Revenue Service institutes when tax due dates fall on weekends or federal holidays. The original date gets bumped to the next business day. The legal holidays in 2023 that could affect tax deadlines are — January 2, New Year's Day (observed) January 16,... Read more →


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in Washington, D.C., in 1963 where he delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech. (Photo via Wikimedia) On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day federal holiday, the focus once again is on public service. It's a way to honor The Rev. Dr. King's commitment to helping those who need it the most. It's also a time when we rightfully recall the civil rights leader's most famous speech, his delivery of his "I have a dream" vision of equality in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963. But King also knew that hard, practical work was... Read more →


The tax code is like a car. A big, old, clunky car that just keeps chugging along. But every now and then you need to tune it up and change the tires. Here are some tweaks to the 2023 filing season model. (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio) Tax filing rolls around every year. But every year, there also are a few changes that make the process slightly different from prior filings. We didn't have any major tax law changes in 2022. But some old rules come into play, as does the expiration of some tax breaks that many folks had enjoyed... Read more →


Image by Pintera Studio from Pixabay We're two days into the New Year. Feel any different? Aside from thinking it's a Sunday instead of Monday, me neither. But some things, in addition to flipping calendar pages, have changed. From a tax standpoint, you'll see some differences, starting with those calendars. Weekends and holidays will shift some regular tax deadlines to new days. You also could see some differences on your 2022 Form 1040, thanks in part to tax breaks that no longer apply. Those changes are just a few things to note as we head into the 2023 tax year.... Read more →


Merry Christmas 🎅 Peace ☃️ Joy 🎄 Happy Holidays I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas. The video above offers a brief look at how the hubby and I celebrate Dec. 25. I know, I should have shot it horizontally, but that's why I'm a writer, not a cinematographer. And no, there will be no videos of me making our holiday dinner. Enjoy today and your traditions however and whatever you celebrate, or if you don't! I'll be back here with a return to taxes tomorrow. Until then, a few more of our favorite Christmas items reflecting our native Texan... Read more →


Kris Kringle, portrayed by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 classic movie "Miracle on 34th Street." (via Giphy) I'm a Christmas traditionalist. OK, so I expand the traditional holiday season. We, at my urging, put up holiday decorations right after Halloween. We have a lot of them, so it takes time. Plus, I'm a fan and nonresident celebrant of Canada's Thanksgiving. Our neighbors to the north's celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year falls on the second Monday of October, following a more North American seasonal shift. Even better, it provides a welcome space between Turkey Day... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023 Yes, you've got a lot to think about during the holidays, but add this tax task, too, if you're older and have a tax-deferred retirement plan. Don't miss the Dec. 31 RMD deadline. We're just days away from Christmas, so here's my tax tip gift to all my readers of a certain age. Take your required minimum distribution. Now. But definitely by the end of the year. If you're a septuagenarian and saved so you wouldn't have to rely solely on Social Security, you probably already know that the Internal Revenue Service wants... Read more →


via GIPHY Seven days from now, many of us will be opening Christmas presents. Hanukkah is underway. Regardless of what or how you celebrate December holidays, your purchases probably increase this month. And this year, inflation, even though it's abated a bit recently, means you have or will pay more for all those gifts, food, and other festive trimmings of the season. Every year, PNC financial services issues its Christmas Price Index, or CPI. It measures, using a methodology similar to Uncle Sam's official CPI, or consumer price index, the current costs of the gifts given in the classic holiday... Read more →


December 1998 was hectic. The hubby was in California, getting onboarded for his new job, which actually would be in Florida. Our cat and I were in suburban Maryland, finishing up packing for our move to the Sunshine State. Most of that packing was done from 7 p.m. into the early morning hours, as I was still commuting to my job in downtown Washington, D.C., during the day. I had planned to quit so I could focus on the move, which was scheduled for early in the new year. However, a heads-up from a buddy in my company's Human Resources... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash You're heading home from your Thanksgiving get-together, loaded down with leftovers and maybe something less welcome. Yeah, your indigestion has been acting up, inflamed by overly rich food and some family members who just wouldn't let things go. The good news is that you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) funds to pay for the Tums or Gaviscon or whatever over-the-counter (OTC) remedy works for you. You may remember that not too long ago, you had to jump through hoops to get FSA coverage for these store... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 Photo by Mikkel Bergmann on Unsplash We're into the Thanksgiving weekend and still noshing on leftover turkey. (Or, in my case, pumpkin pie.) But here's a Tax Turkey you shouldn't let linger. Don't wait to look into converting, in full or partially, your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Individual retirement savings options: IRAs, or individual retirement arrangements (although most of us read the A as account), have long been a popular way for individuals, with or without a workplace retirement plan, to save for their post-work year. The original version, now known as... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 Tom and Tillie Turkey take care of their youngsters, like these three young Bourbon Red poults. But poultry and the rest of the animal world doesn't have to send their offspring to college. (Photo by Jennifer Kleffner via Flickr CC) A recurring phrase uttered at holiday season family gatherings is "you've grown so much since I last saw you!" What that usually means for many parents of those youngsters is that they will soon be heading off to college. And that move to campus means that mom and dad will have to come up... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 Happy Thanksgiving Day! Once you retire, you might be able to spend the holiday in a different way, depending on your golden year dreams and how much money you've saved for post-work years. (Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash) How's your Thanksgiving morning going? It's pretty quiet at our house, since it's only the hubby and me. And aside from baking a pumpkin pie, our meal is Texas smoked brisket, sausage, and sides we picked up from a local barbecue joint yesterday afternoon. If your Turkey Day is more hectic, enjoy! When I was... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Nov. 23, 2023 What better topic for Thanksgiving than tax turkeys and how to avoid them. Our first tax turkey, represented by this solo strutting showy bird, is incorrect withholding. (Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash) Thanksgiving, a time of gathering with family you haven't seen for a while. But sometimes, even when we get along with our relatives, we need a break from all that familial reconnecting. You could take a walk. Or check out a calming app. Or take care of a tax task. To help with that third suggestion, the rest of this Thanksgiving... Read more →


Holiday season is here. So are the accompanying scams. True, con artists operate year-round. But they really ramp up their schemes during this time of giving. Some try to trick people who are stretched a bit too thin into thinking there's free money out there … as long as they supply some personal and financial information. Other scammers use the hook of holiday giving, especially for those who are less fortunate. Just send along your help to the fake emailer, they say, or even easier, just click on the link. 'Tis the phishing season: And some go for a combo... Read more →