U.S. Holiday Feed

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 →


Korean War Memorial on National Mall, Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brittany Colette on Unsplash) 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. That moment marked the armistice between World War I's Allied forces and Germany, ending the fighting on the Western Front. The commemoration to honor the 4.7 million Americans who served — and the 116,500 who died — in what then was called the Great War originally was celebrated as Armistice Day. In 1954, the annual Nov. 11 commemorations were rebranded Veterans Day, and the day's focus expanded to honor veterans from all eras. But the momentousness of the event 104... Read more →


One of my favorite yard displays in my neighborhood. I love the multicolor wig on the swinging skeleton. (Photo by Kay Bell) Happy Halloween! Most of my neighborhood goes all out with outdoor decoration for this traditionally spooky night. All Hallows' Eve isn't my favorite holiday. I do, however, get a kick out of seeing what the youngsters dress as to trick or treat. Some of their parents get into the spirit, too. If you're still trying to decide what you'll wear tonight, an internet search will provide lots of last-minute suggestions. Social media also is full of a create-your-own... Read more →


Reviewed and updated Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 Welcome to another Monday holiday. Today is Columbus Day. And yes, it's still officially called that by the federal government. The White House issued a proclamation last week lauding namesake Christopher Columbus. But the Biden Administration also recognizes that on the second Monday in October, many in the United States celebrate the country's original inhabitants. So, on the same day as the Columbus statement, the president issued a second proclamation citing Oct. 10 as Indigenous Peoples' Day. The dual and dueling declarations of what is and should be celebrated on this October holiday... Read more →


Updated Oct. 6, 2023, to reflect added Hurricane Ian tax relief and new filing deadline. Before you and your family celebrate Halloween, check out these October tax moves. Your calendar isn't wrong. We're already into the first week of October, the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year. Once you get through repeating (like me) "Already?", it's time for the annual fall push. Between picking out your Halloween outfit and locating a secure hiding place for the holiday treats that your family can't find, it's time to make some tax moves. Here are four tax tasks that you need... Read more →


Photo by Ben Vardi (Ben Vardi, Public Domain) It's the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend marking the end of summer. It's also three straight days of college football games. So, of course, folks are enjoying cookouts and/or tailgating. Both those events typically involve adult beverages, surreptitiously in the case of college football games, depending on where you're holding your "Go Team!" pre-game celebration. Today's multiple Saturday Shout Outs welcome this convergence of the United States' most popular sport and Labor Day weekend. First, there's the legal aspect of booze and parking lot football parties. Intoxalock looks at 5 Alcohol Laws... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell Millions of Americans are displaying the U.S. flag today. Some, like my neighbors shown in the photo atop this post, planted poles for Old Glory and replicas in their yards, at the beginning of the long Independence Day holiday. Others fly the Stars and Stripes every day. If you're inclined to fly the U.S. flag any time, the following infographic has some tips from Uncle Sam himself — OK, USA.gov — and the Flag Code, officially Title 4, Chapter 1 of the U.S. Code. More flag tips and tidbits: Want to impress friends and family at... Read more →


Shutterstock The hubby and I are spending the Independence Day holiday like we usually do. We're staying home. Even in our younger days, we didn't travel on holidays. We also lived in places where fireworks, the big draw on the Fourth of July, were easily accessible or visible from our homes. Of course, there was that year in Washington, D.C., where our car almost got towed, but that just added excitement to the festivities on the National Mall. Almost 48 million people, however, disagree with the way the hubby and I celebrate July 4th, according to AAA. That's how many... Read more →


Juneteenth is officially on the day that gives it its contraction name, June 19th. But since that was on Sunday, federal offices, the stock market, and some states observance Juneteenth on Monday, June 20. It's the second year of Juneteenth being celebrated as a federal holiday. Since today is Sunday, federal offices will observe it on Monday, June 20. As a native Texan, I was aware of the date. It's was the day in 1865 when recalcitrant (insert your own R word if you wish) early Lone Star Staters were forced to acknowledge — and let enslaved Texans know —... Read more →


Photo courtesy National Park Service Memorial Day commemorations of the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice tend to be outdoors. That's because they usually involve military participation and flourishes. People also head this long federal holiday weekend to national parks, many of which honor military service members today and year-round. Events will be held today at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. There are more than a dozen units of the National Park system and more than 100 unique monuments and memorials in the national capital. National parks honoring national sacrifices: The tributes in America's Front... Read more →


U.S. Continental Navy ship Alfred at its commissioning at Philadelphia on Dec. 3, 1775, captured in this oil painting by W. Nowland Van Powell. America's earliest sailors also were the new nation's first whistleblowers. (Image courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command) Memorial Day and its surrounding weekend days are to honor those in the armed forces who gave their all to protect us and our country. But, thank goodness, the ultimate sacrifice isn't required in all cases. Sometimes other forms of protection are just as necessary to protect us and society at large against fraud, waste, and abuse of power.... Read more →


The annual Memorial Day weekend is almost here. The three-day holiday, officially celebrated the last Monday in May, unofficially marks the beginning of summer. Millions of Americans, restive after years of COVID-19 precautions limited their travel and festivities, are heading out today. But the name of the holiday underscores what it's really about. Memorial Day is to honor military service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. The United States total military war deaths are nearly 1.4 million. The National Moment of Remembrance Act was enacted in December 2000, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of... Read more →


Don't be an April Fool, or gullible person who's an easily caught fish when it comes to fakes floating around today. And never get caught in a tax myth net, on April 1 or any day. How's your April Fools' Day going? I hope you haven't been tricked into believing some outrageous claims. There even are a few April 1 tax pranks out there on social media. Don't fall for them. If you read or hear something tax-related that sounds a bit sketchy, take the time to check it out with reputable tax sources. To help in this area, here... Read more →


Reviewed and updated on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024 Today is the federal holiday celebrating George Washington's birthday. That's it. Just George. Not his Mount Rushmore colleagues Tom or Teddy or Abe. Not any other man who's been Commander in Chief. But most of us refer to this annual February celebration as Presidents Day. The unofficial public renaming actually happened somewhat organically. Evolution from one to all presidents: When Washington's Feb. 22nd birthday became the first federal holiday to honor an American president back in 1879 , it was celebrated on the actual date. But under the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday... Read more →


I know I said this last year, but once again, I have never been so ready for a fresh start! The last two years were full of chaos, COVID-19 and otherwise, that affected every part of our lives, taxes included. So, recoveries from a New Year's Eve of hearty partying notwithstanding, let's get right to 2022 taxes! April Tax Day, but not the 15th: This year, the Internal Revenue Service is aiming to get back on a more normal cycle. Tax Day 2022 is in April. OK, it's on Monday the 18th instead of the 15th, but still. The three-day... Read more →


Shutterstock If you're celebrating the end of 2021 and welcoming 2022 with an adult beverage at midnight, enjoy! When you bought your booze, you might have noticed it cost a bit more, especially if you go bubbly. Apparently, says Wine Searcher, "The much-vaunted Champagne drought of 2021 is real – and it's starting to show in the retail sector." Wine Enthusiast says here in the United States, we're in the early stages of a Champagne shortage that is expected to last several years. When things are hard to get, the ol' law of supply and demand means the price tag... Read more →


Merry Christmas! If you're checking out a tax blog post on Dec. 25, that can mean only one thing. You've managed to escape momentarily from a contentious family gathering. Been there, hated that. It's never fun tip-toeing around politics and, with COVID still raging, polarizing health topics. That tension goes double during the holidays. Maybe this will help. Here are some festive factoids you can use to redirect the conversations to a merrier destination. Plus, as an internet present for you, there are some tax links in this post's copy. Hey, you're the one who clicked over to the ol'... Read more →


Merry Christmas Eve! For the few of you checking in today, I hope that however and whatever you're celebrating this time of year, it's joyous. The hubby and I are pretty well set for tomorrow's big day. Decorating is done. Yes, that's an artsy shot below that I took of our tree. Plus, Christmas cards are long mailed and gifts bought. All that's left is the cooking. So today, I'm knocking off early to do some of that food stuff. And stuffing. Or, more accurately, make my Mam-ma's dressing. And pies, which actually are the hubby's job, one he does... Read more →


Photo by Dima D from Pexels It's Christmas week and you still have some shopping to do. Don't worry. Here are some financial gift ideas for those of all ages on your personal Santa list. A few even offer tax advantages. Christmas is the season that brings out the kid in everyone, but let's start with some gifts that would be great for hard-to-shop-for youths. Open a Roth IRA for a young worker. If you have a young friend or family member who worked this year, help him or her get started on those way down the road retirement. Open... Read more →


This lord a-leaping and his nine other colleagues will cost you a hefty sum this year if you give them and the 11 other gifts inspired by the "12 Days of Christmas" carol to your true love. (Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels) Did you survive Black Friday shopping? More to the point, did your bank account survive? The crowds this year apparently were smaller, but the freedom to shop in real life didn't offer as many savings. Plus, there was inflation. As everyone knows by now, prices have been rising. That definitely is true for the annual PNC Financial... Read more →