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The fallout from the deadly Dec. 10-11 tornado outbreak across the South and Midwest continues as 2021 comes to a close. So does federal relief, including from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS today announced that affected Arkansas individual and business taxpayers in five counties now have until May 16, 2022, to file returns and make payments for various tax situations. But they are not alone. The IRS also announced today that residents and business owners in two Alabama counties get similar tax relief and a new Feb. 28, 2022, deadline. The Alabama tax move is in connection with severe... Read more →


The deadly and destructive effects of Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm that was the second-most damaging and intense ever to make landfall in Louisiana, weren't limited to the Pelican State. Ida's remnants also caused widespread tornadic destruction and catastrophic flooding across the northeastern United States. You can see Ida's complete path and intensity levels at Fleur DeOdile's WikiProject tropical cyclones tracker. Apparently, the Internal Revenue Service also is feeling the Christmas/New Year crunch. The tax agency is giving taxpayers (and its staff) some end-of-year breathing room by further extending some Hurricane Ida tax deadlines beyond early 2022. Victims of... Read more →


Tornado damage caused Dec. 10-11 to an Amazon warehouse building and high-tension power lines between Pontoon Beach and Edwardsville, Illinois. (National Weather Service-St. Louis/Wikipedia Commons photo) While most of us are rushing this week to complete Christmas plan, some are trying to salvage what, if anything, they still have after a deadly line of tornadoes struck earlier this month. As part of this recovery process, the Internal Revenue Service has announced tax relief for residents in parts of Tennessee and Illinois. This includes a new deadline of May 16, 2022, for filing 2021 federal tax returns. Specific counties designated: The... Read more →


An aerial view of Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the hardest hit communities during the Dec. 10-11 tornado outbreak in the western half of the state, shows the devastation of the community. (Photo by State Farm via Flickr CC 2.0 and Wikimedia) Kentucky residents who were in the path of last weekend's deadly tornadoes have a later 2022 federal tax filing deadline. The Internal Revenue Service today announced that Kentucky taxpayers in, so far, eight counties will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. UPDATE, Dec. 16, 2021: The Kentucky Department... Read more →


Some of the damage from tornadoes that hit Western Kentucky the night of Dec. 10-11, right after it happened. (Photo: Kentucky Emergency Management) There never is a good time for a disaster to strike, but deadly tornadoes during the December holiday season is especially difficult. My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones and property when a supercell system moved through six southeastern states and into the Midwest late Friday, Dec. 10, and early Saturday, Dec. 11. Western Kentucky was hit the hardest, with at least 70 people believed killed in the storms. Kentucky Division of Emergency... Read more →


A close-up of some of our Christmas tree ornaments, including the newest one showcasing Austin icon El Arroyo's sign wisdom. (Photo by Kay Bell) Ho, Ho, Ho! The jolly month of December is here, bringing the official start of winter, Christmas and other holidays, and taxes. Yeah, that last December item might harsh your holidays. But the tax moves you make over the next 31 days could make your 2021 and 2022 tax situations happy and bright. Here's a look at 6 December tax moves you at least want to consider. 1. Keep an eye on Congress. Yeah, too often... Read more →


Click image to see loop from KLIX of Hurricane Ida's landfall. Today is not only the last day of November, it is the official end of this year's Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season. Although I no longer live very near a coastline, tropical systems do a whole lot of damage beyond their landfalls. We've endured the effects of Tropical Storm Hermine in 2010 and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 (what is it with H storms and Austin?) that hit the Texas coast. This year the Lone Star state escaped Hurricane Ida. She stayed east of us and definitely did a lot... Read more →


Image courtesy IRS It's Thanksgiving week! Nov. 25 is circled in green for go by families across the United States. They finally will see their COVID vaccinated families and friends in person for the first time in almost two years. But folks in parts of California and all of Mississippi need to mark another calendar date a bit farther down the road. Jan. 3, 2022, is the new 2020 tax year deadline for them. UPDATE, Dec. 22, 2021: Victims of Hurricane Ida in six states — including Mississippi — who were looking at Jan. 3, 2022, deadlines now have until... Read more →


Hurricane Ida remnants arrive in the northeast United States in early September 2021. (Satellite image via National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Hurricane Center) The effects of Hurricane Ida just keep coming. Connecticut is the latest state where areas have been declared major presidential disasters. That makes them eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It also means the Internal Revenue Service is offering corresponding tax relief. Certain Connecticut individual and business taxpayers now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file various tax returns and make tax payments. The disaster and tax relief are for those who encountered... Read more →


No, you're not time traveling. Tax Day is coming up quickly — like Monday, Nov. 1, quick — for some taxpayers. Halloween is almost here, but some folks need to take a break from their spooky costume and party plans and double check their tax situations. Monday, Nov. 1, is a tax deadline they can't afford to miss. Opting out of early Child Tax Credit payments: Most families who've received the Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments are thrilled. It's meant a much-needed $300 per child for kiddos younger than 6 or $250 per child for youngsters ages 6 to... Read more →


Hurricane Ida just won't let go. The major storm made landfall on Aug. 29 near Port Fourchon, Louisiana. But the havoc wreaked by the category 4 hurricane extended well beyond that Gulf Coast town. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared a swath of counties slammed by Ida in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania as major disaster areas. The Internal Revenue Service followed up by offering tax relief to individuals and businesses in those designated areas. Now, almost two months after the hurricane hit, both agencies are still in the Ida relief business. Expanded disaster, and tax,... Read more →


Hurricane Ida is one reason why some taxpayers don't have to get their extended tax returns to the IRS on Oct. 15. (National Hurricane Center radar image of Ida making landfall) Millions of taxpayers are frantically filling out Internal Revenue Service forms right now. They are the folks who got an extension until today, Oct. 15, to submit their annual federal tax returns. Some, however, aren't in a hurry. The IRS has given them more time to complete their returns. Disaster related added delays: Unfortunately for those filers, the reason for an extended extension deadline isn't a welcome one. They... Read more →


These cattle out in the West Texas Big Bend area don't appear worried about much. Their owners, however, have a lot of concerns, including severe weather that could hurt their ranches' profitability. The IRS is once offering some ranchers and farmers special drought-related tax relief. (Photo by Kay Bell) I grocery shop every week and there are a few items that I always purchase. Beef is one of them. You're not surprised, are you? I am a Texan. That consistent shopping list means I get week-to-week comparisons of my regular items. And, as other shoppers have noticed, meat prices, particularly... Read more →


Updated, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, to add just-announced Hurricane Ida relief for some Pennsylvania taxpayers. Just two weeks ago, we were awaiting Hurricane Ida. Since then, Hurricane Larry went spinning into the North Atlantic and Tropical Storm Mindy rushed across parts of Florida and Georgia. Today. Sept. 13, Tropical Storm Nicholas is heading toward a Texas Gulf Coast landfall, after which it will send more rain into already water-logged Louisiana. But we're still dealing with Ida's deadly fallout in states beyond landfalling Louisiana. After coming ashore near New Orleans as a category 4 on Aug. 29, she moved northeastward across... Read more →


So how was your summer? Yep, it's over, or will be officially a bit later in this brand new month of September. In addition to bringing some cooler temperatures (eventually, or so promise my local weathermen and women), the ninth month of the year also marks the opening of schools (at least in part, depending on COVID-19 Delta outbreaks), and football seasons (American, not Ted Lasso's version). Tax tasks also are on this month's agenda. Yeah, taxes aren't as fun as football (either U.S. or global leagues) or as welcome as a break from the heat or the kiddos going... Read more →


Damage in the Galliano, Louisiana, area from Hurricane Ida as seen by U.S. Coast Guard overflight on Aug. 30. (Photo courtesy U.S.C.G./VIRIN: 210830-G-G0108-1006M) Hurricane Ida went from Tropical Depression 9 to a category 4 hurricane that slammed coastal Louisiana on Aug. 29 in just about three days. The Internal Revenue Service has reacted just as quickly. Today, the IRS announced that its offering tax relief to Ida victims. That includes pushing the Oct. 15 extended filing deadline (and other tax dates) to Jan. 3, 2022. The tax relief applies to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)... Read more →


Satellite image of Hurricane Ida entering the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. (Click the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service image to see looping version). Everyone in Hurricane Ida's path better already be on the road out of there or in or heading to some storm safe shelter. This one could be really, really bad. So for this weekend's Saturday Shout Out, I'm turning to items on last-minute preparation for and recovery after a major disaster. Time's short, so here goes, starting with some of Uncle Sam's official government assistance websites. Federal... Read more →


Records, tax and financial, are often among the property damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster. If you're lucky, you might be able, like this woman, to salvage some of the documents. If not, you'll need to recreate them to take advantage of tax-related storm relief. (Image courtesy Louisiana Law Blog) We're heading into peak Atlantic hurricane season, which means much of the United States could face disastrous circumstances like those already being dealt with coast-to-coast. In major disasters, various types of tax relief are available, including claiming storm-related losses as an itemized deduction. One of the key considerations here... Read more →


The devastating Haitian earthquake. Deadly flooding in Tennessee and North Carolina. Tropical Storm Henri damage in the Northeast. Drought-fueled destructive wildfires in California. Add the global Delta surge that's exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic and it does seem, as my grandmother would say, that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. If you've managed to avoid any or all of these disasters and want to help those who are less fortunate, thanks. Here are some ways to do so. Myriad mechanisms to give: The standard big dog nonprofits, American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, remain the go-to donation... Read more →


Hurricane season 2021 is back. Tropical Storm Fred is heading toward the eastern Gulf of Mexico, with much of Florida in the National Weather Service's cone of uncertainty. (Screen shot image from The Weather Channel) 2020 was one of the busiest hurricane seasons ever in the United States, creating major issues particularly along the Gulf Coast. Will 2021, be a replay? Possibly. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week issued its mid-season update for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA is expecting more storms than it originally forecast. Hurricane prediction hiked: Uncle Sam's official weather watchers now predict... Read more →