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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite image of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 4, 2017 South Florida has been getting soaked from the first tropical system of the 2022. But it's nameless. As soon as Agatha, the first Pacific hurricane of the year, developed, then struck Mexico, and continued northeast across that country, U.S. residents wondered whether its remnants would reform as the first named Atlantic hurricane of 2022. That didn't happen. But hurricane watchers now say they expect the weather mass to organize and pass near Bermuda as Tropical Storm Alex on Monday, June 6. UPDATE, Sunday, June 5:... Read more →


Photo by Jill Wellington Summer doesn't officially start until the solstice a bit later this month, but that doesn't stop us from celebrating the unofficial arrival of lazy, hazy days today, June 1. But before heading out to the beach, a cool mountain retreat, your favorite amusement park, or distant family members you haven't seen in ages, it's tax time. Yes, Tax Day was six weeks ago for most of us. But even if you got an extension to file your 2021 return, there still are some tax moves you should make or at least consider this month. I know... Read more →


Hawai'i rarely takes a direct hit from a hurricane, but in late August 2016, two strong tropical cyclones, Lester and Madeline, headed toward the United States' island paradise. Luckily for the islands' residents, Madeline fell apart a bit and passed south of the Big Island. Lester also lost intensity and stayed east of the 50th state. (Image courtesy NASA) Hello tropical storm season 2022, which once again is starting early. The Pacific hurricane season officially began on May 15. Generally, though, the first named Pacific storm doesn't show up until early to mid-June. Hurricane Agatha jumped the gun a tad.... Read more →


Billowing smoke from the wildfire ravaging norther New Mexico. (Screen shot of video posted on The Weather Channel, provided by Jackson Mathey via Storyful) The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon wildfires that have merged and been burning a large swath of northern New Mexico for weeks now has been designated as the largest in the state's history. The combined blazes, driven by straight-line winds, have engulfed nearly 300,000 acres, or around 469 square miles, of the Land of Enchantment as of this morning. Only around a quarter of the fire area has been contained, according to InciWeb, a U.S. government... Read more →


Taxes don't typically prompt celebrations like that of these school children welcoming May with a traditional Maypole dance. But thinking about tax moves this month can help you avoid costly faux pas. (Photo by Paul Barnett via Wikimedia Commons) May is supposed to be the month full of flowers from the previous month's showers. Unfortunately, this year the month is starting off on a decidedly unmerry note. In the wake of the devastating Kansas tornadoes, forecasters are warning of multiple rounds this week of severe thunderstorms, including tornadoes, across the Plains, Midwest, and South. That's why heeding weather warnings and... Read more →


Screenshot of YouTube News Disaster video of Puerto Rico flooding Tax Day 2022 has been moved to May 16 and June 15, but just for some taxpayers. And no, this is not a late April Fools Day joke. The postponement is for reasons none of us would want. It's for folks who were struck by major natural disasters. The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that it has granted special tax relief to Puerto Rico residents of who in February were struck by severe storms, flooding, and landslides. They now have until June 15 to file various individual and business... Read more →


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 →