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Today's a pretty big day for me. On this day 10 years ago, I published my first post on Don't Mess With Taxes. It's now 6,306 posts later and I'm still going, strong on some days, struggling on others. Yep, blogging is like life. You just keep on keeping on. So while I'm not much for celebrating my personal birthday, today seemed somewhat noteworthy. And I get a kick out of looking at how the ol' blog has grown over this past decade. I make no promises or predictions about another 10 years, but I can guarantee I'll still be... Read more →

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is this still prompting CAPTCHA? Tax return filing. The IRS has estimated that implementing all of the bill's changes will require creating or revising about 450 forms, publications and instructions. We've seen some of those suggested form changes already, like the technically shorter but realistically longer from many new Form 1040. And we've seen the IRS punt when it comes to one document, the proposed new W-4, that isn't needed file an annual tax return. In addition, Uncle Sam's tax collector also must modify around 140 information technology systems to ensure that it can handle all the newly revised tax... Read more →

Not only does my wedding anniversary sometimes slip past me, so does the ol' blog's birthday. That happened just last week. Eight years ago on Thursday, Nov. 14, I wrote my first post for Don't Mess With Taxes. How tax time has flown! Thanks to everyone for reading, commenting, elaborating, suggesting and generally being such great tax geeks. I'm up for eight more years if y'all are! You also might find these posts of interest: Lighting the first candle Blog birthday #2 Happy Blog Birthday to Me! Happy 4th Blog Birthday Read more →

This just in from the IRS' Worst Day-Week-Month-Year Ever Department: A group of tax professionals has officially lent its support to the legal effort to stop the Internal Revenue Service from testing and requiring continuing education of certain tax preparers. In January, a federal judge halted, at least for the time being, the IRS' Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) program. The idea, formulated during the tenure of former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, was to set up a system that would help ensure that more tax returns are correctly completed. The RTRP rules do not apply to Enrolled Agents (EAs), attorneys... Read more →

I'm at a BlogathonATX today, a conference for bloggers here in my current home town of Austin. Last week, I was at a personal finance bloggers conference, FinCon12, in Denver. One thing both of these get-togethers has underscored is that blogging is a business. That's a hard lesson for many bloggers. It's also something that other more traditional business owners sometimes overlook, especially in the owners' initial enthusiam to get their ideas and products out to the public. The bottom line, literally, is that you need to run any business like a business; that is, to make money. Jim Yih,... Read more →

I am in the Mile High City for the next few days (that sound you hear is the hubby celebrating temporary bachelorhood) to attend the second annual Financial Bloggers Conference, aka FinCon12, this year in beautiful downtown Denver. Financial bloggers, professionals, companies, columnists, authors -- just about anyone with something to say about money -- have gathered at the Grand Hyatt for three-plus days of greeting long-time friends, making new ones, sharing our financial war stories and learning from each other. I'll wedge in a blog post or two while I'm here, but if you want to know exactly what... Read more →

Ownership of tax rates or tax cuts

Welcome to the continuation of a weekend Twitter conversation about the name "Bush tax cuts." On Saturday, some of us tax and word nerds exchanged semantics and policy views on what to call the tax rates and breaks that are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. I soon realized that this topic just couldn't be addressed properly in 140 character bursts. So I offered to provide a platform for further discussion here on the ol' blog. Two of my Twitter pals took me up on that. Below is an analysis by Yoenis Cespedes. Presidential ownership of tax rates or... Read more →

What's Bush about today's tax cuts?

Over the weekend, some of us tax folks were talking via Twitter about the Bush tax cuts. Not the specifics, but the name "Bush tax cuts." Yes, we're word nerds as well as tax nerds and do we know how to spend our days off or what? As we exchanged semantics views on what to call the tax rates and breaks that are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2012, I realized that this topic just couldn't be addressed properly in 140 character bursts. So I offered to provide a platform for further discussion here on the ol' blog. Two... Read more →

It's always a thrill to be recognized, but I'm especially honored that the ol' blog was named a 2012 Association for Women in Communications Clarion Award winner. I've been a writing my entire life and getting paid to scribble since I was studying journalism at Texas Tech University. It was there that I joined AWC and that membership moved with me from Texas to the Washington, D.C., area to Florida and back home to the Lone Star State. One of the first calls I made upon arriving in Austin seven years ago was to the city's AWC chapter. So getting... Read more →

If you're looking for the August Tax Carnival (it would be #105 if you're keeping count), I must beg your indulgence. July was a crazy busy month, ending on a particularly crazy busy weekend. And since I'm no longer able or inclined to pull all-nighters like I did in college, I've pushed the carnival's publication to Wednesday, Aug. 8. Thanks for that collective murmur of disappointment. But there is some good news. If you forgot to submit a post, I'm taking submissions for the impending collection of tax goodness until noon tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 7. You can send your blog... Read more →

Tax scams and tax avoidance are always noteworthy. And they were the topics last week at my other tax blog. It's usually the tax scam itself that gets attention, but this time it was the guys allegedly involved. Three former National Football League players, a couple of them first-round draft choices, were charged with identity theft and tax fraud. Some other folks took their own identities and officially moved them to other countries to avoid taxes. Yep, the number of tax expatriates who are dumping U.S. citizenship to avoid the Internal Revenue Service is increasing. You can check out new... Read more →

Do you have a day after Daylight Saving Time hangover? Join the club. It's particularly unfair that we have one less hour during tax-filing season. But Tax Carnival #99: Daylight Tax Time has timely (sorry, I couldn't resist) tax tips to help you make up for those missing 60 minutes. Since our remaining tax time is ticking away, let's get to it! What better way to start than with a tax change that's taken three years to show up. Michael Kitces reminds us that tax laws sometime take a while to kick in. Back in 2008, he notes, then-President Bush... Read more →

Finished your Christmas shopping? What about your 2011 year-end tax moves? 2012 tax planning? Yeah, me neither. But thanks to all the blogging Santa helpers out there, the nicely wrapped tax packages in Tax Carnival #93: Happy Taxmas 2011 should help. Let's get started. Eric J. Nisall reminds us that the end of the year is about more than holidays and shopping. "Tax planning needs to be a concern as well," says Eric, who presents 2 Overlooked Year-End Tax Tips, posted at DollarVersity. Jessica Bosari says that by preparing for taxes now, you can save money later. She provides some... Read more →

This last weekend, most of us here in the United States turned back our clocks to Standard Time. You know what that means: An extra hour of taxes! As you can tell from the time this is being posted, I'm obviously still running slow even with the added 60 minutes. So it's time to stop wasting tax time and get right to Tax Carnival #92: Tax Standard Time. Taxdood examines Obama's proposal to Help More Americans Manage Student Loan Debt. As you might expect, taxes play a role. Details are posted at Taxes in the Back. John gives us the... Read more →

What a nice way to start a holiday weekend. The second annual Plutus Awards finalists have been announced and the ol' blog made the list again this year. Don't Mess With Taxes is tapped as one of four Best Tax Blogs. I'm thrilled to be on the ballot with CafeTax, JoeTaxpayer and TaxProf. We're part of the The Plutus Awards for financial blogs that aren't affiliated with mainstream media and commercial financial products. And as the word ballot indicates, there is a vote involved. If you're so inclined, click on open and pick your favorites, not only in the tax... Read more →

Everything right now is all about the deficit, including my posts last week at my other tax blog. The longer Congress and the President take to agree on where to trim the budget and who should pay more taxes, the closer some sacrosanct tax benefits get to entering the mix. Among the tax benefits generally thought to be untouchable, but which eventually might come under consideration are the many tax breaks connected to homeownership. A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts of the costs and benefits of housing tax subsidies. found that the top home-related tax breaks cost around... Read more →

Regular readers (and close inspectors of the ol' blog's right column) know that I also blog for Bankrate.com. Sometimes I cover the same topic here and at my Bankrate Taxes Blog, especially when there are multiple aspects to the same tax matter. But I've finally come to accept that even though Einstein postulated the possibility of time travel, nobody's found a way to actually accomplish the feat (or they aren't telling!), meaning I can't go back and pick up some extra hours. That means I have limited time to blog, write, eat, sleep, go birding, watch movies, visit with my... Read more →

It's a crazy fun time for college basketball fans. Why shouldn't tax folks enjoy the same thrills? We can! We started the Big Dance with the tax code tournament. And now we have Tax Carnival #83: March Tax Madness. There's no big trophy for just one champion. Instead we have lots of tax tip scoring and everybody makes it through filing season a winner. Enough pregame preblog warm-up. To the Tax Carnival! Tax tip off We start with an impending filing issue. Wendy Litten says if you can't make the March 15 corporation filing deadline, here are tips for Late... Read more →

It's Valentine's Day. It's also the day that the Internal Revenue Service starts processing tax returns that have been on hold with the tax agency upgraded its computers to reflect the tax law changes enacted back in December. So of course today's Tax Carnival #81 is We ♥ Heart ♥ Taxes. OK, so we don't really love, or as the phrase says "heart," taxes. But we do love lots of good tax information and advice and you'll find plenty of that in today's Tax Carnival. We start with a timely item. Khaleef presents Tax Filing Delay Means Valentine Gift For... Read more →