I'm not a basketball fan, but I am a sports fan, so I know millions of folks -- including President Obama, who filled out his bracket picks before heading off to official business in Israel -- are following the men's NCAA tournament right now.
In the spirit of March Madness, as the annual college basketball tourney is known, NPR has come up with a feature for music fans, specifically those of us who love marches.
The public radio blog Deceptive Cadence is featuring those distinctive compositions in a feature it calls Marches Madness.
I was in the band, concert as well as the one that took the field at football game halftimes, back in Kermit High School, so I know marches well.
And some of the hubby's and my fondest memories of our years in the Washington, D.C., area were Fourth of July celebrations punctuated by John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" (performed in the video below by the U.S. Marine Corp Band) as fireworks colored the sky over the National Mall.
But until today, I did not know that marches and other music performed publicly has a tax connection.
In 1921, Iowa passed the Municipal Band Law, which enabled towns
under 40,000 to implement a modest tax to support community bands. Karl
King, best known for the rousing circus marchesBarnum & Bailey's Favorite and Invictus, wrote his Iowa Band Law March to celebrate its passage.
From that Midwestern beginning, says the blog, public funding for community musicians spread to 33 states and a
few other countries.
So the next time you're enjoying music in your local park, thank those tuneful turn-of-the-century tax law writers.
Estimated tax time comes around four times a year -- When you have income that's not subject to payroll withholding, you must file estimated taxes. The extra payments made to the Internal Revenue Service via Form 1040-ES are due four times a year: April 15, June 15, Sept. 5 and the next year's Jan. 15. Yes, four extra tax filings -- and payments -- each year are a hassle. But owing a big tax bill in April, as well as interest and penalty charges for underpaying your annual tax liability, is a bigger pain. Estimated taxes are routine for folks with self-employment income, investment earnings or even gambling winnings. You can pay your estimated taxes by snail mailing the IRS a check or money order, or by making electronic payments via credit or debit card, electronic funds withdrawal or the IRS' Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). (June 12, 2013)
June 5: Welcome to summer. OK. The hottest season doesn't officially begin for a couple more weeks, but some thermometers here in Texas have already hit the triple-digit mark. And a heat wave in the Northeast has many feeling like it's mid-July instead of early June. Since it won't get cooler for a while, get your home in energy efficient shape now.
June 16: Happy Father's Day! Dad might not say so, but he appreciates being recognized, so take time today to let him know you care. If you also show your affection by providing for the bulk of dad's living expenses (or mom's, too, for that matter), be sure you claim him, her or both of them as dependents on your tax return.
June 17: June 15 is a busy tax day, but since it fell this year on Saturday, you get until the next business day, today, to meet the deadlines.
If you're not paying your 2013 income tax through withholding, or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way, your second estimated tax payment of the year is due today.
June 24: Are you a June bride? Since the withholding rates are different for couples, both newlywed wives and husbands should file new W-4 forms at work to reflect their now-married tax status. Also, if the new missus changed her name, she needs to contact the Social Security Administration to make sure her tax ID number matches her new moniker. These tasks are just a couple of ways that marriage affects your taxes.
June 30: If you didn't get around to spring cleaning, you can do it now and donate any stuff you don't need but which is still useable. By giving the items to your favorite charity, your gifts could be tax deductible. Just be sure to get receipts!
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I gotta tell ya ...
I am a professional journalist who has been covering tax issues since 1999. I am not a professional tax preparer. The content on Don't Mess With Taxes is my personal opinion based on my study and understanding of tax laws, policies and regulations. It’s provided for your private, noncommercial, educational and informational purposes only. It’s not a recommendation or endorsement of any company or product. I strongly suggest that when it comes to filing your taxes, you get additional, professional, paid-for guidance from your accountant and other financial advisers who are familiar with your individual circumstances. In other words, don't blame me!