Name calling
Shame on you!

The Carnival of Taxes is coming!

Actually, the Carnival of Taxes is here! It debuted, as promised in the post below, on June 5, 2006.

But keep reading for details on the why, where, what and how to contribute to future Tax Carnivals.

And you also can check out the complete text of all Tax Carnivals via our Archives. Or, for a list only (along with the submission form for future editions), go to our Blog Carnival page.

Cue the band. The Carnival of Taxes is on its way. The gates will swing open here at Don’t Mess With Taxes on June 5.

You might be asking, "Why a tax carnival? Isn't this topic already covered in other money carnivals?"

Short answer: Yes, it is.

Longer answer: While you can have too many taxes, you can never have enough information, or ways to access it, about taxes.

Plus, I am a compartmentalizer. I like to separate things out and put them into nice little rows or boxes or file folders or blog entries so that they're easier to find and use. So a tax-specific carnival appeals to me. And, I hope, to you.

C'mon. Admit it. A tax carnival is a natural. By the time you finish filing your forms, you feel kind of queasy, like you just got off a Tilt-A-Whirl. Sometimes it's a full-blown nausea, reminiscent of too many hot dogs or cotton candy consumed as you strolled the carnival grounds.

And when it comes to taxes, we too often empty out our wallets, handing our money over to the IRS like the agency was one of the game operators lining the midway.

Carnival_duck_hunting_players_2 At a carnival, though, when you play one of the games, you at least have a chance to win a prize. The Carnival of Taxes aims to offer you the same opportunity.

But instead of handing out stuffed animals, this carnival will be distributing tax saving tips, tax planning strategies, commentary and humor (hey, carnivals are supposed to be fun!) from throughout the blogosphere.

Below you'll find some general information, thanks in large part to Blog Carnival, where I'll be listing the Carnival of Taxes as soon as this post goes live, along with guidelines for submissions, hosting, etc.

These guidelines, publication schedule, etc., may be revised as I get more adept at tying down the tent stakes and getting the rides all ready to run. I beg your indulgence during the process. I'll try not to strand you too long at the top of the Ferris wheel!

What is a blog carnival? Just in case you haven't clicked over to one of the carnivals I've had the chance to be a part of (check out the navigation bar to your right; you'll find info on the Carnival of Taxes and others), it's a community of like-minded bloggers who share their insights on a particular topic. In the financial area alone, you'll find many valuable blogs (several of them listed in my left nav bar). I hope these folks will see fit to send their tax-relevant offerings this way.

When will the Carnival of Taxes be available? The inaugural edition will be posted Monday, June 5, 2006. Yeah, that's not too far away.
I originally was thinking of putting it up on the 15th, the "natural" date for anything taxes.

Then I realized the date came easily to mind because it's usually a deadline for some tax action, such as June 15 being the day you've got to get your second 2006 estimated tax filing on its way to the IRS. If the Carnival went up then, or on any other tax-due date, it would be too late to provide any proactive tax advice.

So the first edition will be 06/05/06. Subsequent editions, at least here in the tax off-season, will usually follow on the first Monday of the month. This schedule, of course, is subject to change depending upon myriad variables, the most important being my workload! When an edition publication date is changed, I'll announce the change as a regular posting.

When taxes really start moving to the front of the general consciousness, I'm aiming for two tax carnivals a month (a proposed schedule is listed a litter further down). Tentative plans are for that accelerated schedule to start in December, as we begin looking at year-end tax moves to make.

What will go in the Tax Carnival? Any and all items of tax interest. It will be a continuing compendium of tax-related postings, ranging from tax news updates to commentary on taxes (and the politics and politicos who create them) to tips to tax-filing and tax-saving strategies to paying, and paying less of, them.

What won't go in the Tax Carnival? While I want to have a pretty big carnival tent, I do ask that submissions be primarily tax-focused. For example, a thorough look at an investment strategy that then throws in the sentence "Of course, you'll owe taxes on the earnings." at the end won't cut it. How much of a tax bill? Can you reduce or avoid them (preferably legally)? If you don't want to address that tax aspect, then you should submit your post to the very fine Carnival of Investing instead.

And while opinion pieces aren't expressly excluded, I do ask that you send reasoned ones and stick with facts that can be supported and rationally argued. We all have our personal and political perspectives on tax policy and those who create it, but this carnival isn't designed to be a rampant tax and/or politician slamfest. When someone or some tax deserves a tougher look, even castigation, we'll let you at them, as long as you show why such criticism is warranted.

Other content not deemed appropriate, either because of its content and/or presentation, also won't make it into the Carnival. Carnies, cyber and terrestrial, have a tough enough rep without adding questionable content into the mix. I consider myself a pretty easygoing sort and liberal in most senses of the word, but sometimes holds need to be barred. You know the standard: I can't tell you what won't make the cut, but I'll know it when I see it. And in that case, Carnival readers won't see it.

Who decides what goes in the Carnival? The host, who at the moment will be moi. Some fellow tax bloggers have expressed an interest in hosting (thanks, taxalicious) and I certainly welcome such assistance. But the first one, at least, will be my baby.

What's the deadline for submissions? To make it into a Carnival, please submit your blog by 11 p.m. host time (that's Central for me) the Saturday before the scheduled posting date. That's 11 p.m. CDT Saturday, June 3, 2006, for the first one. That will give me all day Sunday to sort through the many submissions I know are on their way.

How many items may I submit? So that we get as much participation as possible but also keep the Carnival from getting out of control, please submit only one item per carnival. When a blog has multiple members/contributors, exceptions can be made at the discretion of the carnival host (usually me). If I get more than one, I'll make the call as to which one gets in what particular carnival. If you submit an item, then find you have one later that is more timely, send the time-sensitive one and note that. I'll bump the evergreen item to a later carnival.

Where do I send my submissions? You can e-mail me at or via the Carnival of Taxes page.

When we go to a twice-a-month schedule, the Saturday submission/Monday publication dates will continue.

The Carnival of Taxes calendar, for the remainder of 2006 through April 2007, is (links are/will be added to the dates below when Tax Carnivals are published):

For the complete and continuing list of Tax Carnivals, check out our Archives.

To see the dates of upcoming Tax Carnivals check the "future hosts" tab at our Blog Carnival page.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions that I didn't address here, drop me a line at or at the e-mail link at the top of this page. The same goes if you just want to chat about taxes or are interested in hosting an edition.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you and getting the Carnival of Taxes going. To paraphrase Prince and 007 (an interesting couple, don't you think?), we're gonna party like its 1040, Form 1040!


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Jim Maule

I'm waiting in the wings for when you are ready to invite guest hosts.

In the meantime, happy launch. I break a virtual bottle of virtual champagne over your virtual hull.

Jim Maule

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