Oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah! It's Oktoberfest time!
Texas, and particularly Central Texas, has a strong German tradition: New Braunfels, Gruene, Fredericksburg, Schlitterbahn, the German-Texan Heritage Society in Austin, Shiner Bock. So it's only natural to celebrate the arrival of October and Tax Carnival #5 with our own TaxtoberFest!
Willkommen, y'all. Let's get this tax party started.
While fine German brewmaster skills make beer the beverage of choice at most Oktoberfest celebrations, we start our TaxtoberFest with a report from Joe at Roth & Company. In Hey, Buddy! Farmers market isn't until Saturday!, we learn of a guy who apparently prefers to get his buzz another way.
And as the story unfolds, Joe answers the eternal tax question: "Is it good tax planning to march through a financial district with an arm load of marijuana plants?"
Praveen at My Simple Trading System offers ideal tax simplicity via a national sales tax. Check it out and then figure the total bill for your TaxtoberFest brats and brews using Praveen's numbers.
Wenchypoo, however, has little use for most taxes. He argues over at Frugal Wisdom from Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket that they lull folks into a sense of false Utopia. He makes his case, in length, at Interstate 5: The Road to Serfdom.
Some people say Tyco execs ran that company as their own personal fiefdom. It seemed they partied in October ... and year round. And, according to Tracy at FRAUDfiles, Tyco still owes the IRS $50 million in back taxes.
Hmmm. I wonder when and how the company will come up with the funds? Maybe they should find out if Uncle Sam will let them pay it off incrementally.
Such a payment option is available to individual taxpayers. Even better, if you find you overspent at Oktoberfest and can't pay your full tax bill, you might be able to cut a deal with the IRS. William at About: Tax Planning walks us, step-by-step, through applying for a partial payment installment plan.
But, warns Nina, it will cost you. The fees for submitting an installment agreement request are going up, according to Allison, Nina's blogging colleague at Queercents.
Rather than worrying about how to pay, Scott suggests cutting your taxes in the first place. Over at Scott on Money, he offers us a simple way to save on taxes. Less money to Uncle Sam means you'll have the cash to buy lederhosen and fit right in at next year's Oktoberfest festivities.
Achieving tax savings could also be a life lesson, if you follow the Zen-frugal tax advice of Sharon at The Frugal Duchess.
Whatever approach you take, you're well-advised to do as much as you can yourself when it comes to your taxes. Dan at Tick Marks says that the performance of IRS taxpayer assistance centers gets a grade no better than a Gentlemen's "C."
By now, you're probably ready to chuck it all and retire, perhaps to the Bavarian Alps. That'll be an easier transition if you use tax-advantaged savings plans to stash away cash. One such option is an IRA, and Super Saver at My Wealth Builder says now is the time to plan for 2006 retirement account contributions.
If you're lucky, your boss might help you chuck the 9-to-5 via money you put away in a workplace retirement account. Spencer at Hill's Personal Finance offers such employee-friendly companies tips on conducting a retirement plan review or, if it works for your business, starting a plan.
And on that note (more oom-pah-pah anyone?) we conclude our fifth Carnival of Taxes and first ever TaxtoberFest. Danke for being a part of the celebration and auf Wiedersehen for now.
But be sure to be back here in November for Tax Carnival #6. You can send items for the upcoming edition via our carnival submission form. Or, if you prefer, you can deliver them directly to me by clicking the link on this page ("Email Me" under the cranky Uncle Sam picture). And you can find past carnivals, dates of future issues and submission guidelines at our Blog Carnival index page or in this archive post.