I understand from my friends who are hoops fans that this is a big time of the year. The NCAA men's collegiate basketball tournament is down to its Final Four teams: Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State and Kansas.
I'm not even going to pretend to know anything about which team is the favorite or even when the championship game is played. I'm not a basketball aficionado, of either the NBA or college teams.
In fact, I'm not a big college sports fan period. I prefer the pros where I feel less guilty about cursing players who screw up because they're getting big bucks.
But I am shameless enough to realize that for millions of folks, the Big Dance is a big deal and to use it as hook for this, the 100th Carnival of Taxes. So without further ado and with as few strained basketball metaphors as possible, it's Tax Tourney Time.
Tax tip off!
Tim reminds us that there's no need to panic yet. We have until April 17 to file our returns this year. Find out why we get the extra time and what you need to know about filing in 2012 in When are 2011 Taxes Due? It's posted at Faith and Finance.
Roger presents a guide to different income tax filing approaches, along with the pros and cons of each method. Find out more at It's Tax Time, Yet Again! It's posted at The Amateur Financier.
SB offers a review of TurboTax software, with special consideration as to whether it's worth your money. Read more and then decide at Turbo Tax Home Edition Product Review, Turbo Charge Your Taxes, posted at Finance Product Reviews.
Anisha Sekar examines the importance of following charitable donation rules in 4 Ways to Make Sure the IRS Knows You're Giving, posted at NerdWallet.
Madison asks entrepreneurs, did you recently start your own business and need to learn how to calculate your self employment tax to file your tax return? Find out more How to Calculate Self-Employment Tax, posted at My Dollar Plan.
Peter warns that since there are so many fraudulent or unethical programs out there trying to take your money, it’s important to make sure that you use someone you trust in order to help you with your taxes. Details are in Beware of Tax Scams When Filing Your Return, posted at Bible Money Matters.
Dan Meyer looks at "Where the Money Is" or "Selective Enforcement" -- the IRS Occupies the 0.1% with Audits, posted at Tick Marks.
Bob examines when a charitable remainder trust (CRT) is beneficial; hint, it involves your tax bracket, a highly appreciated asset and a desire to avoid capital gains and estate taxes. Get details at What is a Charitable Remainder Trust & Why Should I Care? It's posted at ChristianPF.
Michael Kitces says Forget Harvesting Losses! It's Time To Harvest Gains! Find out more at Nerd's Eye View.
Glen Craig presents a warning about the dreaded AMT in What is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and How Does It Impact Your Taxes? It's posted at Free From Broke.
Peter J Reilley says Obama plans to pay for his proposed corporate rate cut by rounding up the usual suspects. And yes, the details in Round Up the Usual Suspects - Paying for a 28% Corporate Rate do include clips from Casablanca, the greatest movie ever. Read and watch at Forbes Passive Activities.
J.P. notes that one version of the first-time home buyer credit provided tax and residential purchasing help to some, but now it's time to repay it. Details are in First-Time Home Buyer Credit – Is It Time To Repay? It's posted at Novel Investor.
Those interminable timeouts at the end of the game. It certainly seems like the Internal Revenue Service took some timeouts this filing season.
Steve says if you opted to e-file this year in the hope of getting your refund sooner, it might take a little longer. Find out more about why E-File Tax Returns May Be Slower This Year, posted at 2012 Taxes.
And it's not just Uncle Sam who's slowing down refunds.
Super Saver says local tax offices are requiring more effort by taxpayers to get tax refunds that are due them. Details are in Making Tax Refunds Harder to Get, posted at My Wealth Builder.
Free throw: I'm sneaking in here -- I am the host and I do want to be part of the historic 100th Tax Carnival -- to remind all you betting fans whose brackets weren't totally busted to make a note for next filing season: Report all your gambling income.
OK, game Tax Carnival time is rapidly running out. Here's the big finish.
Danny points to a recent survey that shows that more Americans plan to save rather than spend their tax refunds this year. Find out where you fall in the survey data in What are You Doing with Your Tax Refund? It's posted at One Money Design.
Justin notes that it's great to get a tax refund, but wonders whether it might make more sense to actually get your money when you earn it. He presents a way to avoid giving the tax man too much on pay day in It's Tax Time Again, posted at Budget Snob.
And with that, game over! The winner? Everyone who got some slam dunk tax information from the 100th Tax Carnival: Tax Tourney Time.
Thanks to all this month's contributors and especially to all y'all for reading.
The Tax Carnival will start its march toward edition #200 on April 9. Be a part of the final biweekly Carnival of Taxes before the 2012 filing deadline by sending your tax posts (and tax-only items please; check the guidelines for details) to me via the original Carnival of Taxes submission page.
Because of some lingering problems with that website (a recent major crash), I've set up a couple of alternate options:
Or if you prefer email, send your tax blog item to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.