Allegiant Stadium will be filled with 49ers and Chiefs fans Sunday as they vie for the NFL championship in Super Bowl LVIII. (Photo: Allegiant Stadium) This Sunday, millions will watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers face off in Las Vegas to determine the National Football League's championship. With the Sin City location, it's fitting that a record 67.8 million American adults are expected to bet on Super Bowl LVIII. That's a 35 percent increase from 2023, according to a new American Gaming Association (AGA) survey. The dollar amount also is up this year. Bettors plan to wager... Read more →


In February 2022, the Internal Revenue Service stopped issuing several automatic tax notices. The move was prompted in large part by the massive backlog of tax filings that piled up when the agency closed offices as a precaution early in the COVID-19 pandemic. That tax notice moratorium is ending. Automated collection notices will soon show up in the mailboxes of individuals with tax debts prior to tax year 2022. Businesses, tax exempt organizations, trusts, and estates with tax debts prior to 2023, with exceptions for those with existing debt in multiple years, also are on the notice resumption list. These... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ave Calvar You checked out my post on who has to file a tax return (thank you!) and confirmed that you're one of the lucky few who doesn't have to file a Form 1040 this year. But maybe you should. Even if you aren't legally required there are some good reasons to send the Internal Revenue Service a tax return anyway. Here are eight such should-file situations. 1. You are due a refund. Most U.S. workers have income tax amounts taken from their paychecks. Other sources of income also sometimes take some tax amounts off the... Read more →


Maine taxpayers join those in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Rhode Island disaster areas for whom Tax Day now is a mid-summer event. Maine road washed away after last December's severe storms. (Photo courtesy Maine Governor's Office via Facebook) Much of California is overrun today by an atmospheric river unleashing heavy rain and wind. Judging from the images of the damages, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) likely will eventually declare the hardest hit areas as major disasters. The Internal Revenue Service then will follow, granting tax relief to those in the designated locales. But that's a bit down the flooded California... Read more →


Most states hold sales tax holidays in late summer, pegging he events to the resumption of the school year. But there are a few tax holiday over-achievers. They supplement their back-to-school tax-free events with additional sales tax savings. The standard bearer of late has been Florida. The Sunshine State in 2022 and 2023 enacted a variety of tax holidays, some of which extended into this year. Florida also kicked off 2024 with a semester break back-to-school tax holiday in January. Other states' special shopping events will include no taxes on emergency supplies, energy efficient products, food, and even firearm-related purchases.... Read more →


This time of year, most taxpayers are focused on filing their annual tax returns. But most isn't all. Some individuals are trying to sort out other federal tax issues. The Internal Revenue Service is making more face-to-face time to help these taxpayers. More time for taxpayers: The IRS has Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, across the United States. While tax return preparation is not a service offered at IRS TACs, the facilities do work with taxpayers to help resolve other tax-related issues. Now, nearly 250 of those offices will extend their usual 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekday hours to... Read more →


Hiring a tax professional is not a task to take lightly. Filing false tax returns gets tax preparer 2+ year prison term, order to repay $4.7 million to Treasury You need to find tax help that fits your specific financial and tax needs. You then must make sure that the tax pro is just that. Professional. And reputable. Unfortunately, there are too many purported tax pros who turn out to be crooks. One of them, however, was caught and now will spend more than two years in federal prison. After he gets out of jail, he will face a year... Read more →


Hello, February. Even though it's the second month of the year, it's the first full month of the annual tax-filing season. So if you're just now starting to focus on filing your return, don't feel bad or alone. A lot of us are right there with you. Since February is the shortest month, even with this year's extra Leap Year day, I'll keep the monthly tax moves list brief, too. Here are four tax moves to consider in the next 29 days. 1. Keep an eye out for tax statements. Yesterday, Jan. 31, was the day that employers were supposed... Read more →


Some other taxpayers in areas hit by more recent major disasters get even later deadlines — Feb. 29 and June 17 — to complete various 2023 tax tasks. Major disasters can strike anywhere, any time. When tax deadlines and the catastrophes coincide, the Internal Revenue Service gives affected filers more time. Some of those deadlines are coming up in February. (Disaster collage courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Yes, the current tax filing season just started this week, and millions already have sent their 2023 returns to the Internal Revenue Service. But taxpayers in eight states and two U.S. territories... Read more →


Taking things a bit more slowly often is a good idea. For many, that approach also applies when it comes to filing their annual tax return. (Photo by Kay Bell) While millions of taxpayers are eager each January to get their returns to the Internal Revenue Service, there just as many who want to take their time. Some are just natural procrastinators. They wait until the last minute to finish every task. But when it comes to tax filing, there actually are some good reasons to not be in such a hurry. Here are seven. 1. To see if Congress... Read more →


Fortune cookie tax filing wisdom (Photo by Kay Bell) If the 2024 tax-filing season is anything like previous ones, millions of taxpayers sent their 2023 taxes to the Internal Revenue Service today, the official start of federal return processing. The most obvious and common motive for first-day filing is to get expected refunds. But there are some other reasons you might want to file your taxes early. Here are eight. 1. To beat tax ID thieves to the punch. The IRS and its Security Summit partners have made good progress in recent years in reducing tax identity theft and associated... Read more →


Most taxpayers will never be as chill as this tabby, especially now that the annual tax filing season is here. But these tips could make the tax task a little easier. (Photo by Jacalyn Beales on Unsplash) If you've already got your 2023 tax return ready to send to the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow, Jan. 29, when the agency starts processing filings, you can peruse other items on the ol' blog. (Thank you!) If, however, you're not quite ready yet to tackle Form 1040, I got you. Even when your taxes aren't complicated, many of us dread filling out tax... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tax season 2024 officially starts Monday, Jan. 29. Lots of taxpayers have already filled out their 1040 forms and are just waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to start processing them next week. Most of these early filers are expecting tax refunds. They also likely have relatively simple tax lives. Lucky them. Others, however, have more complicated tax and financial circumstances. These folks have more tax documents with details that must be transferred to their return forms and schedules. They also need to consider how their situations might affect their tax returns. Below is... Read more →


IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel speaking at an EITC Awareness Day event in Baltimore sponsored by the CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign of Maryland. (Photo courtesy CASH/IRS via X/Twitter) It's the Friday before the annual tax season kick off on Monday, Jan. 29. That means today is Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. For the past 18 years, the Internal Revenue Service and community organizations, state and local government officials, schools, employers, and other groups have spent EITC Day getting the word out on this valuable, but too often overlooked, tax credit. Today, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel headed... Read more →


More than 21 million people selected a medical insurance policy using the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace during the 2024 open enrollment period that ended in mid-January. The numbers should increase, as open enrollment continues in California, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C., through Jan. 31. So far, this year's medical coverage enrollees include more than five million people, about a fourth of the 21.3 million total, who are new to ACA. Another 16 million people renewed their coverage to the plans, also still referred to by many as Obamacare. While the sheer numbers indicate a diverse... Read more →


The biggest complaint about taxes is that they're too high. A close second is that the language of taxes is hard to understand. The Internal Revenue Service can't do anything about the first one. You need to call your members of Congress to complain about tax rates. But Uncle Sam's tax collector is taking steps to make some tax communications more comprehensible. Improving intelligibility: Under the IRS' Simple Notice Initiative, the agency aims to simplify and clarify hundreds of the letters it sends annually to taxpayers. The notice redesign effort will build this year on the Paperless Processing initiative the... Read more →


I'm not sure what is free in this photo. A similar lack of clarity got TurboTax in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission. (Photo by Lance Grandahl on Unsplash) With the official Monday, Jan 29, start of the 2024 tax filing season just days away, millions of taxpayers already are using tax software to prepare their returns. Since the packages can be expensive, many filers opt for what they believe are free software options. Don't be so sure, warns the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), especially when it comes to TurboTax, the country's leading tax software. The FTC has issued an... Read more →


Photo by Art Rachen on Unsplash IRS offers guidance on how to answer the tax return digital asset question On Jan. 11, the first day of trading after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tied to bitcoin, companies offering such products saw $4.6 billion in transactions. The investors who were first to board the bitcoin ETF train will have to deal with the associated tax route next filing season. This year, however, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers that, in most cases, they need to report their cryptocurrency transactions and, where applicable, pay any income tax... Read more →


Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash The major challenge for Congress right now is finalizing funding so the federal government won't shut down in March. But some members also are, as noted in yesterday's post, trying to get a mini tax extenders measure passed. And that's not the only tax bill on some lawmakers' minds. A bill to eliminate the federal estate tax was introduced just as the larger bipartisan House/Senate tax bill was clearing the House Ways and Means Committee. Estate tax elimination effort. Again: Some cynical Washington, D.C., watchers might say this bill was introduced primarily for political purposes.... Read more →


Members of the House and Senate tax-writing committees who approved bipartisan legislation last week hope the eventual outcome of their effort will be as sunny as this view of the U.S. Capitol during warmer times. (Photo: Wikipedia) Congress actually accomplished something last week. Representatives and Senators kicked the can down the legislative road agreed to measures that eliminated the immediate threat of a government shutdown. Even more surprising was another bipartisan deal. While the stop-gap government deal was being brokered, the Democratic Senate Finance Committee chair and his Republican counterpart leading the House Ways and Means Committee signed off on... Read more →