State/Local Feed

Photo by Kay Bell I'm married to a procrastinator. The most infuriating thing about it is not that he puts off things, but that occasionally he's right to not rush to finish projects. And yes, projects is a euphemism for tasks I've asked him to do. Sometimes situations change, making moot what originally looked like the right move. Other times, the delay prevents making what would have been a wrong action. And in a few cases, if a job was done on my timetable, the changed circumstances would have meant redoing it. So over the many years we've been together,... Read more →


Photo by Kay Bell The 2022 filing season is already underway for many taxpayers even though the Internal Revenue Service won't start processing their returns until Jan. 24. But these early bird filers are on to something. Here are eight reasons you might want to consider completing your Form 1040 soon. 1. To get the rest of your Child Tax Credit. Around 36 million families last year got an early tax benefit. The IRS delivered half of their 2021 tax year Child Tax Credit (CTC) in advance as monthly payments from last July through December. The maximum advance amounts were... Read more →


Eager tax filers, especially those with relatively uncomplicated returns, can now take advantage of Free File. The Internal Revenue Service and Free File Alliance of tax software manufacturers are open for filers. Just go to IRS.gov, click the File Your Taxes for Free line under How can we help you?" and you're there. If you use a search engine to find free tax filing, you'll likely discover other options. You'll also probably get such offers in your email box. But the only official, IRS-sanctioned Free File option is the one on its website. 8 participants in 2022: This year, the... Read more →


IRS via Twitter The millions of taxpayers who must make estimated tax payments this month get a few more days to come up with the money. Since the usual Jan. 15 deadline is Saturday, and the next business day is Monday's MLK Day federal holiday, the fourth estimated deadline for 2021 payments is Tuesday, Jan. 18. Taxes on self-employment earnings: More than 20 million individuals make these extra tax payments each year. They generally total four, with the payment amounts reflecting earnings that aren't subject to withholding received during four segments of the tax year. Estimated taxes typically are paid... Read more →


You're expecting a refund, so you're planning to file your tax return soon. Wait. You might want to take a step or two back. First, you need to make sure you have all the information you need to properly fill out your 2021 Form 1040. You can get an idea of that material in my post examining some common tax statements you need to complete your filing. Second, you need more than paperwork. You need to take a good look at your personal situation and answer some questions. The responses could affect your filing. This checklist can help. Start with... Read more →


Photo: United Van Lines Our house is at that age where it needs a lot of care to continue to be comfortable. That's led to more frequent discussions about whether to stay or go. I'm the nester in our family, and was the one who pushed for buying our place almost 17 years ago. But a couple of times recently, like when our main HVAC unit needed to be replaced, I've argued for just selling and letting the new owners deal with it. The hubby has been able to talk me down so far. He also knows that as much... Read more →


A new year means a new federal tax filing season, but most states collect some type of income tax, too. And when 2022 arrived, so did a variety of tax changes across the United States. In many, it was tax cuts, even with the effects of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic posing some revenue problems. The unanticipated tax cuts mean that states are likely to face difficult budget choices in the future. But hey, lawmakers, especially in election years, tend to think about the here and now, leaving future fiscal issues to the future and those around then to deal with... Read more →


Shutterstock If you're celebrating the end of 2021 and welcoming 2022 with an adult beverage at midnight, enjoy! When you bought your booze, you might have noticed it cost a bit more, especially if you go bubbly. Apparently, says Wine Searcher, "The much-vaunted Champagne drought of 2021 is real – and it's starting to show in the retail sector." Wine Enthusiast says here in the United States, we're in the early stages of a Champagne shortage that is expected to last several years. When things are hard to get, the ol' law of supply and demand means the price tag... Read more →


The fallout from the deadly Dec. 10-11 tornado outbreak across the South and Midwest continues as 2021 comes to a close. So does federal relief, including from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS today announced that affected Arkansas individual and business taxpayers in five counties now have until May 16, 2022, to file returns and make payments for various tax situations. But they are not alone. The IRS also announced today that residents and business owners in two Alabama counties get similar tax relief and a new Feb. 28, 2022, deadline. The Alabama tax move is in connection with severe... Read more →


You made it through the hectic December holidays. Congratulations. But don't slow down now. You still have to accomplish a few final year-end tax tasks. I know, not how you want to spend the last few days of the year. But these 6 year-end tax moves could save you some money, either when you file your 2021 return next year or down the tax road. 1. Don't miss the RMD deadline. You're enjoying your well-deserved retirement thanks to all those years of savings. Don't mess things up now by missing your required minimum distribution (RMD). This withdrawal from tax-deferred retirement... Read more →


The South Carolina statehouse in Columbia soon could be the site of a legislative effort to cut the state's individual tax rates and end business taxes. A South Carolina lawmaker wants to cut the state's individual tax rate in half and eliminate taxes on businesses. Some Palmetto State residents see the proposal as a potential post-Christmas present. Others, however, are worried about how the state will pay for projects. Spartanburg State Sen. Josh Kimbrell has been working of the bill since the summer and officially filed it this month. His plan would cut South Carolina's top income tax rate from... Read more →


The deadly and destructive effects of Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm that was the second-most damaging and intense ever to make landfall in Louisiana, weren't limited to the Pelican State. Ida's remnants also caused widespread tornadic destruction and catastrophic flooding across the northeastern United States. You can see Ida's complete path and intensity levels at Fleur DeOdile's WikiProject tropical cyclones tracker. Apparently, the Internal Revenue Service also is feeling the Christmas/New Year crunch. The tax agency is giving taxpayers (and its staff) some end-of-year breathing room by further extending some Hurricane Ida tax deadlines beyond early 2022. Victims of... Read more →


Tornado damage caused Dec. 10-11 to an Amazon warehouse building and high-tension power lines between Pontoon Beach and Edwardsville, Illinois. (National Weather Service-St. Louis/Wikipedia Commons photo) While most of us are rushing this week to complete Christmas plan, some are trying to salvage what, if anything, they still have after a deadly line of tornadoes struck earlier this month. As part of this recovery process, the Internal Revenue Service has announced tax relief for residents in parts of Tennessee and Illinois. This includes a new deadline of May 16, 2022, for filing 2021 federal tax returns. Specific counties designated: The... Read more →


A lot of families were smiling the last half of 2021 as they received early Child Tax Credit payments. (iStock) On Dec. 15, the Internal Revenue Service distributed the last of 2021's Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) payments. The monthly tally came to just more than $16 billion. Since the $300 per child for kiddos age 5 or younger and $250 for youngsters ages 6 to 17 started going out in July, nearly $93 billion has been issued to qualifying families, according to the U.S. Treasury. Recipients of their portions of those early billions can claim the Child Tax Credit... Read more →


An aerial view of Mayfield, Kentucky, one of the hardest hit communities during the Dec. 10-11 tornado outbreak in the western half of the state, shows the devastation of the community. (Photo by State Farm via Flickr CC 2.0 and Wikimedia) Kentucky residents who were in the path of last weekend's deadly tornadoes have a later 2022 federal tax filing deadline. The Internal Revenue Service today announced that Kentucky taxpayers in, so far, eight counties will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. UPDATE, Dec. 16, 2021: The Kentucky Department... Read more →


Home Alone original house decked out for the holidays. (Photo via Airbnb) They say you can't go home again, but you can stay in the Home Alone house. Or at least four lucky movie fans will be there on Dec. 12, 2021. Tomorrow, Kevin McCallister's Winnetka, Illinois, residence turned criminal booby trap is welcoming the visitors for a one-night stay. The event in the house where the now-holiday-classic was filmed is not a contest, notes Airbnb. Rather, the reason for the bargain rate is that the overnight lodging is a charitable promotion that just happens to roughly coincide with the... Read more →


A faceoff from the last NHL game the hubby and I attended when we visited Washington, D.C., several years ago. Go Caps! (Photo by Kay Bell) While many U.S. taxpayers are pondering whether to pay their annual real estate by year's end to add to potential increased itemized deductions — C'mon already Congress; decide yea or nay on any state and local taxes (SALT) changes so we can act! — a professional hockey team is simply trying to straighten out the tax situation on its property. The National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes have until Dec. 20 to pay delinquent tax... Read more →


Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels Schooling has changed a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote learning is more common. Where students have returned to classrooms, they and their teachers must deal with physical re-arrangements. One thing, though, remains the same. Education costs continue to climb. That's particularly true for college expenses. But there is a popular way to save for your youngsters' secondly educations and get a potential tax break, too. As long as you act quickly. When you contribute to a child's 529 plan, many states allow you to claim a state tax deduction. And in many states,... Read more →


A close-up of some of our Christmas tree ornaments, including the newest one showcasing Austin icon El Arroyo's sign wisdom. (Photo by Kay Bell) Ho, Ho, Ho! The jolly month of December is here, bringing the official start of winter, Christmas and other holidays, and taxes. Yeah, that last December item might harsh your holidays. But the tax moves you make over the next 31 days could make your 2021 and 2022 tax situations happy and bright. Here's a look at 6 December tax moves you at least want to consider. 1. Keep an eye on Congress. Yeah, too often... Read more →


Congress is grappling with capital gains tax, specifically higher and unorthodox — some say unconstitutional — rates for billionaires. Meanwhile, all the way literally across the country from Washington, D.C., voters in Washington State will have their say today, Nov. 2, on whether they want to repeal their impending 7 percent capital gains tax. The tax is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Evergreen State voters, however, have the chance to today to tell lawmakers they want to stop its implementation. Or keep it. Most folks tend to be anti-tax, but the money that would be generated by... Read more →