Businesses that Should be Taxed into Oblivion

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

My general view of government is that sticks its bureaucratic nose into too much of our personal business. There are exceptions, one of which I was reminded of during a recent visit with my cousin in Chicago. I would like to see the government use more of its taxing authority to drive universally bad businesses – well – mostly out of business.

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My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer – Vol. 3.3

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

I’ve been negligent in writing about my recent experiences at the AARP Tax-Aide volunteer office. I will attempt to catch you up on the interesting (often joyful, sometimes depressing) stories of the taxpayers I have been helping. I will start with today’s session and then work backwards to catch-up. Read more

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My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer – Vol. 3.2

February 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

An awesome day today as a volunteer at the AARP Tax Aide Office. More words of wisdom from the happily retired and a small world interaction. Read more

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My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer Ch. 3.1

February 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

Yesterday I began year 3 of my life as a volunteer tax preparer. It was good to be back at the senior citizens  center and working with friendly taxpayers. Actually, for many, the more correct term would be “tax filers” because they don’t end up paying any income taxes. Read more

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Volunteer Tax Preparer – Year Three

February 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

Veteran readers may recall that for the past two years,  I have worked during tax season as a volunteer tax preparer at a local senior citizens center.  I work with an IRS sanctioned program called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly).  The AARP is the actual organizer and sponsor of our local program, called TAX-AIDE. For more about these programs, read this earlier post. Read more

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Did You Pay Estimated Taxes?

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Taxes

I mailed a five-figure check to the United States Treasury today. January 18 is the deadline for paying the last installment of your 2010 estimated federal income taxes. (Actually, if you file your Form 1040 by January 31 and pay all taxes due then, you are still in compliance.)

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Ending the Mint Experiment

December 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Financial Planning

A few minutes ago I canceled my account with Mint. I opened it earlier this year and have tried to appreciate its value. Unfortunately, it’s been more trouble than its worth.   Read more

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When a Budget Really Isn’t

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Budgeting

A topic frequently covered by personal finance bloggers is “budgeting.” (I’ve already commented on another dominant yet misguided topic: “How to improve your credit score.”) I read a post last week by a blogger who claimed to have a budget while saying that she hated budgeting. I think her “I hate budgeting” feeling trumped the “I have a budget” pronouncement because the numbers she reported were budget busters, both wide and deep. I’m not going to call her out by linking to her post. There isn’t much worth reading over there anyway unless you are the type that likes to stare at accident scenes. Read more

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My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer – Season Finale

April 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Taxes

I finished my second tax season as a volunteer tax preparer. It was hectic with lots of last minute filers scrambling for appointments. I had several interesting experiences. Read more

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Tax Return is Finished

April 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Taxes

I finished our tax return today. I’m leaving town on Tuesday for a few days so I had to wrap up early. The only thing that surprised me about this year’s return is that we got hit with a small bit of the AMT – alternative minimum tax. This development demonstrates how skewed the AMT has become. We have no tax-sheltering activities except for 401(k) deferrals.  We pay a giant heap of tax every year. The AMT was not designed for people like us yet there it is, raising its ugly head on our return. Thanks Congress for this nice gift of illogic. Read more

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