How Will I Know?

Whitney Houston’s Estate Settled on a $2.2 Million Tax Bill In 2012, the singer Whitney Houston died suddenly, drowning in a hotel bathroom after years of battling drug addiction. Yet the world will always treasure her musical legacy. The Guinness Book of World Records reports that she was the most awarded female artist of all time, with two Emmys, six Grammys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among 400+ awards in total. Rolling Stone listed her debut album as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. And VH1 put her at number three on their
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NFL Playoffs: Blue States Versus Red

Red State Sport Teams Have Competitive Advantage NFL playoffs have begun, and Wild Card Week featured some real competition. On Saturday, the red state sports teamTennessee Titans barbecued the red-state Kansas City Chiefs, 22-21, and the red-state Atlanta Falcons defeated the blue-state Los Angeles Rams, 26-13. On Sunday, the purple-state Jacksonville Jaguars pounced on the blue-state Buffalo Bills, 10-7, and the red-state New Orleans Saints marched past the purple-state Carolina Panthers, 31-26. Now, if you’re like most people, you’re wondering why we’re polluting your NFL news with red state and blue state political references. You wouldn’t think politics matter on
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He’s Mister Tax Miser

A New Year Means Tax Changes! Welcome to 2018! New Years’ always brings tax changes.  Key numbers, like tax brackets, standard deductions, personal exemptions, and qualified plan contribution limits, all roll over on January 1. But this year brings more change than any year since 1987. Washington has just passed a sweeping overhaul of the entire tax code, from working individuals all the way to multinational corporations. Tax planners across the country are scrambling to ferret out the opportunities hiding in its 503 pages of typically dense, impenetrable text. (There’s a reason tax lawyers drive Jaguars.) This year’s tax bill
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We Now Interrupt This Broadcast…

PSA: NEW TAX BILL On Sunday, October 30, 1938, Mercury Radio Theatre fans, who were listening to Ramon Racquello and His Orchestra, were interrupted by a news broadcast reporting an odd explosion on the planet Mars. Soon after, they learned that a cylindrical object had fallen on a farm in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. The radio audience listened in horror as a pulsating Martian emerged from the cylinder and obliterated the crowd with heat rays. Soon, an entire army of Martians had invaded New York, and very real panic had spread across the country. Last week, something a bit similar
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The Twelve Days of Taxmas

How Much Would the Twelve Days of Christmas REALLY Cost? Every year, PNC Bank publishes their “Christmas Price Index” to track the cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas. For 2017, it’s a hefty $157,558. (And you thought your holiday spending was out of control!) The index may not be completely accurate — for example, the ten lords-a-leaping are valued using the cost of male ballet dancers, rather than actual lords, and the eight maids-a-milking don’t include eight actual cows. But still, it got us wondering . . . what sort of taxes are we looking at on the whole
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A Different Kind of Holiday Party

244th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party Your kids have finally finished eating their Halloween candy, which means that the real holidays are right around the corner. But before you sit down to open presents, December 16th marks the 244th anniversary of an important holiday in tax history — a different kind of holiday party.  A pop-up costume ball in Boston Harbor called the Boston Tea Party. From 1698 through 1767, Britain’s Parliament passed a series of laws giving the East India Company a monopoly on the British tea trade, forcing the colonies to buy their tea from British wholesalers,
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Area Actress to Wed Ex-Soldier

Area Actress to Wed Ex-Soldier Two hundred and forty-one years ago, we declared our independence from Mother England — over taxes, of course. But here on our side of the pond, we’ve never completely lost our affection for all things British. We applauded as the Queen celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary. Netflix fans who just finished binge-watching Stranger Things are eagerly awaiting Season Two of The Crown. And now we’ve learned that Prince Harry and his long-time girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, are getting married in May. Now, Harry may be just fifth in line for the throne, and about to
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Good Guys Share $175 Million Refund

IRS Loses Lawsuit to the tune of $175 Million! April 15 hasn’t always been the national exercise in self-flagellation that it is today. Up until the 1940s, you could just waltz into your local IRS office and they would do your taxes for you. But those days have long since passed. You’re still welcome to do it yourself, if you need more stress in your life. But how will you know if you’re paying too much? Even software like TurboTax can’t guarantee you’ll get it right. If you don’t know how to use it, the program just helps you make
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Ivy League Tax Problems

You Don’t Need An Ivy League Education to Save on Your Bill! They say that “what goes up must come down.” But that’s not true when it comes to college costs. U.S. News reports the average private college tuition stood at $16,233 back in 1997-98 — roughly $24,973 in 2017 dollars. But the same tuition today costs $41,727. And that’s before pricing in luxuries like, you know, meals, and a place to sleep. In-state college costs are rising even faster as legislatures cut budgets for higher education. That means colleges are increasingly turning to alternate funding sources, including their endowments.
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The Rock Star, The Nude Estates, and the Lithuanian Shopping Mall

Lead Singer Bono, May Have Avoided Paying Taxes We’ve all got an image in our minds of who uses “offshore tax havens” to host their business. Let’s say you’re a junior-varsity Russian oligarch. You’ve spent a lifetime looting your country’s resources like an all-you-can-steal buffet, and now it’s time to take some of your chipskis off the table. You buy a flat in London’s posh Mayfair, or maybe a condo overlooking New York’s Central Park. Then you stash the rest of your rubles in some sunny flyspeck of an island like Bermuda or the Caymans, where Putin’s goons can’t steal
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