Tax Carnival Ecstasy – March 28, 2013

Tax Carnival Ecstasy – March 28, 2013

Welcome to the March 28, 2013 edition of Tax Carnival Ecstasy. In this edition we start out with an article from Bill  Smith on the recent fight between H&R Block and TurboTax over the advertisements that Intuit has been running about part-time tax preparers. We also have a great article John Schmoll from Frugal Rules on why financial adviser compensation is an issue when selecting a professional to invest your money. Hope that you like all the articles, share on Facebook, tweet, bookmark, and come back real quickly.

Tax time
Tax time (Photo credit: slworking2)

filing

Bill Smith presents Turbo Tax Television Ads Will Continue posted at 2011 Tax, saying, “H&R Block has failed its lawsuit and injunction attempts two times against Intuit’s TurboTax.”

Bill Smith presents An Overview Of The Turbo Tax Military Edition posted at 2011 Taxes, saying, “Preparing and filing your taxes on time and to your best advantage may be difficult at any point in your life, but being in the military may pose additional challenges.”

retirement

John Schmoll presents Financial Advisor Compensation – Why it Matters posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “A financial advisor can be a great way to help you grow your portfolio when you have long term goals in mind. Make sure you do your homework and hire one that you feel right about and best fits your needs and goals.”

taxes

Bill Smith presents Innovations For Turbo Tax 2013 posted at 2013 Taxes, saying, “Professional accounting can help business owners save time and resources, and the Turbo Tax 2013 CPA Select edition by Intuit may be the ideal solution for tax filing season.”

Bill Smith presents Tips For Maximizing Your Return posted at 2009 Tax, saying, “When you use free Turbo Tax 2013follow, it is important to make sure that you maximize your return.”

Bill Smith presents Easy Online Tax Filing With Free Turbo Tax 2013 Software posted at 2009 Taxes, saying, “Having expert tax assistance can be the best way to avoid financial penalties, complete your filing on time, and maximize your refund.”

Bill Smith presents TurboTax Helps Users Get More Accurate Tax Returns posted at 2010 Tax, saying, “Each year, Americans are forced to go through last year’s financial information and prepare a tax return.”

Bill Smith presents The Benefits Of Using TurboTax 2013 To File Your Taxes posted at 2012 Taxes – Free Tax Filing Options, saying, “If you have never used Turbo Tax before, you need to consider filing your taxes with this computer program this year.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tax carnival ecstasy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tax Amnesty Gives Kettering Ohio Six Figures

Thanks to a new tax amnesty program, Kettering Ohio has brought in more than $163,000 in the first five weeks since the program was kicked off. This program has allowed eighty-nine people to pay their income taxes and interest without having to pay tax penalties that would normally apply. This program will continue running until December 14.

By using this program, the tax payers did not have to pay $53,000 in penalties. These penalties have been waived by the city. This program was started before a mandatory tax filing of 2012 returns, which must be filed by April 15, 2013.

High Street in Kettering in Northamptonshire, UK.
High Street in Kettering in Northamptonshire, UK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although many residents will not owe any money, anyone 18 or older must file their taxes this coming tax season.

Officials think that a lot of people will still come in and take advantage of this program. Even those people that owe money from as far back as six years ago will be eligible along with businesses that need to pay their taxes. This program also works with businesses that are not withholding employees’ taxes.

The finance director of Kettering, Nancy Gregory, stated that everyone was happy with the way this program was working out. The majority of the people that have worked with this program have been very grateful for the opportunity to avoid the tax penalties.

Kettering is working hard to help people make these tax payments and be completely up-to-date when mandatory filing begins.

Gregory explained that while many people know what they were supposed to be paying taxes, there were still many people that did not understand all the regulations. A few people did not owe money before 2007 when Kettering increased the tax rate for income taxes from two to 2.25 percent. These people just need to pay the difference.

In different instances, people would come to pay their tax obligations and they found out that they did not owe anything after they completed their returns.

Gregory said that as of right now no businesses have come forward, but that there were some that should. After this program is over, everyone in violation will need to pay penalties. Gregory warned that there would be a huge push for enforcement after the 2012 deadline.

There have been two new auditors hired for the tax division as there could be a doubling of accounts when the mandatory filing begins in 2013. Gregory thinks that it will not mean double the money coming in, but there will be many more documents coming in.

Although no one really loves paying taxes, Kettering tries to make the process of filing taxes better. Many people are glad to do it and do not feel bad about that. Gregory wants people to bring in their documents and the city will complete individuals returns for free. What could be better?

Riots Put Strain On The Finances of UK Cities

August was a time of civil unrest in cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham, with shops being looted and set ablaze. Victims of the riots sadly face a tough financial crisis as they try to restore the damage to their businesses and properties while at the same time trying to recover loss of earnings and stock.

The Head of Media at British Retail Consortium had expressed concern that all the damages to shops and homes caused by the rioting and looting could hit the £1 million mark. It’s feared that many will no longer want to trade again as they know the police will not be able to protect them because of the lack of control they had over the hoodlums.

The British government may have to leverage £100 million on UK taxpayers in the coming years to help restore London. At the same time London Metropolitan Police will also shoulder the insurance to people who were affected by the mayhem. The Riots (Damages) Act of 1886 specifically dictates that if the nature of the destruction is caused by riots sparked by the peoples’ resentment against the government, then the police will have to compensate the affected ones.

Local City Councils are providing the following help to those who were affected:

Local Business Support
If you operate a business in the affected area of the rioting and it sustained damages, you could be eligible to seek help from your local council. Assistance includes loans for repairs / refurbishments; this will help to shoulder expenses that may be beyond your means. Expert advice will also be available.

Rebuild Your Home Support
If your home sustained extensive damaged as a result of the riots and you do not have the funds to repair the damage, then you could be eligible for government assistance. You could receive up to £5,000; however this depends on your personal circumstances.

Riot (Damages) Act
According to The Riots (Damages) Act of 1886, you could be eligible to claim from your local police department if you do not have sufficient insurance to cover your losses.

Riot Victim Support
If you’ve sustained physical injuries or have been emotionally shaken by the disturbance, there are a number of government-funded charities that are providing emotional support and advice on taking legal action against assailants.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is a counter checking agency that is visiting affected areas and making assessments on whether or not certain properties should be exempt of taxes, or at the very least, reduce the tax that has been previously imposed.

Tax Adjustments
Should the Local Council deem you worthy, they could give you tax discounts to provide support while you’re recovering from the effects of the riots.

Sharron Ellis writes about debt and offers information on debt management and bankruptcy.

How Inflation has Bolstered Commodity Prices

Perhaps the simplest of all financial misunderstandings is the idea that inflation is a “static” concept that exists in the same way for all markets and regions. This isn’t true. For example, just because a national inflation rate is reported at, say, 5%, doesn’t mean that every market and every region of the nation is experiencing 5% inflation.

Part of the nation could be experiencing 10% inflation, while other regions could be experiencing just 3%. Some markets could be seeing prices go down (like the real estate market) while other markets could be experiencing extreme inflation, like the silver and gold markets are currently.

In this article, we’ll be analyzing specifically different commodity markets to see how they’re fairing during our current inflationary and deflationary cycle.

  • Gold Prices. The price of gold has skyrocketed in the last few years, more out of fear from inflation than the actual inflation itself. Precious metals — including silver as discussed below — are almost always used by investors to hedge against future inflation and out of the fear of the  economic unknown.
  • Silver Prices. Silver has gone up in the last years to the extent that it’s absolutely unsustainable short of hyperinflation. For several years, silver prices have kept increasing. If you own silver, be on the lookout for major corrections or bear markets in the future — it wouldn’t be wrong to keep your eyes on live silver prices just to stay on the safe side.
  • Oil Prices. Crude oil prices have also gone up in the last few months due to inflation, even though a lot of the price jumps have been caused by political turmoil and fears of some OPEC countries shutting off oil exports.
  • Copper Prices. The price of copper is important for economic development and recovery because copper is found in just about all major appliances and electrical equipment. Copper prices probably won’t be dropping anytime soon, considering Chinese growth — inflated, of course — is still rushing forward.

Whenever an asset class is benefiting from inflation, you can almost always be sure it’s a bubble — and bubbles pop. Stock bubbles, real estate bubbles, and commodity bubbles have always popped in the past, and anyone who claims “this time it’s different” is probably wrong.