On April 15, taxes become truly trivial

Taxes It's April 15 -- our last opportunity to talk tax before the 2009 filing season rides into the sunset.

With time so short, there aren't many useful tax tools we can share at this point that will do you any good, with the possible exception of (a) the Post Office's Tax Day hours of operation in Maryland and D.C., and (b) the MACPA's tax listserves, where you can share last-minute questions and answers with fellow MACPA members.

Instead, here is some completely useless trivia. And why? Well, why not?

  • First up are Newsweek's "Six truly weird tax breaks." For instance, did you know that any money foreign nationals win on horse or dog races in the United States is exempt from U.S. taxes? Or that parents are allowed to deduct their children's clarinet lessons? The reason? "Orthodontists argued that it would help with kids' overbites," Newsweek reports. Read more here.
  • Next, there's "236 years of hating taxes," an interactive tax timeline from Key date: 1862, when the first progressive income tax was enacted to help finance the Civil War. It was widely viewed as an emergency measure and was repealed within a decade. Those "emergency measures" have a way to coming back to haunt us, don't they?

What are your favorite tax provisions? Let us know, then go celebrate the end of another tax season!

Or at the very least, take a nap.


Bill Sheridan