5 Fun Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

“Get your billion back, America!”

Every time I see that commercial, I wonder how weird it would be if that guy was actually your tax guy. (Yep, that affable man in the bow tie is named Richard Gartland, and he really is a “senior tax preparer” for H&R Block in California. He also did this clip with Ellen, and it’s hilarious.) Then I wonder how much I’ll get back in my tax return this year—maybe a billion, like Richard promised!—and then I plot exactly how I will spend it all.

This is what I’ve come up with, because filing your taxes is no fun but tax returns are really quite lovely.

Click here for a Tax Return Shopping List!

Report: Big Companies Aren’t Paying PA Taxes

Ten Fortune 500 companies paid no Pennsylvania taxes at all during a five-year span from 2008-2012, a think tank reported Thursday afternoon.

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center said that of 269 Fortune 500 companies doing business in the state, 90 paid no state income tax during at least one year of the study.  “When profitable corporations don’t pay taxes, other businesses and the rest of us pay more,” said Sharon Ward, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Read more »

Philadelphian Takes Selfies to Prove Local Residency to IRS

There’s a story at Mashable by Brian Koerber today with a fun tale about Andrew Jarvis. Jarvis is an architect at EwingCole who splits his time between the firm’s offices in New York City and Philadelphia.

Koerber reports Jarvis began to rent an apartment in New York City due to the long commute. (Geeze! That’s expensive. Why not Jersey City or Northeast Pennsylvania?) He realized he needed to spend fewer than 182 days a year living in New York or else he’d have to pay NYC taxes.

So, to prove to the IRS he lives in Philadelphia most of the time, he began taking dated self-timer shots with a camera — holding a copy of the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer to prove it.

His daughter, Anne, recently started an Instagram account documenting his work. After the jump, a selection of the best.

Read more »

8 Reasons I’m Happy It’s Not 1963

shutterstock_IRS-internal-revenue-service-400Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you’re probably aware that tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. Documentaries on PBS are re-telling the day, historical and media figures who I thought were long dead are being wheeled out of their nursing homes to share their stories, old conspiracy tales are re-hashed and, thanks to YouTube, I’ve watched the Zapruder film dozens of times (and Miley’s new video, too, which is so a-w-e-s-o-m-e).

From all of this I’ve come to two conclusions: A 48-year-old man should not be watching Miley Cyrus videos because it’s kind of creepy. And, as a small business owner, I am damned glad I didn’t live in 1963, let alone run a business back then. And here are eight good reasons why.

Read more »

Nifty Fifty’s Owner Heading to Federal Prison

niftyMonday was a bad day for Robert Mattei. The co-owner of the Nifty Fifty’s restaurants, known for their cheap hamburgers, thick milkshakes, and 1950s decor, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a tax evasion scheme that went on for more than 20 years, according to court records. Mattei had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and fraud in 2012. Read more »

3 Things That Might Have Kept Steve Wynn in Philadelphia

wynn-render-940

Many people were surprised earlier this week when casino-mogul Steve Wynn announced he was backing out of his plans to build a gambling resort in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section. It’s really not that surprising. Wynn thinks big. He’s building a $4 billion resort on the tiny island of Macau. His casino in Vegas makes the word “opulent” seem understated. He’s after big money, big fame, big publicity. And Philadelphia is not the place for this. It’s not that big a market. There’s already a lot of competition. And most importantly, it’s not New York.

New York is the place for Wynn. So when New York’s voters last week approved a resolution that could potentially allow gambling in the city, I’m sure Wynn’s mouth watered. I mean, c’mon, if you’re a big-thinking, big-playing kind of guy like Steve Wynn, why in the world would you waste your money investing in Philly when you can make a splash in New York City, just 90 miles up the road. It’s New York. It’s not Philly.

Could our city have done anything to save the deal and keep him here?

Read more »

IRS: Tax Season Will Start Late, Still End on April 15

The New York Times reports: “The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay the start of tax-filing season by a week or two because of the government shutdown, the agency said on Tuesday. But taxpayers will still have to turn in their 2013 returns by April 15 as usual. … It will be the second year in a row that the I.R.S. has held off accepting tax returns because of a political standoff. This year, after months of negotiations, Congress passed and President Obama signed a major fiscal deal adjusting tax rates just after New Year, leading the I.R.S. to delay the start of the filing season to Jan. 30 from Jan. 22.” This year’s new start date has not yet been determined.

« Older Posts