From Treasure To Trash: Man Tosses Out Bitcoin Wallet On Hard Drive Worth $9 Million

James Howell, a tech geek in the UK, made the painful realization that he had literally thrown away $9 million when he tossed out his computer hard drive. That hard drive stored 7,500 in bitcoins – an alternative currency that recently soared in value. But Howells’ folly is a good opportunity to talk casualty loss deduction: when can bad luck result in a tax deduction?

Italy Tries Bite At Apple As Authorities Investigate Tax Structures

The Securities and Exchange Commission may approve of Apple’s overseas tax strategies but Italian taxing authorities aren’t so sure. This week, those Italian taxing authorities announced that they are investigating whether Apple has paid all of its taxes. According to the weekly magazine L’Espresso, taxing authorities are considering whether – wait for it – Apple avoided tax by filing through a subsidiary in Ireland. The amount said to be at stake is reportedly as high as €1 billion ($1.34 billion U.S.). I know, shocking allegations. It’s amazing that we didn’t think of it first. Oh wait. Yes, the Italian government …

There’s A Lot Wrong With The Internet Sales Tax Proposal, So Why Aren’t More People Talking About It?

“Why are you so quiet?” I’m never accused of being quiet. But this time, I have been quiet and I guess a bit of an explanation is in order. What everyone is talking about – and I have not been talking about – over the past couple of weeks is the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, or the proposed tax on internet sales. If you’ve been a long-time reader of the blog, you’ll note that a tax on internet sales is something that I have covered fairly extensively in the past, especially with regard to Amazon’s crazy positioning on the issue. …

Temporary TurboTax Glitch Stresses Out Last Minute Tax Filers

When it rains, it pours. In the midst of an already tense tax season, taxpayers had a brief moment of worry last night when the online system for TurboTax appeared to melt down. After a few error messages, some angry tweeting and a little hyperventilating, things returned to normal. So what happened? According to Julie Miller, Director, Public Relations & Social Media for Intuit Inc., it was a glitch. The company experienced a “enormous day” for filings – a day that Miller described to me as “unprecedented” – which volume, together with a software configuration error, knocked some users offline. …

As April 15 Creeps Closer, Tax Refund Scams Still Coming

With just days left in tax season, scammers are still trying their best to get you to click on refund-related emails. Here’s the latest in the string of those that I received today:   You can see a copy of the prior variation-on-a-theme scam here. Don’t fall for these scams. These emails are intended to either harvest information from you in order to steal your identity or they may contain malware or spyware. Hit “delete” and move on. And remember: the IRS will never initiate contact with you via email. Ever. — Want more taxgirl goodness? Sign up to receive …

IRS, H&R Block Release Statements About Processing Delays

(Note: Updated to reflect Department of Education comments.) As anger continues to grow over delays with processing the federal form 8863, Education Credits, I reached out to the Internal Revenue Service, H&R Block and the Department of Education to answer your questions. IRS spokesperson Michelle Eldridge offered the following statement about the delays: The IRS is aware of a problem with a limited number of software company products that affected some taxpayers filing Form 8863, Education Credits, between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22. The problem resulted in those tax returns requiring additional review by the IRS. The IRS is continuing …

Minnesota Tax Authorities Warn Taxpayers To Stop Using Intuit Products

Every year, we expect to see a few glitches in tax filings, including software bugs and processing issues. Generally, those are resolved pretty quickly and without much interruption. This year, however, the Minnesota Department of Revenue has taken the rather remarkable step of advising taxpayers not to use Intuit products, including TurboTax, to file your Minnesota taxes (downloads as a pdf) – in any form, electronically or on paper. According to the Department of Revenue, Intuit has discovered “multiple issues” with their products affecting 2012 Minnesota tax returns. These problems include errors with property tax refunds, education expenses and political …

TurboTax Offers Free Tax Software For Junior Military, Discounts for Officers

I’ve been part of a military family ever since I was 14 years old. My older brother (now retired military) announced that he was following in his grandfather’s footsteps and joining the Navy when I was still in high school. My younger brother (career military) followed suit a few years later, making us officially a submariner family. Of course, all of this was likely inevitable. I grew up not far from Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. And every Mother’s Day, on our annual jaunt to Capt Bill’s in Morehead City, N.C., we drove through the Marine Base …