Sunday Mail Bag

It’s a chilly Sunday morning here in Philadelphia. I thought a bit of housekeeping might be in order, so I’m opening up the ol’ taxgirl (e)mailbag. I have a bunch of non-technical tax questions which were submitted as “ask the taxgirl” questions but I thought it made more sense to answer them in one big post. So grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair! — Taxpayer asks: Dear taxgirl, why did you decide to become a lawyer? I’m thinking about going to law school this fall and I’d love your thoughts. taxgirl says: I watched a lot …

Tax trivia: TV Audit

We have a winner! See comments! Our last tax trivia question is (though we’re still waiting for a winner on the other one!): In what popular TV show does the star of the show get turned into the IRS for audit by a neighbor, who justified it by saying: But you know he deserved it. Never before have I seen such abuse of the take-a-penny-leave-a-penny tray. Don’t forget: the first correct answer wins free CCH tax prep software. What’s your guess?

French TV Says “Non” to Subsidy Plan

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has introduced a proposal to ban advertising from state-owned television channels. In the US, there are usually limitations on advertising on public television. Most public television in the US is financed through a mix of corporate and government contributions and donations of private individuals. However, in a number of countries in Europe, state broadcasters are funded through a mix of advertising and public money. Sarkozy now wants to phase out ads from France’s public TV stations. To make up the difference in funding, he wants to institute new taxes on private broadcasters, such as TF1 …

Fat? TV Addict? Should You Be Taxed on Your Lifestyle?

This week, I happened to notice a series of ads running in my local paper (The Philadelphia Inquirer) for Derrie-Air airlines. There were two features that distinguished Derrie-Air from, say, USAirways and United. One was the method of determining fare: The magic comes from our one of a kind “Sliding Scale”—the more you weigh, the more you’ll pay. After all, it takes more fuel—more energy—to get more weight from point A to point B. So we will charge passengers based on how much mass they add to the plane. The heavier you and your luggage are, the more trees we’ll …