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Everyone knows the 12 Days Of Christmas lyrics but with some pretty outlandish presents being given in the song, it’s the 12 Days Of Christmas cost that most people want to know about. The PNC Christmas Price Index measures the price of those 12 presents, pitting it against previous years to not only be a fun little anecdote but to help measure inflation. This year, the PNC Christmas Price Index looks quite a bit different. What the PNC Christmas Price Index really means In this week’s episode, Kelly is joined by Amanda Agati — one of the analysts/writers of the PNC Christmas Price Index — to discuss the process of creating the list and what it all means for consumers and businesses alike. Kelly and Amanda also talk about how the list has changed over the years, and how this year might bring some sweeping changes to how shopping is…

Last week, I did a lot of writing about sandwiches. Yep, that’s right, sandwiches. First off, estate planning lawyer Victor Medina kicked off the week with a podcast episode about the sandwich generation. That’s the term that we use for parents who are simultaneously tasked with taking care – in some way – of their own parents. Those folks who often feel squished in the middle? They’re the sandwich generation. I had a great time talking with Victor about related challenges, including how to have those awkward conversations about money and long-term care. You can have a listen here. Midway through the week, I covered a story where the Irish Supreme Court ruled that the bread used to make Subway sandwiches cannot be defined as bread. Yes, really. The ruling was the result of a tax case focusing on a value-added tax (VAT) exemption. The court ruled that the bread…

Chances are that you are spending today gathered around a grill or trying to soak in some sun. Labor Day weekend is considered summer’s last hurrah and ushers in fall and, including, in areas like mine, the beginning of the school year. (You can read more about the tie-in to the school year and Labor Day weekend here.) But Labor Day is actually less about sunshine and beaches than… offices and factories. Here’s a little Labor Day history mixed with tax trivia: The holiday falls on the first Monday in September each year. The earliest national recognition of Labor Day happened on June 28, 1894, when President Grover Cleveland signed a law making it a national holiday. The date was made official as part of a law signed by President Johnson on June 28, 1968, to “provide for uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays, and for…

This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had restaurant owners calling “fowl” on new rules requiring bars to serve food with their drinks. The New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) issued guidance making clear that, “Pursuant to Executive Order 202.52, effective Friday July 17, 2020, all licensed establishments with on premises privileges (e.g. restaurants, taverns, manufacturers with tasting rooms, etc.) shall not serve alcoholic beverages unless such alcoholic beverage is accompanied by the purchase of a food item which is consistent with the food availability requirement of the license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.” Today, Cuomo ruffled feathers even more at a press conference when he appeared to suggest that sandwiches were more “substantial” than chicken wings, recalling that “To be a bar, you had to have food available. soups, sandwiches, etc.” He added, “More than just hors d’ oeuvres, chicken wings. You had to have some substantive food — the…

As Tax Day – and thus, tax season – ticks away, I suspect many of you are looking forward to a little relaxation. If a cocktail is in the cards, consider the Income Tax Cocktail. 1 1/2 oz. gin3/4 oz. dry vermouth3/4 oz. sweet vermouth1 oz. orange juice2 dashes Angostura (or Peychaud’s) bitters Combine ingredients, and shake with ice to chill. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish: I opted for a lemon peel. You can mix up the proportions a little if you’d like. I know some folks suggest less vermouth, but I’m going to disagree. I would, however, champion using good vermouth (it makes all the difference). I suspect that it will come as no surprise that the Income Tax Cocktail is a prohibition-era drink. Rumor has it that the bitters represent the “bitterness” of tax season. Since I’m always willing to go the extra mile for my…

True confession: I didn’t have a beer today despite the fact that it’s National Beer Day. Honestly, in the midst of the quarantine – and with three kiddos at home – I’m doing good to remember what month it is. But, it’s true that it’s National Beer Day: April 7. Today marks the day that beer was allowed to be legally manufactured and sold following a long, dry Prohibition. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act into law, which moved the U.S. away from Prohibition by allowing the manufacture and sale of beer that was approximately 4% alcohol by volume (just a little less than the average today) and some wines. After he signed, Roosevelt reportedly remarked to his aide Louis Howe, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” Prohibition would officially remain in place for a few more months, but the ability to…

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Theodor Seuss Geisel, or Dr. Seuss as he is known to most of the world, was born on March 2, 1904. And though he passed away in 1991, his books and his poems are still as popular as ever. I love the idea of combining silliness with reality and over the past few years, on Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I’ve mixed a little tax in with my Seuss. You can see my previous efforts from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018. This year, I’ve re-written the first half of “One Fish, Two Fish” to be “One Tax, Two Tax.” I hope you enjoy it! One tax, two tax, me tax, you tax, Sales tax, sin tax, old tax, new tax. This one has a little rate. This one has a new due date. Say! What a lot of tax to hate. Yes. Some are yours, and some are mine. Some on beer and some on wine. Some…

There was a lot of tax talk in 2019 – especially on social media. From Bitcoin to stretch IRAs to tax refunds, Twitter streams were filled with news, links, and best practices focused on tax. Twitter is an easy way to find out what’s happening in the tax world – for tax professionals, taxpayers and tax geeks. You can join in with live twitter chats or simply look for hashtags like #IRS, #taxtwitter and #womenintax. Or, you can follow some of the folks who are most engaged in sharing tax news and information. To get started, check out the top 100 must-follow tax Twitter accounts for 2020: IRS* (Twitter list): @IRSnews – IRS – IRS news and guidance for the public, press and practitioners. @YourVoiceAtIRS – Taxpayer Advocate – The Taxpayer Advocate Service is your voice at the IRS. @IRStaxpros – IRS – IRS news and guidance for tax professionals. IRS does not collect comments or…

Here’s my Halloween confession: we didn’t give out candy this year. We were out with two of the kiddos, and the third was at a party. It was very last minute, which means that since we bought candy, we still have candy. And let’s not forget the booty from trick or treat. It’s a challenge to figure out what to do with all of the sweets. This dilemma inspired a post a few years back. It’s back again, with updates, including those under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Here are 13 uses for leftover Halloween candy—complete with the tax consequences, of course: 1. Give the really good stuff to your favorite tax pro just because. Non-tax consequences: Everybody loves a gift, including tax geeks. Just be sure to pony up Reese’s peanut butter cups and Milky Way bars—don’t try to sneak in your butterscotch stragglers. Tax consequences: None. If you’re handing over the…

It’s National Ice Cream Day. And in case you think that it’s a holiday made up by scheming kids to convince parents to give them ice cream (I wouldn’t put it past mine), it’s a real holiday. Well, real-ish. National Ice Cream Day, as well as National Ice Cream Month (I’m not kidding), are “official” holidays designated by then-President Ronald Reagan following a joint resolution from Congress. The resolution, S.J.Res.298, was signed into law on July 2, 1984. The text of the declaration is as follows: Whereas ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food enjoyed by over 90 per centum of the people of the United States;Whereas the ice cream industry with approximately $3,500,000,000 in annual sales provides jobs for thousands of citizens and uses nearly 10 per centum of the milk produced by United States dairy farmers, thereby contributing substantially to the economic well- being of the Nation’s dairy industry;…

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