The Tax Preparation Industry Is Like the Wild West

NYU law student Alex Levy writes about shady, unregulated tax preparers in an editorial today explaining that in most states, anyone can set up a business to prepare your taxes if they wanted to.

A Brief Chat with a Person With Tax Season Affective Disorder

Vanessa hates taxes.

It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like 1 Thing

That thing that thing that thinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng.

Did You Do Your Taxes Yesterday?

Did I make your stomach jump? If you’re a normal and responsible person, no worries. If you filed an extension in April and then forgot about them until you didn’t, welcome to my life. Nice to have you. I forgot about them until like, 7 p.m., and then I forgot about them again until 9 p.m., and then I did them. The first time I did them, it said I owed the shutdown federal government (nee the federal government) $2,000 and the state $34, at which point I should have just been like, okay I’m done. But then I got nervous about something and redid parts of them involving my car (which I did not use for business in 2012, but did in 2011 and so they were counting it as a loss, or a sale? I wasn’t sure, I didn’t understand, Google was not helpful). So I just took out all the parts about my car. And then I owed the shutdown federal government (nee the federal government) $2,559 and New York $339. I paid $89 for the privilege of finding this out. Just put it on my tab. :/

Taxes Are Due in Two Weeks. Remain Calm

till haven't done your taxes? The April 15th deadline is approaching soon, and The Wall Street Journal has some last-minute tax tips for us.

Making Taxes Not Boring

Today at Longreads (where I am also an editor), Atossa Abrahamian writes about her three favorite stories about taxes this year, highlighting pieces from The Washington Post, Vanit Fair, and Bloomberg. Add these to your never-ending reading lists!

Refined Dinner Conversation

ADULT WOMAN: “I haven’t been to therapy in a month and I need to go and I want to go but I haven’t done the one thing she told me to do, so I can’t go.”

ME (also an adult woman): “What’d she tell you to do?”

AW: “Taxes.”

ME: “But I thought you got an accountant?”

AW: “I did but she wants me to do this thing I’m not going to do so I can’t talk to her so I can’t do my taxes.”

Nothing Was the Same After I Did 1 Thing

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing. Friday is an acceptable day also. 

My 1 thing for today is to clean my room and do some laundry (“do some laundry” = drop some laundry off for someone else to do) (Newwww Yoorrrrrrrrrkkkkk). Buy some toilet paper. Drink a lot of water since I’m getting sick. What else. Eat some vegetables. Take a shower, that’s a good one. Floss. You know, just generally take this day to do things that need to be done, in life.

This week also marks the countdown into absolutely-have-to-do-my-taxes-now-there-are-no-other-extensions territory. My brain sure will have fun thinking constantly about them yet doing nothing for the next two weeks! The deadline is October 15th. My goal is to have them done by the 14th. (bb steps.)

Taxing the Childless

Not endorsed in the slightest: Slate columnist Reihan Salam argues that childless people should pay higher taxes than those with children.

Fighting Poverty With Evidence and the Effectiveness of ‘Small Nudges’

The latest episode of Freakonomics is about "fighting poverty with actual evidence" and features a discussion with economists Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago, and Dean Karlan from Yale, who examine studies (like the one by Give Directly), showing what kinds of methods are good at fighting poverty.

I Want to Do 1 Thing Right But Not Right Now

Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing.

How Flannery O’Connor Did Money

American novelist Flannery O'Connor was real about getting paid. In The Habit of Being, a book of her letters, she writes about theology, literary theory, and life on her family's farm, but she also talks about money.