Taxes: we don't love 'em, but we do them anyway. To do them right, you need good tax-prep software that won't stub your brain on accounting jargon, but will still find all possible deductions. Since Intuit's TurboTax and H&R Block's TaxCut (Windows|Mac|Online) are the two brands eating the biggest market share, we've pulled together screenshots of the features that could help you lean toward TurboTax, or TaxCut.
A growing number of states are considering taxing songs from iTunes to relieve their strained budgets, though at least one state may buck the trend in the hopes of appearing more tech-friendly.
A state legislator in North Dakota last week introduced a bill to explicitly exempt digital goods such as digital music or movies, digital books, or ringtones from the state's sales tax and use tax. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for next week.
Correction at 9 a.m. PST: Tim Geithner's nomination status has been corrected. His nomination has not come up for a full Senate vote yet.
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner--the man who hopes to be entrusted with overseeing the Internal Revenue Service and a remaining $350 billion in bailout funds--apparently isn't so smooth when it comes to Intuit's TurboTax.
His mention of TurboTax as he tried to explain away back taxes during a confirmation hearing last week highlights two common problems in IT: users vs. software, and … Read more
Digitization has a disruptive effect on a wide range of industries, from music to software to publishing to...you name it. If it can be digitized, it can be disrupted.
It's therefore encouraging to see the music seemingly converging on a cool new-old model: an ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers)-like tax from one's Internet service provider that allows unlimited downloading of music.
April 15 still seems like a long way off, but it's not too early to get a deal on tax prep software. Dollar Tree is selling H&R Block TaxCut Standard 2008 for just $1 (plus tax in most states).
What, no link? Alas, you'll have to use a little shoe leather to get this deal: Dollar Tree is a brick-and-mortar operation. Use the company's store locator to see if there's one in your neck of the woods.
This version of TaxCut includes one free federal e-file. As for state returns, well, that's where … Read more
The big challenge? Figuring out what can/should be taxed and what rules generally apply. The National Taxpayer Advocate suggested this week that the "IRS issue guidance addressing how taxpayers should report economic activities in virtual worlds."
"Economic activities in virtual worlds may present an emerging area of tax noncompliance, in part because the IRS has not provided guidance … Read more
With Apple's last Macworld keynote speech just hours away, Microsoft is again talking up the idea of an "Apple tax" that people pay when they opt for a Mac over a Windows PC.
It's a concept that Microsoft started touting in the fall. While the words may be fairly new, the melody sounds familiar. Saying that customers pay an added cost when using a rival is a well-worn page from the Microsoft playbook. One need only look back to the anti-Linux "Get the Facts" campaign for another example.
In any case, it is a … Read more
As reported in Friday's Wall Street Journal, the music industry has apparently given up on suing 13-year olds and dead people in its quest to stem music piracy. Instead, it plans to work with ISPs to identify and notify copyright infringers of the need to come clean:
[T]he Recording Industry Association of America said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers. The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers … Read more
Rana and CMC join the show for a "what's up" with iPhone apps and a warm farewell to the last dick. Is Steve Jobs alive? Will New Yorkers pay tax on their iPods? Will Guitar Hero ever add death metal tracks? All these answers and more on The 404. Did we mention that we've got two flesh and blood females on the show? Make sure to stick around until the end of the episode when we find out that Rana has a secret celebrity crush...EPISODE 249 Download today's podcast… Read more
New York wants a share of iTunes' money.
The state is staring at a $15.4 billion deficit so Gov. David Paterson is proposing an "iPod tax" as part of his state budget. Under the plan, New York would charge state and local sales tax for "digitally delivered entertainment services," according to a story in The New York Daily News.
That includes e-books downloaded to Amazon's Kindle as well as for the digital songs obtained from Apple's iTunes. If the state legislature passes the governor's plan, the price of digital content for New … Read more