03/22/17 9:30am
Is posterboard a tax write-off ? via flickr.

Is posterboard a tax write-off ? via flickr.

Time is running out to file our taxes, which means it’s time to stop using our W-2s and 1099s as coasters and try to get our act together. There’s just one problem: We have no idea what we’re doing.

If you’re like us and have been cobbling together your income from various freelance assignments, dog walking jobs, cater-waiter gigs and competitive tickling videos, doing your taxes can feel overwhelming. Rather than risking the tax man’s wrath trying to DIY our own financials, we turned to the pros at Donofrio Inc.

We stopped by their Brooklyn office, where they were kind enough to answer some of our most pressing (and preposterous) tax questions. (more…)

04/05/16 5:22pm
Taxes? But I paid those last year.

Taxes? But I paid those last year.

Hello and welcome back to weekly(ish) lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”). 

Say you are one of those people who every year vows you’ll get your taxes done earlier, and every year you end up putting it off longer and longer, and by time you finally call your tax guy, he’s all booked up until tax day, even though tax day is a few days later, on April 18, this year. This definitely a hypothetical situation that has not affected a certain blog editor who should certainly know better by now, but maybe you’ll come across it in your life because we’re all busy and who can keep track of all those receipts from last year anyway. But you don’t have to fret that the Obama tax hit squad will be coming to knock down your door any time soon. It’s really easy to get for more time to file and pay your taxes. You basically just have to ask. (more…)

04/15/15 3:46pm
broad city accountant

And it’s not that they’re not paying taxes because they can’t find a good accountant

It’s Tax Day. Most of you have already filed, which means you’re reading this with at least a general sense of relief. Some of you haven’t filed, and if you’re reading this then stop! Go do your taxes! But there are other people who are just sitting comfortably and watching tax day whoosh right past them: people who don’t pay their taxes, and don’t seem to be bothered too much by it. Curious who these people are? So were we, so we tracked down two Brooklynites who haven’t paid their taxes in a few years.

For obvious reasons, we’re giving them pseudonyms. You might have conjured up some image of money-eyed corporate tycoons who defraud the government year after year, but these women who decline to file fall on the opposite end of the fiscal spectrum: they’re broke. Each one has lived on taxed salary, and each one has lived on freelance income. And both have failed to file in both instances.

Are these two warriors against an unjust tax system, or just lazy? Read their stories and decide for yourself. (more…)

03/25/14 4:29pm
plastic bag

Later, sucker

You’ve got all those tote bags in your apartment, millions of them really, but you always manage to forget them when you go out shopping. So you end up using paper or plastic bags, because hey, what harm can this one time do? Well, soon you might have to pay for your environment-killing ways, because a bill to put a ten cent fee on paper and plastic bags is in front of the City Council, and it has a good amount of support. Bet you’ll remember that PBS tote now. (more…)

04/15/13 3:41pm
No free stuff for these guys!

No free stuff for these guys!

Well, kids, April 15th is almost done! Or, at the very least, it’s very nearly  a reasonable time to crack open that bottle of Jim Beam you bought with what little money the government left you with. Luckily, though we’re all desperately hoping the IRS might not find a daily bodega coffees a suspicious deduction, there are a bunch of warm-blooded American companies out there willing to dole out freebies even to the self-employed. Take a look, and let us know of any other gratis goodies out there today in the comments: (more…)

03/18/13 11:30am
Don't worry, the IRS stopped hiring wrestlers a few years ago

Don’t worry, the IRS stopped hiring wrestlers a few years ago

Look, we know, paying taxes sucks. There’s all sorts of forms and deadlines and it’s all in the service of you losing money. Well, usually. Sometimes you get lucky and you actually get money back, which is basically the only reason to pay your taxes. That and staying out of jail of course. Still, if you don’t file your taxes, you’ll never know that money is owed to you. And right now almost one million people across the country are missing out on refunds from their 2009 taxes, including 62,700 of them here in New York.  (more…)

02/15/13 1:17pm
Yes, even for online purchases. Via Bastiat Institute.

Yes, even for online purchases. Via Bastiat Institute.

Alright everyone, it’s time to grab your tea and dump it in the e-harbor, because according to Racked, the days of tax-free online shopping are over. Maybe. This past Thursday, lawmakers introduced The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, a bill that seeks to destroy our inalienable right to cheat the system while lounging in our underwear.


02/12/13 7:00am
Paying taxes won't kill you - right? (via flickr user Mat Honan)

Paying taxes won’t kill you – right? (via flickr user Mat Honan)

Considering that the coffeeshop office is so popular in Brooklyn that even bars have gotten into the wifi game to woo the self-employed, it should come as no surprise that our borough has the largest population of freelancers in the city. But guess what, all you 1099-using graphic designers, bloggers, journalists and independent contractors galore? You still have to pay taxes, lest the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service befall you. (more…)

04/17/12 3:07pm

I remember a time when tax day was something to kind of look forward to, back when I had a full-time job that held some money back from me every year and a few minutes banging on the ole TurboTax machine gave the promise of hundreds of dollars in refunds. Then I quit that, started freelancing and took a part time job that didn’t even withhold enough money to help me this year, and now every April promises to be a Battan death march plowing through my meager savings account and  delaying my dreams of buying a new surfboard for the 15th consecutive year. But what are we to do until President Ron Paul chucks out the whole tax code?

Let’s commiserate or gloat again: Are you getting a refund this year, or do you owe? How much? You can be anonymous in the comments if you like, but then we can’t hit you up to buy us pity beers with your sweet refund. Whoever has the biggest number wins a free high five (which, after taxes, is only about a high two)! I’ll start with my own awful payment I made this morning.

04/17/12 11:21am

#shitnoonesays. Via Jamie NYC.

Paying your taxes is not equivalent to just throwing your money in the trash, according to a new study, because paying the gub’mint gives you a “warm glow” utility that makes “you feel good about helping others” or some such socialist claptrap.  Perhaps you’re particularly attuned to the oddness of our tax system after this year of Occupying and injustice that you don’t have your own car elevator to write off. Well too bad! There’s nothing to be done about it now except to dull the pain. This year’s tax day freebies include the usual roundup of fast food options from Arby’s, Hooters and IHOP, but also includes a relief program at Halyards that features free drinks! (more…)