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FAQ

What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I owe under $1000 in taxes over the past couple years?
The IRS will eventually take enforcement action to collect the debt - including attaching your bank accounts and garnishing your paycheck. As Shannon Sofield notes, interest and penalties accrue as long as the debt is unpaid - the longer you let this go the more your bill will be and the more the IRS can legally collect from you when they do take action.IRS Publication 594 describes the collection process.
What can happen if you don't pay your taxes in the United States?
I have owed taxes and my experience with Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America is actually a very positive one, much better than similar cases in other countries.In 2022. in my tax assessment form I had inadvertently omitted to declare the sale of mutual fund shares and as a result I owed about $300 of tax. IRS did an automatic cross-checking of my statement with the mutual fund company's statement and I received an automated phone call informing about the discrepancy and asking me to  pay the amount with minimal penalty, which I did.But the most surprising part came after that. I had left USA and no longer completed any tax assessment form. IRS did owe me back $7.96. Due to tumultuous situation in my native country, I returned to US and the moment I had a new permanent US residency I received a check worth of $7.96 from the IRS. They actually tracked me down only to pay me back. I was astonished! And frankly it pushed me to become an even better citizen in this country. If I am treated with respect I will treat everyone else with respect too.
What are good ways to report taxes on short sells that spans 2 years?
Because the short was still open at the end of 2022. you should have reported the sale on your 2022 return as an open short sale, with no gain or loss; the instructions for Schedule D at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i... cover this. The IRS didn't know this was an open short, so they assume the worst - that you sold a stock that you owned, and in which you had zero basis since they have absolutely no way of knowing what the basis is.What you should do now is respond to the IRS letter by disputing the claim of tax owed on the entire amount of the sale, attaching a copy of an amended 2022 return with Schedule D correctly filled out showing the open short (this will have no net effect on your taxable income) and your 2022 return showing the reported gain (if you didn't include the reported gain on your 2022 return, then you'll need to attach an amended 2022 return as well). Also attach a copy of the transaction report from the brokerage showing the dates of the sale and purchase. Make sure you keep a copy of everything, including the original IRS letter. I can't stress that enough. Expect to wait at least a month for the IRS to reply.See IRS Publication 594, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p..., which discusses the process by which the IRS attempts to collect taxes that it believes you owe.
Can the IRS withhold my social security for back taxes?
Yes. They can. Your best bet is to contact the IRS before it occurs. If you owe, back taxes, you might be able to get your debt down, penalties reduced, suspended or frozen, an agreement to pay a small amount each month or have your account placed in CNC (Currently Non Collectible) status due to economic hardship or serious illness. If you owe a large debt, your best bet might be hiring a reputable tax attorney. But if your debt is not that large or you can't or don't want to hire an attorney, it's always a good idea to contact the IRS yourself, at least, to try to work something out. If you don't get help and a friendly, respectful attitude from the first IRS contact, ask to speak with a manager or try calling back at a different time. Always record the badge number of the employee, good or bad. If you get a good one, try to get his or her direct IRS phone number. But only call that particular employee about the current and directly related issues (unless instructed otherwise). Once the situation is resolved, it's not a good idea to call the same employee about a totally unrelated tax issue. Be respectful and try to listen closely to what the employee is telling you about options, consequences and time frames. It's OK to ask questions. Make a written note of the date and time of the conversation and everything the employee advises or promises to do to resolve the debt.
Imagine a 3 digit number, for example 110. Reverse it and you get (0) 11. When you add the two together, you get 121, which is 11 squared. What other 3 digit numbers result in a square number when this rule is applied?
I wrote a quick java program for it.import java.lang.Math; c class HelloWorld lic static void main(String[] args) or(int x = 100; x = 999; x++) int flipedX = flip(x); int sum = x + flipedX; if(isSquare(sum)) System.out.println(x + " + " + flip(x) + " = " + (int)Math.sqrt(sum) + "^2"); tic boolean isSquare(int number) ouble sqrt = Math.sqrt(number); eturn sqrt == (int) sqrt; tic int flip(int x) eturn 100 * (x%10) + (x / 10 % 10) * 10 + x/100; an run it at Online Java IDE (javac 1.8.0_131)Output:110: 110 + 011 = 121 = 11^2143: 143 + 341 = 484 = 22^2164: 164 + 461 = 625 = 25^2198: 198 + 891 = 1089 = 33^2242: 242 + 242 = 484 = 22^2263: 263 + 362 = 625 = 25^2297: 297 + 792 = 1089 = 33^2341: 341 + 143 = 484 = 22^2362: 362 + 263 = 625 = 25^2396: 396 + 693 = 1089 = 33^2440: 440 + 044 = 484 = 22^2461: 461 + 164 = 625 = 25^2495: 495 + 594 = 1089 = 33^2560: 560 + 065 = 625 = 25^2594: 594 + 495 = 1089 = 33^2693: 693 + 396 = 1089 = 33^2792: 792 + 297 = 1089 = 33^2891: 891 + 198 = 1089 = 33^2990: 990 + 099 = 1089 = 33^219 result(s) foundYou’ll notice the last couple values actually go over a 1000 when you add them to their flip. I don’t know if that’s permissible or not.Credit to Jonathan King for the solution output.
Some Dem presidential candidates are promising to erase student loan debt. I wonder if this is wise because I worked my way through college and never took a student loan. Is that fair to the students that worked their way through?
Dear Kurt Sawyer,Your bio says that you graduated college in 1977. An average cost for private university in the 1976–1977 calendar year was $4715, including room and board. It wasn’t much different for a public university.[1] A maxed Pell Grant in 1977 for a student at a 4 year private university averaged about 45% of the cost of tuition, room and board, or about $2,155 if we round to the nearest $5.[2] Assuming you got a maxed Pell Grant without any other aid and went to a 4 year private university, that’s a net difference of $2,560.Minimum wage in 1977 was $3.25 an hour. If you paid your own way through at a minimum wage job or two, that works out to a smidge under 790 hours. If you worked full time in the summer and part time the rest of the time, assuming 13 weeks of summer vacation, that works out to 520 hours worked during the summer and 270 hours the rest of the year—about 7 hours a week during the semester.Is that how much you worked and paid? I have no idea, but I know the averages, and they were in your favor.You know, I would have loved that relative set of expenses. So would today’s students. Your workload was lighter, a lot lighter.A student graduating a public university in 2022 paid an average $9,716 for the previous academic year if they stayed in-state—just for tuition. [3] Add in room and board and the figure goes to $21,370—a mere $1k a month to keep body and soul together. [4] A maxed Pell Grant for 2018–2022 was $6,095.[5] Assuming you got a maxed out Pell Grant without any other aid and went to public university, that’s a net difference of $15,275.Minimum wage in much of the country is $7.25 an hour.If a student who graduated this year tried to work their way through college, they would have to work 2107 hours at minimum wage to be debt free. 2080 hours is 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.The numbers are considerably worse for private non-profit universities if the Pell Grant is your only aid. Average private university cost was $48,510. The net difference of $42,415 is simply impossible to do pay as you go if you’re at federal minimum wage—5850 hours of work to make it. Add that to 2920 hours assuming 8 hours of sleep a night and you have -10 hours a year to go to school, let alone eat, do homework, or get stuck waiting for the next bus.Does that make sense to you? Should we be asking our students to work full time or double-time so they can study full time too? What about sleep?This is why so many students have taken out loans. We cannot expect them to have time to study if they don’t get loans or other grant money.This is why getting rid of student loan debt for current graduates makes a lot of sense. You are asking them to do double, triple, even quadruple the work you did to make it through debt-free. That’s simply not realistic.We need to re-do our financing for public higher education. Getting students to the point where they could work part-time like you did to be able to afford tuition, fees, room and board would be acceptable. Expecting them to work full-time and more just so they can study full time is not the bar we should be setting for students.Promoting higher education, continuing education, vocational training and job-related training is a very good way to promote the general Welfare. Promoting the general Welfare is a national mandate.I will ask again: does this make sense to you?EDIT: It was pointed out in comments (thank you Tony Evans) that minimum wage in 1977 was actually $2.30.[6] That requires recalculation; the original numbers I am leaving up to show my original error and to explain why various comments also refer to $3.25 an hour.The $2560 difference in 1977 would have required 1,114 hours of minimum wage work, rounded up, to fully cover the gap. Still assuming full time work for 13 weeks during the summer, that left 594 hours of work for the rest of the year, or about 15.25 hours per week the rest of the year. That is much tougher than 7 hours a week, but still much easier than a full-time job year-round.Neither the federal minimum wage nor the Pell Grant have kept up with the rate of inflation in higher education.Footnotes[1] Average undergraduate tuition and fees and room and board rates charged for full-time students in degree-granting institutions, by type and control of institution: 1964-65 through 2006-07[2] https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45...[3] https://www.usnews.com/education...[4] Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time[5] https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/typ...[6] U.S. Department of Labor
What's your Flipkart's Big Billion Day Sale hoax story?
Hi, So to be honest the Flipkart sale wasn't a hoax, what it was is an amazing marketing strategy.Though, we are all cursing Flipkart for showing items which we think they not have, but in reality they actually did give away Pendrives for Rs.1 , Though the quantity was pretty low, but these offers were present.Also, many people are complaining about orders going missing even after adding to the Cart, What In my opinion happened was that Flipkart surpassed the Facebook India traffic yesterday, and due to such a heavy load on the servers it was a glitch.However I'll resume back to what Flipkart did.The Evil Plan.Think of this, The Xiaomi mobiles were sold out in 2 seconds, so what happens when the whole nation is waiting for the biggest sale online?What flipkart cleverly did was introduce some irresistible offers.I don’t have a USB port but wait, I am getting a Pen Drive for Rs. 1? So I should totally buy it.It was a total marketing strategy , and well flipkart was totally cunning with it.Not only this, but think of this, When so many people went online to buy pendrives for Rs.1 or to buy Samsung Tablets for Rs.1300, and when they weren’t available they naturally spent time on other products which claimed to have a “heavy discount” and thus bought something else. So even if they sold 1000 pendrives at a loss of 200 each, that makes it Rs.2,00,000. But the people who came to the website for the pendrives and went on to buy something else totally covered up the losses! Smart, Eh?I too wasn’t an exception, I bought two books for Rs. 600 which the website claimed was for a 40% discount.One other thing which flipkart did was use a master secret weapon, “Markups.”Let’s put it this way, A Rs. 400 book for Rs.150, I’ll totally buy it even though I am not even sure what it is about, But a Rs.1500 trouser which is for Rs.1150? No Bro, I’ll pass. Even though the amount of the discount is same, I’ll go for the first one which is exactly what Flipkart nailed today.The biggest complaint about the Flipkart sale has been exactly about this trick of ramping up prices before the sales and then marking them down making it look like a bargain.And there have been a lot of examples of that on Flipkart. Many items have been listed at prices that they have never sold or listed at till a week or a day before the sale and then marked down tremendously to make it appear as if you are getting a ‘steal deal’.CONCLUSIONFlipkart reached some records in terms of sales and traffic, a lot of people were prey to the marketing moves, More than $100 Million worth of orders were processed and today people have started receiving them also! So it did some stuff pretty well, But yes the mistakes it did was of PR primarily and with respect to handling the technical glitches it was unprepared.People are cursing Flipkart and seeing it in an evil way because of this.And Kudos to Snapdeal and Amazon for totally nailing the opportunity :P.
After the alleged remarks of Phillip Hammond, are UK public sector works paid too much given that they've always had superior pensions?
Hammond made several points, some of which were perfectly reasonable.That pensions, including contributory pensions which are nevertheless very good relative to other available options, ought be taken into account as far as remuneration packages go. So when you apply for a job in the private sector you look at your basic, your likely/possible bonus (if applicable), and the pension. All of these will form part of your judgement as to whether you take the job.That public sector pensions are historically better than private sector ones (for a variety of reasons, some of which are the private sector’s fault). Though the public sector ones are being eroded too. Certainly new entrants to the civil service are on defined contribution rather than defined benefit. A quick Google seems to say the same for new NHS employees.That deficit reduction still an important part of the Tory narrative, unless they want to perform the mother of all u-turns. And wage costs a huge part of government expenditure so if you don't hold those costs down, deficit reduction is hard.That nevertheless, you can't eat your pension.So far so sensible. But:7 years of pay freeze just isn't acceptable to workers. In a large organization, if your pay review process is giving you flat or below inflation pay rises, this so a big signal to look for a new job especially if you're a high performer. Doing this for 7 years is just insane. Morale rightly at rock bottom and turnover high.The above is not politically acceptable, either. Both because people generally like nurses and teachers, and because the government has just found £1bn down the back of the sofa to protect Theresa May’s job. This sticks in people's craws.The fundamental question is - are the public sector:Appropriately resourced in terms of numbers of staff?Appropriately resourced in terms of quality of staff?And if they're not, then you have to move the pay lever. That's how it works in the private sector. And I'm no expert, but the popular narrative re: teachers is that there aren't enough good ones etc. And, you have to square this with politics.
Do Caltrain employees have the right to force riders to put a shirt on?
Having a shirt, like other potential violations (no roller skates, must have shoes, etc. -see below)  is probably a rule of public utility codes."Failure to comply with any of the rules mentioned above while on VTA property is in violation of one or more of the following: California Penal Code 594, 640, or Public Utility Code (PUC) 99170. Violation of PUC 99170 is punishable up to the maximum amount allowed by law. A complete listing of conduct that is prohibited while on VTA property is available online at www.vta.org. The California Penal Code and the Public Utility Code are available at your local library.Source: http://Santa Clara Valley Transporation Authority/getting-around/riders-tips/tips-for-riding-on-vta-busesonboard-etiquette"I have to admit, that the guy could be more polite, but perhaps his own job was on the line. Next time have a spare shirt.
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