The IRS pictures the happy family fun of paying taxes

Quick: What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about paying taxes?

If you're like me, you probably don't envision a smiling group of multicultural friends clustered around a picnic table. But if you're the IRS, that's the best image to illustrate the topic of tax information for individuals. Move on to the page for businesses, and you get a nice stock photo of two businessmen shaking hands -- presumably celebrating the bonuses they just received courtesy of the taxes you paid.

It's hard to blame the IRS for the use of such insipid photographs. In a world where herpes medication is sold with a picture of a hunky guy snuggling his girlfriend, it seems clear that the federal government web design hacks were operating on autopilot, unaware of the irony of showing people pictures of smiling families while they try to figure out just how much of their cash they're supposed to send in to help build a Lawrence Welk museum in North Dakota.

But still I wonder: How much money did the IRS spend for the rights to those photos? Even if it was only a couple dollars, it seems like a pretty good place to cut wasteful spending.

Why not sell advertising on the IRS site to General Motors?

Birth of a Child

The birth of a child is not just a blessed event; it's the beginning of a whole new set of tax breaks for your family. Learn how the newest addition to your family can help trim your tax bill, and how to save for your child's future in the most tax-efficient manner.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

What is Form 8332: Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent

Having custody of your child usually means you can claim that child as a dependent on your taxes. But if you don't have to file a tax return, or you reach an agreement with your child's noncustodial parent, you can let them take the child as a dependent instead with Form 8332.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

How Does Your Charitable Giving Measure Up?

Giving is truly better than receiving, especially when your generosity can provide income tax benefits.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

When to Use Tax Form 1099-C for Cancellation of Debt

In most situations, if you receive a Form 1099-C from a lender after negotiating a debt cancellation with them, you'll have to report the amount on that form to the Internal Revenue Service as taxable income. Certain exceptions do apply.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story