Today is April 15, but taxes aren't due this year until Monday, April 18, thanks to a somewhat obscure D.C. holiday pushing back the deadline. Still, we're already seeing plenty of tax-related coverage, all of which might serve as a reminder to filers not to leave everything until the last minute. Here's a look at some of what's out there:
At National Review, George Cassidy offers a novel take on taxes, arguing that they broke up the Beatles. Cassidy describes a chain of cause and effect that started with a British tax policy introduced in 1909 and led, eventually, to the Beatles hiring the abrasive Allen Klein as a manager, and Paul McCartney suing to dissolve the group in 1970. It wouldn't be a National Review essay if it didn't include a swipe at the president and other present-day "architects of tax policy": the dek of Cassidy's piece reads, "Obama and his congressional allies may be laying traps for artists and musicians yet unborn."
Speaking of never missing an opportunity to score a political point: Paul Krugman of The New York Times points us toward some tax charts that draw decidedly Democrat-friendly conclusions. One is called "Corporate Tax Revenues Are Historically Low"; another, "Rise in Debt Could Be Halted Over Next Decade By Letting Bush Tax Cuts Expire." You can see the whole series here.
Over at Slate, they've got an explainer on two tax dodges used by Google in recent years--the Double Irish and the Dutch Sandwich. The author, J. Bryan Lowder, explains that the tricks are "colorfully named (but completely legal)."
The Wall Street Journal dips a toe into the art world with a piece by Laura Hedli about the unique filing challenges faced by young creative types. Hedli reports on a free tax-prep site in Manhattan that caters specifically to actors, who often have to deal with a nightmare of paperwork. "The biggest challenge for any performing artist is the myriad numbers of W-2s and employers, and the different states and localities in which you work," explains Sandra Karas, a tax attorney and stage actor.
And a couple days ago, The Awl ran a chatty post by Choire Sicha--sensibly tagged "Advice that is not legal or advice"--that explains what happens if you just skip doing your taxes and hope the IRS doesn't notice. Short answer: They will notice, and eventually you could get your debit card cut off. It's better just to do your taxes. Sicha says this doesn't have to be a stressful process: "The IRS has some of the nicest, most understanding people I have ever spoken with in my life ... Do not be afraid. What they want is to hear from you."