- Days left

Death, taxes, and...jail time?

×

A few years ago, a friend that I had lost touch with attempted to rob a convenience store. Unfortunately, my buddy Will was a little flaky, so his plans quickly went awry. He showed up after closing, brandishing a rifle and wearing a ski mask. When he demanded entry to the store, the clerk called the police. Although Will shed his incriminating clothing and weapons while running across a field, he was still captured by police and was later convicted for attempted robbery.

It seems like the annals of crime literature are littered with tales of bone-headed criminals. We've all heard the stories of bank robbers writing notes on the back of check stubs, knocking themselves out with nunchucks, or stealing bags of quarters, only to be caught a few blocks later, out of breath and with pulled muscles.

Last week, however, a robber in Des Moines, Iowa took stupidity to a new level. After robbing a Git-n-Go, he made his first mistake: he left behind his jacket and hat. Apart from providing a helpful level of concealment, the robber's outerwear was probably a necessary protection against the late-February chill. However, catching a cold was to become the least of the robber's worries. In one of his jacket pockets, police found a W-2 form with his name and address on it.

How stupid can you get! I wonder if the robber has any idea how hard it is to get a replacement W-2! Additionally, of course, he gave away his identity to the police and will, presumably, hear from them soon.

This also raises another interesting question: how does one declare income from a robbery? I guess it would go under "Wages, tips, and salary" on line 7, but couldn't it also be treated as gambling income? I hope the robber chooses wisely--the last thing he needs is to have the IRS on his tail.

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. His wife does the taxes.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

5 Tax Tips for Single Moms

If you're a single mom filing your taxes, make use of tax credits and deductions that can help reduce your taxable income and reduce the amount of tax you pay. A number of strategies, credits and deductions can be used to reduce taxable income, and in some cases, allow tax refunds even if you didn't pay in any taxes. When you use TurboTax, we'll ask simple questions and handle these calculations for you.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

What is Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If you bought health insurance through one of the Health Care Exchanges, also known as Marketplaces, you will receive a Form 1095-A which provides information about your insurance policy, your premiums (the cost you pay for insurance) and the people in your household covered by the policy.

Keeping Yourself Safe From Tax Scams Today

During tax time, there are numerous types of tax scams. These illegal schemes can result in the taxpayer being responsible for extra interest, penalties and possible criminal prosecution. Tax schemes and scams attempt to gain access to your financial information by email, telephone, fax or mail. They also may attempt to falsely collect tax you owe to the Internal Revenue Service. Using TurboTax ensures your financial information remains safe.

Health Care and Your Taxes: What's the Connection?

Your cost for Marketplace health insurance is based on the income you file on your tax return. Your reported income also determines your eligibility for the tax credits and penalties associated with Marketplace health coverage. Everyone has to have health insurance and by filing your taxes, you let the government know if you carry health insurance. The tax system acts as a way for the government to levy a penalty on those who don?t have it and to provide assistance, by means of a tax credit, to those who do.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum