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10 Weird Ways States Tax You (and Don't)

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Tax forms a calculator and a pen showing the readiness to do ones taxes
Alamy
By David Muhlbaum

Funny thing about our federal system of government: There's that complicated tax code that Uncle Sam keeps and the IRS enforces. Then there's an even larger patchwork of taxation schemes crafted by 50 state legislatures, all coming up with new ways to extract coin from their citizenry.

Some of these tax regimens are, well, quirky. We've found ten of the strangest from across the land.



(Did we miss an odd tax unique to your state? Look for the e-mail address at the end of the slideshow to tell us about yours.)

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What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

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scottee

what
if congress scrapped the 73,000 pages of tax code
and everyone just paid a small national sales tax with no deductions for anyone for anything?
they would probably collect more, everyone would pay some, the rich would pay more, we could close down the IRS, congress would have a lot less power, and April 15 would just be another spring day.

January 08 2014 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jrb359

Conservatives celebrate the 4th of July the same way liberals celebrate April 15th!

January 08 2014 at 5:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Papa Clough

Hello....guten tag! Deutcheland uber alles!

January 08 2014 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

When the republicans are out of office they say NO NEW TAXES. When they get elected they heap upon us billions in taxes and fees. Just cannot trust them anymore.

January 07 2014 at 5:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to toosmart4u's comment
andrewwithinpa

I can\'t stop laughing....it\'s like the Democrats don\'t create any taxes each year. They\'re politicians....they\'re in DC to tax anything they can. Don\'t be so foolish to think either party is better than the other. Each one will get you in a different way.

January 07 2014 at 6:40 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
scottee

we can't trust either party. why do we allow them to run amok with power and deficit spending?

January 08 2014 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdykbpl45

Did they cut Obama's taxes! Bet they did.

January 07 2014 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply