Tribune readers are serious Bachelor fans! Last week, we mentioned that the television show "The Bachelor" has been on the air for 22 years. The article should have stated the show has been on air for 22 seasons. The first episode aired on March 25, 2002.

Peeps: putting the "cult" in candy culture

So as not to deviate from the Tax Season Tribune's rich history of Peep reporting, here is your 2018 Peep update.

Peeps launched eight new flavors in 2018. A new sour cherry flavor will be available in grocery stores nationwide, and exclusive flavors can be found at Target, Kroger (that's Ralphs for us West Coast peeps), and Walmart.1 In fact, Target starts early with its Cherry Cordial Delight Peeps that hit the shelves in time for Valentine's Day.

But the much anticipated mystery flavors are only available at Walmart.

Four years ago, Peeps rolled out mystery flavors. These colorless Peeps come in boxes labeled #1, #2, and #3, and the flavors are not revealed until just before Easter. Past flavors have included maple syrup, grape slush, buttered popcorn, sour green apple, and chocolate milk.

Spoiler alert

The 2018 Mystery Flavors were tested by a panel of children who came to this consensus:2

  • Mystery flavor #1: Root beer (Hands down, everyone agrees on this one.)
  • Mystery flavor #2: Yucky (Other guesses included Lysol and purple conversation hearts.)
  • Mystery flavor #3: Blue raspberry (Another guess was Dr. Pepper.)

If you're looking for an alternate source of energy as you buckle down for the last weeks of tax season, you can test all three mystery flavors and enhance productivity with the resulting sugar high. That's killing two Peeps with one stone.

Click here and here for past Peeps articles.


Here's how the U.S. government spends your hard-earned income

Because the average U.S. worker must work close to four months to earn enough to pay their annual tax debt, as taxpayers we should care about how our dollars are spent. There are obvious expenses like military and veterans' benefits, education, food and agriculture, interest on the federal debt, just to name a few. And then there are these gems — grants and allocations for studies and research projects over the years that surely have been improving the quality of our lives:1

  • $65,473 spent by the National Park Service to find out what bugs do when they see light (I guessed right! They fly toward it!);
  • $50,000 of funding from the National Science Foundation to demonstrate that sea monkeys (brine shrimp) make large waves while swimming;
  • Another $188,000 from the National Science Foundation to a professor to uncover why Americans won't use the metric system;
  • A whopping $300,000 from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health on whether girls play with Barbie dolls more than boys (I guessed right on this one too! I'm feeling like a genius!);
  • Another $311,000 to monitor aggression between couples where they can poke pins into voodoo dolls, proving that people have "hanger" when they're hungry (Worth every penny. I have personally experienced this);
  • $460,000 from the National Science Foundation to discover if dinosaurs could sing like birds (That's a no, by the way);
  • The University of Kentucky received $518,000 to study the sex habits of quails on cocaine (Really?);
  • $565,000 from the National Science Foundation to UC San Diego to find out how long fish can flap on a treadmill (What is with the National Science Foundation?);
  • A truly whopping $810,000 from the National Institutes of Health to the State University of New York at Buffalo to analyze how monkey drool has evolved;
  • Last, but not least, the Department of Defense failed to use $100 million worth of flight tickets between 1997 and 2003 and didn't get their money back even though the tickets were fully refundable (repeat: 100 million taxpayer dollars).

Too bad all this isn't just "fake news."


A different kind of power of attorney

One of the first things tax practitioners do at the start of filing season (every single filing season) is make sure new clients have the correct power of attorney declaration on file. You know the drill — fill out new forms for new clients and update old forms for returning clients. And just when you think your records are finally current, the FTB or IRS changes the requirements and you need to file new forms.

Is there an easier way to deal with legal documents such as these? One Florida man found a way, and it resulted in his death — which is exactly what he wanted.

The 70-year-old was admitted last year to Jackson Memorial Hospital, unconscious and with a high blood alcohol level. He had no identification, but a large tattoo across his chest included the words "Do Not Resuscitate" along with his signature.1

Medical staff at first decided to administer treatment and ignore the tattoo. The patient did not regain full consciousness, so staff consulted a medical ethics expert before deciding how to continue. The expert's advice was to honor the tattoo, because "it was most reasonable to infer that the tattoo expressed an authentic preference."2

Before the patient died, social workers discovered that he had in fact filled out the proper paperwork (Florida Form 1896, Do Not Resuscitate Order3). So doctors had no lingering doubts with their course of treatment, or lack thereof.


A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, meets with an all-female photography group once a month and also spends her free time watching classic and foreign movies. Her dream is to recreate the pie fight scene from The Great Race.

Diane FullerDiane Fuller is a woman of many talents which include writing children's poetry, taking unwitting challengers to town in poker, and whipping up Michelin-worthy dishes from scratch. Find her laughing with her two grandkids.

Austin LewisAustin Lewis loves classic rock, despite being born a few decades late, and he goes to more concerts than anyone else in the office. Here he is in Toronto last summer, recreating the cover photo from one of his favorite Rush albums.

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