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U.S. Tax Court rules that nonprofit status would not be appropriate.

By Karen Datko Jul 14, 2010 8:29PM

How thoughtful is this? A California sperm bank is willing to donate its product to wannabe moms, who would otherwise have to pay if they can't find their own supplier. Sperm can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a vial, and you generally need more than one. That's pricey.

So why couldn't that sperm bank obtain nonprofit, tax-exempt status from the IRS? The U.S. Tax Court recently ruled against the Free Fertility Foundation, settling a six-year dispute.

 

The court cited a couple of reasons, Kathy Kristof reports at CBS MoneyWatch. Most important seems to be that the sperm bank has only one donor -- the foundation's founder and director, Donor fwcn02453.

 

Frustrated by your carrier's waiting list? Here are some options.

By Karen Datko Jul 14, 2010 3:43PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.

 

Buying most cell phones takes minutes, but getting one of the must-have new smart-phone handsets is an endeavor that could last weeks.

 

Apple's iPhone 4, which sold out of pre-orders for its June 24 launch, currently has a three-week wait through the company and AT&T. The HTC Droid Incredible, launched in April on Verizon Wireless' network, ships within a month of ordering, and Sprint's Evo 4G (another HTC phone) is backordered indefinitely -- the company's site isn't taking orders, and refers customers to check back later.

 

Cities are using special toll lanes for drivers who are willing to pay for the privilege. Are "Lexus lanes" fair?

By Teresa Mears Jul 14, 2010 2:07PM

Would you pay more to drive faster through high-traffic areas?

 

Highway officials in a number of cities are deciding that many drivers would be willing to pay to escape highway congestion.  

 

They're installing what are known as HOT (high-occupancy toll) or express toll lanes, where you pay a toll to be able to drive in what used to be the carpool lane or, in some cases, newly constructed lanes. In some cities, vehicles with more than a certain number of occupants get a free ride.

 

Cities, states experiment with how to force banks to clean up rotting properties.

By Karen Datko Jul 14, 2010 12:10PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

Health officials in Orange County, Calif., are pondering whether mosquitoes breeding in the 6,000 to 7,000 stagnant swimming pools in abandoned homes there are helping spread the deadly West Nile virus.

The bugs pick it up from birds and pass it to humans, says The Orange County Register, noting elsewhere that distressed homes make up 31% of all properties for sale in the county.

 

All across the country, abandoned homes -- a legacy of the economic and mortgage meltdown -- are creating blight and trouble for neighborhoods and cities.

 

The trick is to shop strategically and with an eye toward several key items and areas. Here are 12.

By Karen Datko Jul 14, 2010 8:44AM

This post comes from Myscha Theriault at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

Trying to eat healthier? Wanting to explore organics and plant-based eating without spending the equivalent of a second mortgage? Whole Foods is considered by many to be out of financial reach.

 

Believe it or not, you can go bargain shopping at Whole Foods and actually save money.

 

To the list of the absurd becoming ordinary we can now add the idea that richer Americans should arrange to die in 2010 to save on estate taxes.

By Karen Datko Jul 13, 2010 7:14PM

This guest post comes from Frank Curmudgeon at Bad Money Advice.

 

I am always amused by things that started as a mocking joke but then, through repetition, slowly became unfunny enough that they were taken seriously. The word "software," once used derisively by engineers who built actual electronics to refer to the work of their programmer counterparts, is a good example. Daylight saving time, first proposed in a satirical essay by Ben Franklin in 1784, is another.

 

To this list of the absurd becoming ordinary we can now add the idea that richer Americans should arrange to die in 2010 to save on estate taxes.

 

In May 2008 The Wall Street Journal ran an article with the eye-catching title of "Death by taxes: Seniors may plan their demises to maximize their bequests." But the author made clear his humorous intent in the opening paragraph.

 

Oregon joins Washington and Hawaii in limiting employer credit checks. Opponents say employers need the information.

By Teresa Mears Jul 13, 2010 2:50PM

Twice, J.M. Harrison was on the verge of getting a good job at a major company. All that was left was a routine credit check. He told them what they'd find -- credit damaged by periods of unemployment. He didn't get either job.

 

Harrison, who now works as a college history teacher, might have a different experience if he applied for those jobs today. Oregon, where he lives, has become the third state to bar employers from considering credit reports in hiring, with some exceptions for jobs where a credit history is considered relevant, such as in law enforcement and at banks and credit unions.

 

At least 16 states have considered such laws, as has the federal government, but Washington and Hawaii are the only other states to limit employer credit checks. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill passed by California's legislature last year.

 

An inactive browser tab is replaced with a fake page set up specifically to obtain your personal data -- without you realizing it has occurred.

By Karen Datko Jul 13, 2010 1:39PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Just when it seemed as though the various types of phishing attacks had been identified, up pops another more sophisticated version. Most commonly known as "tabnabbing," it's also called "tabnapping" or kidnapping of Internet tabs.

Phishing scams typically involve sending hoax e-mails to your computer in an attempt to steal your usernames, passwords and bank details. Often the sender will claim to be from your bank and will ask you to verify your bank details by clicking on a link contained in the e-mail. The link directs you to a fake website that looks like your bank's website. Once you have typed in your login details, the criminals who set up the fake site have access to your information.

 

How it works

Tabnabbing doesn't rely on persuading you to click on a fake link. It targets Internet users who open lots of tabs on their browser at the same time and changes the way a legitimate site looks behind your back.

 

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