Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Collected WTFery

I’ve been too deeply immersed in preparing to move to blog on a regular basis, but I have collected a couple of interesting tidbits to share.

The first entry in the WTF column comes directly from TD Bank [aka America’s Most Convenient Bank]. I don’t want to cast aspersions on any one financial institution, since I have an inkling they’ll all be doing this soon, but I can only speak for certain about TD Bank.
My husband and I both received a little flier from them the other day informing us that as of January 2009 [yes, that’s more than a year ago, but they’re just telling us now] “if you received more than $600 in ATM Surcharge Reimbursements you will be sent a 1099-Misc form.”

Translated into plain English this means: You know all those times we happily reimbursed you for the exorbitant fees we and other banks charge you to access your money from ATMs? Well, now you have to pay taxes on it.

Essentially, they take your money, they give it back and they charge you a tax on it. So money you should never have had to pay out in the first place, is now considered income.

What I really love is how it’s retroactive to 2009, meaning that if you’ve already paid your 2009 taxes [and let’s see – most of us have], you may have to make an adjustment once they get that 1099 out to you.

The next entry comes from my favorite source, health and wellness news.

Apparently The Journal of Urology is touting diet soda as a preventative for kidney stones. Researchers have concluded that citrate, an ingredient found in some sodas [lemon and citrus flavors], may help reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. Citrate can be found in non-diet sodas as well [not colas, though] but the researchers, ever health conscious, are quick to remind patients that the extra calories they get from regular sodas pose a health risk [obviously one more serious than cancer causing artificial sweeteners, but we won’t go there.]

What boggles me is, why would doctors decide that diet soda would be a better, healthier source of citrate than say, actual citrus fruits? Oh, right, fruits contain sugar and calories, therefore making them bad for you, where artificially sweetened and colored carbonated water contains no sugar or calories and is therefore a health food.

So, there you go. You can drink to your health, while you write out that check to Uncle Sam to pay taxes on your ATM rebates.

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