It’s the most taxing time of the year

You know the holiday season is over when three things happen:

  • Ads with Christmas trees and Santa Claus stop appearing on TV.
  • You’ve gone back to work or school.
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announces the opening of tax season; that is, the first day it will accept tax returns filed for the previous year.

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Too sick to travel? When to put yourself on the no-fly list

For Carol Margolis, it was an almost-ruptured eardrum.

She’d flown with a bad cold and sinus congestion, which made it difficult to equalize the pressure in her ears. After her doctor told her she’d nearly torn the lining between the inner and outer ear, and suggested she stay away from planes for a few weeks, she grounded herself.

“My hearing is too precious to risk,” says Margolis, who runs a travel Web site in Lake Mary, Fla. “I paid the change fees and stayed put.”

Not everyone makes the same choice. A recent poll by TripAdvisor suggests 51 percent of air travelers say they’d rather fly while infected with the flu than pay a $150 airline change fee. A similar survey by msnbc.com found nearly 60 percent of travelers would fly infected instead of taking the hit to their pocketbook.
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