Saturday, September 15, 2007

WHAT’S THE BUZZ – TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’

* GLG of GINA’S TAX ARTICLES starts us off this week with a reminder that “Diabetes Testing Supplies Are Deductible”.

I will go Gina a bit further to state that the cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses, hearing aids, dentures and false teeth, artificial limbs, prosthetic devices, crutches, orthopedic shoes, wheel chairs, elastic stockings, oxygen and oxygen equipment, an air conditioner, humidifier or air cleaner for the benefit of a sick person, special telephone equipment and television close-captioning equipment for the hearing impaired, guide dogs or other animals aiding the blind, deaf and disabled, X-Rays, blood and other diagnostic tests, etc. are deductible. This includes maintenance and upkeep, such as hearing aid batteries and repairs and contact lens solutions.

New Jersey taxpayers can deduct medical expenses on their NJ state income tax return, to the extent that the total exceeds 2% of NJ Gross Income, even if they cannot deduct them on their federal return because they do not itemize, or their total is not more than 7 ½% of their AGI.

I discuss medical expenses in detail in my special report on “Deducting Medical Expenses on your 2007 Form 1040”. A special NJ edition is also available. Click here to find out how to get a copy via email for only $1.00.

* Colorado tax attorney Keith Mitchell provides an extensive listing of tax measures that are currently, or were, being considered by Congress in his posting “
A Smattering of Tax Measure Legislation”. There are some good ideas among the list – especially the repeal of the dreaded AMT, making permanent marriage penalty relief for at least lower-income taxpayers, and suspending the use of private debt collection companies to collect unpaid taxes and prohibiting the use of any IRS funds for tax collection contracts with private companies, and requiring brokerage firms to report the adjusted cost basis of securities held by their clients.
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* The House of Representatives voted 220-175 to pass H.R. 1908, the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (see article), which I mentioned last week. The Act will overhaul patent rules, making it harder for companies to be sued for patent infringement, and bans patents on tax-planning methods and strategies. I join Dan Meyer of TICK MARKS in commending the House for its decision.
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* Kristine McKinley of FINANCIAL TIPS FOR WAHMS (wtf is a wahm?) reminds us that the third quarter federal and state estimated tax payment is due Monday, September 17th in her posting “Don't Forget Your Third Quarter Tax Estimate!”.
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* The September-October 2007 issue of the Tax Foundation’s TAX WATCH, a bimonthly tax policy newsletter presenting the Foundation’s economic research and analysis in a simple, non-technical format, is now available. The issue includes the articles Paying for Public Schools: What's the Cost of Judicial Mandates?, U.S. Corporate Taxes Still Among World's Most Punitive, Fixing AMT without Raising Tax Rates, and Study Finds Income Redistribution between Young, Middle-Age and Elderly.
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* My posting “What’s Good for the Goose is Apparently Not Good for the Gander in New Jersey!” at THE NJ TAX PRACTICE BLOG (my other weblog) gives an example of how NJ taxpayers are screwed. As I point out in the posting, “When the taxpayer errs he/she is penalized. But when the State errs it is not penalized!”
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* It is Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES who updates us on the hybrid car energy credit this week as she points out “if you want a Toyota or Lexus hybrid and a federal tax credit on your 2007 return, you've got to drive one of them off the lot by Sept. 30” in her posting
"Toyota Tax Credit Time is Running Out". And don’t forget (I know I keep mentioning this, but it is important) – you will not get a hybrid car energy credit if you are a victim of the dreaded AMT.

Kay also brought to my attention a blog posting on “10 Fun and Free Websites to Look Up the Value of Your Home (and your neighbor’s home)” from THE DOUGH ROLLER, one of the postings from the “Carnival of Homeowners #12” at HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE LOWDOWN.

* In its posting “New Census Housing Data Shows Where Property Taxes on Homeowners Are Highest” the Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG tells us that 7 of the Top 10 counties in median real estate taxes paid for 2006 are in New Jersey; the other 3 are in New York. Hunterdon County in NJ is #1. Hudson County did not make the Top 10 – it came in at #14 with median taxes of $5,887.00. The Tax Foundation also reports that New Jersey tops the list of Property Taxes on Owner Occupied Housing by State for 2006. Constipation, Mr. Holmes! Tell me something I don't know.

TTFN

2 comments:

Kristine said...

WAHM - work at home mom. I won't ask what WTF means! ;)

Robert D Flach said...

Kristine-

Thanks for the explanation!

That means I am a WAHTP (work at home tax professional).

TWTP