* Gina of GINA’S TAX ARTICLES brings up a topic I haven’t heard discussed in many years in “Income from Barter”. As she points out, if you trade your professional services for compensation other than cash you must report the “value” of what you have received as part of your self-employment income. For example if I prepared a 1040 for a dentist and instead of giving me a check he gave me a free check-up we would both have to include in our taxable incomes for the year the value of the services provided. Of course, I could deduct the value of the dental check-up as a medical expense and he could claim the value of the tax return preparation as a miscellaneous deduction.
* Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATES BLOG recounts a horror story from a truly last-minute filer in “The Case for Electronic Filing, Illustrated” – with a Post Office manager “going postal”. While I have never been to the Post Office late on August 15th or October 15th, my experiences making an 11:30 pm run to the Main Post Office in Jersey City on April 15th in the “good old days” (now truly a thing of the past) have always been pleasant. There were extra personnel in the lobby to guide late-filers to special boxes set up for specific mailing addresses (i.e. one for 1040 refunds and one for 1040 balances dues and similarly ones for each of the three New Jersey addresses – balance due, no balance due and rebate only – and Harrisburg, New York for IT-203s). There were no long lines. The NYC main PO makes an event out of April 15th filing each year – with free snacks and various forms of entertainment.
FYI, I discuss my old April 15th experiences in a “comment” on Trish McIntyre’s posting “Oct. 15th is the new April 15th” at her OUR TAXING TIMES blog. What I forgot to include in my comment was that in those “good old days” there was no August 15th or October 15th for us. We never filed extensions. The tax season was truly over at midnight on April 15th! I wish it could be true again.
In his post Joe uses the story to encourage alternative methods for getting your return to the IRS, such as e-filing and authorized private delivery services. My response to this horror story is different – don’t wait until literally the last minute to get your 1040 in the mail! While I agree that it was, as Joe puts it, “a disgraceful performance by the Postal Service”, if the taxpayer in the tale was inconvenienced it was certainly his own fault.
BTW, Joe – hope you are felling better!
* The current AARP email newsletter introduced me to the Angels Gate animal hospice in Fort Salonga, NY. Angel’s Gate is a place where animals that have no place to go because of their special needs are cared for, wanted and loved. It takes in animals relinquished by their human companions or by other shelters because of medical reasons. In 2000 Angel's Gate became a wildlife rehabilitation center as well. This is certainly a charity that deserves our support. You can send a tax-deductible contribution or you can support the organization via its “Shopping Mall”, where every purchase returns a generous percentage to the charity.