Saturday, November 17, 2007

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

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. And tomorrow is the first day of my 55th year, since it will be the 54th anniversary of my birth. For those of you who are looking a bit confused, I started out as a paid tax preparer during the 2nd half of my freshman year in college (age 18) – so I have been doing 1040s professionally for 2/3 of my life!

* Jeremy Vohwinkle of ABOUT.COM: FINANCIAL PLANNING started the week off right with a discussion of the fact that “compound interest is a wonderful thing and the longer your money has to grow, the more it will grow” in his posting “How Much Should I Save for My Childs College Education?”. My only comment is that his use of 11% average annual return may be a bit high to aim for.

* GC of the MY OPTIONS TRADING JOURNAL blog, which I discovered from one of the “widgets” in the right hand margin, provides an excellent discussion of “
What is Sub-Prime Mortgage?
.
* The Silicon Valley Blogger of THE DIGERATI LIFE: A Blog About Money, Personal Finance, Geeks and Cyberspace… Here In Silicon Valley has some interesting suggestions in his post “Force Yourself To Save! 15 Painless Ways To Pay Yourself First”, many of which I agree with. I do take exception to his #14 – “Request for higher income withholding”, for which he actually provides a disclaimer. Rather than having more tax withheld, I would take the additional amount that would have been withheld and have it automatically deposited in a credit union money market account, or some other form of “current” (i.e. non-retirement) saving or investing account that can be directly transferred from your paycheck.
.
* William Perez of
ABOUT.COM: TAX PLANNING reports on a website that is “devoted to understanding and explaining how the federal government raises and spends money” in his post “How the Government Spends Your Tax Dollars”.

* Thursday’s CCH email tax newsletter reported in “
Baucus Plans Estate Tax Fix in '08; Major Overhaul in '09” that “At a November 14 Senate Finance Committee hearing, Republicans and Democrats, in rare agreement, said that the current estate tax situation is a quagmire and needs to be fixed”.
.
* The TAX GIRL discusses the federal free e-file program and the Free File Alliance in her post “Does the E in E-file Mean Excessive?”. Check out my comment on the posting.
.
Kay Bell also puts in her 2 cents on the topic in “Free File Foes Head to Court” over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
.
* Click on “IRS Has $110 Million in Refund Checks Looking for a Home” to see if you are one of the 115,478 taxpayers who are due refund checks totaling about $110 million that were returned to the IRS as undeliverable.
.
* My birthday isn’t the only one being celebrated this week. Kay Bell’s DON’T MESS WITH TAXES blog turned 2 on Wednesday (November 14th). Happy Birthday to DMWT! And Kay, I like your site's new look.

* Every now and then Congress, or at least some of its members, actually does something right. On Thursday Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley introduced legislation to prohibit the Patent and Trademark Office from granting patents for common tax strategies and tax planning inventions.
.
* The Tax Foundation posed “some questions on fiscal policy that we would like to see asked of the candidates” in Friday night’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas” in its post “Questions for Tonight's Democratic Debate” at TAX POLICY BLOG. Here is one that I especially like -
.
“Currently, approximately one-third of all tax returns have no individual income tax liability due to the various credits and deductions in the code. But many of you have proposed various tax credits for certain purposes, whether it's education, health expenditures, or housing. How can you provide these credits to those who have no individual income tax liability unless you make these credits refundable? And if you are making these credits refundable, what is the difference between this and merely increasing spending through some traditional budget program? Shouldn't it come down to whether or not the IRS or some government agency like HHS is more efficient at achieving the goal you are seeking?”
.
Someone will have to let me know if this question was asked and answered.
.
TTFN

2 comments:

The Digerati Life said...

Thanks for mentioning my article in your post. :) Btw, I'm a she, but that's cool.... Most folks think otherwise!

I appreciate the info you provide in your blog. Thank you!

Robert D Flach said...

TDL-

Oops - my bad!

TWTP