Saturday, January 19, 2008


* Just as I feared, George W wants to send out rebate checks, as per the CCH article “Bush Seeks Agreement with Congress on Stimulus Package as Early as Mid-February” – and Congress is apparently in agreement. I heard elsewhere that he wants to send out checks of $800.00 per person (double for couples) this time. Oi vey!
Politicians like rebate checks, especially in an election year, because when you get a check you think the government has actually given you something, and the politicians who voted for the check will continuously remind you that they gave it to you.
In the early days of the NJ homestead rebate the checks would come out around November 1st, so recipients would think “look what I got from Brendon Bryne (the then Democratic governor)” and run out and vote Democrat on Election Day.
* TAX GURU Kerry M. Kerstetter and Joe Kristan from the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG report that PayPal, the electronic remittance services, is complying with IRS summonses for customer records.
* Ryan Ellis of the TAX INFO BLOG has “turned me on” to a good “rollover chart” created by McKay Hochman Co that outlines the rollover rules (from one pension plan to another) after the Pension Protection Act of 2008.

* TAX PROF Paul Caron quotes from the Wall Street Journal's “Washington Wire” to report that, if elected, Republican presidential candidate John McCain would create a tax reform commission headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. The WSJ quotes McCain as saying, “We need a fairer, flatter tax”.

* Gina of GINA’S TAX ARTICLES gets on her soapbox and provides some excellent, dead on commentary on sacrificing your retirement savings to pay for your kids’ college education in her post “
Roth IRA for College Savings”. As I said in my comment – “Right on, sister!”

* Chuck McCabe at the TAX INDUSTRY TALK blog reports that the day after the IRS suggested that it may prevent tax preparers from providing RALs and similar products such as RACs and Audit Insurance to taxpayers, “Jackson Hewitt’s stock price dropped by more than 23 percent and Block’s stock dropped by nearly 5%.” Good for them!

* Tax law professor Linda Beale of A TAXING MATTER joins me in speaking out against the IRS use of private collection agencies in an excellent commentary on the program in light of the recent report by the National Taxpayer Advocate in her post “National Taxpayer Advocate: 2007 Annual Report to Congress 4”.

I do not always agree with Linda’s opinions on tax policy issues, but in this case we are both on the same page.

* At TAX VOX, the Tax Policy Center blog, Ben Harris discusses, and I disagree with and comment on, “A Simple Tax Reform”.

* It wouldn’t be a complete BUZZ without something from the yellow rose of taxes, Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES. She reports that “
Uh oh! Audits Are Up”!

Over at
THE FLACH REPORT, my blog for the self-employed, I discussed deducting the business use of your car, a possible home office “standard deduction”, and some New Jersey issues.

And later today at
ANYTHING BUT TAXES I will be posting about a new source of free online episodes of past and present classic and cult television shows – for when there is nothing to watch on cable!


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