Saturday, May 10, 2008


* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, provides a detailed post on the tax aspects of yard and garage sales in her post “Taxes On Garage Sale Proceeds”. I identify with her aversion to “hondling”. Her conclusion to the post is one I came to years ago. When all is said and done having a yard sale is probably not worth the potential agita involved. Donate the items to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and claim a tax deduction.

* Jim Maule discusses some additional costs of George W’s “stimulus” election year bribe in his post “Tax Rebate Program Gets More Expensive” at MAULED AGAIN. Jim agrees with me that “the entire tax rebate gimmick is just that, a gimmick”.

What about the cost to the IRS for processing the millions of “0” liability Form 1040As that have been and will be filed just to qualify for the rebate check. I would expect that at least half will be filed manually. We are told that it costs much more for the IRS to process a “paper” return than it does to process one that is electronically filed.

* Right on, IRS MIND! Your blog post “
Pennies on the Dollar’- I Don't Think So....” took the words right out of my mouth by stating “Nothing irks me more than the 'pennies on the dollar' ads on TV that state that I can get your tax debt lowered. Anyone who provides a "predetermined" conclusion about your personal finances and your tax debt is a fraud.”

The Internal Revenue Service itself has issued a consumer alert advising taxpayers to “beware of promoters’ claims that tax debts can be settled for ‘pennies on the dollar’ through the Offer in Compromise Program”.

* The title of this article by Scott Burns from MSN Money, included in an daily headlines email last week, caught my eye – “The Naked Truth About Income Taxes”. The first paragraph hooked me.

Taxes are unpleasant and unfair. We all know this. And our friends in government work hard to keep it that way.”

The article discussed some of the findings in the IRS report "
Individual Income Tax Rates and Shares, 2005". It includes some surprising facts, including the following-

In 1986, Americans filed 103 million federal income-tax returns. Of those, 84 million filers had to pay taxes. That's about 81.5% of all returns. By the time Clinton took office, the percentage of filers paying taxes had declined to around 75%. During the Bush years, the percentage of filers who paid taxes has continued to decline. It fell to about 67.4% in 2005.”

* Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG quotes some excellent words to live by when making tax policy by Megan McArdle of The Go to his post and click on his link to read the entire article.

* It seems that perennial headline chaser and publicity seeker Rev Al Sharpton joins the list of “celebrities” who owe their “uncles” substantial back taxes. According to an article on the home page of -

Government records obtained by The Associated Press indicate that Sharpton and his business entities owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and penalties.

Sharpton's own debts include $365,558 owed in New York City income tax
and $931,397 in unpaid federal income tax, according to a lien filed by the Internal Revenue Service last spring. His for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, owes the state another $175,962 in delinquent taxes.

Tax headaches are nothing new for Sharpton. The 53-year-old minister has been assailed over his career for running up big tax debts
and failing to abide by rules governing his charities and election committees. He is perpetually being sued for failing to pay his bills.”


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