As a somewhat obsessive-compulsive (or is that anal-retentive) accountant (I confess that I at times combine the qualities of both Felix and Oscar) I have been tracking my daily expenses for quite a while now. I know exactly to the penny what I spend on what each year.
* Bruce the TAX GUY started the week off with a listing of “Items to Bring to Your Individual Tax Preparation Appointment”.
While it is still a long way off to tax time - unless you waited to literally the last minute and need to get to your tax preparer ASAP so you can file by the October 15th extended deadline (if so – shame on you) – this post provides a good idea of what information you should be saving.
* Bruce ended the week by introducing an ambitious series of guest posts on the topic “Mistakes Made When Choosing A Paid Tax Preparer”. As Bruce rightfully puts it, “CHOOSING THE RIGHT TAX PROFESSIONAL IS A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION!"
Among the guest posters will be fellow tax-bloggers, myself included. Bruce begins with an introduction and a reference to his post on “Choosing a Tax Preparer” – and the series begins on Monday.
* Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG also writes regularly for the IOWA BIZ blog. His post there “Home is Where the Job Is” gives an interesting point of view on Sarah Palin’s recently uncovered “alleged” tax FU.
* And at the ROTH ETC blog Joe reports on an interesting, albeit illegal, scheme used by a California CPA to have his clients, and himself, avoid self-employment tax in “Tax Man, Heal Thyself”.
* Thanks to Russ Fox of TAXABLE TALK for the kind words in “Another Tax Blog”, and for including me in his “blogroll”. Check out Russ’s blog when you get a chance.
* Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES keeps us up-to-date on the energy tax bills, which include an extension of the 1040 energy tax credits, here and here. Now if only Congress would extend the AMT patch.
* The NATP weekly email newsletter reports “The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of a new website to help small business employers determine whether to offer health savings accounts (HSAs) to their workers. The new website compares HSAs to other health care coverage options and provides general information to help employers and individuals determine whether to enroll in HSA-eligible coverage.”
* Pete Pappas of THE TAX LAWYER’S BLOG brings our attention to another’s blog posting on “Seven Profiles of Tax Cheats” in his post “Bird Flippers More Likely to Cheat on Taxes”. What do you think of the suggestion in my comment?
I found another interesting “profile” of tax cheats in the referred to post – it appears “Educated Women Tend to Cheat More”. Kelly, Gina and Kay (intelligent women all) – what do you think!
* Hey look – a trio of alleged “tax preparers” from Jersey City have made the news – “Three Members of Jersey City Family Sentenced for Their Roles in a $573,000 Bogus Homestead Rebate Applications Scam”.
* It seems that Congress finally listened to me and took up the “extenders”. However there seems to be a problem – and a possible veto from Dubya.
I first received an email from Beanna Whitlock, ED of NSTP, which included a 9/16 press release that began – “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today announced an agreement with the Senate's Democratic and Republican leadership to move legislation accomplishing the Finance panel's remaining major objectives for the year: passage of clean energy tax incentives, the protection of millions of Americans from the alternative minimum tax (AMT), and extensions of expiring family and business tax cuts.” The release stated that is was hoped the extenders could be passed by the end of week.
However, Friday’s CCH daily tax email newsletter included the item “Tax Extenders Face Veto; White House Resists ‘Depression’ Label”. The item states, “As the Senate on September 18 remained deadlocked on a motion to proceed to an approximately $150- billion tax extenders bill, a White House spokesman said that President Bush would veto tax extenders legislation that is funded by tax increases.”
* Beanna also emailed an article from the New York Daily News on “a different type of amnesty program for tax cheats” – the New York State Voluntary Disclosure and Compliance Program.
* From the “Always Leave Them Laughing” department - TAX GURU Kerry Kerstetter always seems to find a good political cartoon or comic strip. Check out this one and see if you can “Spot The Economic ‘Expert’”. Funny – but also sadly true!