* It seems the TAX GUY is on a roll. In his next post, on Wednesday, Bruce provides “A Little Straight Talk” on the economic “stimulus” election year bribe and what should be done with this money.
* I love the British! Russ Fox of TAXABLE TALK tells us that the official charge for 13 individuals arrested for working at a brothel in Sheffield, England was "...suspicion of conspiracy to live off immoral earnings" in his post “Bozos and Brothels”.
* Russ has also “turned me on to” a website by George Washington University Law Professor Jon Siegel titled “Income Tax: Voluntary or Mandatory?”. According to Siegel, “As a small public service, this page explains the error in some popular tax protestor theories”.
* Michael Rozbruch brings us news that professional headline-grabber Rev. Al Sharpton (sort of the black Donald Trump) “is facing financial woes again” in the post “Rev. Al Sharpton’s Campaign Finance Audit Results in $500,000 Tax Bill” at the TAX RESOLUTION UNIVERSITY blog.
Michael tells us, “Virtually no effort appears to have been made by Sharpton 2004, the candidate, NAN, or Rev-Als. Production Inc. to keep any sort of detailed records demonstrating what payments paid for which travel,” the report found, noting what it called the campaign’s “nearly complete failure to produce any information on this subject in the course of the audit.”
* Kay Bell tells us that, after throwing an expensive party to celebrate its bail-out by the government, now plans to use our money to “pay out $503 million in deferred compensation to some of its top employees” in her post “AIG's Latest 'In Your Face' Bailout Move” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
To quote Kay’s post –
“The company says it needs to use the bailout funds to keep valuable workers from exiting the troubled insurance giant, according to the Washington Post.
Uh, are they really that valuable if the company found itself needing gazillions of dollars from Uncle Sam? And just who would want to "steal" the folks who help put a company in such straits?”
* As President-Elect Obama considers raising taxes on the “wealthy” AccountantsWorld.com reports that “Top Personal Income Tax Rates Falling Around the World - KPMG Survey”.
The article reports, “Top personal income tax rates around the world have fallen by an average of 2.5% in the past six years, according to a new study from KPMG. Thirty-three of the 87 countries surveyed have cut personal taxes in the last six years while only seven have increased their rates.”
* The “Tax Agenda” reported on President-Elect Obama’s transition website www.change.gov still includes “enabling as many as 40 million middle-class Americans to do their own taxes in less than five minutes without an accountant”. So he is still hanging on to the ridiculous idea of sending “post-card” tax returns to low income taxpayers with their tax liability pre-figured so that all they have to do is sign and send, with check if a balance due. This is the absolute worst of all the tax proposals on either side. Check out my post “A Very Bad Idea” from October of 2007 to see why.
BTW, this site no longer provides the opportunity for individuals to submit suggestions and comments on the various items of the Agenda. I sent in detailed suggestions on taxation – but have, as of this writing, received no acknowledgement or reply.
* I realize that this has nothing to do with taxes - but the weekly Jersey City Reporter included an article stating “Council Considers Naming Street for Trump”. Apparently the City Council wants to rename a section of a street “Trump Plaza”. If they want to name a street after “the Donald” how about calling it “Arsehole Avenue”?
* I look forward to Dan Meyer’s naming of his annual “Twelve Blogs of Christmas” for 2009 at TICK MARKS. TWTP was one of the 2008 “Twelve”!
* It looks like Ryan Ellis’s excellent TAX INFO BLOG (the blog formerly known as TAX PLAYA) has bitten the dust. I, for one, will miss it.
* The TIP OF THE DAY on my birthday at the Small Business Taxes and Management site provides excellent advice (the highlights are mine) -
“No free lunch--or dinner . . . There's a good chance you may have gotten an invitation to a free dinner or lunch that includes a financial seminar of some sort. You're probably a better candidate for this if you're retired or nearing retirement, own your own business, or have substantial investments. While the lunch (or dinner) may be free, get ready for a high pressure sales pitch. Even if the speaker has great credentials, the talk will almost assuredly be biased. After you've heard the pitch, talk to your tax or investment adviser or your accountant. While not all are scams, enough are that you should be on your guard. And don't be conned into believing that you must act immediately. Very few investments require immediate action, particularly in the current market. And, if the deal was that good they wouldn't have to send out solicitations to a free meal.”
* In his post “What A Nice Way To Be Called ‘Boring’” Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG reports that, according to the something called TYPEALIZER, he is a “Duty Fulfiller”.
According to TYPEALIZER this blog, THE WANERING TAX PRO, falls under the category of The Mechanics - ”The independent and problem-solving type”. Cool!
Mechanics ”enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.” I have never had a desire to join NASCAR, and I certainly would not put myself in the same class as policemen and firefighters, but every tax return filed does come with a degree of risk.
To be honest I also consider myself, like Joe, “happy to be let alone and to be able to work in their own pace”. I, too, know what I have to do and how to do it.
* The TAX DOLLARS AND SENSE blog discusses the IRS “Lock-In Letter” in its post “Can the IRS Require More Taxes From Your Check?”.
The post tells how to avoid the Lock-In Letter - “So keep your withholdings correct, your returns filed and your taxes paid and you won't have to worry about any IRS interventions on your next paycheck”.
* Another good blog list from Roni Deutch – “10 Ways to Prepare Early for the Upcoming Tax Season “.
* And another example of why “W” has been the worst President of the US in at least a hundred years – this one from Howard Gleckman in his post “Data Matter” at the Tax Policy Center’s TAXVOX blog.
Howard points out that during the GWB administration “Studies that reflected poorly on White House initiatives would not be tolerated. So, the predictable bureaucratic response was to not do them at all.”
* Professor Jim Maule shares a letter from a reader, a frustrated tax preparer, and provides his usual excellent response in the post “Apologizing for the Tax Law Efforts of the Congress” at MAULED AGAIN.
Jim’s ending is priceless - ”In other words, they would be asking ‘What were members of Congress thinking’. And the answer is my favorite response to that sort of question, namely, ‘Why do you assume they were thinking?’”
I will have to remember that answer and use it the next time I am asked the question.