Sunday, January 4, 2009


Here are some BUZZ items that either I missed or came out too late to be included in yesterday’s regular weekly edition -

* Peter Pappas tells us that the best advice a tax pro can give a client in labor during the last hours of the year is “PUSH!” in his post “Great Tax Planning Advice: ‘Push!’” at THE TAX LAWYER’S BLOG.

I pity the poor parents whose children greeted the world in the first seconds of 2009 – look at how much money they lost!

This post shows that you should not only consult your tax pro regarding specific tax issues - but with life issues as well (i.e. when to marry, when to have kids)!

* Howard Gleckman announces “TaxVox’s Lump of Coal Award: The Ten Worst Ideas of 2008” at the Tax Policy Center’s blog.

I do agree with most, especially #6 (“Patching, but not fixing, the AMT”) and #7 (“The TARP. A $750 billion blank check”). I also agree that “Fred Thompson’s plan to allow people to pick their own tax system” is a bad idea. My complaint is about the ability to choose – I thought the alternative tax system that one could chose “instead of” the current mucking fess was worth looking into as a “stand alone” tax system.

My pick for the worst tax idea of 2008 would probably be Obama’s proposal to direct the IRS to send pre-filled tax forms to 40 million workers who take the standard deduction and have a bank account with the income and tax liability already calculated; recipients would simply have to sign and return it with any pre-calculated tax due. I am not being selfish – this idea is bad for all parties involved, including the government. Check out my reasons at “A Very Bad Idea”.

* Speaking of the worst ideas of 2008, Dan Meyer at TICK MARKS tells us that banks beneficiaries of the bail out either cannot or will not answer the question “Where Da Tax Bailout Dollars Go?". Check out the various responses to the question from different banks.

As Dan points out, “the old adage of ‘haste makes waste’ was proved again”. Or, as I like to put it, another example of Congress reacting instead of responding to an issue.

* TAX PROF Paul Caron tells us that Chuck Rangel is in trouble again in his post “Rangel Sought $10 Million Contribution From AIG, Then Approved Subpart F Exception Benefiting AIG”. The post title tells it all.

* Russ Fox provides us with a good example of how the IRS is diligent in collecting outstanding balances in his post “Do I Owe 5¢ Or Am I Owed 4¢?” at TAXABLE TALK. Apparently no balance due is too small for the IRS to chase – every nickel counts!

* Jim of BLUEPRINT FOR FINANCIAL PROSPERITY calls our attention to “Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan: Economic Recovery Plan Details”, which were discussed in a radio address yesterday. The plan includes – “and provide tax breaks to American workers”. You can watch the 4-minute address or download a text copy at Jim’s post.


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