Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ –

* TAXGIRL Kelly Phillips Erb provides a good overview of quarterly estimated taxes in her post “Ask the taxgirl: Estimated Payments”.
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While the 4th quarter estimated payment is not due until January of the following year (Jan 2010 for tax year 2009) I advise my clients who are making state estimated tax payments and who will be able to itemize to make the 4th quarter payment in December (Dec 2009 for tax year 2009) in order to get the additional deduction on the current return – unless, of course, they will be a victim of the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
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* Bruce the taxguy decided to pass on his weekly BUZZ-like “Passing the Week” post this Sunday and instead went for an interesting change of pace by addressing his comments to current Accounting students.
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Dear Student of Accounting”, which turns autobiographical at the end, was “inspired” by Monica Lawver’s post “Accountant’s Got Talent” at her CONFESSIONS OF A CPA blog.
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* Bruce continues in a non-tax vein with his Monday post, a very interesting and informative discussion on “History/Origin of Piggy Banks”.
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* I discovered a new (to me) tax blog titled BED BUFFALOES IN YOUR TAX CODE which is written by Mary O'Keeffe (she refers to trickier parts of learning tax law as “Bed Buffaloes”), a professor at Union College in Schenectady County. New York who is involved with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).
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She has joined the debate on the regulation of unenrolled preparers in three posts – “The Debate on Regulating Preparers” and “How to Regulate Tax Preparers Part I and Part II”. Be sure to read the comments for the first post – an interesting discussion ensues.
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I have added Mary to my list of tax blogs to visit daily.
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* It has been said time and time again – but it bears repeating. This time by Joe Kristan of THE ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG – “When You Get a Notice From a Tax Agency Make Sure it’s From a Tax Agency”.
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And even if you are sure it is a legitimate notice from a true tax agency do not assume it is correct. What Joe says regarding Iowa is also true for NJ – “In fact, it is rare that we see a notice from the Iowa Department of Revenue that is actually correct”.
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Welcome back from vacation, Joe. Glad to have you posting again.
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* A tweet from a fellow twit lead me to this must read for anyone facing foreclosure – “The Tax Implications of Foreclosures”.
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* In the latest IRS Headliner (Volume 271) “IRS Offers Tips on Rental Real Estate Income, Deductions and Recordkeeping” – a very thorough overview of the topic.
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I am considering adopting and expanding on it in a series of blog posts.
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* I would like to welcome a new tax professional to the “tax blogosphere”. Thomas J. Kaminski, a Tax Consultant from Michigan who has been preparing 1040s since 1987, launched THE MTBIKING TAX PRO on Monday to “update my clients on tax changes”, “spout off and post every now and then about tax changes and laws and all that good stuff”, “throw in some tid-bits from my other blogs (which I'll be doing away with soon) about MTBiking, Chess, favorite books, personal secession, etc. all in one place”.
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Tom describes what he does in his practice as “JUST TAXES - no accounting, no bookkeeping, no washing windows, no hair-cuts”.
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I have added Tom to my list of tax blogs to visit daily (except, of course, during tax season) and look forward to Tom’s posts – especially when he “spouts off” about tax changes and laws and all that good stuff.
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* Jeff Rose gives us a good detailed explanation of the “5 Year Rule for Roth IRA Qualified Distributions” over at GOOD FINANCIAL CENTS.
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* Roni Deutch has begun a weekly “Ask the Tax Lady” feature at, where else, THE TAX LADY BLOG, answering questions posed to her on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.
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She answers 4 questions this week. #3 is “When did April 15 become tax day?”. If I may add to her answer –
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When Congress completely revised the Tax Code in 1954, the filing deadline was changed to the current April 15. The IRS said the change was made to "spread out the peak workload". However, others have speculated that, as "Uncle Sam" had become aware of more refunds going to the middle class, extending the deadline gave the government more time to hold on to the money.
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* The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is at it again. This time they have issued a report titled “Inadequate Data on Paid Preparers Impedes Effective Oversight” (2009-40-098).
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The report suggests that the “Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should require paid tax return preparers to use unique identification numbers when filing tax returns on behalf of clients”.
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I thought that the IRS was already doing this with its PTIN registry. But apparently “IRS data on preparers is stored on twenty-two different systems, which are not integrated”.
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As a paid preparer I must sign each return prepared and include by business name, address and EIN as well as my personal identification number. This used to be my Social Security number, but a few years ago the IRS created a PTIN registry to assign ID numbers to tax preparers so we would not have to make our Social Security numbers available to the great unwashed masses.
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* New found blog APRIL15.COM provides another example of why one should never use one of the “so called "store-front" tax preparation services” (you know who we mean) to prepare your 1040 in the post “A Sure Audit!”.
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The cafone who prepared the 2008 return overlooked legitimate deductions while “creating” out of thin air excessive employee business expenses.
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TTFN

3 comments:

TomK said...

Regarding "Inadequate Data on Paid Preparers Impedes Effective Oversight” I think before tackling the issue of licensing tax preparers the IRS ought to clean up their own house first.

TomK said...

@ Robert-

I forgot to say Thank you sir, for the mention of my blog in your post. I appreciate it very much...

Robert D Flach said...

TomK-

Glad to provide the "plug".

I look forward to becoming a regular visitor to your blog.

TWTP