Tuesday, November 10, 2009


* Bruce, the MISSOURI TAX GUY, begins the week with his newly revived BUZZ-like “Reads From Last Week”.

Check out “The Proven Strategy for Making Extra Money” link. PTMoney says what I have been saying for a long, long time now – identify what you are passionate about, an activity at which you spend a lot of time and for which you spend a lot of money, and turn it into a business. Or, as PT puts it, “Turn a Hobby into a Paying Gig”.

* While Congress almost unanimously extended the First Time Homebuyers Credit, and extended to not so first-time home buyers, Kay Bell reminds us that “the clock is ticking down” on another stimulus-created tax benefit – the “above-the-line” deduction for sales tax paid on a new car – in her post “Road Ending for Auto Deduction” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

The deduction applies to a qualifying vehicle purchased between Feb. 17 and Dec. 31, 2009. When the ball drops on One Time Square on New Year’s Eve this deduction will be history.

Kay does not think that this deduction will be extended like the home buying credit because “doing more for the auto industry has never been popular with the voting public”.

And Kay hits the nail on the head when she tells us just why the home buying credit was extended -

We're no fools here. We know that while some home buyers will benefit, the home builders, real estate agents and their membership groups, implicitly waving big political action committee checks in front of members of Congress, are the big winners.”

* Kay is back with her other blog – EYE ON TAXES – over at Bankrate.com. Her post “Wanted: Truth in Legislation Names” continues to discuss the home buyer credit extension and expansion.

Kay tell us – “What we really need, however, is a bill that would require truth in naming for proposed legislation.”

According to Kay – “If such a rule had been in effect last week, instead of getting the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Bill of 2009 as a new law, we would have watched enactment of the We Want to Keep Critical Re-election PAC Money Flowing Bill of 2009.”

Years ago I wrote a post on naming legislation. I will have to dig it up and re-publish it.

* I was truly disappointed to learn from TAX GIRL Kelly Philips Erb that “Girls Gone Wild Founder Gets Plea Deal”.

Kelly tells us that “Girls Gone Wild” founder, and basic arsehole, Joe Francis “feels he finally got a break when a federal judge okayed a deal that Francis struck with prosecutors. Under the agreement, Francis was credited with 301 days already served and sentenced to one year of probation.”

I was hoping the idiot would get some real jail time and get to play “whose got the soap” in the prison shower. After all, turn about is fair play.

Kelly also tells us that –

After the hearing, he kissed his mother.

Apparently he really does kiss his mother with that mouth

* The Associated Press recently reported that “Corruption Still A Big Problem In NJ”. Constipation, Mr Holmes!

Nearly two-thirds of New Jerseyans believe there is "a lot" of political corruption in the state, according to a new poll.

The Rutgers-Eagleton survey also found 54 percent of respondents believe the Garden State is more corrupt than other states
.” (highlight is mine)

I expect the other 46% either directly or indirectly benefit from the rampant corruption.

Why do you think NJ has the highest taxes in the nation and is almost bankrupt? Legal and illegal corruption!

What is legal corruption – retiring Superintendents of Schools in NJ getting $700,000+ severance packages, mostly because they are paid for every single sick day they never took over the life of their employment with the school system. Apparently school superintendents are never sick – they just choose to “work at home” on certain days.

Sick pay is NOT an entitlement – it is an accommodation. It exists so that employees who are truly sick can stay home without penalty and not have to come in to work (so they will not lose pay) and infect other employees.

What is legal corruption – politicians, and their family members, with two and three (or more) show and no-show paid elected and/or appointed positions who double and triple dip into the benefits pool.

Nobody should have more than two paid political positions and nobody should be allowed to receive more than one set of pension and health benefits.

What is legal corruption – politicians giving the teachers and other government employee unions the moon in return for guaranteed support and votes. Why do you think Christie won by such a small margin?

* Joe Kristan comments on the Forbes column “"Ten Ways To Audit Proof Your Tax Return" which I mentioned in last Saturday’s BUZZ in his post “Can You 'Audit Proof' a Return?” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.

Here is what Joe has to say about “audit-proofing” (highlight is mine) -

If you really want to avoid an audit, you can do so by having all of your income on 1099s and W-2s and accurately reporting them. That means you can't run or own a business -- not a great tradeoff for the entrepreneur. Rather than worrying about being audited, it's far better to keep good records, hire a good tax pro, and do the returns correctly. Then you don't have to lose sleep over being audited.”

* New tax blogger Dana Andrews (no, not that Dana Andrews - he went to his final audit in the 1990s), an Enrolled Agent who writes the TAX GEEK blog, once again proves that bloggers love lists with his post “10 Tips for Hiring a Tax Representative”. Dana is not talking about selecting a tax professional to prepare your tax return, but “hiring someone to represent you before the IRS” if you are faced with tax problems.

I pretty much agree with the tips on his list, especially these two items -

5. Don’t hire someone whose advertisements or promotional materials offer ‘pennies on the dollar’ IRS settlements - This is a scam.

These unscrupulous con men are telling you they can do something that they know you wish they could do. In other words, these individuals are trying to manipulate you by telling you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. It is preposterous that any honest tax professional would or could tell you what she could do for you without first analyzing your case.

6. Don’t hire anyone who sends you an unsolicited letter in the mail after you’ve been served with an IRS lien - These people scour the newspapers and public records looking for anyone who has had a tax lien filed against them. Then they send mass mailings to them offering – you guess it – ‘pennies on the dollar’ settlements


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