Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Another short BUZZ.
* Now here, from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES, is a tax deduction that I have never seen anyone claim in 39 tax seasons – “Tax Deduction for Paying Down U.S. Debt”.

* And, speaking of the Yellow Rose of Taxes, don’t forget to check out Kay’s “Tax Carnival 71: Celebrating June 2010”. I am in this one!

Two entries caught my attention -

“In Defense of the IRS” from THE SUN’S FINANCIAL DIARY gives a personal example of how the IRS will actually notify you if you made a mistake on your 1040 and they owe you money (instead of the other way around). Of course the NJ Division of Taxation would never do this - they just keep your money and hope you don’t discover the error.

And then there is “Beware of the Refund Anticipation Loan” from THE DIGERATI LIFE. This is always good advice – and bears repeating. The Silicon Valley Blogger tells us that with a RAL “Taxpayers end up losing a big chunk of their money just to get cash a week or two faster than they would with direct deposit.”
You will have to go to Kay's Carnival in order to link to these two items.
* Actually Kay herself follows up the Carnival with a good post on the evils of Refund Anticipation Loans titled "Refund Loans and the Once-a-Year 'Rich'".
Kay tells us that, "RALs are just one way that millions of dollars are being made off of the working poor".
I have been saying for quite some time now that tax preparers should be prohibited from offering RALs.
* Professor Nellen highlights some recent items that deal with Congress hiding program expenditures in the Tax Code in “Increasing Attention on Tax Expenditures (and Interesting, but Good, Irony in HR 4213)” at 21st CENTURY TAXATION.

In discussing one item the Professor correctly points out that “direct government spending which we can see as line items in some government agency's annual budget and spending hidden in the tax system (via tax deductions, credits and exemptions) achieve the same purpose. However, the tax expenditures are hidden. They do not get annual review and can easily grow and do grow.”

* The “great” State of New Jersey usually tops the lists of the highest taxes – property, income, sales, etc - in the country. However, as pointed out in the TAX POLICY BLOG’s “Monday Map: State Gasoline Tax Rates”, New Jersey almost has the lowest gas tax in the country – 14.5 cents per gallon. Only Wyoming at 14 cents and Alaska at 8 cents have a lower gas tax.

However, it is not enough to keep me from my eventual move to Pennsylvania.

FYI, California is the most expensive state at $46.6 cents per gallon, and New York is #2 at 44.6 cents.

* Bill Perez reminds us that “Next Estimated Tax Payments Due June 15th” at WILLIAM’S TAX PLANNING BLOG.

FYI – I will be relaxing in LBI for the next several days. There will be no BUZZ entry this coming Saturday.


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