* Thanks to Joe of CAFETAX for including my post on “How I Got My Clients” in his BUZZ-like “Extender Update & The Around the Web”.
* While I was relaxing in Beach Haven MAINSTREET.COM published my article “Tax Tip: Deduct Your Pet”.
* Professor Mary O'Keeffe provides a great example of why the Registration and Licensure of all tax preparers is a good thing, and why tax preparers should be forbidden from offering Refund Anticipation Loans, in her post “Daddy's Money Pawn Shop Is a ‘Full-Service’ Operation--They'll Do Your Taxes Too” at BED BUFFALOES IN YOUR TAX CODE.
According to the source material for the post “Daddy” “typically takes him less than 30 minutes” to prepare each tax return. Need I say more?
* TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb, writing at WALLETPOP, suggests “5 Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Huge Tax Hikes in 2011”.
“Thing” #2 concerns converting from a traditional IRA to a ROTH in 2010 –
“Taxpayers can opt to pay federal income tax associated with the conversion over two years, but that might not be the best idea if rates are going up. Paying up in 2010 likely means a lower tax rate. And if rates continue to go up, you can breathe a sigh of relief, since future distributions from a Roth IRA will be paid out income tax free.”
I have decided not to do what she suggests in her last “thing”.
* The last person I would listen to on anything – period - let along the subject of taxes is Snookie, the self-absorbed brain dead idiot who appears on THE JERSEY SHORE, a program that is an insult to the State of NJ (I do believe the arsehole is not even from NJ).
Kay Bell tells us that politics, and taxes, does indeed make strange bedfellows in “Snooki, McCain and IRS Talk Tanning Tax” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
The next thing you know similarly self-absorbed Kate will be speaking out on the Child Care Credit. Whoever is providing child care to the “eight” has got to be better at parenting than their mother!
* Kay also tells us that the check will not be in the mail in her post “Direct Deposit to Replace U.S. Checks”.
“If you have a bank account, the your federal benefits such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, veterans benefits and railroad retirement will go there.
If you don't have an account at a financial institution, Uncle Sam will issue your benefits via plastic using the the Treasury Department's Direct Express Debit MasterCard program.”
When will this begin? “The new electronic payment rule will, for the most part, take effect in March 2011”.
Kay says this new rule will not initially apply to federal income tax refunds – although we expect it will be eventually.
* A tweet led me indirectly to “Choices For Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job” at FREE FROM BROKE (“A Personal Finance Blog for Regular Folks”). It lists the pros and cons of the various options available in such a situation.
Whatever you do you should not “cash out”.
* Daniel Stoica has been running a series of informative posts on the taxation of “aliens” and foreigners in his unnamed blog, beginning with “Classification of Taxpayers for U.S. Tax Purposes”.
* Russ Fox wonders how the new electronic filing requirement for tax preparers, which begins with the filing of 2010 returns in 2011 (I thought I had heard from NATP that this was being pushed ahead one year?), will affect my practice in his post “Mandatory IRS eFiling Is Coming” at TAXABLE TALK.
“What’s unknown today is what impact this will have on older tax professionals. Most of the member of OCEA use software–even those preparing just a few returns a year–but there are a few individuals who don’t. Like Robert Flach they’ve never used software and see no reason to start today. I doubt the IRS is going to make a free e-file system available, so this could cause some preparers to either retire or drastically change their methodology.”
Thanks for your concern, Russ. I do not intend to retire or to drastically change my methodology. I also have no intention of spending one penny on flawed tax preparation software. If, as you suggest, the IRS will not make a free e-file system, similar to NJWebFile, available, I will just request all my clients to sign an OPT-OUT form.
If the OPT-OUT form requires a reason I will have them simply state – “The IRS does not provide a free way for my tax preparer to directly submit returns online at its website. I do not want to increase my preparer’s expenses, and ultimately my fee, by forcing him to purchase flawed tax preparation software.”
* MISSOURI TAX GUY Bruce also touches on this topic in “Electronic Filing Mandate”.
It is good to have Bruce back among the blogging.
* DOWN THE SHORE WITH JEN’s Jen Miller “turned me on to” a new website that proclaims Jersey Doesn’t Stink.
New Jersey’s politics, greedy politicians, high taxes, and obstacles for small business really do stink. And it goes without saying that excrement like THE JERSEY SHORE and JERSEYLICOUS truly stink. But the State itself does not – and has much to offer (if you can afford to stay here).
* Professor Jim Maule continues to fight the good fight with his post “Tax Credits on Parade” at MAULED AGAIN.
The Professor also speaks for me when he says -
“One of my objections to the use of credits is the fact that almost all of them have nothing to do with revenue and much to do with shifting to the IRS programs that should be, but for some reason are not, administered by other federal agencies. Another objection is the creation of more opportunities for mischief. As I noted in Congress and Tax Audits: Criticizing Others for Its Own Mess, ‘Each time the geniuses in the Congress adds another credit or deduction to appease some special interest group or to reward some constituency, it adds another opportunity for tax cheats, con artists, and tax shelter designers, who are not the intended beneficiaries of this legislative largess, to siphon tax revenue from the system’.”