Saturday, June 19, 2010


Sorry to be late in getting today’s BUZZ up. My internet connection went down on Thursday. I was finally able to trace the problem to a faulty connection that involved my Vonage phone box. I switched wires this morning and was able to get online, although my phone is still out (no loss). I may have missed some good items – but will include any I come across in next Wednesday’s edition.

* Nothing from me at MAINSTREET.COM this week, but you might enjoy an article there that discusses an online tool to “Calculate The Cost of Your Child”.

The article tells us that “a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that it costs $222,360 to raise a child”!

It costs a lot less to raise a cat – and raising a cat generates much less agita than raising a child.

* The Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG reports on some interesting statistics from a Joint Committee on Taxation report in “Millions Pay No Income or Payroll Taxes Thanks to Refundable Credits”. The highlights below are mine -

In a May 28, 2010 letter to Representative Dave Camp and Senator Kent Conrad, JCT reports that between 2000 and 2006 the number of returns with refundable credits in excess of the employee's share of payroll taxes increased from 11.8 million to 16.1 million. In 2009 and 2010, those figures jumped to 23 million because of such things as the making work pay credit and the lowering of the income threshold for determining the refundable portion of the child credit to $3,000.

JCT projects that the number of returns with refundable credits exceeding the employee's share of payroll taxes will hover between 14 million and 15 million for the next ten years

* The WPIX morning news show led me to SEE THROUGH NY – “A Window on Your Money”.

This site gives “New Yorkers a clearer view of how their state and local tax dollars are spent. This site is sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, part of the non-partisan and non-profit Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.” The information comes from official government sources.

You can look up the salary paid to any employee in any state or local position in New York, as well as other expenditures and a special category called “Legislative Pork Barrel Member Items".

If you want to know why your property taxes as a NYS resident are so high look up the salary of your local Superintendent of Schools. The news item on WPIX showed two examples where a local Superintendent of Schools was earning more than $400,000 in salary!

I wish there were a similar site for the State of New Jersey.

* PORTFOLIO.COM tells us in “The Few, the Proud, the Tax-Free” that “The House has voted to eliminate capital gains taxes on investments in small businesses through the end of next year.”

The tax break, part of The Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010 (H.R. 5486), only applies to investments in C corporations acquired after August 10, 1993 by a taxpayer other than a corporation, at its original issue, for money, for property other than stock, or as compensation for services other than underwriting. The stock must be held for at least 5 years. Both before and immediately after the issue date, a qualified small business corporation's aggregate gross assets cannot exceed $50 million. The maximum gain eligible for exclusion in any one year is $10 million less any gains excluded in previous years, and is further limited to a gain that is not more than 10 times the adjusted basis of the stock. Other restrictions apply.

* The extenders bill still has not passed the Senate. Kay Bell keeps us up to date on the latest “story arc” of AS THE CONGRESS TURNS in “Tax Extenders Senate Saga Continues” and “Today's Episode of Tax Extenders Folly” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

* Bruce, the MISSOURI TAX GUY, comments on the new registration, testing and continuing education requirements for tax preparers in “Get This Fixed. . .”.

Now maybe I am getting this all wrong but when we say, 'all return preparers' let’s mean all of us. CPA’s, Lawyers, EA’s and the soon to be “enrolled” and registered preparers. That would be all.”

Right on, my brother!

* Kelly Phillips Erb wonders “Do Celebs Influence Tax Policy?” at WALLETPOP. The item references the idiot known as Snookie from the steaming pile of excrement titled THE JERSEY SHORE.

I have the greatest respect for the intelligence, wit and ability of women, especially my fellow tax-bloggers of the opposite sex. You won’t catch me telling a blonde joke. However, sad as it is to say, Snookie, those allegedly “real” housewives, and any of the other females (they are too immature to be called women, and no one would ever mistake them for ladies) that populate the reality tv shows of MTV, VH1, E! and just about every other network are truly only good for one thing. And I would have to be very, very drunk to even think about it. I certainly hope nobody listens to, let alone gives any thought or weight to, the blabberings of these cafones on any topic.


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