Saturday, July 31, 2010


* New Jersey isn’t the only state to nickel and dime its residents with fees, as Aaron Crowe reports in his article “Unpopular Taxes and Fees Cropping Up Everywhere in the Nickel and Dime Economy” at WALLETPOP.

NJ is represented on Aaron’s list – “In Newark, N.J., city workers will soon have to start bringing their own toilet paper to work because the city isn't buying it anymore”.

* Kelly Phillips Erb, aka the taxgirl, also writes for WALLETPOP, where she provides an excellent review of “Tax Tips for Military Personnel”.

* Monica Lawver once again provides some common sense in her return to blogging at THE TAX CPA. BTW, her post “Dealing With the Gray” has nothing to do with the signs of approaching old age (I have actually been gray for several years now – and I am many years away from age 65).

Monica says -

I grow frustrated with the flawed logic that often appears: that all poor people are poor through no fault of their own, that all rich people are lazy and lucky. Some poor people earned their poverty through bad choices; some rich people really did earn their wealth.”

I agree that for the most part we do indeed “make our own bed”. I would use “many” rather than “some” in the above quote. Most of us are personally responsible for our own financial situation.

* Kay Bell gives us some good news in “Lawmakers Seek Repeal of New 1099 Forms” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

Hey, look. There is a link to a TWTP post on the subject!

Of course if Congress actually read carefully the laws they were voting on in the first place, and thought about the possible resulting consequences and burdens of what they were voting on, they wouldn’t have to go back and fix FUs after the fact. But then that would suggest that Congress really cared about passing competent and effective legislation more than getting re-elected and grabbing whatever they can for their cronies and supporters.

* I was just notified via email that both THE WANDERING TAX PRO and the NEW JERSEY TAX PRACTICE BLOG are included in the list of “101 Top Tax Policy Blogs” at the MASTERS IN ACCOUNTING website.

* IRS employee Richard Panick answers a question I have been asked many times over the years (although usually in reverse – i.e. girlfriend) in his post “Can I Claim My Boyfriend as a Dependent?” at’s TAX Q+A blog.

*Over at Rick Telberg’s CPA TRENDLINES blog Elisabeth Whitlock, Jane Hamer, Susan Holberg, Marilyn Aman and Frank Pavlica identify “The 24 Personalities of Individual Tax Returns (and the Clients behind Them)”.

Rick explains – “One day at the offices of Frank J. Pavlica CPA in Inverness, Ill., it dawned on the folks that tax returns, like clients, have their own personalities. So far, they’ve identified at least 24.”

In my 39 tax seasons I have probably seen them all – some more than others!

BTW, Rick briefly highlighted my tax practice in a CPA TRENDLINES post back in January of 2007 titled “So, Who Said Tax Season Was Supposed To Be Easy?”.

* Paul Caron, the TAX PROF, quotes from an item by Americans for Tax Reform in “ATR: Obama's Broken Tax Pledge”.

The quote identifies how BO has already broken his “firm pledge” that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase” at least eight (8) times.

Were they surprised? Isn’t breaking campaign promises part of the job description of a politician?

* Wisconsin Tax attorney Rob Teuber goes back to Nina Olsen’s recent report to Congress and highlights an issue she has once again raised concerning the collection practices of the IRS in “The Taxpayer Advocate Says That the IRS is Undermining Tax Compliance” at his TAX LAW FORUM blog.

He quotes from the report (the highlight is mine) –

The IRS has failed to utilize the significant collection alternatives available to it to resolve taxpayer debts, thus, leading to increasing accounts receivable on the IRS books, while taxpayers face staggering accruals of penalties and interest that impact their future compliance.”

One of the “collection alternatives” that should be considered is a Federal Tax Amnesty program.

* MISSOURI TAX GUY Bruce addresses a special “industry” with “Tax for Truckers”. Some of his advice applies to all “industries” and some are specific to trucking.

Over the years I have done a few over-the-road truck drivers – although I certainly do not specialize in truckers. Bruce provides some good information. I do a great many police officers and fire fighters.

The post points out the fact that each individual “industry” or “profession” has deductions that are unique – and that one should seek out a tax professional who is experienced with his/her particular industry or profession.

* Although this has nothing to do with taxes – you can vote for your personal favorite among “The 25 Greatest Fictional Lawyers (Who Are Not Atticus Finch)” from film, television and literature at the ABA JOURNAL.

It appears that Vinny Gambino of MY COUSIN VINNY is the most popular on the lost – with 21% of those voting. LAW AND ORDER’s Jack McCoy is 2nd with 15%. My vote, Perry Mason, was surprisingly only the favorite of 6% of voters. PM was beaten out by Horace Rumpole with 8%.

The list misses some great fictional attorneys – hence the follow-up "Other Notable Characters That Did Not Fit Into Our Top 25”. Hey, where is Judd of JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE (played by former Donna Reed tv husband Carl Betz) or the jailhouse lawyer played by Ron Liebman in KAZ?

* I will end on some good non-tax news. THEMEDGURU.COM reports that “A rather bizarre study carried out by German researchers suggests that staring at women's breasts is good for men's health and increases their life expectancy”. I should live to be 100! Check out “Stare at Boobs for Longer Life: Study”.


1 comment:

Monica said...

Thanks for the kind words! I agree completely with your replacement of "some" with "many." Accountability isn't just a corporate buzz word.