If I may be allowed to begin this installment of the BUZZ with some editorializing,
The tax blogosphere has been a-BUZZ the past few days with postings on the idiots in Congress still arguing over BO’s compromise tax package. The problem appears to be with House Democrats who feel that the new Estate Tax exemption and rate is too generous. Quick answer and easy fix – return the federal estate tax to what it was for 2009 for the same two years as the rest of the “Bush” tax cut extension.
If you are interested you can check out the blogs of Kay, Kelly, Joe K and A, Russ, and others for the specific details of the fight.
The main problem with the idiots fighting over this package now is that they have known about the expiration of the various tax provisions since January 1 of this year. For heaven’s sake - the cafones have know about the expiration since January 1 of 2001! At this point there is no time for politics as usual – just pass the damned package and start the debate up again in January of 2011.
Are all of the items in the compromise good for the country. Perhaps not. Jim Maule deals with each of them in his post “Why the Tax Compromise is a Mistake” and does make some good points. But that is not the issue now. It is December 10th, and Congress will adjourn for the year very soon. The time for debate on this issue was January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2009. As has become a custom, the cafones in Washington have waited to literally the last minute to do anything. If they do not pass the extenders every single American will face a tax increase in 2011. And even if Congress does take some action early in 2011 it will cause the IRS tons of problems, as discussed in Commissioner Shulman’s letter to Congress.
By sitting on their fat arses for this long Congress has given up the right to appear to all of a sudden be concerned about the effects of extensions.
* Need another reason why our elected officials in Washington are self-absorbed idiots with minimal concern, if any, for the American people? In “Outrage Among Staten Island First Responders, Elected Officials Over Defeat of 9/11 'Zadroga Bill'” at STATEN ISLAND LIVE we are told that “the $7.4 billion Zadroga bill failed to advance by a vote of 57-42, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed under Senate rules”.
The bill would “provide $3.2 billion to track and treat illnesses among Ground Zero workers and another $4.2 billion to reopen a victim-compensation fund for those who have become ill or died”.
Why did the bill fail?
“Senate Republicans stalled the bill, saying they wouldn't move on it until a separate tax-cut package negotiated by President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans is passed.”
* Have you been following Kay Bell’s “Year-End Money Moves” series over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES? She starts off “with everybody's favorite topic, taxes”.
* In all my years in “the business” I have never seen a federal income tax issue portrayed correctly on an episode of a tv show, or in a movie. Kay Bell tells us that the same holds true for the federal estate tax in her post “Estate Tax Plot on ‘Raising Hope'”.
TV shows hire military and police advisers, why not a tax advisor. I am available. Or at least have the writers run the idea pass their own tax professional.
* I like Joe Kristan’s post “I Only Lie to the IRS and My CPA, Not to You!” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG, which tells one example of a too often true story.
* Bruce, MISSOURI’s TAX GUY, provide an overview of the convoluted health care “reform” bill in his post “Who Benefits from Health Care Reform?".
Bruce correctly points out that -
“The majority of Americans without health insurance are the owners or employees of small businesses. For many of these individuals, health insurance has been unaffordable for themselves, their families, and their employees.”
Unfortunately the idiots in Congress (this BUZZ seems to have developed a theme) are not aware of this fact – as, while they allow a tax credit for health insurance provided for employees of small business enterprises for 2010, they do not provide a credit for the business owner! We one-person business operations have to wait a few years until the Health Insurance Exchanges kick-in.
* Tonya Moreno talks about the ways state taxes would be affected – both plus and minus – if the idiots in Congress do not extend the “Bush” tax cuts and we are all faced with a large tax increase in 2011 in her post “Expiration of Bush-Era Tax Cuts Could Increase State Taxes as Well” at ABOUT.COM TAX PLANNING: US.
* Megan Hughes asks the question “Are You Ready For the Big Payroll Tax Deposit Change?” at DIANE KENNEDY’S US TAX AID blog.
“ . .starting on January 1st, I was no longer able to make manual payroll tax deposits at my bank … or anywhere else for that matter. The IRS has discontinued this service.”
Business now must make their tax deposits via the EFTPS system, either online or by telephone.
This change has been known for a while now – and should not be a surprise to small business owners. I have already registered all my payroll clients (the few that remain) and my own company online at www.eftps.com, and have actually been using the online system for one client for most of 2010 already. I had previously used the telephone EFTPS payment regime for two companies for decades.
It is easy to enroll in EFTPS online, and the online system is easy to use.
Individual taxpayers can also use the online EFTPS system. It is a good way to schedule all of your quarterly estimated tax payments in advance so you do not miss a payment.
I am not against e-filing personal and business returns and payments as long as the government provides a free and easy way to do so online. Unfortunately I cannot comply with the new federal efile mandate for 1040s because the government forces me to purchase unnecessary (for my individual practice), flawed and expensive tax software to be able to efile.