Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Welcome to the first BUZZ of 2011!

* On New Year’s Eve Russ Fox announced the “2010 Tax Offender of the Year” at TAXABLE TALK.

Wesley Snipes came in at #3. For my money the #2 offender was the #1 offender (highlights are mine) –

Coming in second for the second straight year was the 111th Congress. I’m trying to think of something they did right, but I’m having trouble doing so. Yes, they passed an AMT patch, and yes, they finally addressed the Bush Tax Cuts, but there was no need to wait until December and cause at least one-third of individuals to be unable to file their tax returns until late February. As for the negative actions of the 111th, they are so numerous that I’m convinced this Congress will go down in history as one of the worst ever.”

I do find it appropriate calling the idiots in Congress number two.

Want to know who was the biggest bozo tax offender of 2010? You will have to read Russ’ post.

* Let us sincerely hope that Howard Gleckman is wrong when he writes “Tax Reform Won’t Happen in 2011 (or 2012)” at TAX VOX.

Howard himself says – “I dearly hope I’m wrong”.

Let us do whatever it takes to get the idiots in Congress off their arses and seriously working for substantial tax reform in 2011.

* The TAX POLICY BLOG reminds us of the few provisions of BO’s health care “reform” bill that will take effect in 2011 in “Health Care Tax Changes Starting in 2011”.

The most important item –

HSAs, Archer MSAs, FSAs, and health reimbursement will no longer cover over-the-counter drugs. These accounts must conform to the definition of the itemized deduction for medical expenses (excluding over-the-counter medicines prescribed by a physician).”

* Kay Bell tells it like it is in “Volunteering is Laudable, But It’s Not Tax Deductible” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

* Kay started the year off with “Tax Carnival #78: Happy Tax New Year!”. I have got to be more attentive – I missed being in it again.

Be sure to check out the entry “Energy Tax Credit 2011 – Not What It Used to Be” from DARWIN’S MONEY. I like what Darwin said in his comments on the revised credit (highlight is mine) -

The credit, as it is constructed now, is utterly stupid, like most things Congress has been enacting.”

* MISSOURI TAXGUY Bruce starts the year off with some good New Year’s resolutions for all of us in “Forward-Thinking and Feasible Personal Finance New Year’s Resolutions”.

* Speaking of the MISSOURI TAXGUY - Did you catch “An Interview With The Wandering Tax Pro”?

* Trish McIntire of OUR TAXING TIMES suggests that you resolve to “Take Control of Your Taxes” in 2011 and gives you some good advice. Her bottom line –

As 2011 begins, take control of your taxes. If you don't understand something, ask your preparer or do the research. You might not like the answer but it sure beats wondering if there is something else you could do. Wondering never solves the problem.”

* Trish echoes my sentiments in her post “No! Bad IRS!”.

I like Trish’s two objections to the IRS position (highlights are mine) –

First, since CPAs are not subject to the testing, how does the IRS know they are qualified?

And -

My second issue is the supervisory question. I am sure there are firms with serious documentation and review procedures in place. The CPA signer makes sure the return is correct. But how many firms just give the returns a look over, especially the easy(?) parts, and slap a signature on the return. After all they can charge more if the CPA signs the return than if the intern does.”

* Prof Mary O’Keeffe has been running lots of good informative posts at BED BUFFALOES IN YOUR TAX CODE lately – mostly, I expect, directed toward her VITA volunteer tax preparers. Her “Ages When Taxpayers and/or Dependents Turn Into Pumpkins” tells how various ages affect your Form 1040.


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