* Check out my latest tax tip at MAIN STREET.COM - "Save Sales Tax Receipts".
For 39 tax seasons the 1040 filing season has always begun for me on February1st (the day after the deadline for getting out the W-2s). Why everyone says the tax season has already begun is beyond me. I have plenty to do before February 1st.
* A tweet led me to David Kay Johnston’s piece “Making Tax Simple” at TAX.COM. Johnston joins me, and other tax bloggers, in supporting National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen’s call for tax simplification. The piece had some good comments -
“Olson is absolutely right; the time for tax reform is now. And complexity is issue number 1. The problem is how to get Congress to act. As things stand, mucking up the tax code rewards politicians while hurting most people and damaging the economy. And in real reform, every ox will be gored.”
“But we also must keep in mind the political economy of tax changes, be they good, bad, or indifferent. Politicians gain when they propose tax favors for donors, sometimes in the form of tax breaks and sometimes in the form of subtleties that create problems for the donors' competition. Proposing tax law changes is a reliable way to gather donations.”
“Then there are the businesses that profit off the misery of tax compliance -- notably Intuit Inc. The company spent $1 million trying to help an obscure candidate win statewide office so he could kill California's successful ReadyReturn program to help people prepare their tax returns free of charge, which threatens Intuit's TurboTax software business. Luckily for the rest of us, Intuit's candidate lost.”
* Good news! Brett Fergusen reports “Camp Schedules Tax Reform Hearing to Kick Off ‘Dialogue’ With Obama” at BNA SOFTWARE.
“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) announced Jan. 13 that he will hold a hearing to examine the current tax structure as the first part of efforts to begin working with the Obama administration on tax reform.
Camp said the hearing will occur Jan. 20 and public comments on tax reform will be accepted by the committee until Feb. 3.”
* Joe Kristan responds to my annual “Don’t Assume” post on choosing a tax preparer in “Defending CPA Tax Pros” at THE ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG. Be sure to read my comment.
* Now here is a bill that I would support (with perhaps shorter term limits) – “The Congressional Reform Act of 2011”.