* And if you still haven’t done so, also check out the premiere issue of my new FREE monthly (except February and March) newsletter LOIS (Lots Of Interesting Stuff). It is full of, well, lots of interesting stuff. (It lists the date as 2010, but that is a FU - it is actually 2011)
* Some more wise words of advice from Professor Jim Maule in “Surprise! Congress Puzzled By Tax Code Complexity” at MAULED AGAIN. Though I expect they will fall upon deaf ears among the idiots in Congress.
“Congress is responsible for what’s in the Internal Revenue Code, and one example of its many contributions to unnecessary tax complexity is recounted in Objections Raised to Elimination of Legislative Tax Deceit. For whatever political points are scored by standing up and criticizing one’s own handiwork, the members of Congress should shut down the yapping and grandstanding and crank up the doing. Fix the Code. It’s a technically easy thing to do, and the obstacles, chiefly political, can be overcome with courage. Courage. If they need to have a hearing on the definition of courage, that might be a useful expenditure of Congressional staff time. It won’t take long. Courage is doing what is right for the nation while disregarding the benefits, political and otherwise, of catering to the small groups that want the tax law tailored to their preferences.
* Bob Cusack gives us “A Rundown of What Could Be Put in the Obama-GOP Debt Deal” over at THE HILL.
The item speaks of “Tax Loopholes and Reform”. Once again we will see the laziness of the idiots in Congress in action.
There is a looming deadline – the federal government is facing shut-down. Congress will, true-to-form, react to the problem by hastily putting together a mish-mash of poorly thought-out provisions as a quick fix.
The members of Congress are truly idiots!
* Some timely tax tips from TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb – “With Job Losses Soaring, Ten Tax Tips for the Unemployed”.
* “Yes I do!” is my answer to Kay Bell’s question “Do You Have the Highest Property Taxes in the United States?” over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES. The reason, as Kay points out, is because I live in New Jersey.
While, living in an apartment, I do not pay property taxes directly, it is certainly a factor in my rent.
* From Jean Murray of ABOUT.COM; US BUSINESS LAW/TAXES – “Announcing A New Online Course - Guide to Types of Business”.
“The course describes each basic business type, from simplest (sole proprietor) to most complex (corporation) and gives you lots of details on the factors to look for when you are considering which business type to select.
If you sign up, you will receive an email a day for seven days. By the time you have completed the "Guide to Business Types" course, you should have all the information you need to narrow down your search and talk to your tax and legal advisors, armed with facts about each business type.”
* The latest word on compliance with the new tax preparer regime – “IRS Identifies 100,000 Preparers Who Failed to Follow New PTIN Rules”.
“Starting July 7, 2011, the IRS began sending letters to about 100,000 tax return preparers who either used outdated PTINs or used social security numbers as identifying numbers on returns they prepared this filing season. The letters explain the new oversight program, inform preparers of how to register for a new PTIN, or renew an old PTIN, and where to get assistance.”
In addition, “the IRS later this year also will send letters to taxpayers who appear to have had assistance with their returns but lack tax return preparer signatures. The letter will inform taxpayers how to file a complaint against preparers who failed to sign returns and explain how to choose legitimate tax preparers. The goal of the letters is to protect taxpayers by ensuring that all paid federal tax return preparers are registered with the IRS, and sign tax returns they prepare and use an identifying number when required to do so.”
I am glad the IRS is contacting taxpayers who used preparers who did not sign the return. I would, however, hope that the letter would inform taxpayers of the penalties they will be charged by the IRS if they continue to use a paid preparer who is not “in the system” and does not sign the return. The taxpayer as well as the offending preparer should be fined – as had been discussed by David Williams in his presentations last year.