Thursday, September 1, 2011


I hope to have everything back to normal next week!

While I was out of touch with the internet and the tax blog-o-sphere, due to my computer’s bout with diarrhea, a lot was going on, although not much on the tax front.

* The big news, of course, was our visit from Irene.

Listening to tv and radio on Saturday you would think the end of the world was coming! I suppose this is one situation where it is “more better” for the government over-react than under-react. All I had was a little rain on Saturday and Sunday. No flooding or power outage in my building. No inconvenience at all.

My regular bi-weekly visit to the burbs to do payroll and pay bills for a client, scheduled for Sunday, was changed to Saturday. I stayed in all day Sunday, mostly watching the tube. I was disappointed that my regular Sunday shows on WNYC-FM, Jonathan Schwartz and “Wait, Wait. Don’t Tell Me”, were pre-empted for special Irene coverage.

Thanks to fellow tax bloggers Bruce (THE MISSOURI TAX GUY) and Joe (the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG) for their tweet-expressed concerns.

* Speaking of Joe Kristan, a CPA, he offered a rebuttal to my guest post on tax preparer regulation at Peter Reilly’s FORBES blog in a guest post at PR’s FORBES blog (see “Preparer Registration Wastes Time and Money – Guest Post by Joe Kristan”). As Peter , who apparently just stands “in awe and wonder” at me, put it – “Joe . . . has the temerity to disagree with The Pro on an issue near to his heart”.

Joe says in his post that “competency testing and CPE are weak insurance against incompetent and venal preparers”. While I agree, and have so said often (and am quoted by Joe in his post as so saying), that competency and CPE will not insure the public against crooked and unethical preparers, I do believe it will provide some insurance against incompetent and untrained preparers.

While I may somewhat agree with what Joe is saying about the questionability of the serious benefits of licensing in general, it is a fact of life and we must grin and bear it. And from the point of view of the taxpayer public, it is much more likely that a tax return prepared by a person who (when the regime is fully phased in) has the initials RTRP (Registered Tax Return Preparer), or EA, after his/her name will be accurate than one prepared by someone who does not.

Peter adds another reason for implementing the registration regime in his response to Joe’s arguments –

The IRS can take administrative action against people with tickets like EA and CPA but in order to encourage the worst unenrolled preparers to take up another trade they have had {before the new regulation – rdf} to sue for an injunction in federal district court.”

* Back to Irene – while I did not personally suffer any consequences from her, there was much damage and loss in New Jersey and New York. For information on federal tax relief click here for New Jersey and here for New York. I have found nothing on the NJ Division of Taxation website about state tax relief yet.

* A “Pardon Our Planet” by Vic Lee entry that was very appropriate for the State of New Jersey appeared in the comic section of the Star Ledger last week. A speaker at a press conference was announcing -

We negotiated a compromise with the State Legislature. They’ve agreed to let us post the Ten Commandments if we agree to take out the ‘Thou Shall Not Steal’ part.”

A similarly “right on” political cartoon, from Bruce Plante of Tulsa World, appeared in Monday’s USA TODAY. Here a newscaster is reporting from in front of the Washington Monument

First, an earthquake and now a hurricane . . . Washington has come to a virtual standstill. So, Bob, things are completely unchanged here.”

* I received a flyer in the mail for the 14th season of MUSICALS TONIGHT!, a series of revivals held at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row at 410 West 42nd Street in NYC. The flyer included a descriptive quote from –

Musicals Tonight! Is the best and most economical way for musical theatre fans to satisfy their urges to see the forgotten and ignored touchstones of the art.”

This was the first I had heard of this program. This is one time I am glad that non-profits sell their mailing lists.

The 2011-2012 season includes Jerry Herman’s first Broadway offering (MILK AND HONEY October 11-23), Mel Brooks first musical (he wrote the book), with music and lyrics by Strouse and Adams (ALL AMERICAN October 23–November 6), the first musical adapted from a Sunday comic strip, with witty lyrics by Johnny Mercer (LI’L ABNER March 20-April 1), and forgotten musicals from Jerome Kern (SITTING PRETTY April 17-29) and Cole Porter (FOR THE BOYS May 1-13).

Subscriptions are available at $125.00 for all 5 musicals! I have already sent in my order.

The shows have two weekday and Sunday matinees and, a plus for many, the 88-seat Lion Theatre has no steps! Single tickets, at $26.25 each, will not be available until after Labor Day.

For more information click here, email, or call 212-362-5620.

* What is wrong with Americans? It seems that the great unwashed masses are dumber than I had anticipated. The members of Congress are not the only idiots out there.

USA TODAY reported on the Top 5 original summer series on Cable TV – and guess what was number one!

It seems that Americans would rather watch a steaming pile of excrement, with no entertainment value whatsoever, that consists of brain dead sluts and skanks (of both sexes) drinking, cursing, fornicating, and fighting in great excess instead of watching legitimate scripted stories that actually reflect “real” human character and emotion.

Here is the Top 5:

1.The Jersey Shore

2. Rizzoli and Isles

3. The Closer

4. Pawn Stars

5. Falling Sky

I am glad to see only one piece of excrement on the list. While “Pawn Stars” is technically a “reality show”, it apparently is not what I would identify as being of the “reality tv” genre. From what I hear I think it is somewhat “Antiques Roadshow-esque”.

Anyone with any wit and intelligence would not be able to sit through one entire episode of “The Jersey Shore”, let alone return each week.

This is surely a sign of the end of civilization. In the very least it is an example of the “Dumbing Down of America”.

* While on the subject – USA TODAY’s Critic’s Corner reported on a new reality tv show premiering on MTV (MTV and VH1 produce the most volume of soft core porn reality tv steaming piles of excrement, with E! a close third). The title of the show is the ultimate description of a reality tv program – RIDICULOUSNESS.

* And for the trifecta - reality tv cafone Kim Kardashian got married. I do believe I heard one morning show make a comparison to the recent royal wedding. How ridiculous!

Kardashian is an excellent example of someone who is famous for being famous – and not for any talent, ability or action - like fellow spoiled bitch Paris Hilton and self-important fool, and frequent stockholder-screwer, Donald Trump.

The only talent that Kardashian has displayed is a proficiency for doing “the Lewinsky”, as demonstrated in her internet sex tape. Of course having a sex tape, and a semi-famous parent and step-parent, qualifies her to star in a soft core porn reality tv piece of excrement.

What is my reaction to Kardashian and her nuptials? Let me borrow the initials of a local towing company that came to the aid of a friend when his car broke down many years ago – IDGAF!

{Riding in the cab of the tow truck my friend wondered about the name of the towing company. Did the initials represent the names of the individual partners in the business – perhaps Igor, David, Gary, Andy, and Frank? He asked the driver and was told that IDGAF stood for “I don’t give a f---“.}

I look forward to getting back to wandering the web and blogging.



Margaret said...

Pawn Star is awesome! It's reality tv in the same way stuff on HGTV or TLC is.

I'm sure the customers are screened, and the guys are given a chance to refresh their knowledge of items before they film about an item, but they present a ton of knowledge and research. They have a lot of antique guns, historical books and documents, comic and pop culture paraphernalia.

I highly recommend watching at least one episode. You'll get hooked.

Tax Resolution Firm said...

hmmm Thats nyc saying Margaret.Thanks.

Jack Nateland said...

Hey I love the way you have so light heartedly shared such a crucial issue...its something for all of us to certainly think about...