Saturday, October 1, 2011


+ Have you checked out the September issue of LOIS yet?

+ Trish McIntire has published a response to my "Enough Already" post at OUR TAXING TIMES.  Check out her "Response to Robert Flach".      

+ Kay Bell explains how “FSAs Can Help With Medical Costs” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

And over at her BANKRATE.COM blog she reports that “Workers Ignore Tax Saving FSAs”.

According to the organization's 2011 version of its annual ‘Getting Paid In America’, only 12 percent of employees contribute $2,500 or more to their company's FSA.”

An FSA is a great tax saving opportunity – you can use medical expenses, not otherwise deductible because of the 7½% of AGI exclusion, to reduce your AGI.  And readers of TWTP know that reducing AGI can increase a multitude of other tax deductions and credits. 

If your company offers an FSA to employers, and you anticipate out of pocket medical expenses, you should take advantage of it!

+ USA TODAY catches BO in a big fib in “Fact Check: Obama Wrong on Teacher’s Tax Rateby Brooks Jackson of

Brooks correctly points out (the highlight is mine) -

President Obama's claim that he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher making $50,000 a year isn't true. A single taxpayer with $50,000 of income would have paid 11.9% in federal income taxes for 2010, while the Obamas paid more than twice that rate — 25.3% (and higher rates than that in 2009 and 2008). And if the $50,000-a-year teacher were in Obama's tax situation — supporting a spouse and two children — he or she would have paid no federal income taxes at all.”

+ Tom Herman tells us that “A Tax Revolt Is Quietly Brewing In Some States” in the Wall Street Journal’s TAX REPORT.

Tom talks about various state and local tax issues under currently under consideration in Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, and other states.  For example,

On Election Day, Massachusetts will vote on whether to eliminate its state income tax.”

+ And Tom provides an answer for Warren Buffett (of the “Buffett Rule”), who feels he is not paying enough federal income tax, in his earlier Wall Street Journal piece “A Tax Deductible Gift to the Government”.

+ Bruce McFarland, the MISSOURI TAX GUY, discusses “What to Do When You’re Struggling With Taxes”.

Anyone who has gotten behind on their taxes knows how difficult it can be to get caught up. When you’re struggling with taxes, the IRS can forgive people who get behind. As long as you are willing to work hard to get caught up, they will be willing to work with you.”

+ Professor Annette Nellen makes some good points in her post “Buffett Rule - a New Tax Principle?” at 21st CENTURY TAXATION.

+ John Steele Gordon gives us “A Short History of the Income Tax” over at the WALL STREET JOURNAL.

+ The IRS has published the annual fiscal year 2011-2012 per diem rates for business travel.  Click here to read IRS Notice 2011-81 

I will be away October 1 through 5, attending my 40th High School Reunion and visiting Long Beach Island for two shows at SURFLIGHT.  There will be no BUZZ this coming Wednesday.


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