Wednesday, October 26, 2011


To quote an Alan Jay Lerner lyric from MY FAIR LADY – “Damn, damn, damn, damn! continues to FU the formatting of my blog posts.  This is very frustrating, and I waste too much time trying unsuccessfully to fix the FUs.  Will I have to change my blog host?

A “shedfull” of BUZZ again this installment.

+ Don’t forget to check out the OCTOBER issue of LOIS – or the new NOVEMBER issue!

+ Tax attorney Robert W Wood, Kelly Phillips Erb and Peter J Reilly’s tax blog colleague at FORBES.COM, talks about the effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 in “Reagan’s Law Redux”.

Robert states that - “Of the myriad changes made in 1986, most were good. Some were not.”  He goes on to correctly note that perhaps the worst outcome of TRA 86 is the monster that the dreaded AMT has become -

When enacted in 1969, the AMT targeted tax shelters used by a few wealthy households. The 1986 reform unleashed the AMT in ways aimed at virtually every kind of deduction. Indeed, for all the good the 1986 Act did, the grasping hand of the AMT arguably took away what the other hand gave. The AMT today lacks theory and equity and cries out for repeal.”

+ And Len Burman joins Robert and I (click here for my FORBES guest post) with FORBES’ theme of the 25th Anniversary of TRA 86 by providing some personal reminiscences about his personal involvement (as a then Treasury staffer) with the passage of the Act in “Fundamental Tax Reform Is Essential, Inevitable and Impossible”.

Len also muses on the possibility of a “Tax Reform Act of 2014” -

Everyone agrees that the tax system is complex, unfair, and inefficient. And it doesn’t come close to raising enough revenue to pay for the government, whose needs will only grow as the baby boomers retire and health care costs continue to rise.”

However -

The only problem is that tax reform is really, really hard and the political process in Washington has eroded far more than the tax code since 1986.”

I tend to agree when Len concludes -

“My bottom line: tax reform has never been more necessary, it’s hard to see a solution to our budget problems without it, and it’s just impossible.”

BTW, Kelly Phillips Erb (click here) and Peter J Reilly (click here) also continue the theme.

+ I will put the subject of TRA 86 to bed with Joe Kristan’s “Tax Reform Carnival”.

+ The National Society of Accounts (NSA) is making a “Special Limited-Time Only NSA Trial Membership Offer”.

"Main Street" tax and accounting professionals are invited to join the National Society of Accountants with a free trial membership through 12/31/11!

Take advantage of this opportunity to experience the national tax and accounting professional community absolutely free of charge- no payment is required to participate in the trial.”

I was a member many years ago.  Maybe I will try the free trial.

+ Thanks to Twitter I came across a new (to me) tax blogger – Kathy Bylkas of Colorado Springs – who writes the YOUR TAXLADY blog (not to be confused with former “just plain” TAX LADY Ronnie Deutsch).

Here recent posts have concerned real estate issues, such as “Tax Guide for Vacation Rentals”.

+ Even a crazy person can say something sane every now and then.  According to KFGO (the Mighty 790) “Bachmann On Taxes: Everyone Should Pay Something”.

During the Las Vegas debate she said every American should pay some amount in taxes “even if it's a dollar.''

For some time now I have been, in response to the fact that half of Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax, calling for a true “minimum tax” – every non-student taxpayer with income age 18 or over should pay a minimum tax of $100.00.

+ Daniel Stoica, fellow twit and frequent “retweeter” of my TWTP post tweets, had provided an excellent and comprehensive post to answer the question “Can a Husband and Wife Run a Business As a Sole Proprietor Or Do They Need to Be a Partnership?

Thanks, Daniel, for the retweets!

+ Trish McIntire explains what to do to “clean up your files and make sure you have documented your work” in “After the Audit” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

+ A “tweet” from @IRSnews led me to a great resource on the IRS website titled “Life Events That Can Affect Retirement Savings”.


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