Wednesday, November 9, 2011


So far jury duty has been “interesting” – but that is all I can say until the trial is over. 

BTW – I was surprised to find 2011 Form W-2s and 1099-MISCs available at Staples.  I usually spend Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve typing W-2s and 1099s – maybe I can start on Thanksgiving this year!

+ Don’t forget to check out the NOVEMBER issue of LOIS.

+ Over at THE TAX PROFESSIONAL last week I talked about "NATP’S Fee, Compensation, and Practice Management Study”.

I pointed out –

The study results confirm what I have been saying for years – the fees for preparing individual federal income tax returns (1040 and 1040A) charged by CPAs are higher than those charged by other categories of preparers.

The average “minimum fee charged” for tax preparation by a CPA, or PA, is more than twice the fee charged by a “previously unenrolled” preparer ($154 vs $75).  The average minimum fee charged by EAs is only about 30.667% more than that of the previously unenrolled ($98 vs $75).”   

+ A great quote from a fellow tax twit –

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it” - Mark Twain.

If we are talking about Congress – I go with imbeciles.

+ Kay Bell shows us a funny video in “Kids Just Want to Have Fun, and To Be Tax Accountants When They Grow Up” over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

While the beginning comments could apply to 1040 preparers, as the video plays out it becomes obvious that the kids want to be in-house corporate tax accountants.

Being a 1040 preparer is a lot more fun!

+ And Kay also brings us “Tax Carnival #92: Tax Standard Time”.  Oops, I forgot to submit.

+ Dan Meyer gives us the good news that “‘Millionaires Tax’ Now Gone--Next Issue: Hiring Exiting GIs for Civilan Jobs” over at TICK MARKS (it has been a long time since I have referenced this blog, so I can say “it has nothing to do with lyme disease”).

Senate Democrats have decided to drop a proposed ‘millionaires tax’ to pay in part for President Obama's recent jobs and have moved on to pursuing funds to pay for a tax credit for businesses hiring soldiers re-entering the civilian job market.”

+ A piece by Kenneth R. Harney at the Seattle Times discusses “A Tax Credit's Shortcomings”.  He is talking about the “First-Time Homebuyer Credit” and its various incarnations – so there are many, many, many shortcomings to discuss.

The item tells us -

For its part, the IRS says the tax-credit program has ‘posed administrative challenges’."

To say the least!

+ Trish McIntire reviews two methods of getting answers to tax questions at the IRS website in “Interactive IRS” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

+The Class 5 Tax Blog suggests that you “Use This IRS Tool to Boost Your Paycheck in Time for the Holidays”.

Most people have too much tax withheld from their paychecks and wind up getting refunds when they file their tax return. But rather than waiting until spring to get your refund, wouldn’t you rather have that money now?

+ Fellow tax twit TheTaxWiz asked in a tweet - “Did you ever notice that when you put the words "The" and "IRS" together, it spells 'THEIRS'?

+ Thanks to Russ Fox for the compliment in his post “The Tax Court Expects a Tax Preparer to Know How to Substantiate Deductions” at TAXABLE TALK –

There are some good unenrolled preparers (Robert Flach, for example), so being unenrolled isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

+ TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb explains that “the Making Work Pay Credit was not extended into 2011” in “Ask the taxgirl: Making Work Pay Credit for 2011” at FORBES.COM.

+ Another reason not to vote for Michele Bachmann – THE ATLANTIC reports that “Bachmann on Taxes: 'People Who Can Afford to Pay More Need To'”.

Perhaps the tax concept that I radically oppose the most is the idea that individuals with higher income should be taxed more simply “because they can afford it”.

To her credit, Bachmann did also say she “wants to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit”.  As I have said before, just because you are crazy does not mean that you cannot on occasion actually make sense.

+ Joe Kristan quotes TAX PRO Paul Caron quoting a new TIGTA report to tell us that “Only 14% of Eligible Small Businesses Claim ObamaCare Tax Credit” in his appropriately titled post “It's Complex and Confusing. Why isn't it More Popular?

And, as fellow twit @dbltall points out in a tweet – “It ignores owners & family, who are the main employees of most very small businesses”.

Actually the title of Joe’s post also applies to the Tax Code itself.