Wednesday, January 25, 2012


+ Check out the January issue of LOIS.  

+ I suggest you read my NJ TAX PRATICE BLOG post “Everybody Wants To Get Into The Act”.

+ Go to the MISSOURI TAXGUY blog and look for my Robert F page at the “Store”.

+ The WISDOM JOURNAL, by Ron, lists “57 Avoidable Tax Mistakes”.

Ron does a good job in listing mistakes to avoid when preparing your tax return.  However there are some errors.

For one thing, “many of these mistakes are easily avoidable if you use {tax preparation software} to prepare your taxes” is a false statement.  Tax preparation software is no substitute for knowledge of the Tax Code, and certainly no substitute for a competent tax professional.  If you don’t know the tax law you are bound to make these mistakes.

Mistake #10 is very important to note, and provides excellent advice– “Failing to read your entire return to check for accuracy.  It is ultimately up to you to make certain everything is accurate.  Double and triple check your return.”

However the statement “If you use {software} you shouldn’t have this problem” is again totally false.  It is even more important to double and triple check computer generated tax returns!

Mistake #19 is “Failing to correctly handle the ‘Making Work Pay’ tax credit”.  While this was a very frequent mistake on 2009 and 2010 tax returns, you do not have to worry about this on your 2011 Form 1040, as the credit has expired and was not extended.  There is no Making Work Pay credit on the 2011 Form 1040.

And I disagree with #50 – “Failure to use Certified Mail when you mail your return to the IRS”.  Unless you are mailing the return on April 17th and need to guarantee the postmark this is an unnecessary added expense.

+ The INTUIT SMALL BUSINESS BLOG tells us “5 Things You Should Never Say to the IRS” in an audit.

Hey, just because I do not recommend tax preparation software doesn’t mean a blog written by a software company does not have good information.

+ Trish McIntire tells you what has happened if your anticipated refund is reduced by “Debt Offset” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

+ Kay Bell gives us the “2011 and 2012 Tax Rates, Tax Brackets” and discusses marginal vs. effective taxes at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

+ And you can “Win 'Your Income Tax 2012'” (from JK Lasser) in Kay’s “No Tax Contests 2012” contest.

If you also feel the urge now and then to go a bit old school with your taxes, leave a comment below on the tax break you find the most confusing.

Or if you prefer, you can tell me via Twitter (I'm @taxtweet) or post your thoughts on Don't Mess With Taxes' Facebook wall.

Whichever communication route you choose, please do so by 8 p.m. Central Time on Friday, Jan. 27. That evening I'll randomly select the winner from all the comments and touch base with him or her about how to send the tax book, via snail mail, to its proud new owner.”

+ Two items regarding the release of Newt’s tax return – Jeanne Sahadi of CNN MONEY goes “Inside Newt Gingrich's Tax Return”, and then there is “Gingrich and Medicare Tax - Pig Maybe - Hog Not - Geithner Definitely Not” from Peter J Reilly at FORBES.COM.

Peter makes an interesting observation (highlight is his) -

What is impressive, given the not shabby 3 mil plus income, is the alimony deduction.  Less than $20,000.  Who is his divorce attorney?  That is someone who should not be wanting for business in the future.”

+ Peter’s FORBES.COM colleague Kelly Phillips Erb, aka the TAXGIRL, quizzes another Republican candidate I never heard of before on his tax policies in “Tax Talk 2012: Tom Miller”.

According to his website Tom Miller is “a 46 year old single dad who has been a career flight attendant for over 23+ years.”

+ William Perez tackles three tax issues that probably generate the most questions in “Differences between Dependents, Head of Household, and Earned Income Credit” at ABOUT.COM-TAX PLANNING: US.

+ And Bill continues the discussion in another item titled “Tips for Resolving Disputes over Dependents”.

+ Trish McIntire provides a good list of the types of income you need to report and the information returns that you (and the IRS) will receive in her post “Income and Their Forms” at OUR TAXING TIMES.


Newt Gingrich, who led the crusade to impeach Bill Clinton over being serviced by Monica Lewinsky while at the same time he was shagging one of his own interns, thinks that asking a question about his former wife’s contention that he wanted an “open marriage” at a Presidential debate is “despicable”.

While I would agree that one’s marital infidelities should not preclude one from serving as President, it also seems to me that serving your first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer is also a bit despicable.



Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the article "57 avoidable mistakes." Unfortunately I have one of my own. I received my w-2 form yesterday from my employer. The Federal wages, Tips, etc. box showed the correct amount I made for the year. However, to my surprise, I looked at box 15 where State wages, tips, etc. should have mirrored the same amount as the federal wages. It didn't. It was over $9,000 more than it should have been. Needless to say, I was very upset and called my employer who realized that when she filled out the w-3 form (summary), she accidentally added the amount of another employee to mine and put it in that box. So now I have two different wages on one form. A HUGE mistake! Now I'm left wondering how this can be fixed to reflect the correct amount since she already sent the information to the IRS yesterday. I have to say, I'm very stressed over this since I've never had anything like this happen to me before and I make sure everything is correct before I file. Will this be a big problem for me, or can it be easily remedied?

Robert D Flach said...


Not a big problem.

The employer who made the FU can file a corrected W-2C and W-3C with the federal government and the corresponding state corrected forms to show the proper amount of state wages paid.

The employer would also issue you a copy of these corrected forms to use in preparing your returns.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for answering Mr. Flach. I contacted my employer and she told me that she submitted the
w-2c and w-3c three days after the incorrect w-2 went out. She gave me my copies. I also noticed she failed to provide my social security number and left it blank on the original w-2. I told her about it and she put that on the w-2c, but researching on the internet, it says that the employer also must call SSA if the number was not furnished to get special instructions. Now that worries me because I don't think she called SSA and just figured it's on the corrected form, so it would be o.k. What a mess this had turned out to be in a matter of a few days! I'm now wondering if I should call the State, SSA and the IRS to make sure they received these corrected forms, so when I file sometime in March, I won't have a problem. Especially because the state wages say I made $9,000 more than I actually did. Would that be a good idea, or should I make the employer call to make sure. Would something like this trigger an audit later on even if it's the employers fault? So frustrating.

Robert D Flach said...


It appears that the employer, or his/her accountant, is not that bright.

I have never had a situation where an employer totally left out the Social Security number - only where the number was wrong. When the number was wrong the W-3C transmittal and W-2C sent to the SSA fixed the problem.

I cannot advise you based on my experience - although I would not suggest you calling Sam or Chris. I suggest you ask your tax professional.


Luke said...

thank you for the pointers, Robert!
i faced the problem of tax return in the past, wouldn't want to make the same mistakes anymore.