Wednesday, July 18, 2012
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – WEDNESDAY EDITION
Better late than never!
Sorry no posts this week. I have been busy with the closing on my condo in PA and getting things (utilities, cable, phone, internet, etc) set up. I should return to regular posting (other than BUZZ) next week.
* BNA.COM reports “Congress Leaders Steam Toward Possible Tax Vote Showdowns in August” (highlight is mine) -
“Leaders of the House and Senate continue to move forward with divergent plans for addressing the Bush-era temporary tax cuts, with leaders of both chambers setting up votes that may not come until the beginning of August. In the House, Republicans will offer bills to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all taxpayers for one year and set up a process for overhauling the tax code, while in the Senate, Democrats will put forward a package that will extend the tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less, consistent with President Obama's plan.”
While I would prefer the Republican bill (clearly the way to go at this point) to that of the Democrats, it is unlikely that either will pass, as neither party has enough votes in both house. Nothing will be accomplished until after the election.
* An IRS Summertime Tax Tip titled “A Lesson from the IRS for Students Starting a Summer Job” talks about the tax status of “paper boys” (or girls) -
“Special rules apply to services you perform as a newspaper carrier or distributor. You are treated as self-employed for federal tax purposes regardless of your age if you meet the following conditions:
• You are in the business of delivering newspapers.
• All your pay for these services directly relates to sales rather than to the number of hours worked.
• You perform the delivery services under a written contract which states that you will not be treated as an employee for federal tax purposes.
If you do not meet these conditions and you are under age 18, then you are generally exempt from Social Security and Medicare tax.”
I do not know any school-age paper boys or girls who are “in the business of delivering newspapers”.
My mentor did do returns for adults (I use the term lightly when referring to these specific taxpayers) who were actually “in the business of delivering newspapers” and filed Schedule C. Thankfully none were left when I was gifted his practice.
* Janet Novack gives us another example of why you should not overpay Henry and Richard to prepare your tax returns in “Batman Faces Dark Night With IRS If He Takes H&R Block's Tax Advice” at FORBES.COM. They FU-ed Bruce Wayne’s tax return!
She quotes an appropriate reaction from a reader of the Block piece -
“As one comment on the Block blog put it: ‘Hope they take more care with YOUR taxes than they did with Batman’s’.”
I expect that Bruce Wayne is smart enough not to go to H+R for tax preparation.
* Trish McIntire tells us that the Office of the Chief Counsel has now clarified their position on claiming Medicare premiums as an adjustment to income for self-employed health insurance in her post “Medicare B and the Self-Employed” at OUR TAXING TIMES -
“ . . . the Chief Counsel has ruled that Medicare B is a qualified insurance under Sec 162(l) and qualifies for the Self-Employed Health Insurance (SEHI) deduction. Medicare D (the drug plan) has always qualified for the special deduction.”
* Tax pros – don’t forget my Special Summer Savings.
THE LAST WORD-
Recently I quoted from John Adams as interpreted in the musical “1776” concerning the inaction of the idiots in Congress. I came across a good direct quote from Adams on the same subject in an AARP editorial.
In 1776 (the year, not the musical, Adams wrote of his fears that the Continental Congress’ decisions would be dictated “by noise, not sense; by meanness, not greatness; by contracted hearts, not large souls”.
No one can dispute that Adams’ fears have come true with the idiots in Congress today. Their decisions, or more appropriately lack of decisions (but then again – not to decide is to decide), are certainly dictated by noise, meanness, contracted hearts, and idiocy.