Saturday, September 8, 2012
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
* Over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES Kay Bell talks about the Democratic Party’s tax proposals in “Democrats Release 2012 Party Platform”.
From what Kay has quoted, the Democrats are “committed to reforming our tax code so that it is fairer and simpler” although I have seen no evidence of this in their actions or proposals.
* While on the topic -the TAX FOUNDATION has issued a new “Fiscal Fact” titled “Romney, Obama, & Simpson-Bowles: How Do the Tax Reform Plans Stack Up?”, which includes a good “Comparison of Tax and Budget Plans” (Table 1).
The “Simpson-Bowles” to which the item refers to “The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles”, which “was established by President Obama in 2010 as a bipartisan effort to rein in the national debt”.
The report, and its tax simplification proposals, was totally ignored, and sent to gather dust in the governmental archives. FYI, Dubya had commissioned a similar panel which issued a similar report, which was also totally ignored.
On the comparison under the category of “Tax Expenditures” it explains that BO’s plan “adds more than are taken away and complicates many existing ones, though limits benefits for high-income earners”.
The Fiscal Fact concludes -
“Obama’s tax plan is largely at odds with any commonly held notion of tax reform, including Simpson-Bowles.”
It is clear that, regardless what may be said during the campaign, the Democrats have no intention of reforming or simplifying the Tax Code. As the Fiscal Fact implies, they will only make the Code more of a mucking fess than it already is.
* Annamaria Andriotis asks and invites “What Is a 529 Expense? Take Our Test” at the WALL STREET JOURNAL.
“Not all college costs get the tax-free treatment. It pays to know the rules beforehand.”
* Jason Dinesen of DINESEN TAX TIMES gives us another summer rerun in “Dinesen Tax Greatest Hits — 6 Tax Predictions for 2012”.
Number 1 has already happened. I agree with Numbers 2 through 5, although in 5 I lean more toward “let the payroll tax cut expire but replace it with some other gimmick tax break”.
I have issues with Number 6 – which Jason has since changed somewhat. While I do agree that the IRS may not be the best party to “execute the oversight effectively”, having the IRS in charge is far better than having the idiots in Congress legislate the oversight.
We will all have to wait until the end of the year to see how well Jason did.
* “Eleven Tax Myths Debunked” by TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb at FORBES.COM.
I covered similar ground in my 2007 post “If You Believe That I Have a Bridge For Sale Cheap”.
I bet Joe Kristan is expecting me to mention the totally untrue “urban tax myth” that a CPA is automatically a tax expert.
* Trish McIntire provides an update on “Isaac Tax Relief” (the hurricane, not the Love Boat bartender – he said showing his age) at OUR TAXING TIMES.
* TAX PROF Paul Caron quotes the decision from a recent Tax Court case where another taxpayer tried the “Geithner Defense” in “Tax Court Rejects Geithner/Turbo Tax Defense”.
In the decision the court states the obvious -
“TurboTax is only as good as the information entered into its software program.”
In other words – garbage in, garbage out.
More proof of the fact that using a box to prepare your return is no substitute for using a competent tax professional.
* Chad Bordeaux lists some “Important Times to Seek Assistance” from your tax professional at OUR BLOG (formerly BEANCOUNTER RAMBLINGS).
THE FINAL WORD
I do believe I broke this story earlier – but the word “shit” is now permitted on scripted basic cable (I have not heard it on broadcast tv yet). I hear it often, although not excessively, on A+E and TNT dramatic series.
We can now be told a suspect is “full of shit” or that an alibi is “bullshit”. Although I don’t believe a character has yet to announce he/she needs to “take a shit”.
Television historians will tell you that Maude was the first to utter “son of a bitch” on the tube, and that NYPD’s Christine Cagney introduced “bastard”. I do not know who was the first character to say “shit”.
It is only appropriate that the word “shit” be acceptable on cable, and even broadcast, television, considering that there are so many steaming piles of it among current programming (i.e. so-called “reality tv”).