Saturday, November 24, 2012
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
I trust you had a “successful” Thanksgiving.
* Check out my post “We Are Now Not Only Tax Preparers, But Social Workers As Well!” at THE TAX PROFESSIONAL.
* I have always said that you do not have to raise taxes, or cut necessary programs, in order to balance the budget. All you have to do is cut the tons of waste.
A “tweet” from Joe Kristan led me to an excellent example of wasteful government spending provided in “Q: Who the Hell Would Pay $22,000 For an Oil Portrait of Tom Vilsack? A: You Already Did!” from Reason.com’s HIT AND RUN blog.
* Jason Dinesen posts a winter “rerun” at DINESEN TAX TIMES - “Dinesen Tax Greatest Hits: Thoughts on Preparer Regulation”.
Jason says -
“I agree with the concept of regulation of tax preparers. I just have zero faith the the IRS can successfully oversee it. And I doubt that regulation will change anything for the better.”
“I think this is just going to create more government bureaucracy without solving any problems.”
Jason is basically against the new RTRP regime and believes that the requirement to register and receive a PTIN is sufficient.
We both agree that the basic competency test has no real value. But I disagree with him on the aspect of requiring CPE.
The RTRP designation should exist, and there should be no competency test required (or at the very least a grandfathering exemption), but acquiring and keeping these initials, and one’s PTIN, should be based on maintaining CPE in federal taxation (and CPAs and attorneys are NOT required to take any CPE in federal taxation). I would keep 15 hours, but do away with the annual 2 hours of ethics preaching requirement (I hour ethics update every other year is enough).
* Jean Murray provides answers the timely question “Holiday Gifts for Employees - What's Taxable?” at ABOUT.COM.
* The TAX ADVISOR gives us some guidance on “ Handling Expenses Incurred in Acquiring a Residence”.
* While it is too early to talk about New Year’s resolutions yet, Jim Blankenship has been touting a good one lately at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW – “C’mon America! Add 1% More to Your Retirement Savings This Year!”.
* According to ACCOUNTING TODAY the Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board has joined the bandwagon – “IRS Oversight Board Urges Congress to Patch AMT”.
“The Internal Revenue Service Oversight Board has sent a letter to the leaders of Congress’s two tax-writing committees urging them to act swiftly to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax to keep it from spreading to millions more taxpayers.”
The IRS itself had previously sent a similar letter to the idiots in Congress.
* Kiplinger, via the DAILY FINANCE, lists “The 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees”. My new home state of Pennsylvania made the list at #10.
“Pennsylvania is one of only two states (Mississippi is the other) that exempts all retirement income -- including public and private pensions, IRAs and 401(k) distributions -- from its state income tax.”
On the other hand. my former home state of New Jersey is #9 on the list of “10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees”, just ahead of New York. Connecticut is the worst state for retirees.
Once again it looks like I made a good move!
THE FINAL WORD
I am listening to the Stage and Screen music channel on cable while compiling this BUZZ installment. One selection was from AVENUE Q – with a lyric line that helped me to get through most of the first decade of the new millennium.
The lyric line –
“George Bush - is only for now.”