Wednesday, December 19, 2012


* Still looking for stocking stuffers?  Click here and here and here and here.  Hey, it is ok to buy them for yourself (and they are tax deductible)!
* Check out my article "How to Give at the Holidays With Tax Day in Mind" at MAINSTREET.COM!

* A must read.  Jason Dinesen posts “An Example of What Could Happen if an AMT Patch Isn’t Passed” by the idiots in Washington at DINESEN TAX TIMES (the highlight is Jason’s) -

So the short version is: John and Mary — a solidly middle class family {with combined income of only $77,000 – rdf} that doesn’t even itemize deductions — would owe $1,135 more in taxes if Congress doesn’t pass an AMT patch.”   

* See my post “RTRP Statistics Update” at THE TAX PROFESSIONAL.

Again I ask – “is the IRS really going to force 100,000 to 200,000 tax preparers out of business?”.

* Peter J Reilly of FORBES.COM is right when he says “Some People Can't Resist the Siren Call Of Tax Season”. 

It is true that I have always loved the “tax season” (February 1 through April 14 for me), more so when I worked with my mentor Jim Gill.  I have even parodied the Christmas carol “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to reflect the filing season (look for it here at TWTP late next January).

And it is true that I hate the “second tax season” of GD extensions.  I still wish the season would truly end on April 15th, as it did for me in my earlier years in the biz.

* Jim Blankenship identified some misconceptions about IRA contributions this past summer in “Once You Reach Age 70½ – No More IRA Contributions”.

* The IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson recently talked about some of the consequences for taxpayers if President Obama and Congress cannot agree on a compromise to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, among other things, on CSPAN.  Click here for the video “Tax Season and the Fiscal Cliff”.  

* Trish McIntire goes into more detail on the proposed “Hurricane Sandy Relief Act” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

* And Trish provides tax preparers with a copy of her excellent “EIC Interview Sheet” (to help us become better Social Workers).

Although I will not need this interview sheet, as I am not be accepting any Form 1040s that include an EIC claim (thanks to the ridiculous new IRS “due diligence” requirements), it is a great tool for the rest of you tax pros.  Thanks to Trish for providing this tool!

* At THE EXAMINER.COM Craig Smalley warns about “Fiscal Cliff - Scare Tactics Used”.

Basically don’t let a salesman (banker, broker, etc) use the fiscal cliff uncertainty to scare you into doing something without properly thinking it out.  Craig’s bottom line is universal, and is not limited to the fiscal cliff (highlight is mine) -

The moral to this story is two-fold; first don’t get emotional about money. It is only money. Secondly, understand that people are using this situation to scare you into doing something that you wouldn’t normally do. Before you make any decision call your tax advisor. If he or she is good, they will be able to guide you through what you are being told. Remember that you tax advisor is on your side. He or she is not trying to sell you anything.”

* Dr. Jean Murray answers a question she is asked every year (and I am often asked as well) in “End of Year Paychecks - Which Year's Taxes?” at ABOUT.COM.

* BOSTON.COM gives us “A Look at Tax Breaks That Expired This Year” – those tax benefits, which have over the years become known as “the extenders”, that expired on December 31, 2011, and will NOT be included on the 2012 Form 1040 unless the idiots in Congress get off their far arses and do something.

* TAX PROF Paul Caron quotes from a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by Dave Trabert and Todd Davidson of the Kansas Policy Institute which explains that “States That Spend Less, Tax Less—and Grow More” -

States that allow taxpayers and employers to keep more of their earnings are reaping the benefits. States without an income tax have significantly better growth in private sector GDP (59% versus 42%) over the last 10 years. They increased the number of jobs by 4.9% while jobs in the rest of the states declined by 2.6%. States without an income tax gained population (+5.5%) from domestic migration (U.S. residents moving in and out of states) while all other states as a whole lost 1.3% of population between 2000 and 2009. ... The path to superior economic growth and job creation is clear.”

* Diane Kennedy shares some rules to follow to be sure to lock in a 2012 tax deduction for year-end payments in “Get Your Deductions In Order Before December 31st” at her US TAX AID blog.

* Bruce McFarland, aka the MISSOURI TAXGUY, summarizes “Capital Gains, What You Need to Know”.   

* Let’s end on a seasonal note.  Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl, continues her annual “12 Days of Charitable Giving 2012” with “Covenant House”.


No comments: