Friday, December 21, 2012


Another special Friday edition of the BUZZ!

* There is still time for you to order my stocking stuffers!  Click here and here and here and here.  Hey, it is ok to buy them for yourself (and they are tax deductible)!

* And don’t forget my special pre-publication offer for MY BEST TAX ADVICE.

* I never thought I would ever reference something written by an idiot from Congress in a positive light here.  But here goes.  An editorial by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat at that, actually gets it right!  He tells the other idiots in Washington, “Don’t Tie Tax Extenders Bill to Fiscal Cliff”.

He correctly says (highlight is mine) –

Lost among the fiscal cliff debates on marginal tax rates and the sequester is a bipartisan package of important tax cuts that the House and the Senate should take up and pass immediately, regardless of whether Democrats and Republicans can reach a larger compromise.”

And –

While I hope the negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff are successful, we should not wait for a “grand bargain” to materialize before we finish our work on tax extenders. Tax extenders are different from the other fiscal cliff issues.”

Who knew an idiot from Congress could actually say something smart!  As I write this I am looking out my window for airborne pigs.

* Along these lines, ACCOUNTING TODAY reports that “IRS Warns Congress Tax Season Might Be Delayed until March or Later without AMT Patch”.

* The WALL STREET JOURNAL knows “A Bad Budget Deal” when they see one, and feel, “Higher taxes now for notional reform later is worse than nothing”.

They also tell us (highlight is mine) –

It's clear by now that the budget talks are drifting in a drearily familiar Washington direction: Tax and spending increases now, in return for the promise of spending cuts and tax and entitlement reform later. This is a bad deal for everyone except the politicians who want more money to spend.”

* Trish McIntire explains the IRS “Identity Theft PIN” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

* Jamaal Solomon, himself an EA, lists the latest in a series of “Reasons Why You Should Love EAs: John Sheeley, EA” at TAX FACTOR.

While I have never met John, he has been an online friend and supporter for several years.

BTW, Jamaal is correct when he says, “EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.”  RTRPs may be federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation, but their rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS is limited.  And CPAs may have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS, but they are in no way, shape or form federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation.

* I came across some good non-tax news via CNN MONEY (by way of the daily headlines) – “Refunds from Credit Card Issuers on the Way”.

I just wish we didn’t have to wait till March to get the credit.

* The TAX ADVISOR’s Tax Clinic reminds us of the importance of “Contemporaneous Documentation of Charitable Contributions”.

This item elaborates on what I included in my MAINSTREET.COM article “How to Give at the Holidays With Tax Day in Mind”. 

* Kay Bell has been running a series titled “Reindeer Year-end Tax Games”, with year-end tips provided each day by Santa’s sleigh-pullers.  For example, #7 was “Donder Says Harvest Investment Losses”.     

* Paul Neiffer explains the annual gift tax exclusion in “Annual Exclusion Update” at FARM CPA TODAY.  

* Kelly Phillips Erb, the internet’s TaxGirl, has a thoughtful post worth reading at FORBES.COM – “Lawmakers, Guns and Money: Where Do We Go After Sandy Hook?”.

* And Kelly continues her “12 Days of Charitable Giving 2012” by highlighting “Doctors Without Borders”.


I hope you have a “successful” Christmas holiday!

I will be continuing with my annual tradition of typing W-2s on Christmas Eve (and New Years’ Eve), and driving to New Jersey for a homemade Christmas Day dinner with my sister.  As such, this year I am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas.

Don't forget animals in your holiday charitable giving. Support your local non-profit animal shelters & rescue groups. Check out

“Talk” to you again next Wednesday!



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