Saturday, December 8, 2012

WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’


* Looking for stocking stuffers?  Click here and here and here and here.

 * My “Damned If They Do and Damned If They Don’t” post made it into this week’s BUZZ-like “In the Blogs” installment of “highlights from some of our favorite tax bloggers” at TAXPRO TODAY.

* The National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) has told me -

Connecticut, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania residents won’t receive a paper copy of their 2012 Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, for state and local income tax refunds in the mail according to the respective local and state government websites.

These states now require the taxpayer to retrieve these forms from the state’s respective websites.”

* And the National Society of Accountants (NSA) told me -

IRS Unveils Draft Form for Same-Sex Couples, Domestic Partners

The IRS has released a new draft form for allocating taxes between same-sex couples or registered domestic partners in community property states. When released for use, the new Form 8958, Allocation of Tax Amounts Between Certain Individuals in Community Property States, may make it much easier for taxpayers using the form to e-file.

The form appears to take the information available in Publication 555, Community Property, and put it into a standard tax return format. Standardization, when incorporated in computer software used by practitioners, should enable e-filing of many more of these returns than was previously possible.

The draft form is subject to change and should not actually be filed with returns while it remains a draft, a notice accompanying the form said.  IRS could not provide a date for when the official form would be released or whether it would be available in time for the 2013 tax filing season.”

* A great quote from Christopher Bergin, thanks to Joe Kristan’s Friday “Tax Roundup” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG -

There are no silver bullets that can fix the fiscal distress facing our nation. The fact that our politicians are trying to convince us to the contrary is not productive and shows that they are small leaders. Unfortunately for us, the chances that leaders who think small can solve big problems are not good.”

* And Joe talks about the new 3.8% Medicare surtax on “net investment income”, part of the payment for “Obamacare”, that takes affect beginning in 2013in his post “Making It Hard for Nothing: The Net Investment Income Proposed Regulations”.

I do not disagree with his bottom line (the highlight is his) -

Yes, the Sec. 1411 tax is stupid and should be repealed. But that screw isn’t coming unscrewed anytime soon. Still, there’s no reason to make a bad law worse through regulations.”

* Kelly Phillips Erb tells us about the latest alleged celebrity tax cheat in “Baldwin Arrested On Tax Evasion Charges, Pleads Not Guilty”.

Kelly also tells us –

Like many high profile taxpayers before him, Baldwin claims that his failure to file was not willful but was the result of trusting professionals that didn’t do their jobs properly.”

While this may be true, it is too easy for a taxpayer, famous or otherwise, who has not been exactly honest to blame the fraud on his/her tax preparer when caught, whether or not the preparer was aware of or complicit in the fraud.

When I hear of a celebrity complaining about being deceived by financial advisors I am always reminded of actor Elliot Gould (whom I had seen with his future wife Barbra Streisand in the musical comedy “I Can Get It For You Wholesale”, which was, at age 19, Ms. Streisand’s Broadway debut).  On a cruise from San Francisco to Alaska many years ago I happened to meet the aunt and uncle of Mr. Gould.  When I told them of my profession they complained about how accountants had robbed Elliot over the years.

* The referring “tweet” said “Obama warns (again) of consequences of failure to do tax/fiscal cliff deal” and the article at TAXPRO TODAY is titled “Obama Says Economy Will Suffer Without Tax and Debt Deal”, but BO “has vowed he won’t sign any bill that doesn’t raise taxes on top earners”.

At this late date it looks to me like it is BO (and his fellow Democrats) who is holding legislation hostage!     

THE FINAL WORD

I just heard that Michael BublĂ© will have a Christmas special on NBC this coming Monday evening.  If anyone can pull it off it is Michael.  

The guests include Rod Stewart and, unfortunately, Blake Shelton.  I hope he doesn’t ruin the show by bringing along the vulgar and distasteful failed comedy from his own “not so special” special.

TTFN

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