Tuesday, July 2, 2013
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
* My THE TAX PROFESSIONAL post “My Final Word on CPA vs EA or RTRP” was highlighted in TAXPRO TODAY’s weekly BUZZ-like “In the Blogs”, which provides “Highlights from some of our favorite tax bloggers”.
* Russ Fox hits that nail directly on the head, again, in his TAXABLE TALK post “Licensing Stops All Tax Preparer Fraud…Well, No”.
He is spot on when he says “. . . the idea that by licensing tax professionals no tax professional would commit fraud is laughable. Wherever there is money, there’s temptation to obtain it in the wrong ways.”
Licensure will not make any material dent in tax fraud. I continue to point out that the authors of the Enron fraud were “licensed” CPAs. Russ’s post talks about extensive fraud committed by two “licensed tax preparers”.
Crooked taxpayers will always find crooked tax preparers, and crooked tax preparers will always find crooked, or naïve and gullible, taxpayers.
The main purpose of a credential for “previously unenrolled” tax professionals is to recognize and acknowledge their knowledge, competence, and currency in 1040 preparation to help the taxpaying public in making wise choices when engaging a tax preparer.
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen, while wrong in calling for mandatory licensure of all paid preparers (except, it seems, CPAs, attorneys, and “supervised” employees thereof), is correct in calling for –
“A comprehensive IRS advertising campaign on how to choose a competent preparer
and to educate taxpayers about the requirement for paid preparers to sign the tax return and provide a copy to the taxpayer”.
* The death of DOMA continues to dominate tax BUZZ. CCH has published a new Tax Briefing titled “Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA” that examines the impact of the DOMA ruling.
* And Sharon Malheiro of the Davis Brown Law Firm discusses “What Does the DOMA Ruling Mean for Employers?” at JD SUPRA LAW NEWS.
* BarbaraWeltman gives some advice on “Mid-Year Tax Planning: Do It Now to Save Later” in a guest post at the Small Business Administration THE INDUSTRY WORD blog.
It appears that the SBA has several blogs. Click here to check them out.
* Trish McIntire gives us a good overview of federal income tax withholding in “The Withholding Myth” at ANSWERS.COM.
* And the beat goes on. At ACCOUNTING TODAY Teresa Ambord suggests “IRS Contractor Cheated His Way to $500 Million in Questionable Bids”.
“Scandals, scandals everywhere, and not an excuse to make.”
Teresa tells us –
“On June 25, the results of a congressional investigation focused on yet another issue: a technology contractor who won ‘questionable bids’ with the IRS worth up to $500 million.
There's nothing wrong with doing all you can to gain advantages, as long as it's honest and aboveboard. But the investigation revealed there was a lot going on with this contractor, Braulio Castillo, that definitely didn't pass the smell tests.”
* Eva Rosenberg, the internet’s TAX MAMA, lists “6 Tax Tips That All Independent Contractors Must Know”.
Excellent tips all!
* Just a reminder – Friday, July 5th is another of the days that the IRS will be closed as part of the “sequester”. Click here to read the IRS release.
THE FINAL WORD-
Let’s face it – Paula Deen is racist.
Look at the context of the admitted comment. She did not blurt out “the word” in the heat of anger, or out of personal animus for a specific individual. Nor was it a “slip of the tongue”. It was used in the discussion of a catered wedding reception, and “the word” was purposely chosen by Deen in the context.
Here is what she said –
“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little niggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now that would be a true southern wedding, wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that.”
And her recent contention that this is the only time she used “the word” is nonsense.
I am not saying that Paula Deen is evil and should be stoned. And I am not saying that we should all boycott her products. I believe that her personal racist tendencies are inbred as part of her Southern upbringing.
I also believe that she would probably use similarly offensive “phraseology” if she were talking about homosexuals, or perhaps even our Jewish brethren, in a similar context.
And I do think that her business affiliates are correct in distancing themselves from her.
It is odd, although certainly not surprising, that she is receiving support from members of the “religious right”. Obviously a person of genuine religious conviction should believe in the concept of forgiveness in the face of true contrition (though I am not convinced that PD is truly contrite), but that same person should also be condemning obvious racism.
It is clear that many members of the “religious right” pick and choose which of “God’s words”, or which Christian concepts, they chose to follow.