Tuesday, July 23, 2013


"There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress than I had any conception of, before I became President of the U.S." -James K Polk
I guess not much has changed over the years.

* OOPS!  I missed this last Friday. 

Joe Kristan proves that the members of Congress are not the only idiots out there (hey – millions of the “great unwashed” watch reality tv) in his post “Long live the Queen!” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.

* TAXGIRL Kelly Phillips Erb also weighed in on the idiot Queen with “How To Stay Out Of Jail: Lessons Learned From The 'Queen Of IRS Tax Fraud'”.

Basically don’t steal, and if you do don’t talk about it on Facebook.  And -

If you do steal, and you talk about it, and you do it on Facebook, don’t use your real name in order to taunt the IRS. Or the police.”

* Jamaal Solomon begins a series of "Confessions of a Mad Tax Accountant" at TAX FACTOR.  He begins with "#1: Earned Income Credit".

I sympathize with JS.  I have long been vocal in my criticism of the Earned Income Credit, especially the refundable portion.

I am not saying that the working poor should not be encouraged, or provided additional support.  I am saying that federal welfare should not be distributed via the Tax Code, and tax preparers should not be forced to act as Social Worker

* PARKER PUBLISHING reports on a court case that decided “No Home Office Deduction for Employee Working from Home for Her Own Convenience” -

While the taxpayer could deduct home office expenses for the portion of time she was an independent contractor, she could not deduct such expenses once she became an employee because working at home was at her request and for her convenience. Fontayne v. Comm'r, T.C. Summary 2013-54 (7/3/13).”

* Professor Jim Maule reiterates his, and my, belief that “Among the many political decision that I consider foolish, privatization of functions that belong in the public arena is high on the list” and gives us “More Proof of How Privatization Harms Taxpayers” at MAULED AGAIN.

The State of New Jersey “privatized” its collection process years ago – and I refuse to deal with the outside companies that were contracted.  If a NJ client is contacted on a collection issue I demand to deal directly with the NJDOT.  

* Darren Mish does a good job of discussing the “Entertainment Expenses Deduction” at the IRS PROBLEM SOLVER BLOG.

* Jim Blankenship, who advises us on GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW, reveals “What a Mutual Fund Manager Won’t Tell You”.

His bottom line: when investing in mutual funds –

In the long run your best bet is to simply buy and hold the market through passive management and index funds. Your expenses are less and you’re not paying someone to do something they can’t.”

* The IRS offers some good “Tips for Employers Who Outsource Payroll Duties”.

* Russ Fox explains that “Taxes matter, and individuals absolutely do relocate because of taxes” in his TAXABLE TALK post “The Flow of AGI from One State to Another”.

I moved from NJ, the 4th biggest “loser” on the list Russ references, to PA sooner than I had planned – although health and auto insurance were a bigger factor than taxes for me.  Both expenses were almost cut in half!  My real estate taxes are lower than they would have been on a similar condo in NJ, but I am actually paying more state income tax – due to PA flat tax on gross income (no exemptions/deductions).    


A review of GROWN-UPS 2 I came across in the paper while having breakfast yesterday morning began with the following –

Whatever comedic fires and bursts of genuinely inspired humor Adam Sandler once possessed have burned out long ago.”

Huh?  To my knowledge Sandler has never had any “comedic fires” or “bursts of genuinely inspired humor” since I became aware of him.  I guess this occurred before he became nationally known.

The review did get it right when it said –

Over the last 10 years Sandler has headlined more terrible comedies than anyone in Hollywood.”

Only 10 years?

I find it a good rule of thumb to avoid any movie with Sandler in it.  His movies are written for 5th and 6th grade boys, and certainly not for adults with wit and taste.

Actually I find it a good rule of thumb to avoid any movie starring any member of any Saturday Night Live “company” – except for those appearing during the first two years, and Billy Crystal and perhaps Eddie Murphy.


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