Wednesday, August 28, 2013
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - SPECIAL WEDNESDAY EDITION
“Complexity does not enter the tax code so much out of malevolence as through misguided reform efforts and excessive demands made on tax laws as the vehicle for implementing public policy.” – Sheldon D. Pollack (Professor of Law & Political Science. University of Delaware)
I couldn’t let a week go by without some BUZZ – so here is a special mid-week edition.
* Did you see my interview at MASTERS IN ACCOUNTING – “Interview Robert Flach, 40-Year Veteran Tax Professional”? Well what are you waiting for?
They also interview fellow tax blogger Joe Kristan.
* A TWTP post made it into TAXPRO TODAY’s weekly BUZZ-like “In the Blogs”.
* And TAXPRO TODAY gives us a slide show of “Disappearing Tax Deductions” – “deductions, credits and other provisions that are slated to go at the end of the year”.
* Jamaal Solomon continues his “Confessions of A Mad Tax Accountant” with “#6: Arrogance of Some (Not All) Young Tax Accountants” at THE TAX FACTOR.
My experience as a young tax accountant was, and is, different from Jamaal’s. I do not now know, or actually ever known, many young tax accountants – other than fellow tax bloggers like Jamaal and Jason Dinesen (whom I have actually never met in person). During my 40+ years I have never “networked” or even socialized with other accountants (other than those who I had known from high school or with whom I worked during my brief tenure at Deloitte Haskins + Sells in the late 1970s) or tax pros, except for recent associations with members of the NJ chapter.
I have been going to NATP conferences for 25+ years and I only went to the chapter luncheons at the last two I attended, and have never gone to the formal end of conference dinner. I am always sociable and engage in conversation with those sitting next to me at sessions, but have never attempted to “make new friends” or interact with my fellow conference attendees after class.
I do believe, as JS has found, that many CPAs, especially the younger, less experienced variety, feel unjustifiably superior to non-CPA accountants and tax pros, who may very well be better accountants and tax preparers than a lot of CPAs.
A few years back I was personally attacked online by a tax blogger who thought CPAs walked on water. Thankfully this person has apparently disappeared from the Tax Blogosphere.
* The August Personal Finance Newsletter from Jean Keener includes an item on “Fixing an Error on Your Credit Report” -
“If you haven't reviewed your credit report lately, you can get one free credit report from each of the three agencies once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you discover an error, your first step should be to contact the credit reporting agency in writing to indicate that you are disputing the information contained on your credit report. The credit reporting agency usually has 30 days to complete an investigation of the disputed information. Once the credit reporting agency investigation is complete, they must provide you with written results of their investigation.”
* THE SLOTT REPORT discusses “IRA Contributions After Death”, including an issue concerning a spousal contribution that I dealt with for a client this past tax season.
* Melissa of FREE FROM BROKE echoes advice I have been giving clients and readers for years now – “If Your Teen Has a Job, It’s Not Too Early to Think About Retirement”. Specifically, “Open a Roth IRA for Your Child”.
* The title of this Russ Fox post at TAXABLE TALK caught my attention immediately – “Attorneys Behaving Badly”. It is not about a new reality tv piece of excrement,
He ends the post with (highlight is mine) -
“One last remark regarding preparer regulation: Both individuals I’ve written about are members of the Bar. Both subscribe to supposedly stringent ethics rules. Clearly, both individuals were guilty of violating the canons of their profession. The idea that just because someone has a license bad behavior will vanish is, of course, foolish.”
* Nothing new here – “New Jersey Isn't 'Tax Friendly' for Retirees, Study Shows” from NJ.COM.
“A Kiplinger study released last week ranks New Jersey 41st when it comes to tax-friendliness for retirees.”
Hey, that’s better than I would have thought.
* Jason Dinesen provides some interesting food for thought, as usual, in “Evaluating the Cost of Working” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* And Jason begins a series titled “Glossary of Tax Terms” with a description of the “HSA”.
* The SOUTH PITTSBURGH REPORTER explains “How to Get a Transcript or a Copy of a Prior Year Tax Return”.
* 360 DEGREES OF FINANCIAL LITERACY suggests some good ways of “Getting an Early Start on Saving for Retirement”.
The bottom line –
“Saving even a little money can really add up if you do it consistently. Consider ways to free up more money to save for retirement--by reducing discretionary spending, for example. And, put retirement ahead of competing goals, even important goals like saving for your child's education.”
THE FINAL WORD:
A non-tax BUZZ item from USA TODAY – “N.Y. AG Sues Trump, 'Trump University,' Claims Fraud”. The highlight below is mine-
“New York's attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony ‘Trump University’ that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the 5,000 students who paid up to $35,000 thought they would at least meet Trump but instead all they got was their picture taken in front of a life-size picture of ‘The Apprentice’ TV star.”
Tronald Dump has screwed his investors (didn’t he declare bankruptcy twice – without losing any of his own money), so why not his “students”.
Whenever legitimately criticized for his actions, this fool does not respond to the issues of the criticism but instead takes personal shots at his “criticizer”. When Rosie O’Donnell seriously criticized a Trump action, with legitimate comments on his actions, his response was “Rosie is fat”!
What intelligent person would sign up for a “Trump University” in the first place? Or want their picture taken with Trumpster?
And this idiot is considering a run for President!