Friday, September 6, 2013



We have used taxes inappropriately to achieve political, ideological, and social goals.” – David Cay Johnston

I loved the above political cartoon when I say it in a local newspaper at breakfast on Tuesday.  Trump certainly is a fool, isn’t he?  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  Except for the members of clan Kardashian I can think of no other individual who has made such a successful career out of shameless self-promotion, without possessing anything of actual consequence, importance, value, or even interest to promote!  The Dumpster is truly one of the best examples of someone who is famous for merely being undeservedly famous.

* If you haven’t already done so please check out my new monthly online “magazine” THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.  It has a couple of items on federal income taxes.

If you like it let me know - and tell your friends, family, and co-workers about it.

Dual income same-sex couples who file as a married couple, either jointly or separately, could be victims of the same “marriage penalty” that have always affected “normal” married couples.

* JK LASSER suggests that now is the time you should be “Revising Estimated Taxes” –

The third installment of federal estimated income taxes for 2013 is due on September 16. Now is a good time to assess where you stand from a tax perspective to this point in the year and adjust the September 2013 and the January 2014 estimated tax payments accordingly.”  

Good advice.

* More good advice, this time from Miranda Marquit at BARGAINEERING - “Tips for Starting a Retirement Account When You Get Your First Job”.

* THE SLOTT REPORT looks at another aspect of the recent same-sex marriage developments - “Spousal IRA Rollovers for Same-Sex Couples” –

Previously, same sex married couples did not have the spousal IRA benefits of opposite-sex married couples under the tax code. These benefits include the ability to make spousal IRA contributions, tax-free splitting of IRAs in a divorce, and spousal rollovers at death. However, the IRS recently issued guidance that gives same-sex married couples the spousal IRA benefits.”  

* And on the subject of SSM – CCH has published a special “Tax Briefing” on “IRS Guidance on Same Sex Marriage”.

* FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb has begun a series of “Back to School” posts.  One post of particular interest addresses the question “Can You Deduct the Cost of Special Foods for Allergies, Celiac & Other Dietary Concerns?

* TAX VOX, the blog of the Tax Policy Center, tells us that the answer to the question “Are Some Americans Paying Federal Income Tax They Don’t Owe?” is yes.  

Apparently a surprisingly large number of people who work, have taxes withheld, and would probably be entitled to a refund, never file a tax return.  

* A recent “tweet” from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (@YourVoiceAtIRS) –

September is National Guide Dog Month. Did you know you may be able to deduct certain guide dog expenses?

According to IRS Pub 502 –

You can include in medical expenses the costs of buying, training, and maintaining a guide dog or other service animal to assist a visually impaired or hearing disabled person, or a person with other physical disabilities. In general, this includes any costs, such as food, grooming, and veterinary care, incurred in maintaining the health and vitality of the service animal so that it may perform its duties.”


As it is now September I just wanted to remind my readers, and especially fellow tax professionals, that, according to the NATP “RTRP Court Case Update” (highlight is mine) –

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court will hear oral arguments in the Loving v. IRS case on September 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM ET. The oral argument will be before Circuit Judge Kavanaugh, and Senior Circuit Judges Williams and Sentelle. Each party will have the opportunity to present their arguments before the judges. It is typical for judges at the appellate level to actively ask questions at this time.”

So be sure to check the tax blogosphere on September 25th.  Hopefully the news will be that the Court upholds the decision in Loving v IRS and denies the IRS appeal.

And just one more thing, he said Columbo-like (I couldn’t resist) -

Joan Rivers’ slip of the tongue on the Today Show on Thursday morning hit the nail on the head.  Discussing a member of the reality tv excrement “The Jersey Shore” cast Joan referred to the show as “The Jersey Whore”.



Brian Huber said...

Tax deductions for guide dogs takes me back to a similar situation I had with a tax client who owned a sheep ranch. He purchased a special sheep herding dog. Well, I deducted the costs for "maintaining" the dog and depreciated the original cost of the dog. The rancher wanted to depreciate his barn cats, who feasted on the mice population. But I pointed out that they didn't have a cost basis... new cats were created frequently from activity in the barn.

Brian Huber said...

I'm no Trump apologist, but anyone who writes that Trump "is famous for merely being undeservedly famous" is misinformed about the man's accomplishments in the real estate business.

Robert D Flach said...

BH -

What accomplishments in the real estate business?

He inherited a ton of money from his father, who was also in real estate. I do believe (correct me if I am wrong) that his company(ies) went bankrupt twice – screwing his investors with nothing of consequence coming out of his own pocket.


The Dumpster is known much more for his self-indulgence and not for any real estate “accomplishments”.