Friday, November 29, 2013


Happy Black Friday!  I will not be stepping foot in any retail establishment today.

I trust you had a successful Thanksgiving.  I dined at the “Settlers’ Inn” in Hawley with my sister, who came up from New Jersey.

* Let’s start off with a Thanksgiving-related non tax post by Brad Plumer from the Washington Post’s WONKBLOG – “The Turkey Pardon is America’s Dumbest Tradition”.

* It’s almost time for the December “issue” of THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.  Have you read the November “issue” yet?

* “Who Speaks for the Tax Preparer?”  That’s what I ask at TAXPRO TODAY.

Tax pros – what do you think?  So far the response has been positive – but would like more of your comments.
* If you have not begun your year-end tax plan yet, now is a good time to review my suite of year-end articles at MAINSTREET.COM - 

* JK LASSER talks in detail about “Family Giving Before Year-End”.

I am often asked if the recipient of a gift has to report the gift as income on their tax return.  As the item points out, it is important to remember –

Your family and others can receive gifts of cash and property in any amount without any immediate tax consequences. However, if you give them property, they need to know your tax basis and holding period; this will impact whether they have gain or loss when they sell the property, and whether the gain or loss is long term or short term.”

So if you are, for example, gifting shares of stock or a mutual fund from your portfolio be sure to give the recipient a copy of your original purchase confirm, or let them know when you purchased the investment you are gifting and how much you paid for it.

And, as the recipient of the gift is not taxed on the amount of the gift, the giver cannot claim a tax deduction for the gift.
* THE SLOTT REPORT suggests that you “Contribute to BOTH Your 401(k) and IRA in 2013”.

* I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t pass by this item from TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb at FORBES.COM – “This Man's Nuts: Plan To Sell Testicle For New Car Is Taxable”.

The apparent sale price in question is $35,000.  At that price it is certainly not brass!

* Barbara Weltman reviews and comments on some of Max Baucus’ business tax proposals in “My Take on the Latest Tax Reform Proposals” at BARBARA’S BLOG.

* Let me end with “Holiday TV 2013: When to Watch Holiday Specials, Movies, Classics” from the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

There are certainly some “specials” that I will be missing.  And I am thankful there is no Blake Shelton “special” this year – last year’s was the worst Christmas “special” in history.  


There are 2 reasons I will not be seeing the new THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY movie in theatres this Christmas.

1)  While I love the work of his parents, I avoid movies with Ben Stiller and his contemporaries.  For the most part they are excessively juvenile, written for an audience with the wit and maturity of a 5th grade boy.  Their unsuccessful attempts at humor often feature frequent examples of or references to a variety of bodily excretions and secretions.  To be fair, however, on balance the films of Ben Stiller are not as bad as those starring or produced by Adam Sandler, clearly the biggest offender in the group.

2)   The film is totally unnecessary.  It will most certainly be far inferior to the original 1947 Danny Kaye movie.  Ben Stiller is obviously not in the same class as Danny Kaye.  I wonder if the “remake” will actually have nothing to do with the original story or movie, but does nothing more than steal the title and basic idea of the movie, like the Steve Martin CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN movies of a few years back.

Take my advice and, instead of wasting your money at the box office, rent the original on DVD.     


1 comment:

Mike M. said...

You were wise not to enter any retail store on Friday...I stopped into a Dept. store and the lines were around the front of the store & were very long. --Mike M.