Tuesday, January 14, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
The latest on the saga of my enrollment in Obamacare. I received a letter from my new provider stating – “This letter is to confirm your enrollment effective 01/01/2014” and “Your identification card(s) will be mailed to you separately within the next 7-10 business days”. Yesterday I received my insurance card. Finally!
* My Tax Tip series continues at MAINSTREET.COM with “Same Sex Marriage and 2013 Tax Returns”.
* The MainStreet.com TAX CENTER also tells us that the “Top 1% Pay More in Federal Income Taxes than Bottom 90%”.
“A recent report by the non-partisan research group reveals that in 1980, the bottom 90% of taxpayers paid a little more than half (50.72%) of all income taxes. In 2011 (the most recent year the data are available), the bottom 90% paid just under a third (31.74%) of taxes. In contrast, the top 1% paid 19% of taxes in 1980 and now pays just over 35% of federal income taxes.
‘An interesting piece of information is that after the  Bush tax cuts, often claimed to be a tax cut for the rich, the tax burden of the top 1% actually increased significantly,’ the Tax Foundation says. ‘One reason for the decline in the bottom 90%'s tax share is likely the proliferation of tax credits. In the last 30 years, the number of tax credits has increased -- specifically refundable tax credits. The combined cost of refundable and standard tax credits has gone from around $20 billion in 1990 to $176 billion in 2010, with refundable credits accounting for about $100 billion of that growth’."
* ACCOUNTING TODAY gives us the good news (from our point of view) that “IRS Tax Audits of Individuals Hit Lowest Rate Since 2005” -
“The Internal Revenue Service audited 0.96 percent of individual tax returns in fiscal 2013, declining for the second straight year and reaching the lowest rate since 2005.”
* And ACCOUNTING TODAY reports on the Taxpayer Advocate’s recently released 2013 Report to Congress in “Taxpayer Advocate Calls for Taxpayer Bill of Rights”.
FYI, Nina Olsen continues to call for the death of the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax
* TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb talks about Nina’s report in “Report To Congress: IRS Is Increasingly Unable To Meet Taxpayer Needs”.
* William Perez reminds us that the “Fourth Estimated Tax Payment for 2013 Due on January 15”.
* Jamaal Solomon of THE TAX FACTOR has a new YouTube tax video on “Phase-Outs”.
* Andrea of TAKE A SMART STEP provides a lesson in “How to Keep Your Tax Money Information Organized”, telling us what she does.
* At the YAHOO FINANCE CENTER Kay Bell warns us to “Beware These 5 Terrible Tax Surprises”.
Kay identifies “five terrible tax surprises that you might encounter during tax season and how to deal with the consequences”.
* Jean Murray’s “The Absolute Best Way to Save Money on Business Tax Preparation” at ABOUT.COM also applies to 1040 preparation - Start early and be prepared.