Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I take exception to the above comic strip that I came across in Saturday’s paper!

Due to the holiday week-end today’s BUZZ is lean.

* And the beat goes on.  Jason Dinesen bring us the latest on the ridiculous new regulations for EROs “IRS Clarifies New E-file Rules” - 

This IRS this afternoon confirmed to me and other practitioners who had been making the IRS’s lives miserable the last few days that: the new e-file rules apply only to electronically signed e-file authorizations. And ‘electronically signed’ means signed by some means other than pen-to-paper.

So for most prepares, included me, the new rules don’t apply because most of us aren’t using electronic signatures.”

Regardless of who or why – requiring tax preparers to do background and credit checks on clients remains utterly ridiculous, and, as Jason has previously pointed out, probably illegal and harmful to the clients being checked.  EROs should join together and write to the IRS en masse stating that they refuse to comply with this new regulation.

* ACCOUNTING TODAY tells us that the IRS Oversight Board joins the growing list of those (including me and NTA Nina Olsen) who opposing using outside collection agencies to collect alleged outstanding tax delinquencies in “IRS Oversight Board Opposes Private Debt Collectors” (highlight is mine) -

’The concept has already failed twice,’ said IRS Oversight Board chairman Paul Cherecwich, Jr., in a letter Tuesday to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. ‘When direct administrative costs are included, which the Joint Committee on Taxation failed to do, the program costs more to administer than the revenue retained. We concur with the NTA in that outsourcing federal debt collection is a bad idea and it makes little sense to resurrect.’

* I recently noticed the below statement on the home page of the NJ Division of Taxation -

Taxpayers that made a final payment with their 2013 New Jersey Tax Return may have received a notice of underpayment from the Division of Taxation. We are correcting all of the accounts and will process refunds expeditiously to those who may have overpaid.  If you would like to confirm your account balance, please contact us at 609-292-6400.”  

The statement addresses the perennial problem (happens every few years) of applying current year manual balance due payments to the prior year’s tax account.  It looks like (I assume from the wording of the statement) this time NJDOT will automatically refund the overpayment – instead of keeping mum and hoping that the affected taxpayers do not discover the FU as had been the policy.  In the past I had to separately request a refund for each affected client.

This is a good sign.  But the NJDOT needs to go further and send a letter explaining and apologizing for the FU to each taxpayer who received an erroneous billing notice – for this FU and the other FUs that have recently been discovered.

* FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb deals with a timely topic in “12 Tax Tips To Consider When Buying A Shore Or Vacation Property This Summer”.


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