Tuesday, August 12, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
* Check out my article “Deducting Mortgage Interest on Your Taxes” at the MainStreet.com TAX CENTER.
* Tax professionals – I am still waiting to hear your thoughts on my “Solution to the Question of a Voluntary Tax Preparer Credential” in the August issue of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL.
* Fellow tax and personal finance bloggers – would you like a free review copy of THE NEW SCHEDULE C NOTEBOOK? It is yours for the asking – email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Review Copy Request” in the “subject line”. Of course I will expect an honest review of the book.
* Did you hear? “FTC Sending $16 Million to Former American Tax Relief Clients. Don't Fall for Tax Relief Scams in the First Place”. So Kay Bell tells us at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
American Tax Relief is one of those companies who promised in tv ads that they could settle your tax debt for “pennies on the dollar”.
Don’t believe anyone who promises to settle your tax debts for “pennies on the dollar”! If you have tax debt do not pay attention to tv commercials. Consult your own tax professional first. Or seek out a reputable, competent tax professional in your area who is experienced in tax representation and resolution. You can use the database searches available at FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.
Kay’s post quotes some excellent advice from the FTC –
“Ignore promises from any company that says you are ‘qualified’ or ‘eligible’ for a tax relief program to resolve your tax debt. Only the IRS or your state tax officials can make that determination.
Walk away if a company requires a fee in advance for tax relief services.”
If only those who were ripped off by American Tax Relief had sent the money they paid ATR to the IRS towards their debt instead.
* The following is from the NATP TAXPRO WEEKLY email newsletter (highlight is mine) -
“In a recent IRS Approved CE Provider conference call, it was announced that in the upcoming Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications, those who have obtained the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) Record of Completion for that tax season will be listed with AFSP after his/her name (i.e., Jamaal Harris, AFSP). It was also mentioned that tax preparers will be allowed to use the AFSP as a designation on business cards and other marketing materials—for the tax season in which they have received the Record of Completion.”
One of the major objections to this new voluntary program was that it did not provide tax professionals who meet the requirements with a legitimate “credential”, like Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP). This new development is not really a legitimate “credential”, although it is some kind of “designation”.
If “EA” (Enrolled Agent) is confusing, you can bet that “AFSP” will be even more confusing.
* Jean Murray lists the “5 Biggest Mistakes Business Owners Make” at ABOUT.COM.
Of course in #5 she really means to say “Not getting advice from both an attorney and a tax professional.”
THE FINAL WORD
Congratulations to NJ Chapter of the National Association of Tax Professionals for winning Chapter of the year in Community Betterment for 2013 at the NATP Annual Conference.
While I now live in PA, my clients are from NJ and I still think of myself as a member of the NJ chapter (and write for their newsletter).
And congratulations to Marilyn H Ayers, NJ chapter President, for being named Tax Professional of the Year! And to Jaimee Hammer, past NJ chapter President, for winning NATP Chapter Person of the Year Honorable Mention!
I am not at the conference this year because it is in Orlando – I’ve already been there twice before for conferences and that is enough. It is hot enough here in PA! But I will be in New Orleans for the conference next summer.
And I will be attending NATP’s new Tax Forum & Expo in Atlantic City next month. This new event replaces the IRS east coast Nationwide Tax Forum that used to be held in either Atlantic City or New York City but is now in Maryland.
BTW – if you are a member of NATP from NJ I recommend you join the chapter’s Spacebook group. Click here.