Friday, August 15, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
* Hey tax pros – I am still waiting to hear your thoughts on the topics discussed in the premier “issue” of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL!
* Did you see the “Message from My Cat”?
* EA, CPA, JD, ATP, AFSP – what’s the story? I explain the different “initials” as they relate to tax preparation at FIND A TAXPROFESSIONAL.
* Jason Dinesen brings to our attention a “Rare Home Office Deduction Win in Tax Court” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
The case concerns the use of a studio apartment as a home office and the Court-upheld fact that “de minimis personal usage of office space is impossible to avoid in a studio apartment”.
* And Jason discusses “Proper Documentation of Business Expenses”.
Bottom line = “Keep your receipts”.
* NOLA.COM reports that the Louisiana “Revenue Department Announces Tax Amnesty Program” -
“The Louisiana Department of Revenue announced Tuesday its plans to host a tax amnesty program for 30 days in October and November.
The amnesty program would allow noncompliant taxpayers an opportunity to settle their accounts with the state by paying all of their delinquent taxes, while receiving a waiver of penalties and 50 percent of the interest owed for tax balances prior to Jan. 1, 2014.
Noncompliant taxpayers include those who failed to file a tax return, those who did not report all income or tax, interest and penalties, those who claimed incorrect deductions, and those who misrepresented or omitted any tax due.”
* A thoughtful post with some good advice from FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl Kelly Philips Erb - “Think Before You Post: The Dangers Of Seeking Tax Advice On The Internet”.
* And, in case you are interested, Kelly tells us “Tax Revenues Still On Pace To Break Records In 2014”.
The government still spends more than it makes, but there is some good news on this front (highlight is mine) –
“Our outlays still outpace our revenues for the year, leaving a deficit of just over $460 billion. And although that number seems impossibly big, it’s down 24% from the same time last year.”
* According to the LIFE AND TAXES blog of the “other” NSA “IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams After Over $5 Million Stolen”.
The post quotes IRS Commissioner John Koskinen –
“Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail.”
And it also points out -
“Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
• Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
• Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations.
• Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.”
So always remember – the IRS will NEVER email you or call you on the telephone!
THE FINAL WORD
Here is a question I have always wanted to ask the likes of Matt Lauer –
You interview kings and presidents, politicians, legitimate actors, heroes, real newsmakers – all people with actual talent or ability and worth who contribute to society and have something of value to say or share. Do you feel insulted when you are forced to interview self-important reality tv “stars” like Kardashians, real housewives, and the Trumpster – people with no talent and nothing of value to share with or contribute to society?