Tuesday, August 19, 2014


* Did you see the “Message from My Cat” yet?

* Eva Rosenberg of EQUIFAX explains “What You Need to Know About Inheritance Taxes”, specifically dealing with whether or not an inheritance is taxable.

* At FORBES.COM David Brunori tells us “Congress Shouldn't Make State Tax Systems Worse”.  Easier said then done!

I like, and agree wholeheartedly with, David’s introductory statements –

Our national legislature, whether the Democratically controlled Senate or the GOP-led House, is a joke.

Congress certainly doesn’t do taxes well, or at least it hasn’t since 1986. The federal corporate tax needs to be reformed. The personal income tax could stand some good tax policy revisions as well. Members of Congress have very little knowledge about good tax policy . . .”

* Did you know “The IRS Has a Tax Cheat Sheet for Small Business Owners”?  So we are told by FOX BUSINESS.

Think what you will of the IRS and its past and current management, the Service’s website has some great resources.

* Kay Bell asks “Would You Trust Your Taxes to a Robot?” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

She tells us –

Most of the folks who participated in Pew Research Center's 2014 Future of the Internet canvass said they expect robotics and artificial intelligence, or AI, will permeate much of our daily lives by 2025.”

And also refers to “the September 2013 paper "The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Comptuterisation?" by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne”.

Tax preparers have a 99 percent potential for computerizationon on the Frey/Osborne list.  However, this certainly will not happen in my lifetime.

Kay correctly observes –

While on paper, tax preparation with all its forms and math calculations looks to be a good fit for total computerization, we know that won't happen. Trained people always will be needed to decipher the laws that govern the required paperwork.

More importantly, we'll need people to help work out strategies for the best, most money-saving application of the tax laws.”

Hey, aren’t many returns already being prepared by “robots” – or at least computers?  Most employees of Henry and Richard and other fast food preparation chains are nothing more than data entry clerks – with the return actually being prepared, often erroneously and always expensively, by computerized tax preparation software.  And unfortunately this situation is not limited to fast food chains.

I like Kay’s tax preparation scenario with Hal, “the implacable, and lip-reading space craft controller in 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

* USA TODAY brings us some disturbing news – “A Third of People Have Nothing Saved for Retirement”.

A lot of folk have empty nest eggs. A third of people (36%) in this country have nothing saved for retirement, a new survey shows.

In fact, 14% of people 65 and older have no retirement savings; 26% of those 50 to 64 have nothing saved; 33%, 30 to 49; and 69%, 18 to 29, according to the survey of 1,003 adults, conducted for Bankrate.com.”

What about you?


This past week-end was the 45th Anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair at Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel Woods NY.

I was in the area, spending summer vacation in Beach Lake PA, during the original festival – but was only 15 and too young to attend.  I do remember seeing overhead shots of the crowds in the Sunday News.

My family had driven to Lake Huntington NY, less than ten miles from Yasgur’s farm, (where my mother grew up; she told me that she knew Max Yasgur in her youth), and we stopped at a local general store.  The proprietor told my father he had nothing to sell him because the “hippies” had bought everything in the store!  

Earlier this summer I went to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, on the site of the original festival, to see Crosby, Stills and Nash, who had performed at Woodstock.


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