Friday, October 3, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
I’m back from Lancaster PA. I expect I will return for a longer visit in the next year or so. My hotel provided free wi-fi – so I was able to “wander” the web in search of BUZZ.
* Attention tax pros - have you seen the October “issue” of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL yet? Please check it out – email your comments on the topics I have discussed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and spread the word to fellow tax preparers.
* Joe Kristan has read October THE TAX PROFESSIONAL and adds his more than 2 cents to the first topic in the “issue” – Obamacare – in his yesterday’s “Tax Roundup, 10/2/14: The IRS Helps Fulfill a Vow of Poverty. And: ACA – Good in Theory?” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.
Joe promises to comment on the other topics discussed in the "issue" in subsequent posts. I look forward to reading his thoughts!
* Even though I am NOT a CPA - Shauna O'Brien includes me at #3 (I do not know if the order means anything) on her list of “25 CPA Blogs That Will Make You A Better Investor” at DIVIDEND.COM. It is a good list, with several blogs that are new to me.
* The Fall 2014 issue of NJ TAXING TIMES, the newsletter of the NJ chapter of NATP, is available to download! Click here.
Lots of good “stuff” in this issue. I have written a couple of items.
* Scott Stevens explains “Misconceptions Cloud Understanding of Affordable Care Act” in a 2-part post at OMAHA.COM that lists “the top 10 most common ACA misconceptions that I have come across”. Click here for Part I and here for Part II”.
* And William Perez takes up the daunting task of explaining the mucking fess that is the Obamacare “Individual Shared Responsibility Payment” at ABOUT.COM. Payment, smayment. It ain’t a tax, either. Let’s call a spade a shovel – it is a penalty.
This “payment”, and the administration of Obamacare in general, should not be a part of the 1040!
* I promise this is the last BUZZ reference to brain-dead reality show idiot Mike Sorrentino’s recently discovered tax fraud. It is “Understanding 'The Situation's' Tax Situation: Separating Fact From Fiction” from Tony Nitti at FORBES.COM and it is excellent.
The next time I mention this arsehole here will be to reference the announcement of his conviction and jail sentence.
* Also at FORBES.COM TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb continues with her “Back to School” series.
* Jason Dinesen is “Letting My Hair Grow Back” because “DIY is Not Always Better”
His point about tonsorial maintenance is applied to tax preparation –
“. . . if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you know what you’re doing and you have time to do it, then certainly you should try doing it yourself. But know your limitations and know the value of your time.”
I have always said that a majority of my clients have the smarts to be able to prepare their own returns, but they don’t want to waste the time it would take to read the instructions and keep up-to-date - or to just sit down and prepare them. Besides, they want to be sure they do not miss anything. It is truly cheaper, certainly in terms of the value of time, to have me prepare them.
* A few BUZZ installments ago I told you about rebate checks going out to New York State residents. The DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICAL now tells us “NY tax Rebate Checks all Mailed, But Watch Out for Scams”.
“The $350 rebate checks should all hit mailboxes by this Friday, the agency said. If you don't get one and think you should, you can check here later in the week to apply for it.”
“The tax department warned that scam artists have been contacting taxpayers by telephone seeking personal information to ‘confirm’ they are eligible for a tax rebate. The state said that they've received initial reports in central New York of the scam.”
Like the IRS, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance will never contact a taxpayer by telephone –
“The tax department said it would always make first contact by letter, which includes a phone number you can contact to verify that it was sent by the agency.”
* I have done it for years now – work from home that is. Carolyn O'Hara lists “5 Ways to Work from Home More Effectively” at the HBR BLOG NETWORK.
I don’t work in my pajamas (I don’t wear pajamas) – but I have been known to be at my desk all day in nothing but my robe.
THE FINAL WORD –
The PA-NATP workshop, the reason I travelled to Lancaster PA, was very good – although I do believe I misunderstood its purpose. It dealt with preparing the PA corporate tax return for one-person LLCs who filed federally on a Schedule C. I was not aware that this was required. And as I do not accept new clients and do not do PA returns I have no interest in that topic.
I thought it was for one-shareholder corporations, such as I am. I went to find out how to file the PA state corporate tax returns for my corporation. I did learn what I needed to know during the morning session – so it was not a waste. Regardless, both presenters – one from the PA Dept of Revenue and one from the PA-NATP membership – were knowledgeable and good, and humorous, experienced speakers.