Tuesday, October 14, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
Not much BUZZ this installment.
BTW - You do realize that the deadline for filing extended 2013 federal and state income tax returns is tomorrow! However, this deadline is really only important if you owe tax on the returns. Click here.
* I am still waiting to hear from fellow tax preparers on the topics discussed in the October “issue” of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL!
You can read what other taxpros have had to say at the MAILBAG Page.
* Over at BUSINESS WEEK Drake Bennett reviews the book “We Are Better Than This” by Edward Kleinbard (“a tax partner at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, then chief of staff of U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, and is now a professor at the University of Southern California’s law school”) in “Tax Expert Says Everyone's Too Obsessed With Taxes".
I know that I am obsessed with taxes - but it is how I make a living.
Drake tells us -
“. . . when he set out to write a book about how to fix the American tax system, it made him realize that the problem wasn’t the tax system; it’s everyone’s fixation on the tax system.”
And quotes Kleinbard -
“Our greatest public finance policy mistake over the past few decades has been to obsess over tax policy, while simultaneously failing to have serious and rational debates over spending policy.”
As Drake puts it - “The issue is not how government gets its money; it’s how it spends it.”
While I am not sure Edward and I interpret it the same way – I certainly agree with the above statement.
* Kay Bell explains “Extended Tax Filers Aren't Automatic Audit Targets” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
I am unaware of this “urban tax myth”. The myth I am familiar with is just the opposite – that you can avoid an audit by extending and filing close to the deadline.
When you file your return has nothing to do with when you file your return – but with what you put on your return.
Read my 2013 TWTP post “How the IRS Decides to Audit”.
* And Kay deals with the “High Tax Cost of Cellular Service” at her BANKRATE.COM blog.
I can attest to this. I recently got a cell phone only so I would be able to call the AARP emergency auto service if my car broke down on the road, or call a client if I was stuck in traffic – and for no other reason. I do not give my number out – I do not even know it offhand – and I would never answer the phone if it rang. Callers cannot leave a message. And I would never text (I don’t think I can). It appears I can take pictures, but I haven’t looked into this yet.
I got the Consumer Cellular phone advertised on tv, and was told it would cost $9.50 per month after my AARP discount. Of course when I got my first bill it did not cost $9.50 per month – it cost $13.02 per month after adding $2.22 in “government taxes and fees” and $1.30 for “surcharge and other charges”. While I am not thrilled about the high percentage of taxes and fees, I am perhaps more upset by the false advertising – the advertising tell me it costs $10.00 per month!