Friday, October 24, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
* It is almost time for the new issue of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL! Please email me your thoughts on the issues I have discussed in the September and October issues at firstname.lastname@example.org with THE TAX PROFESSIONAL in the “subject line”. Please!
* I tell you about the Social Security increases for 2015 in "Social Security Recipients to Receive An Increase of This Much in 2015" at MAINSTREET.COM.
* Are you self-employed, or thinking about starting a business. You need THE NEW SCHEDULE C NOTEBOOK!
* Joe Kristan quotes IRS Commissioner John Koskinen from an interview with Tax Analysts in “Tax Roundup 10/21/14: Gander Gets Sauced! And: IRS Commissioner’s Prophecy of Tax Season Doom” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG -
“So we have right now probably the most complicated filing season before us that we’ve had in a long time, if ever.”
I have been around for over 40 filing seasons and I doubt the upcoming one will be the most complicated “ever”. My vote would probably be for the first tax season in the mid-80s that reflected the changes from TRA 86.
But I do agree that Obamacare issues (if that is what he was talking about – you have to be a paid subscriber to read the complete interview) will add to the ongoing complication of the upcoming filing season. Again we have the idiots in Congress to thank for this.
* Joe celebrates the anniversary of Reagan’s signing into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986 in “Tax Roundup, 10/22/14: Remembering Tax Reform”.
Joe reminds us that TRA 86 was not all good -
“It included the current alternative minimum tax, which adds huge complexity to individual compliance. It had some benefits that phased out based on income, such as passive losses for active renters and for some IRA contributors. But at the time those could be seen as flaws to be fixed. Instead, they were weeds that would be cultivated.”
And he points out -
“I count 47 ‘major’ post-tax reform tax laws in the Tax Policy Center list. Every one of them has done its part to undo tax reform.”
Joe ends on a hopeful note –
“Still, 1986 did happen. Top rates came down from 50% to 28%. The base was broadened and rates reduced. It happened once, so maybe it can happen again.”
However neither Joe nor I are holding our breath.
* I just got this week’s email newsletter from Jean Murray, who covers business law and taxes for ABOUT.COM.
“This week, I'm focusing on issues involved with contracts and agreements.”
* Jean also deals with the issue of “Who Is Self-Employed? Why It Matters”.
* Just in case you wondered why I never refer to Congress without the preface “idiots in”. CCH HEADLINES reports (highlight is mine) -
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to hold a vote on a package of expiring tax provisions known as ‘extenders as soon as the 114th Congress convenes in January, according to ‘The Hill’ newspaper.”
The idiots have been irresponsible enough waiting this long – and continuing to wait until after the election.
The perennial delay in passing the “extenders” causes multiple problems and issues for the IRS and tax software vendors as well as taxpayers who file electronically.
These idiots need to shit or get off the pot and vote NOW to extend, or let die, the various “extenders”. Or more better - vote to either make permanent or let die the “extenders”. Temporary tax breaks that do not directly relate to a specific natural disaster are not good policy.
* I agree with Jason Dinesen. “It's okay to be Joe the Window Washer.” Joe and I have a lot in common.
You can “Meet Joe the Window Washer” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* Joseph Spector of the DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICAL tells us about “Round 2: New York State Tax Rebate Checks Hit Mailboxes” -
“The second round of rebate checks started hitting mailboxes in recent days.
The checks, about 2.8 million costing about $400 million to the state, will provide rebates to homeowners on school property taxes if their district last May stayed under the tax cap, which limits the growth in taxes to less than 2 percent a year.”
* Did you know that the “Tax Refund Size Increased This Year”? So says Michael Cohn at ACCOUNTING TODAY -
“The average tax refund in 2014 was $2,696, up 1.5 percent from the average refund of $2,656 in 2013, according to a new report on how well the Internal Revenue Service operated last tax season.”
Michael also reports that, despite the best efforts of the idiots in Congress to make things difficult. “. . . the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, found that the IRS managed to function well this past tax season”.
Let’s hope they are able to function just as well during the 2015 tax filing season, as the idiots in Congress wait until the very last minute to deal with the “extenders”.