Thursday, October 30, 2014


The BUZZ is a day early.  It was rather meaty already – and I have a special Halloween post scheduled for Friday.

* The November “issue” of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL will be up on Saturday.  Have you seen the October issue yet?  Please check it out and let me know your thoughts on the topics I discuss.  

* The NATIONAL SOCIETY OF ACCOUNTANTS announces “DC Court Shoots Down AICPA Tax Preparer Lawsuit”.

A D.C. federal judge on Monday decided the Internal Revenue Service can continue its voluntary Annual Filing Season Program for uncredentialed return preparers.”

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg hit the nail on the head, stating –

the crux of [the AICPA’s] concern is apparent:  its membership feels threatened by the specter of increased competition from previously uncredentialed tax return preparers who choose to complete the program.”   

The AICPA erroneously feels that CPA’s “own” the tax preparation business, and wants to discourage any credential or designation that identifies competence and currency in preparing 1040s.

The NSA item tells us Judge Boasberg felt “. . . the AICPA didn’t have the authority to sue the authority because it was not harmed by the Program”.

So the IRS voluntary Annual Filing Season Program will continue.

* The TAX FOUNDATION has issued its “2015 State Business Tax Climate Index”.

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. While there are many ways to show how much is collected in taxes by state governments, the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems, and provides a road-map to improving these structures.”

No surprise here.  Once again like Oliver Twist, New Jersey is last on the list.  My former home state is #50, just behind New York (#49) and California (#48).

We are told that New Jersey “suffers from some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst structured individual income taxes in the country.”

The top file are –

1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Nevada
4. Alaska
5. Florida

My current home state of Pennsylvania is #34.

* This week Jean Murray’s weekly newsletter on Business Law and Taxes from ABOUT.COM covers change.

If your business is changing, or the ownership has changed, or you are in a different tax situation, you may want to change your business legal structure.”

She also deals with “changing your name and other business changes”.

* Russ Fox is only one of the bloggers who brought to our attention the disturbing story of “SARs Leading to Forfeiture: The IRS Oversteps” this week.

The New York Times story notes the case of a restaurant owner in Iowa who had about $33,000 seized {by the IRS} solely because she made regular cash deposits of less than $10,000.”

There was no illegal activity proven, or even suspected, by any law enforcement agency.  This resulted from a “Suspicious Activity Report” (SAR) filed by the bank.

Thankfully, Russ tells us -

The only good news from the article is that the IRS is apparently going to limit the practice. In a statement made to the Times, Richard Weber, head of IRS Criminal Investigation, said the practice will be curtailed.”

The practice should not be curtailed – it should be eliminated!  If the IRS felt there was “suspicious activity” it should have investigated further before just grabbing the money.  I do not find is “suspicious” that a popular restaurant would generate $6,000 in cash in the course of its normal business activity.

Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

* At MONEYSMARTLIFE  Kevin Mercadante talks about “How it’s Never Too Late to Start Saving for Retirement”.

The article basically explains, in great detail, that “Any Retirement Savings is Better than Nothing“.

* HEALTHCARE.GOV provides important “Dates & Deadlines” for signing up for 2015 health care coverage through the Obamacare ACA Marketplace.

* It’s year-end tax planning time again.  PARKER PUBLISHING brings us “In-Depth: Year-End Tax Planning for Individuals in Light of Uncertainty Regarding Tax Extenders”.


With all the hoopla about corporate tax inversions the tax reform discussion seems to be centered on corporate tax reform.  Obviously there is need for corporate tax reform.  But let’s not forget what started the discussion in the first place – individual (Form 1040) tax reform.

I fear the idiots in Congress will make token corporate tax changes and forget the mucking fess that is the 1040 altogether.

The ENTIRE Tax Code needs to be written from scratch!


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