Wednesday, January 21, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – WEDNESDAY EDITION
A day late – but certainly not a dollar short!
* Check out the January “issue” of THE TAX PROFESSIONAL – the last word from TTP until after the tax filing season.
And fellow tax pros, PLEASE send me your comments on my editorials.
* Over at BOB’S BABBLINGS I talk about movie remakes – more often than not a bad idea.
* Michael Cohn tells us “Average Tax Prep Fee Inches Up to $273” at ACCOUNTING TODAY -
“The average fee for preparing a tax return, including an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return, will increase a few dollars to $273 this year, a 4.6 percent increase over the average fee of $261 last year, according to a survey by the National Society of Accountants.”
“The average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return this season without itemized deductions is expected to be $159, also a 4.6 percent increase over the average fee last year, which was $152.”
And, very important –
“All the fees cited assume a taxpayer has gathered and organized all the necessary information. . . . Many tax preparers will charge an average fee of $114 for dealing with disorganized or incomplete files.”
I am going to include a copy of this article to my invoices this tax season so my clients can see just how very lucky they are.
* One more plea - please help to spread the word about my website FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.
* Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen recently released the required 2014 Annual Report to Congress.
Each year at this time The National Taxpayer Advocate delivers this report directly to the tax-writing committees in Congress (the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance) with no prior review by the IRS Commissioner, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget.
The report discusses the nation’s most serious tax problems and the most litigated tax issues and makes legislative recommendations.
Nina predicts that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since at least 2001.
And, a recurring theme in Nina’s reports, the report urges Congress to enact comprehensive tax reform, pointing out that simplification would ease burdens on both taxpayers and the IRS.
#1 on the list of Most Serious Problems –
“Taxpayer Service Has Reached Unacceptably Low Levels and Is Getting Worse, Creating Compliance Barriers and Significant Inconvenience for Millions of Taxpayers.”
And #6 –
“Implementation of the Affordable Care Act May Unnecessarily Burden Taxpayers.”
And tax professionals and the IRS, too!
Click here to download the full report.
* Jason Dinesen continues his posting series on “A Brief History of Marriage in the Tax Code” with “Part 2: Taxes in 1913” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* Jean Murray answers a timely question at ABOUT.COM – “I Received a 1099-MISC form - What DoI Do With It?".
Pay special attention to her final item (highlights are mine) –
“What if I have income but no 1099-misc form? Do I still have to pay taxes on this income? All income must be reported to the IRS and taxes must be paid on all income. The payee may have forgotten to prepare and submit a 1099-MISC form for the income paid to you. Most likely, the payee may have not paid you $600 or more in a calendar year, in which case, no 1099-MISC must be filed. If you receive payments from several payees, you may or may not have a 1099-MISC form to match all payment, but you must still report and pay taxes on all 1099 income each year.”
* Tax filing season is almost here (don’t correct me – it starts on February 1st for me and always has) – so that means it is once again time for “Fun With Taxes: Tax Haiku 2015” over at Kelly Phillips Erb’s FORBES.COM TaxGirl blog.
I will work on my tax haikus when I come up for air.
THE FINAL WORD –
You now can file your 2014 tax returns – but that doesn’t mean you should file your 2014 taxes now.
Wait until at least February 3rd to be sure you have all the information returns (W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, 1095s, K-1s, etc) needed to correctly prepare your returns.