Friday, January 9, 2015


I am off on my first “business trip” of the New Year.  To NJ, to attend the annual “Famous State Tax Seminar” offered each year in Iselin by the NJ chapter of the National Association of Tax Professionals.  It is a must-attend seminar for anyone who prepared NJ state tax returns.  And then Sunday it is a bi-weekly payroll and then lunch and tax talk with a friend from high school who is also a client.

* Jason Dinesen tells it like it when he says “Sorry, But There Really Isn’t a ‘Gray Area’ for Most Taxpayers to Push” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

Jason’s bottom line -

No matter what the H & R Block commercials say, there is no magic wand that a tax preparer can wave to make a bigger tax refund appear.

Your withholding and your tax credits control how large your refund is – not some sort of magic worked by the preparer.”

Tax professionals used to be able to work “magic”, and save tons of taxes, back in “the day” (before TRA 86) using Income Averaging and 10-Year Averaging.  But these “tricks” no longer exist.

The “magic” provided today by a tax professional comes in knowing exactly what is taxable, what is deductible, and what credits are available within a taxpayer’s specific situation, and when and how to properly report these items on the tax return.  This comes from the preparer’s personal knowledge of and experience with the Tax Code.  No “box” (tax preparation software) can perform this “magic”!

* Trish McIntire explains the recent “IRA Rollover Change” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

It is important to note, as Trish tells us (highlight is mine) -

“The new rollover rules don’t apply to taxpayers who make trustee to trustee rollovers from one IRA to another IRA. But taxpayers who withdraw money from one account and deposit into another account themselves, will have to follow the new rules.”

* And Trish offers good advice in any situation – “Eat More Chocolate”!

This is one of the “20 Things I’ll Do Differently Next Tax Season” list, which someone gave her many years ago, that she recently came across while cleaning her office.

For me #6 is impossible.

* Over at ACCOUNTING WEB Ken Berry (no – not the “Mayberry RFD” actor) want you to “Enjoy Glad Tax Tidings for Business Entertainment Deductions” –

Did you entertain family and friends this past holiday season? Generally, you can’t deduct any expenses for such social gatherings. But you may be in line for deductions relating to business entertainment—if you meet the strict rules spelled out in the tax law.

* New twitter follower Daniel S Bernstein, author of the blog AWESOME SECRETS, offers an “Ode to the Tax Code”.

Daniel admits -

The truth is, I have fallen in love with the tax code.”

I kinda know how you feel, Daniel.  I am not in love with the Tax Code itself, in fact I think it should be totally rewritten from scratch, but I did fall in love with tax return preparation 40+ years ago.

* At the end of her DON’T MESS WITH TAXES post “Tax Reform is Part of New GOP Congress' Agenda” Kay Bell asks the question.

Will the 114th Congress be able to overcome such partisan bickering in order to craft meaningful tax reform?

Kay, to be perfectly honest, the answer is “NO”.

No “meaningful” individual income tax reform is possible under the Obama administration.  BO does not want “meaningful” individual reform – he wants to continue to FU the Tax Code by maintaining and expanding the bad policy of distributing government welfare and other benefits through the 1040, specifically maintaining and expanding refundable tax credits.

I truly doubt that “meaningful” individual tax reform will occur before I retire – although I can continue to dream and to “campaign” for it.


The tv ad asks - Why would you want to do your taxes now with Jackson Hewitt? 

Apparently not because the Jackson Hewitt preparers are experienced and competent and will prepare an accurate return, nor because they will make sure that you pay the absolute least amount of federal and state tax possible for your situation.  You should go to Jackson Hewitt because they will give you a $50.00 bribe!

Chances are you cannot actually do your taxes “now” – and even if you could you shouldn’t prepare your taxes with Jackson Hewitt, or Liberty, or Henry and Richard, or with any “fast food” commercial tax preparation chain.

Need a tax professional.  The place to start is FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL!


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