Friday, May 1, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
A short BUZZ today – not much to share. However I hope you agree with me that some BUZZ is better than no BUZZ.
* MARKETWATCH.COM reports on the “Maryland 2015 Tax Amnesty Program - September 1, 2015 to October 30, 2015” – (highlight is mine)
“The 2015 tax amnesty period will be September 1, 2015 to October 30, 2015. The Program will waive civil penalties and one-half of any interest on taxpayers who failed to file, underreported, or did not pay the tax liability for Maryland state and local income tax, withholding taxes, sales and use taxes, and admissions and amusement taxes due on or before December 31, 2014. In order for the penalties and one-half interest to be waived, the taxpayer must (1) file delinquent returns and pay the tax, including one-half of any interest, due under the return; (2) pay the tax, plus one-half of any interest, due on a previously filed return; or (3) enter into an agreement with the Comptroller to pay the tax and one-half interest. Taxpayers who were granted amnesty under prior Maryland Tax Amnesty Programs held between 1999 and 2014 are not eligible.”
One of the criticisms of amnesty programs, and a reason there has never been a federal amnesty program, is that officials fear taxpayers will put off paying outstanding taxes due between amnesty programs because they know they can avoid interest and penalties when the next one comes around. This program does not allow those granted amnesty in past programs to use the current one to avoid penalty and interest.
* Jason Dinesen begins a new series of posts on the question “Are HRAs Always Appropriate for Sole Proprietors?”.
* Bond Beebe’s IT’S TAXING blog suggests a way to avoid tax on a “backdoor” ROTH IRA contribution in “Reverse Rollover: A Bridge over the Backdoor Roth Trapdoor”.
* Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES.com’s TaxGirl, gives us “10 Tips To Help You Stay Married To A Tax Professional”.
* An IRS twitter account - @IRStaxpros – has been “tweeting” the following lately – “Tax Pros: #IRS launches directory of qualified return preparers. Are you listed?”.
THIS IS NOT TRUE!
The directory referenced in the “tweet” is NOT a directory of “qualified return preparers”. It is a directory of return preparers who have a recognized designation, such as CPA, JD, EA, or who hold an AFSP certificate.
The directory itself is titled “Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications” – and I would question the term “select qualifications”.
As I have responded to the tweet – there are tens of thousands of qualified return preparers who are not on the list!
When looking for a tax preparer you should most definitely not limit your search to those included in this directory.