Wednesday, May 6, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – WEDNESDAY EDITION
Sorry to be a day late – but not a dollar short – with the BUZZ.
* Attention tax pros – THE TAX PROFESSIONAL is back as a weekly blog. I discuss “The Mortgage Interest Dilemma”.
* And Bob (that’s me) is babbling again! Check out the return of BOB’s BABBLINGS. I discuss “Unanswered Questions”.
* Ken Riter reminds us “2015 Brings a Big Jump In the Penalty For Not Having Health Insurance” at the interestingly titled blog TAXBUZZ (highlight is his) -
“The law included an increase to that penalty that would take effect in 2015, and the jump is significant. In 2015 the penalty will be the greater of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child with a maximum penalty allowable totaling $975, or two percent of household income minus the family’s tax filing threshold amount.”
You will note that the penalty is the “greater of” the fixed amount or “two percent of household income minus the family’s tax filing threshold amount”. The 2% of household income can add up to a substantial amount.
* According to the “Return Preparer Office Federal Tax Return Preparer Statistics” as of April 1, 2015, only 43,588 “previously unenrolled” tax preparers were issued a Annual Filing Season Program “Record of Completion”. This is only 10.75% of the “unenrolled” PTIN-holders.
As I expected this program was certainly not a success – it was basically a big waste.
I still believe that there is a need for a voluntary and independently administered tax preparer credential with actual value.
* The Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG explains “How the Government Spends Your Tax Dollars”.
You will notice in the “pie-chart” of “Federal Revenue by Source as a Percent of Total Revenue, 2014” that the federal estate and gift taxes make up less than 1% of the total federal revenue.
* Jason Dinesen gives us the “Basics of Doing Business in Other States” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* This is not good. CPA PRACTICE ADVISOR reports “Nearly 1/3 of Americans Have No Retirement Savings, Says Survey”.
What about you?
* But here is some good news from Jeff Stimpson at ACCOUNTING TODAY – “Fewer Returns for Large Tax Prep Chains”.
“Major tax prep chains Liberty Tax Inc. and H&R Block reported that the number of returns they prepared this tax season were flat or down slightly.”
So I guess Henry and Richard’s ridiculous ad campaign about getting your billions back was not a success. Perhaps the stupidest commercials I have seen in years.
* Unfortunately, Jeff’s colleague at ACCOUNTING TODAY, Michael Cohn, tells us “Jackson Hewitt Sees Strong Tax Season”.
“Jackson Hewitt Tax Service reported the best results it has seen in over five years this tax season, in contrast with competing tax prep chains H&R Block and Liberty Tax.”