Friday, August 28, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
It’s about time – a meaty BUZZ!
* The DFBs! VOX.COM reports “H&R Block Snuck Language Into a Senate Bill to Make Taxes More Confusing for Poor People” -
“At the company's instigation, the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a funding bill covering the IRS whose accompanying report instructs the agency to at least quadruple the length of the form that taxpayers fill out to get the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
Of course, IMHO the Earned Income Tax Credit does not belong on the 1040.
And, also IMHO, nobody should ever use Henry and Richard to prepare their tax returns.
* TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb does a good service when she explains “As Stocks Tumble, Understanding When A Loss Isn't Really A Loss” at FORBES.COM.
Over the years, when the stock market “corrects”, clients and friends have told me things like “I lost $100,000 today!”. But did they really? If the value of their portfolio was $500,000 before a correction, and is $400,000 after the correction, but they actually paid $300,000 to purchase the stock in their portfolio, or contributed $300,000 to the pension plan, they have not lost a penny. They are still ahead $100,000!
* Attention Tax Professionals - here is a great tool for use in your practice. Click here for more information.
* Tax Guy Bill Bischoff from MARKET WATCH tells us “Inherited a Retirement Account? Don’t Ignore This Tax-Smart Option”.
* Jason Dinesen asks, and answers, the question “Does a Sole Proprietorship Need a Balance Sheet?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
Jason thinks not. While I agree that it is not required, I do believe it “couldn’t hurt” and is actually a good practice. See my comment to Jason’s post.
* And Jason lists “Things a Business Owner Needs to Know Before Hiring Employees”.
I certainly agree with Jason when he advises small business owners to “know what you’re getting into before you hire employees”.
* Ellen Chang provides some suggestions on “How to Catch Up on Retirement Savings” at THE STREET.
* Bill Perez answers the question “What to Do if You Contributed Too Much to Your Roth IRA” at ABOUT.COM -
“Sometimes, people contribute too much savings to their Roth IRA. There are four ways to fix this problem that are all pretty straightforward. Just pick the solution that works best for your goals.”
* Bill’s colleague at ABOUT.COM Dr. Jean Murray beings us “The Naked Truth about Being Self-Employed”.
I am self-employed. I work out of a home office. And I often work at my desk naked!
* The TURBO TAX blog celebrated Thursday with “Happy National Dog Day! How Finding Your New Best Friend Can Save You Money”.
I discussed in detail the tax deduction for fostering a service dog in my 2009 post “Doggie Deductions”.
FYI, National Cat Day is Thursday, October 29.
* After a bit of a hiatus we welcome Trish McIntire of OUR TAXING TIMES back to posting.
She brings us “Back to School”, which provides a good list of what records you should keep to document education expenses for the variety of education tax benefits, and tells us about the “Kansas Tax Amnesty 2015”.
Welcome back to Trish!
* The BOTZ, DEAL & COMPANY, P.C. blog has some good advice on how to “Protect Elderly Parents Against Fraud”.
* I’m glad I got out when I did! NJ.COM gives us the word that “Jersey City Among Worst Places in America to Retire: Report” –
“Finance website WalletHub's recent survey of the 150 largest cities in the U.S. found Jersey City and Newark to be the two worst cities to retire in America. The report took into consideration each city's affordability, the availability of senior activities, quality of life (including crime rates and weather) and healthcare.
Coming in at No. 149 overall, Jersey City barely edged out Newark by ranking 141st in affordability, 140th in activities, 108th in quality of life and 149th in healthcare.”
THE LAST WORD –
In an unscientific test of morals, Honest Tea went to the 27 largest cities across the country and set up stands, selling tea for $1. People were supposed to put a dollar in a box and take a bottle of tea, all on an honor system.
Atlanta was the most honest city – with 100% of those taking a bottle paying the $1.00.
Guess which city was the only one where people actually took money from the box. Washington DC! No surprise here.
DC was not, however, the least honest city. That distinction goes to Providence, Rhode Island.
Honest Tea had done the same experiment in 2013 – and then Washington was the least honest. One poor soul in DC had his bike stolen while he stopped to take a bottle (and put in a dollar).
Perhaps Washington DC would have done better if the experiment had been conducted when Congress was in recess.