Tuesday, September 22, 2015


A lean BUZZ today.
* Jason Dinesen begins a new blog category he calls “Things Tax Preparers Say” with “Home Office Deductions”.

These posts will discuss errors made by other tax return preparers that Jason has discovered, presumably when he reviews the prior years’ returns of a new client.  The first installment reports on a serious error concerning the deduction for a home office.

I asked Jason - was the preparer who made the mistake was a CPA?  Here is his response (highlight is mine) –

The answer to your question in the comments section is yes!

As with you, almost all of the f-ups I see are from CPAs, or H&R Block.”

* I agree with David Brunori of FORBES.COM that this is perhaps the “Silliest Tax Proposal of The Year – Really” –

State Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R) is proposing a bill (S 2721) that would grant income tax exemptions to some entertainers performing in Atlantic City and other New Jersey cities. Now, Atlantic City has hit hard times. Several casinos have closed, and tourism is down. This is partly due to the proliferation of gambling all along the Eastern Seaboard. But Kean’s idea represents all that is wrong with the way we approach taxes in America.

Kean wants to exempt A-list performers from income tax. The idea is that these A-listers will be motivated to perform in Atlantic City. They will come and sing and dance more often. And people will flock to the Jersey Shore once more.”

David is correct when he observes -

It is troubling that politicians look to the tax laws as a panacea for whatever ails society. And the resulting policies are never sound.”

This is why our current US Tax Code is such a mucking fess.

* I have several clients who work for the federal government, in most cases the Post Office.  Perhaps they would be interested in “A Brief Explanation of the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)” from Sterling Raskie at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW.

* Not a tax issue, but worth referencing.  Over at EQUIFAX.COM Teri Cettina lists “Four Risky Places to Swipe Your Debit or Credit Card”.

Teri points out –

Unlike a credit card, a debit card is essentially a direct line to your bank account, so you may need to be more careful when using it to make purchases. Money is deducted directly from your bank or credit union account when you use your debit card.”

I have been talking about, and warning clients and readers about, the differences between debit and credit cards for many years, most recently in “Debit Card Vs Credit Card” at my former BOB’S BABBLINGS blog, where I ask the question, “When should you use your debit card to make an online purchase?”.  The answer – NEVER.  


Is a puzzlement.

I do not understand why Republican candidates feel they have to pander to the religious right when it comes to issues like abortion and same-sex marriage to be considered true conservatives.

Am I wrong in believing that one of the basic tenants of conservative philosophy is a minimal intrusion by government in the personal and business lives of citizens?

The religious right wants the government to tell citizens how to live their lives by forcing the specific religious beliefs of fundamentalist Christianity on them.

Someone please explain.

The following observation is on display at “The Starving Artist” eatery in Ocean Grove –

The last time we mixed politics with religion people got burned at the stake!


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