Friday, December 4, 2015


Henry and Richard have begun tv ads for their “paystub advance” – you know, “bring in your paystub and walk out with a check” - which is actually the “H&R Block Emerald Advance”.  The interest rate on these advances is 36%!  This is not tax preparation and has absolutely nothing to do with your 2015 Form 1040 (or 1040A).  It is impossible to prepare a tax return based solely on a pay stub.  As with any service offered by Henry and Richard, you should avoid this like the plague!
* Another theatre group heard from.  Over at BOBSERVATIONS I announce the 2016 schedule of The Shawnee Playhouse in my post “Welcome to the Theatre”.

* Jason Dinesen wonders “How Many Fraudulent EIC Claims are Prepared by Paid Preparers?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

Jason shows his solidarity with me on the issue of distributing government welfare and other benefit programs via the Tax Code (the highlights are mine) –

The point I’m trying to make is: the IRS can put all the requirements they want on paid preparers, but it’s not going to stop EIC fraud.

The root cause goes beyond anything the IRS can handle: refundable credits are going to be fraud magnets. Only Congress can change the tax code to get rid of refundable credits.

As my tax blog buddy Robert Flach at The Wandering Tax Pro blog says: the IRS (and by proxy, tax preparers) are not social welfare workers. Neither the IRS nor tax pros should be responsible for administering or verifying payments of the EIC, child tax credit, or education credits. These funds should be disbursed in some other manner other than through the tax code.”  

Right on, Jason!

* And Jason adds to his “Glossary” with an explanation of “Section 179”.

* The CCH TAX NEWS HEADLINES weekday daily email newsletter tell us that “Conferees Reach Agreement on Transportation Bill With Tax Offsets; Private Tax Collection, Denial of Passports Included” (despite the fact that tax collection has nothing to do with transportation) -

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, as agreed to in Conference, directs the IRS to contract with private collection agencies for the collection of inactive tax receivables. These include cases that have been removed from active inventory because of lack of resources or inability to locate the taxpayer. Certain cases, however, would not be worked by private collection agencies, such as cases where the taxpayer has a pending or active installment agreement, innocent spouse cases and victims of identity theft.”

The item tells us –

The measure is estimated to raise $2.4 billion over 10 years.”

How can this ridiculous measure raise $2.4 billion over 10 years when all previous attempts at outsourcing tax debt collection actually lost money?

This proves just one more time that the members of Congress are idiots.  The IRS should never be allowed to use outside collection agencies.  See my TWTP post “No! No! A Million Times No!”.

* Russ Fox is accepting “Nominations Due for 2015 Tax Offender of the Year” at TAXABLE TALK –

To be considered for the Tax Offender of the Year award, the individual (or organization) must do more than cheat on his or her taxes. It has to be special; it really needs to be a Bozo-like action or actions.”

Each year I vote for the idiots in Congress – and one reason this year is the above referenced legislation that requires the IRS to use outside agencies to collect delinquent tax debt.

* FYI, the State of Louisiana is offering a Tax Amnesty Program during the month of December.  Click here for a fact sheet that outlines the details of the amnesty.

* Kelly Phillips Erb reports that “Congress Moves Towards Granting IRS Authority To License Tax Preparers” at FORBES.COM.

Apparently another bill to authorize the IRS to regulate tax return preparers has been introduced.  I doubt it will go very far.

Kelly does point out one of the many flaws of the attempts at regulation –

Your trademark attorney would be allowed to prepare tax returns without oversight but a long-time tax preparer would not.”

And get we get an “amen” for her observations –

The bad guys are the bad guys: forced ethics courses won’t change that.”

And -

The reality is that smart, competent tax professionals do the right things already.”

* Kay Bell reminds us that “Holiday Season is Tax Scam Season” at her BANKRATE.COM blog.

* Tom Breedlove identifies “Common Tax Myths About Household Employment and Helpful Truths for Families” at ACCOUNTING TODAY.
Hey, let's not forget the common tax myth that a CPA is automatically a 1040 expert by virtue of possessing the initials.  Definitely not true!


This installment’s Trump item is an excellent open letter to the deluded simpletons with poor judgment who support the idiot’s Presidential campaign from columnist Dianne Williamson, titled “Dianne Williamson: An open letter to Trump supporters”.

Some good points from her letter –

For some time now, in private conversations, I've argued that the inexplicable rise of Trump parallels Hitler's ascent in Nazi Germany. Like Hitler, Trump is adept at whipping audiences into a nationalistic frenzy, much of it angry and defensive. Like Hitler, Trump espouses the idea that a country can be made great by demonizing people of a certain ethnicity who pose an alleged threat to safety and livelihood. Like Hitler, he sows divisiveness and fear.”

And –

Whatever talent he possesses {Talent? He posseses no talent, other than making a fool of himself. – rdf} can't obliterate the fact that the man you support is a dangerous demagogue. He peddles the politics of fear and often has no idea what he's talking about. His views are reprehensible, repugnant and counter to the values that make America great.”

Dianne is correct when she says –

But he's not funny anymore, not even a little bit.”

We should no longer just think of him as a buffoon.  He is dangerous.  And his continued popularity and leadership in the polls causes those of us with intelligence to be very worried.

Be afraid, be very afraid.


HAWLEY PA, 18428

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