Tuesday, January 19, 2016
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – TUESDAY EDITION
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
~ Albert Schweitzer.
* A correction to my post on the NJ-NATP “Famous State Tax Seminar”. Not that I made an error – but the wrong information was provided by a state speaker.
In the post I stated as an item of interest that “You can check the ‘base year’ amount for the PTR-2 application online at the NJDOT website”. The apology from NJDOT to NJ-NATP told us – “The option to find PTR base years online doesn't exist. We apologize for the mistake. We had this option for a very short period of time. It hasn't been up for w couple years. We've just made a suggestion to bring this capability online for you and your clients and we'll update you if we can bring it back.”
* FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb explains “When To Expect Your Forms W-2, 1099 & More In 2016 (And What To Do If Your Tax Forms Are Late)”.
When you do receive your tax forms the first thing to do is to check the information reported on the form with your own records, such as your final paystub for the year. Also check to see if the Social Security number is correct. If you find an error, or think there may be an error, contact the issuer – i.e. the employer or bank.
* A reminder – the TAX FOUNDTION has an interactive tool, updated frequently, for “Comparing the 2016 Presidential Tax Reform Proposals”.
* And a reminder to fellow tax pros – if you agree with me that the US Tax Code needs to be totally shredded and rewritten from scratch sign my petition.
Also for tax pros – the January 15, 2016 issue of TAXPRO BUZZ is now available!
* Jean Murray explains “Barter Transactions and Business Taxes” at ABOUT.COM -
“Although no money is exchanged in the barter transaction, barter is still considered taxable by the IRS. Like other income, barter income can affect your total income tax liability, self-employment tax, excise taxes, state taxes, and employment taxes.”
* TAX PROF Paul Caron quotes the Government Accountability Office report “DeterioratingTaxpayer Service Underscores Need for a Comprehensive Strategy and ProcessEfficiencies” to tell us “Only 38% OfTaxpayers Who Called IRS Got Through In 2015 (Down From 74% In 2010); Wait Time Increased From 11 To 31 Minutes”.
* An interesting statistic reported by DAVE RAMSEY in his blog post “Tax Refund Heartache for Self-Filers” (highlight is his) -
“In a survey of 2,000 taxpayers, we found that people who file their own taxes get an average refund of $1,824. That’s not bad, right?
Well, get ready for a heartbreaker.
People who worked with a tax expert to file their taxes received an average refund of $2,615! That’s $840 more than the average self-filer!”
If you are looking for a competent and qualified tax preparer you can begin your search at FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.
* Ann Carrns, the New York Times’ YOUR MONEY ADVISOR, warns “State Tax Refunds May Be Delayed by Security Precautions”.
So don’t go crying to your tax professional if you do not have your state tax refund in your hands in 10 days. Be patient! FYI – there is nothing that your tax pro can do to expedite your refund, and there is nothing he/she can do to check the status of a refund that you cannot do yourself on the State’s tax authority website.
* I it is suppose not so surprising to learn that “Millennials Find Tax Refund Anticipation Loans Appealing”, as Kay Bell tells us at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES, considering that they “Have inadequate financial knowledge”, and “Don't seek professional financial help”, as Kay also points out.
Kay goes on to properly “explain why RALs are bad”.
Thankfully Henry and Richard have stopped pushing RALs on their “victims” – one less way they can screw them.
I firmly believe that tax preparers should be banned from offering RALs. We are tax preparers – not loan sharks!
* Let's end with another good post from Jean Murray at ABOUT.COM - a primer for new employers on “What is aW-2 Form? A Quick Review of the W-2”.
THE FINAL WORD -
photo courtesy of http://www.zazzle.com/mchumor?qs=Taxes
Turbo Tax tells us “You don’t need a genius to prepare your tax return”. This is true. You need someone smarter – a competent and qualified tax professional.
Everyone agrees that Albert Einstein was a genius. He said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” And he said this in the early 60s. The US Tax Code is much more of a mucking fess today.
From the time he came to America until his death Einstein relied on tax professional Leo Mattersdorf to prepare his 1040s.
Ignore the ridiculous Turbo Tax Ads – don’t rely on a “box” to prepare your tax returns. Remember – garbage-in, garbage-out. And also avoid using “fast food” preparation chains like Henry and Richard – they ain’t cheap.
You can begin your search for a competent and qualified independent tax professional at FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.