Tuesday, May 3, 2016


“No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.”

* The title to Roger Russell’s item at ACCOUNTING TODAY is excellent advice – “Saying No to Outside Agencies in Tax Collections”.

The idiots in Congress have once again proven themselves to be idiots by passing a law that requires the IRS to use outside collection agencies.

Roger points out the folly of this action-

For starters, it’s been tried before, and failed – twice. Both efforts, from 1996-1997, and 2006-2009, lost money. And given the current atmosphere of high cybercrime, ID theft and tax refund fraud, it doesn’t make sense to give taxpayers’ personal data to third parties”.

My advice to taxpayers who are contacted by outside collection agencies legitimately representing government tax agencies has always been (I've been saying this since 2007) – tell the outside collectors, and write to the IRS or state tax agency, that you refuse to deal with a private collection agency and will only deal directly with the IRS or the state agency.

* Jason Dinesen continues his series on “Basics of Taxes” with “Part 2: How to File” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

* Jamaal “Stikks” Solomon, who had previously blogged as THE TAX GUY, is back blogging at STIKKS TALKS TAXES.  His premiere post is “Chronicles of Stikks aka ‘The Tax Guy’: I’m Not Mad”.

JSS has some good advice for fellow tax pros –

My plea to my fellow tax professionals is to never take abuse from clients. Have pride in your abilities and knowledge to know when you are right.”

* Oi vey!  Kay Bell reports “Tax Gap Hits $458 Billion”!

In tax years 2008 to 2010, new IRS data show that the tax gap grew to around $458 billion a year.”

Why did the gap grow?

During the years used to calculate the latest tax gap, the economy was in the depths of recession. People either didn't have the money to pay taxes and/or were doing any and everything they could to hang onto every possible penny.

There's disgruntlement with government in general. For most folks, their most direct contact with the federal apparatus is via the IRS. The most tempting and easiest way to express that hate is by trying to keep the agency from getting what's due.

And then there's the reduction in tax audits.”

* Over at her other blog, at BANKRATE.COM, Kay explains “How Your Tax Dollars are Spent”.

* A blast from the past, via a recent tweet, from Jim Blankenship at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW -  4 Ways You Can Make IRA Contributions –Without a Job!


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