Monday, July 4, 2016


The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

HAPPY JULY 4th!  I will be working on a GD extension today.

Ready for some BUZZ?

* Click here to check out my library of books, reports, and newsletters with federal and state tax planning and preparation advice, information, and resources.

* Jean Murray explains “How to Survive an IRS Tax Audit of Your Business” at ABOUT.COM.  

* Some good advice from Jason Dinesen in “Budgeting Mistakes: Make Sure to Account for Your Own Salary” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

* And, staying on the topic of salaries for business owners, Jason asks “Must an S-Corporation Pay Salary If the Owner Takes No Money Out of the Business?

While I am not sure that the IRS would agree, at least not without a fight, I tend to agree with Jason’s bottom line –

The key in these cases is: 1) in order for there to be no salary, the owner must legitimately not be taking any money out of the corporation, and 2) I think there needs to be documentation of some sort, showing the reason why no wages are being paid right now.”

* The July issue - #2 - of my monthly non-tax newsletter BOBSERVATIONS (about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) has gone to press.  This issue is available by subscription only.  Click here for more information on this newsletter and to download a copy of the June issue.

* And the July issue of ROBERT D FLACH’S THE 1040 LETTER has also gone to press.  This issue, however, is free.  Click here to download the July issue.

* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, reports some good news “IRS stopped $1.1 billion in fraudulent refunds this year”.  

Glad to hear there is progress in preventing identity theft.  And this past filing season there were less delays and IRS processing FUs with returns.  During the 2015 filing season (for filing 2014 returns) I received more complaints from clients about seriously delayed refunds and other processing errors than in all my previous years in “the business” combined – but hardly any complaints during the 2016 season.

* Over at TAXABLE TALK Russ Fox provides another example of why, as I have been telling clients and readers for years (most recently in “It’s OK to Say Never”) you should NEVER assume a balance due notice from the Internal Revenue Service or a state tax agency is correct and just pay it in his postThe Self-Employment Tax While Employed???”.

Russ agrees with me that “two-thirds of IRS notices are wrong in whole or in part” (I actually think the percentage is higher).  And point out that –

Yet the IRS keeps sending them out for a simple reason: People pay them blindly. ‘If it comes from the IRS it must be right,’ they think. The reality is sadly different.

To repeat my advice from the above referenced recent post –

If you receive a balance due notice or a request for information from the IRS give it to your tax preparer ASAP.  If you “self-prepared” the return in question (in which case the chance that the notice may be at least partially correct increases – especially if you relied on a “box” to prepare the return) review it carefully.  In such a case I suggest that you consult a competent tax professional before making any payment.”

* A warning you should heed from Sarah Brenner at THE SLOTT REPORT - “Think Twice Before Using Your IRA For Quick Cash”.  Actually think thrice!  

* JD SUPRA BUSINESS ADVISOR gives small business employers a helpful tool - “An HR Checklist for New Employers: You have Your Ship, and Now You Need Your Crew, How to get Your 'Ship' Together”.

* For a scholarly and comprehensive compilation, by Doug Spiker at TAX SNAFU, of tax law leading up to the current mucking fess that is our US Tax Code check out “What It Is When It Was”.

* I have always said that the AGI is the most important number on your tax return, and that reducing AGI can save tons in tax costs.  Joe Kristan talks about how “a single taxpayer whose Modified AGI goes from $107,000 to $107,001” ends up with “a premium increase at a 1,100% marginal rate” in his “Tax Roundup,6/30/16: $1 of income, $1,100 in higher Medicare premiums. And: sound state tax policy happened!”

* In “From the Annals of Trump Univesity” tax blogger Daniel Shaviro of START MAKING SENSE, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation at NYC, shares a fund-raising email he received from dangerous buffoon Tronald Dump, “even though I'm not a member of a foreign parliament”.


Truer words were never said, from “The challenges in covering Trump’s relentless assault on the truth” at the WASHINGTON POST (highlight is mine) -

Donald Trump must be the biggest liar in the history of American politics, and that’s saying something.

Trump lies the way other people breathe. We’re used to politicians who stretch the truth, who waffle or dissemble, who emphasize some facts while omitting others. But I can’t think of any other political figure who so brazenly tells lie after lie, spraying audiences with such a fusillade of untruths that it is almost impossible to keep track. Perhaps he hopes the media and the nation will become numb to his constant lying. We must not.

Trump has a right to his anger, his xenophobia and his bigotry. He also has a right to lie — but we all have a duty to call him on it.”


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