Monday, October 3, 2016


* A very, very important reminder from Russ Fox in “Another Incorrect IRS CP2000 Notice” at TAXABLE TALK (highlight is mine) -

If you’re a taxpayer and receive an IRS notice, do not blindly assume it is correct. Show the notice to your tax professional. Your tax professional can look at your return and see if it is correct or not. IRS statistics show that two-thirds of IRS notices are wrong in whole or in part. The IRS has publicly stated that they know they send out incorrect notices, but it’s a profit center so they’ll keep sending them out.”  

So the IRS is finally admitting what I have been saying for years – at least 2/3 of all IRS notices are wrong!

BTW – Congratulations to Russ for winning the 2016 PLUTUS Aware for “Best Tax Blog”.  Certainly well deserved!  

* My buddy Bruce McFarland, formerly known as THE MISSOURI TAX GUY, has returned to the “tax blogosphere” with FINDING THE LOOPHOLES, THE BLOG.  I have written a guest post for Bruce titled “Alphabet Soup”.

* Jason Dinesen ask the question “Can a College Professor Deduct the Cost of Materials for ‘General Knowledge’?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

Jason provides the correct answer –

Simply saying ‘pursuit of general knowledge’ isn’t enough to have a deductible expense.”

I seem to recall that decades ago teachers of all levels could deduct travel in itself as a form of education, but that is no longer the case.  In order to be deductible travel must be directly related to maintaining or improving specific job skills, such as, as Jason points out, “for attending conferences in your field”.

* In a subsequent post Jason issues a plea –“I’m Writing an Iowa Tax Guidebook and Need Your Help”.

FYI – I have a newsletter that is written specifically for NJ taxpayers – THE NJ-1040 LETTER.  Click here for more information.

* Kay Bell tells us “IRS selects 4 private collection agencies to go after overdue tax debts in 2017” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

If you are contacted by any of these 4 agencies tell them that you refuse to deal with an outside collection agency and that you will only deal directly with the IRS.

* And Kay also reports “New Jersey hikes gas tax by 23 cents per gallon".

There is, however, some good news for Garden State residents –

In exchange for the higher fuel tax, New Jersey's Democratic and Republican lawmakers agreed to a lower state sales tax, an increase in the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, added tax breaks for retirees and veterans, and a phase-out by 2018 of the state's estate tax.”

NJ.COM gives more details on the tax reductions in “7 things you need to know about N.J.'s 23-cent gas tax hike deal” -

“{The NJ state sales tax} will decrease from 7 percent to 6.875 percent on Jan. 1, and then from 6.875 percent to 6.625 percent on Jan. 1, 2018.”

And –

The state taxes retirement income over $20,000 for couples filing jointly, $15,000 for individuals and $10,000 for those who are married but file separately. Under the proposal, more of that income would be exempt from taxes.

Income under $100,000 would be tax free for couples filing jointly, under $75,000 for single filers and under $50,000 for married filing separately after a five-year phase in.”

I will report more on the NJ state tax changes in a subsequent post.

* At SLOTT REPORT Jeffrey Levine explains “What You Must Know About Taxation of EE Series Bonds”.

* Back to Jason Dinesen - he continues his series on “A Little About 1099s” with “Part 3: When and How to File” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

* Once again, like Oliver Twist, NJ is last on the list of the TAX FOUNDATION’s “2017 State Business Tax Climate Index”!

The states in the bottom 10 tend to have a number of shortcomings in common: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates. New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, is one of just two states to levy both an inheritance tax and an estate tax, and maintains some of the worst-structured individual income taxes in the country.”

* Professor Jim Maule weighs in on the question of Trump’s “smartness” and makes some good points in “Does Not Paying Federal Income Tax Make a Person Smart?”.

While there is obviously nothing wrong with legally reducing your tax liability to “0”, nobody in their right mind could ever call Dangerous Deplorable Despicable Donald “smart”.  Jim is correct in applying any “smartness” involved to the tax pros who prepared the return (if it was indeed prepared honestly and correctly).


DO NOT listen to Jeb Bush and NOT vote for President this November.

Obviously you MUST NOT vote for Dangerous Deplorable Despicable Donald.  But if you feel you cannot vote for Hillary then vote for third-Party candidate Gary Johnson or even Jill Stein.

A large showing for a 3rd-Party candidate will send a bigger and better message than not voting at all.

So please, please, please DO vote for President this November – just NOT for Trump!


New Jersey residents – do you want to learn how to pay the absolute least amount of NJ Gross Income Tax possible –
and experience the joy of avoiding NJ state taxes?
Click here to download a free copy of my unique newsletter
the only publication I am aware of that deals exclusively with tax planning and preparation advice, information, and resources for the NJ-1040.



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