Monday, December 26, 2016
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
I hope you had a successful Christmas!
One last truly meaty BUZZ for 2016 -
* Howard Gleckman announced “The 2016 TaxVox Lump of Coal Award for the Year's Worst Tax Ideas” at TAX VOX, the blog of the Tax Policy Center -
“Donald Trump is not only President-elect, but he is also the hands-down winner of Tax Vox’s Lump of Coal Award for the worst tax policy ideas of 2016.”
Donald Trump is the hands-down winner of every “Lump of Coal” and every “Worst of 2016” list! And if not properly kept in check he will be at the top of every “Worst of” list through 2020.
Also of note on Howard’s list, with my agreement of their coal lump-ness, are –
#7 - Donald Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns (should have been much higher on the list).
#4 - Olympic Medal Dross – “After years of trying, Congress voted to exempt Olympic medalists from federal income tax on the value of their swag and cash bonuses. The exemption is a windfall for professional athletes but does little or nothing for struggling amateurs.”
#3 - Hillary Clinton’s proposed tax increases on the rich – “It was no surprise that Clinton wanted high-income households to pay higher taxes. The problem was her penchant for making them so complicated.” My regular readers know that I oppose the policy of punishing success and entrepreneurship and to “tax the rich” merely because they can afford it.
Trump also made #2, earning him a trifecta, with his 15% business tax, which “would tax sole proprietors at 15 percent and wage earners at a top rate of 33 percent”, another typically bad and poorly thought out Trump idea (did he have any that were not?).
Now we just have to wait to find out who will be Russ Fox’s “2016 Tax Offender of the Year”. I would not be surprised if it was Trump.
* At FORBES.COM TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb began her “12 Days Of Charitable Giving 2016” with “TechnoServe”. She continues with Cure Alzheimer's Fund, Committee to Protect Journalists, Charity: water, The Forge Initiative, and the Police Unity Tour. Obviously there are 6 more charities to come.
* Jason Dinesen asks the question “Form 8976 — What is It?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES. I must admit I had to read the post to find out the answer. If you want to know what Form 8976 is you, too, will have to read the post.
* And Jason asks another good question in a subsequent post – “Can an Accountant ‘Save’ a Struggling Business?”
Jason’s “bottom line” –
“Of course we should help in any way we can. The problem is, the ball really is always in the CLIENT’S court — they’re the ones who have to take action.”
And just as a doctor can’t cure or save a patient who ignores the doctor’s instructions, an accountant can’t help a client who disregards his advice.
* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, reports “Trump tax secrecy inspires federal, state legislation” –
“Some lawmakers think that voters should have the opportunity to evaluate a White House wannabe's taxes. To that end, they have introduced bills requiring such disclosure.”
Idiot Trump will never release his tax returns now. But voters did not need to see his tax returns to know that he was totally unfit to be President.
It is truly a sad time in American history.
* And Kay warns “Don't make these 8 year-end investment tax mistakes”.
* I just came across a good post on “Cancellation of Debt” from November, by Paul D. Allen at his PIM TAX BLOG.
As Paul explains, “the tax code considers cancelled debt to be income, and income is taxable. It may need to be included as income on your tax return.”
* Another good older post from Paul, this one discussing who can claim the child on their taxes – “Taxes and Child's Play”.
As Paul suggested in a tweet promoting the post – “Hint: it might not be who the judge said.”
FYI – I wrote on this topic last summer in “Claiming Dependents: What Happens When Your Kids Fly the Coop?”
* Jeff Stimpson of ACCOUNTING TODAY talked to many tax professionals around the country and found “No single fix: Preparers differ on likelihood, shape of tax reform”.
FYI - a TWTP post of mine is quoted in the article.
* The “year in review” posts have begun. Check out “Top college savings stories of 2016” from Kathryn Flynn at SAVINGFORCOLLEGE.COM
* And CCH has published a “2016 Year In Review” Tax Briefing.
FYI – my annual The Year in Tax 2016 review will appear here at TWTP in two parts on Thursday and Friday.
* Carrie Kirby lists “35 Bizarre Things You Can Be Taxed On” at WISE BREAD. No real surprises here, at least for me.
* Tony Nitti of FORBES.COM provided an excellent education on “When Are Professional Education Expenses Tax Deductible?” in last week’s “Tax Geek Wednesday”.
* The IRS announces “Tax Relief for Victims of Wildfires, in Tennessee”.
The Last Word –
No Trump-bashing (not that he doesn’t deserve constant bashing – I still can’t believe that this unfit and unqualified, and dangerous, buffoon will be our next President), just a wish.
May 2017 be less taxing!