Monday, January 30, 2017


None of the ads for commercial tax preparation chains or for Credit Karma mention anything about the competence of tax preparation or competence, training, or knowledge of their preparers, or the ability of their preparers to properly prepare accurate returns so you pay the least amount of tax legally possible.  They only mention “come in and get a check” or “preparation is free”.  I truly believe that no one should use Credit Karma or a commercial preparation chain to prepare their 2016 federal or state tax returns. 
That said – on with the last BUZZ before my tax-season hiatus!
* Some excellent advice worth repeating again and again from Russ Fox, author of the TAXABLE TALK blog, in dealing with “2017 Mailbag #1: The 1099 Doesn’t Show Up, So I Don’t Have to Report It, Right?” (highlight is mine) -

Yes, you need to report the income. All income is taxable unless Congress exempts it. Yes, the company you did work for is supposed to issue you a Form 1099-MISC. But whether or not you receive a 1099 doesn’t change whether income is taxable or not. You were paid for services, and that’s income. Simply total what you received and include it in your gross receipts for your business.”

And –

Remember, simply report all of your income regardless of whether or not you receive a 1099 (or other paperwork). It’s easier to sleep at night when your tax return is accurate.”

* Did you see my open letter to Vice President Pence and Congress?  Click here to read it.

* The NSTP BLOG reminds us “ICYMI: New Two-Stage E-Mail Scheme Targets Tax Professionals”.  

* FYI – I updated my article on “The Cost of Tax Preparation” at FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL based on most recent NSA fee study.

* An interesting analysis from the Tax Policy Center’s BRIEFING BOOK -  How do US taxes compare internationally?

* Peter J Reilly quotes me, and references my “eccentricity”, at the end of his announcement that “TaxProf Calls An End To Day By Day IRS Scandal Coverage”.

* From RUBIN ON TAX – “Reminder: FBARs Due in April Starting This Year”. 

FYI - FBAR stands for “Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” and is not to be confused with FUBAR, which is the formal description of the current US Tax Code.

* NJ taxpayers – did you know there was a special newsletter written just for you?  Learn the joy of avoiding NJ taxes! Click here for more info.

The Last Word –

No Trump comments today.  See my final statement before tax-season hiatus about the idiot in the White House in a special post tomorrow.

I do want to bring your attention to a unique new political organization and campaign – Brand New Congress. 

According to its website the plan of this organization is – “to recruit over 400 extraordinary ordinary Americans to challenge both Democrats and Republicans in congressional primary races across the country in order to replace almost all of Congress in one fell swoop. These will be people who have track records of integrity and service in their communities and who are not all career politicians -- we're looking for nurses, teachers, engineers, scientists, factory workers, and so on.”

For years I have been complaining about the incompetence and inability to work together to accomplish anything of the idiots in Congress.  This sounds like an excellent solution to this current ongoing problem.

I have read and agree on principal with much of what has been published on the website about their platform.  Of course I will reserve final judgment until I read more details of the organization’s specific platform proposals – but so far I am truly impressed.

Please visit the organization’s website and give it careful consideration.

FYI - On Wednesday I will be giving you what you have been waiting a year for!


 NO tax software package, or online filing service, is a substitute for knowledge of the Tax Code, and NO tax software package, or online filing service, is a substitute for a competent, experienced tax professional.
Do you need to find a qualified and competent tax professional?


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