Tuesday, May 16, 2017


* Kay Bell suggests “Trump's continued weekend travel, NYC home security costs raise more tax questions” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
While I, like any tax pro, am interested in the tax treatment of unique circumstances – and Kay does a good job of discussing the tax issues here - the much, much more important questions raised about idiot Trump’s trips are the excessive unnecessary costs to taxpayers and the resulting blatant lining of Trump’s and his family’s pockets based on his choices of venue for week-end trips.
Conflict of interest issues aside, Kay points out that (highlight is mine) –
The cost of just Trump's air travel for two weekends in Florida, according to a recent Wall Street Journal examination, was $1.3 million.”
The post quotes the delusional egomaniac (excellent and spot on description, SC) as explaining –
"The reason I am staying in Bedminster, N.J., a beautiful community, is that staying in NYC is much more expensive and disruptive. Meetings!"
Trump, you arrogant and selfish buffoon, the White House is to be used for meetings.  It is your office!
When discussing the golf outings of the idiot in the White House I do point out one benefit of these trips - the more time the fool spends playing golf the less time he has to do damage to the country and the world.
* Once again I ask - have you seen my latest THE LIBERTY TIMES installment?  I discuss tax reform.  I provide more details on my tax reform proposals and suggestions here.
* Here are some good quotes from an editorial on the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax by Roberton C. Williams in “Caught Again By the AMT” at TAX VOX, the blog of the Tax Policy Center -
. . . the AMT was created nearly 50 years ago after Congress learned that 155 Americans with income over $200,000 paid no federal income tax in 1967. In 1970, fewer than 50,000 filers paid barely $100 million in AMT. For 2016, nearly five million of us paid AMT averaging about $7,200, raising our effective tax rates by an average of 1.4 percentage points and boosting federal revenues by about 1 percent.”
And -
The AMT was originally intended to prevent people from taking unfair advantage of tax preferences to avoid paying income tax. And the recent high-profile example of President Trump was held out by some as evidence. But in reality, the tax often fails to meet that goal. In 2013, about 12,000 households with income over $200,000 paid no federal income tax, despite the AMT.”
And -
My objection to the AMT is not that I pay too much tax but rather that it makes the income tax even more impenetrably complex. It’s hard enough for people to understand the regular tax without tacking on additional calculations. And taxpayers won’t trust a system they don't comprehend--or believe raises revenue in a fair way.”
The initial creation of the Minimum Tax was an excellent example of the laziness of Congress.  Instead of dealing with the loopholes that permitted the high income individuals to avoid paying taxes they created this second tax system, which has truly grown into a monster.
One of the good things in idiot Trump’s cocktail napkin scribblings that he recently presented as his “tax reform plan” is ending the AMT.  Let us hope this ends up in the actual detailed legislation eventually presented by the Republicans in Congress.
* Want my 1040 insights in your in box?  Click here!
* Russ Fox tells us “The TurboTax Defense Fails Again” at TAXABLE TALK.
If you make errors on your tax return and the IRS audits you, you can’t get off the hook by saying “the software made me do it”.
Russ’s bottom line –
If your tax return has only W-2 income and, say, mortgage interest and property tax, TurboTax will likely do an excellent job. If you have a divorce settlement with a restatement of the amount of alimony due, interest tracing, and a Net Operating Loss carryforward, it might pay to get some expert help.”  
My bottom line – no tax preparation software is a substitute for knowledge of the Tax Code and no tax preparation software is a substitute for a competent, experienced tax professional.  Remember – garbage in, garbage out.
* An interesting story from Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES.COM’s “TaxGirl” – “Dead Man Talking: How One Taxpayer Convinced The IRS He Was Still Alive”.
I also had a client who received a letter from the IRS telling him that his refund could not be processed because he was dead – although it is odd that if the IRS thought he was dead why were they sending him a letter?  Check out “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”.
* NJ taxpayers – learn how to experience THE JOY OF AVOIDING NJ TAXES!
While the policies and proposals of President have always been questioned, never in my lifetime has the mental stability of a President ever been questioned to any serious degree.
Many qualified psychiatric professionals have come forward to identify Trump’s severe mental instability and mental incompetence to serve as President.  It is obvious even to the layperson.
When will the so-called leaders of the Republican Party acknowledge the obvious fact that I talk about in the lead editorial here –
The Russia issue is an important one and must be thoroughly investigated.  But so is the issue of Trump’s mental instability.  This issue needs as much press and discussion and investigation as any of the other issues involved with the Trump Presidency – perhaps more.  

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