Tuesday, August 29, 2017


* A truly heartfelt “thank you” to Andy Frye for “My Review of Robert Flach's New Book So You Want to Be a Tax Preparer” at the PRONTO TAX BLOG.
No, I did not pay Andy to write this!
* Kelly Philips Erb, FORBES.COM’s TaxGril, was the first to give us the word that “IRS Announces Tax Relief For Taxpayers Affected By Hurricane Harvey”.
Click here for the official IRS announcement.
* At POLITICO Ben White reports “White House yielding to Congress on tax details” -
The White House does not plan to release its own version of a tax reform plan and will instead leave that to the congressional leadership and the major tax-writing committees, a senior administration official said Thursday.”
No surprise here.  Trump could care less about actual legislation, and, realizing that like health care tax reform is hard, is too lazy to actually think out sound policy and make detailed proposals. If legislation is passed he will take undeserved credit for it.  If legislation is not passed he will blame the incompetence of Congress and his Party.  
To be perfectly honest, I am glad that Trump has passed the buck on tax reform.  If he were actually involved he would just fuck it up.  If left to Congress there is hope.
* Speaking of tax reform – if you haven’t already seen it why not read my thoughts on the subject in A TAX PROFESSIONAL FOR TAX REFORM.
* In this week’s THE TAX PROFESSIONAL post I have “A Couple of Questions for Fellow Tax Pros”. 
* Tim Murphy, CPA explains “When Business Meals and Entertainment Are Deductible” at TAX BUZZ.
* There is still time to take advantage of the special offer for my newsletter ROBERT D FLACH’S 1040 INSIGHTS. 
And I also have a special offer for my non-tax newsletter LOIS.
* Jason Dinesen discusses “Donating Professional Time to Charity” at DINESEN TAX TIMES -
The bottom line with it is, you can’t deduct the value of your donated time.”
* Sad but true.  Over at FORBES.COM Stan Collender points out that “Congress Can't Do Tax Reform Without A Functioning President
Congress really can’t do much of anything without a functioning – and intelligent, competent and mentally stable - President.  We certainly do not have one now!
* Many of my clients always get a big refund.  While I can understand and sympathize with the use of withholding as a form of “forced savings”, especially considering the pitiful pittance of interest that savings and money market accounts currently pay, I also understand the wisdom of what Kay Bell says in “Got a refund? Paid a big tax bill? Time to adjust withholding!” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
So instead of letting the U.S. Treasury hold onto your money — emphasis on your — for more than a year (without, by the way, paying you any interest on it), adjust your withholding so that it comes as close as possible to what your actual tax liability will be.”
One way to continue a plan of forced savings is to have the reduction in federal income tax withholding automatically deposited in a bank or credit union money market account or used to purchase Savings Bonds – this way the money is never in your hands.  Another good use of the reduction in withholding is to pay down credit card balances.
* Kay, a resident of Austin TX, also tells us “How to help Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts”, and reminds us -  
Don't forget about furry family members. Animal shelters and rescue groups are taking in pets displaced by the storm. They would appreciate your help in meeting these needs.”
* Great advice from IRS Summer Tax Tip “Divorce or Separation May Affect Taxes” -
Report Name Changes. Notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of any name changes after a divorce. Go to SSA.gov for more information. The name on a tax return must match SSA records. A name mismatch can cause problems in the processing of a return and may delay a refund.”
This advice also applies if you changed your name due to marriage.
* Tina M. Kleckner provided an “Identity Theft Update” at her blog.
* Let me end this installment of the BUZZ where I began – with a post from the PRONTO TAX BLOG.  Jamie Waggoner asks “Is Doing Taxes Fun?
There is no reason why it can’t be.  As a veteran tax pro I should know. 

No comments: