Tuesday, September 19, 2017


As you are reading this I am attending the National Association of Tax Professionals’ Tax Forum in Atlantic City NJ.  I will post on this event when I return home.   
* Fellow tax pros – check out the premiere issue of my new free monthly e-newsletter ROBERT D FLACH’S THE TAX PRO.
It includes a “Meet and Greet” with NATP President Gerard Cannito CPA, CFP, and lots of other stuff of interest to tax professionals.     
* Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl, explains “How Helping Out With Donations After Irma Is The Same - And Different - From Harvey” and reports “IRS Announces Tax Relief For Taxpayers Affected By Hurricane Irma”.
* And Kelly continues her series of guest posts during the FORBES.COM “Tax Reform Week” with –
ü  Tax Reform: 3 Myths & 4 Realities” by Edward Mendlowitz
ü  Will Tax Reform Simplify The Tax Code?” by Bob Meyers
ü  2017 Is Our Year To Make History On Tax Reform” by Congressman Kevin Brady
ü  Lifting The Middle Class Through Tax Reform” by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch
ü  The Implications Of Revenue-Neutral Tax Reform” by Laurence M. Vance.
In his guest post Bob Meyers, “an Accounting Department lecturer and runs the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic”, suggests the Tax Code needs to be complicated because –
We ask the U.S. income tax code to do a lot of heavy lifting. We want it to raise revenue, control the economy, create jobs, encourage and discourage certain activities, redistribute wealth, even participate in the country’s health care system.”
But the US Tax Code SHOULD NOT be used to “control the economy, create jobs, encourage and discourage certain activities, redistribute wealth, even participate in the country’s health care system”!  It’s one and only purpose is to “raise revenue”.
Prof Meyer does say –
Maybe we could live with a tax code that does not do so much controlling of the economy, changing social behavior, or encouraging certain activities. This would allow us to get rid of many of those confusing tax code provisions. I could get behind that proposal.”
I talk more about this in “Tax Reform: What the Tax Code Should Not Be Used For”. 
And I like Russ Fox’s bottom line –
The reality is that Congress benefits from the complexity. Lobbyists spend their largesse on Congress, and our Congressional representatives are the beneficiaries. Maybe Congress will surprise me. Being cynical, I doubt this will change.
I’d love to be surprised out of what emerges from Congress (if anything). I suspect, however, that my cynicism is well placed.”
Yes, Russ, it is truly well placed!
* Kay Bell explains that “Timing is among unanswered tax rewrite questions” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
KB is correct when she says -
From a tax planning standpoint, however, retroactive tax changes tend to be a royal pain in the ass.”
* Before we leave the topic of tax reform - have you seen my editorial on “What Tax Reform Should Look Like” at TAXPRO TODAY yet?  Why not?
* Getting back to Harvey and Irma, Russ Fox gives us the word that “Harvey and Irma Relief Includes the FBAR” (not to be confused with FUBAR) at TAXABLE TALK.
* At the TURBO TAX BLOG (I don’t recommend using a box to prepare your tax returns, but it is ok to get advice from the blog) Ginita Wall answers the question “Can I Write Off My Grandparent as a Dependent?” -
There’s no requirement that your grandparents live with you to be claimed as your dependent, as long as you meet the other five qualifications.”
* Monday’s post at THE TAX PROFESSIONAL provided a listing of “Online Resources for Tax Preparers”.
* Before I go a request to check out my “Author Page” at AMAZON.COM.   
The most frustrating thing about the ignorant is how hard they work to remain ignorant.” - Will Spencer
An excellent description of Donald T Rump’s cult of ignorant supporters.

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