Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Sorry I have not posted lately – have been finishing GDEs and corporate returns to meet the October 15th filing deadline.  Thankfully I am done!  I still have a couple of GDEs left – but I did not received the information yet and they will obviously be filed late and at my leisure.

* Have you checked out the new “issue” of THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING?

* Jason Dinesen tells us “I Don’t Like Calling Myself a ‘Tax Expert’ Anymore” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.

I understand where Jason is coming from.  With the tax law so complex and ever-changing it is impossible for anyone to be a true “expert” in the totality of the US Tax Code. 

It is like the medical profession.  There are tax pros who are truly “expert” in specific aspects of the Code, like a neurologist or a urologist, and there are, the biggest category, “general practitioners” who need to refer patients, or clients, to specialists in certain situations.

We tax pros are literally, as Jason says, learning new things every day – even “old war horses” like me.  I do believe you can teach an old dog new tricks – if the dog wants to learn.  For me personally there are tricks I do not necessarily want, or need, to learn.  I no longer accept any new clients, and I am “winding” down my practice toward retirement – so if a “new trick”, or an old trick that I do not know enough about, arises I usually prefer to send the affected client to a “specialist”. 

* I have two new articles up at MEDIAPOST –

* Kay Bell reports that “Social Security benefits, taxable wage base go up in 2019” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES –

The Social Security Administration announced that she {Kay’s mother} and her fellow Social Security recipients will get a get a 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2019.”

And –

In conjunction with the COLA that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, the amount of earnings that are subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) Social Security tax goes up to $132,900.”
* The Social Security Administration has created a new Fact Sheet on the 2019 COLA changes.

* FYI – what is not in either Kay’s post or the Fact sheet is the SSA announcement that the Nanny Tax threshold remains at $2,100 for 2019.  

* Returning to Kay Bell, who lists “7 ways to make the most of your 401(k)”.

Pay special attention to #’s 5 and 6.

* For once PA is higher than NJ on a list of state taxes!  The TAX FOUNDATION’s latest “map” shows that “Pennsylvania’s gas tax rate is highest at 58.7 cents per gallon”.  NJ is #11 at 37.10 cents per gallon.

This map appears to be from July - and I think NJ's rate has been slightly raised since then, but there is still a big difference.  That is why I try to fill up whenever I am in NJ (at least once every other week).

Hurricane Michael victims in parts of Florida and elsewhere have until Feb. 28, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.”


The arguments for supporting and defending Donald T Rump don’t hold water.  Read this.


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