Tuesday, October 30, 2018


* Have you checked out the new “issue” of THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING?  A new "issue" is coming soon!

* Megan Gorman asks “Do You Know Who Is Preparing Your Tax Return?” at FORBES.COM.

A good question in general.  But what she is talking about is -

Tax returns are being outsourced overseas.

Not overseas as in a tax firm’s office based in another country. Rather, overseas as in your tax firm has contracted your tax return out to a third-party firm in another country.”

Obviously, she is referring to a common practice by CPA firms.  One more reason not to use a CPA firm to prepare your tax returns.

If you use a local independent tax professional, an EA or an “unenrolled” preparer, your return may be done by a lower-level preparer within the firm but most certainly not by someone contracted in a foreign country.  A local independent tax professional will not “outsource” your return overseas.

I admit that I have said in the past, and still believe, that your return may indeed be prepared more competently and correctly by the third-party preparer in India or wherever than by an actual American-based CPA.  But you will most likely still pay the same fee.

And, to be fair, a small independent CPA firm will usually prepare the return “in house” and not “outsource”. 

For more information on the differences in tax preparers and how to select a preparer for your return visit my website FIND A TAX PROFESSIONAL.

* An FYI - the most recent NATP fee survey of members indicated that the “overall average charge for an individual return” for 2018 was $216.31 (federal return only).  The overall average fee for a Form 1040 only, with no other forms or schedules, was $116.  Fees vary by region, and the average fee for a Form 1040 only in the northeast was $119.  No surprise to me – the average fee charged by a CPA for a Form 1040 only was $137 – the highest fee for any “designation”.  This is $20 more than the average fee for a Form 1040 only charged by an EA.  I have been saying for decades that you will always pay a CPA more for, in most cases, less service and value.

I hope my clients are reading this post.

* Kailey Fralick of The Motley Fool explains “Inheriting an IRA? Here's What You Need to Know” at YAHOO.COM.

* Kay Bell provides a good reminder and dispels an apparent misconception, while at the same time confirming that Donald T Rump will say any lie to get votes, in “Retirement accounts don't get the benefit of lower capital gains tax rates”.

* Speaking of Trump’s ridiculous “pants on fire” pre-election lies, Howard Gleckman tells us “There Will Be No Middle-Class Tax Cut This Week. Or Next Month” at TAX VOX.

Pundits are breathlessly speculating about what President Trump’s promise to cut taxes for the middle class by 10 percent could possibly mean. They are wasting their time. Instead of worrying about what details may emerge, keep the following in mind:

·  The Administration has no plan.

·  Until the president spoke last week, apparently off the cuff, it was not working on such a plan. Neither was anyone in Congress.

·  There is no chance Congress will cut anybody’s taxes next week since it is not even in session.

· There is no chance Congress will cut middle income taxes by 10 percent once it returns for a lame-duck session after the election.

· The president can’t say who the middle class is.”

Republican lawmakers have said they have no such tax-cut legislation in the works.

Howard is correct when he observes -

This episode is perfectly consistent with the president’s MO: Make grandiose, attention-getting promises that never get fulfilled.”  

As I have said before – Streisand sings, DeNiro acts, and Trump lies. It is what they do.

* It is that time of year again for year-end tax planning.  Check out my 2018 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING GUIDE.  

* “Fix The Tax Code Friday” is back at TAXGIRL.COM with “Repeal Of The Personal Exemption Amount”.


History will record the legacy of the Trump Presidency as the emboldening and empowerment of racists and bigots to openly and aggressively act out their hatred, racism and bigotry.


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