Tuesday, October 9, 2018
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’?
* Have you checked out the latest THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING?
* Jack Townsend discusses the “New York Times Special Investigation Report on Trump Family Tax Avoidance/Evasion (10/2/18; 10/3/18)” at FEDERAL TAX CRIMES.
His first observation (highlight is mine) -
“If the Trump family did commit tax fraud, the statute of limitations for all the taxes thus evaded is still open. The criminal statute of limitations has long since passed and, of course, the elder Trump is dead (can't send a corpse to jail). But the taxes can still be collected. And, not only that, the tax is subject to the civil fraud penalty (which for many of the years was 75% of the tax but for some years 50% of the tax). And both the tax and the civil fraud penalty are subject to compounded interest from the due date that the tax should have been paid. That will add up to a lot of money. (You financial geeks will remember compounding and the time value of money.) Indeed, I suspect that it could easily wipe out Trump's real net worth (not his claimed net worth which is false).”
There is obviously no “if” involved. Let us truly hope this happens.
* According to MONEY WISE is #2 - on the list of “America's Worst States to Retire In” that is. It is the 2nd worst state in the US to retire in.
Looks like I did good. Pennsylvania is not on the list.
Being #2 does that mean NJ will try harder to be #1? I do believe NJ just raised its gas tax (although still cheaper than PA).
* Jason Dinesen identifies “The 4 Factors of Small Business Success” and looks at “How Does an Accountant Play In?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
I agree with JD’s bottom line.
“As I have shouted from the rooftops many times, and will do so again here: the ball is always really in the CLIENT’S court on all of this stuff. Accountants and tax preparers can help but we can’t work miracles, we can’t make a client do something, and there are many factors outside of the accountant’s control.”
* Good news! “Meals continue to be deductible under new IRS guidance” explains Sally P. Schreiber at the JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY -
“The IRS on Wednesday issued guidance clarifying that taxpayers may generally continue to deduct 50% of the food and beverage expenses associated with operating their trade or business, despite changes to the meal and entertainment expense deduction under Sec. 274 made by the tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
* In response to this good news Kay Bell lists “5 ways to maximize tax-deductible business meal expenses” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* And some more good news from Kelly Phillips Erb, the FORBES.COM TaxGirl – “Jersey Shore's Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Headed To Prison On Tax Charges”.
It is nice to see a self-absorbed reality tv idiot being appropriately held accountable for his or her stupid behavior.
* David McKnight makes some good points in his opinion piece “Avoid making these 3 huge tax mistakes ahead of your retirement” at MARKETWATCH.
Specifically mistake #1 – “Assuming you’ll be in a lower tax bracket in retirement”.
* The IRS has released a full list of the counties in North Carolina and South Carolina that qualify for tax relief related to Hurricane Florence. Hurricane Florence victims have until Jan. 31, 2019, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in the disaster area.
Check out “Help for Victims of Hurricane Florence”.
* Jim Blankenship talks about “Withholding and Social Security Benefits” at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW.
THE LAST WORD
One of the best descriptions of Trump, Trumpism and the Trump legacy come from the final paragraph of “The Cruelty Is The Point” by Adam Serwer in THE ATLANTIC -
“Trump’s only true skill is the con, his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.”
Donald T Rump’s core cult of ignorant and racist deplorables have always been on the fringes of the Republican Party, but they have never before had an alleged Republican politician personally low enough to pander directly and almost exclusively to them.
What Trump has done, and what is the most damaging and dangerous legacy of Trump, is to organize them in support and defense of his legitimacy and create an actual voting block within the Republican Party to whom, unfortunately, the Party is listening and responding.