Tuesday, November 19, 2019
As you read this, I am in Atlantic City at the annual year-end tax update seminars of the National Association of Tax Professionals. I will report on what we learned after I return.
* A belated happy 14th Anniversary to Kay Bell’s DON’T MESS WITH TAXES blog! Here is her first post – “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.
Congratulations to the yellow rose of taxes!
* Just when we tax pros thought we didn’t need to deal with client health insurance coverage anymore Russ Fox tells us “Out With the Fed Mandate; In With State Mandates” at TAXABLE TALK.
“Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia have their own mandates for the 2019 tax year (tax returns filed in 2020); Massachusetts’ mandate began in 2007. California, Rhode Island, and Vermont have implemented mandates for the 2020 tax year (tax returns filed in 2021).”
Unfortunately, as 90% of my clients are NJ residents I will have to continue to deal with this PITA. I personally have never believed a taxpayer should be penalized for not having “adequate” health insurance coverage for all household members for the entire year.
* A topical post, considering Trump’s crime (only one of many). Robert W Wood explains “Quid Pro Quo? Actually, IRS Cares Too” at FORBES.COM.
RWW deals with the QPQ in terms of charitable contributions, stating “The tax law is clear that you cannot write off a charitable contribution if it wasn’t really a charitable contribution.”
* Speaking of charitable contributions, TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb describes “The Gifts That Keep On Giving: 5 Strategies To Tax-Optimize Charitable Giving”, also at FOBES.COM.
* KIPLINGER.COM has put its 2 cents into the discussion of state taxes and identified its choices for “Best States for Low Taxes: 50 States Ranked for Taxes, 2019”.
No surprise that New Jersey is on the list of top-10 least friendly tax states. Kiplinger confirms “New Jersey’s property taxes are the highest in the U.S.”.
Unfortunately, I found no list of the 50-state rankings. There is a state tax map (here) where you can click on a state to go a detailed analysis.
THE LAST WORD
Donald T Rump was unfit to be President in 2016 and is unfit to be President today and in 2020 because he is Donald T Rump – a corrupt and unethical businessman with more failures than successes and an ignorant, racist, delusional malignant narcissist and sociopath totally devoid of humanity, integrity and credibility.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
* The big tax news last week was the issuance by the IRS of the 2020 COLA and inflation-adjusted information. I have prepared a compilation of the new 2020 numbers. See here.
* FYI – my BOBSERVATIONS blog is now AMERICANS FORCOMMON SENSE. Check it out!
* Jason Dinesen asks, and answers, the question “Do I Lose the Tax Deduction if I Don’t Issue a 1099?” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* KIPLINGER.COM lists the “10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees, 2019”.
My former home state of New Jersey is #8 –
“Once again, it's the property taxes that crush retirees in the Garden State. New Jersey has the highest average property tax rate in the country.”
* And here are the “10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees, 2019”.
Wyoming is the most tax-friendly –
“Thanks to abundant revenues that the state collects from oil and mineral rights, Wyoming retirees shoulder the lowest overall state and local tax burden in the U.S., according to our calculations. There are no income, estate or inheritance taxes…and sales taxes are low, too (the average combined state and local sales tax rate is only 5.32%).”
* Oi vey! Russ Fox tells us it's “Deja Vu All Over Again, Again” at TAXABLE TALK.
* Not really surprising. Michael Cohn reports “Tax reform influenced charitable giving for half of taxpayers” at ACCOUNTING TODAY.
Thursday, November 7, 2019
The IRS has just released the COLA and inflation adjusted numbers for the Form 1040 for tax year 2020 – tax rates, Standard Deduction amounts, pension contribution limits, etc, etc, etc. These are the numbers that will be used on the 2020 Form 1040 that you will file in 2021.
As I do each year, I have created a special report of WHAT’S NEW FOR 2020 with these numbers - for use in your year-end 2019 and year-round 2020 tax planning. The only numbers not included in this report are the 2020 standard mileage allowance amounts, as they have not yet been announced.
My compilation is available, send as a pdf email attachment, for only $1.00. A revised report will be sent in the same manner when the standard mileage allowance rates are announced.
The first 50 to order the 2020 compilation will also be send my WHAT’S NEW FOR 2019 report.
Send your check or money order payable to TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC to –
TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2020
POST OFFICE BOX A
HAWLEY PA 18428
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
So, Washington wins the pennant (and the World Series). Just curious - does any member of the team have a personal manager named Applegate?
As for the BUZZ – a day late, but, while a bit brief (hey, some BUZZ is better than no BUZZ), hopefully not a dollar short.
* TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb tells us “IRS Advises Taxpayers To Be On The Lookout For New SSN Scam” at FORBES.COM.
* From THE TAX ADVISOR – a primer on “The taxation of collectibles”.
I don’ believe I have ever had to deal with this issue in my 48 tax seasons.
* Kay Bell is correct when she says “Standard tax amounts are easier for taxpayers” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
The increased Standard Deduction and the standard mileage allowance rates also make tax preparers’ lives – certainly mine - easier.
Monday, November 4, 2019
Donald T Rump is an ignorant and incompetent, delusional and dangerous, totally self-absorbed and mentally unstable worthless piece of garbage, devoid of humanity, who does not possess a single positive human value or quality.
He does not care about anything or anyone but himself. Everything he does is motivated solely by feeding his ego, lining his pockets, protecting himself, and pandering to his core cult of ignorant racists so they will continue to cheer his every lie at rallies.
Nothing he ever does, or has ever done, is based on intelligent thought, on doing what is right, or on a concern for what is good for America, the American people or the world.
He has never performed a single totally unselfish positive act in his adult life. And he has not made a single completely truthful statement about anything since announcing his candidacy for President in 2015. He lies to everyone about everything every day.
It is very literally impossible to find anything good to say about Trump.
In a presidential election it is usual to ask voters, “are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” No person in the world, except for maybe authoritarian leaders and dictators like Putin and Un, is better off today than they were 4 years ago – the mere fact that Trump is President makes everyone’s life worse.
There is no issue more important in the 2020 election than removing Trump from the White House. Regardless of one's political philosophy or affiliation – Democrat. Republican, of Libertarian, liberal, moderate, or conservative – no patriotic American with a brain and a conscience could ever want Trump in any position of political power.
TRUMP MUST GO!
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
* The TAX FOUNDATION has issued its “2020 State Business Tax Climate Index”.
Here are the 10 best state tax codes:
2. South Dakota
6. New Hampshire
Here are the 10 worst state tax codes:
49. New York
50. New Jersey
Once again, like Oliver Twist NJ is last on the list –
“New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, has the second highest-rate corporate income tax in the country and a particularly aggressive treatment of international income, levies an inheritance tax, and maintains some of the nation’s worst-structured individual income taxes.”
My new home state of PA is #29.
* New from Jason Dinesen of DINESEN TAX TIMES – “S-Corporation Loans from Shareholders, Or ‘My Dentist Told Me’”.
Worth repeating here is Jason’s “Closing Thoughts on Getting Tax Advice from Your Dentist” –
“I am amazed at how, in the tax field, there are so many ‘experts’ who are not tax professionals. This field is HARD, there are no easy answers and there is no pot of gold “magical tax strategy. I work with this junk every day (there goes my cynicism again) and I learn new things EVERY SINGLE DAY. And yet a person who doesn’t work with taxes at all is going to spout off about some grand strategy?
I mean, I don’t talk to my clients about their teeth, because I am not a dentist. So why does the dentist feel inclined to talk about taxes to his patients????”
* Spencer Wilson, EA explains “Employee Stock Options Can Be Taxing” at the interestingly named TAXBUZZ blog.
* Professor Annette Nellen suggests we just “Repeal the Kiddie Tax” -
“The tax law would be simpler and more equitable and neutral to just repeal the kiddie tax.”
I agree – from both a practical and a philosophical point of view. As a tax preparer I know too well that calculating the “Kiddie Tax”, under both the old and the new method, is truly a PITA.
THE LAST WORD –
I can understand if you support and defend true Conservative and traditional Republican policies. That is your right as an American. I accept and respect that. And in some areas, I actually agree.
But I cannot understand, accept or respect you if you support and defend Trump the man.
Trump the businessman is a proven con man – Trump University. He has committed his crimes, before and after being put in the White House, out in the open – gleefully and unapologetically. He is ignorant and incompetent. He is mentally and practically unfit to serve as President. Nothing is more obvious to anyone with a brain. Opposing and denouncing Trump is the only intelligent action.
BTW – Trump and his actions and policies are neither true Conservative or traditional Republican.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
* A new blog post from Jason Dinesen is always welcome. Glad to hear he will be posting more often, after a long hiatus.
His new post answers the question “Do I Have to Issue1099s for ‘Business to Business Transactions’?”.
I especially like, and echo, his comment (nothing to do with 1099s) –
“I know more about taxes than the ‘friend’ or ‘neighbor’ or ‘dentist’ [seriously, one time a client went on and on to me about some supposed tax strategy their dentist had told them about during the client's dental visit].”
I have been saying for years that the absolute best tax advice I can give anyone is –
Do not accept tax advice from anyone other than a professional tax preparer.
Don’t listen to a broker, a banker, an insurance salesman, or your Uncle Charlie! You wouldn’t ask your butcher for a medical opinion, so why would you listen to tax advice from your dentist?
* Fellow tax pros – have you renewed your PTIN yet? The NATP BLOG talked about renewal last Wednesday in “PTIN renewal season begins today”.
I renewed my PTIN on 10/17. It took only about 2 minutes – and there was NO FEE!
* At FORBES.COM Tony Nitti continues “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” by looking at the proposals of “Cory Booker”.
* Roger A. McEowen talks about the “Bad Debt Deduction” at the AGRICULTURAL LAW AND TAXATION BLOG.
* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, tells us “IRS issued almost 3 million fewer refunds under new tax law” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
This is not a surprise to me. While taxpayers may have actually had a lower tax liability under the law, because of the IRS withholding FU there were, certainly in my experience, less and smaller refunds, and many taxpayers owed Uncle Sam large amounts.
* Erica York of the TAX FOUNDATION reports on “New IRS Distributional Data on the Federal Individual Income Tax”.
“According to this data, in 2017, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid an average federal income tax rate of 26.76 percent. The bottom 99 percent, or all the rest of the taxpayers, paid an average rate of 11.4 percent. If we look at just the bottom 50 percent, the average rate paid by these taxpayers is even lower, at 4 percent.”
THE LAST WORD –
The situation with Turkey and the troops finally proves to everyone beyond any doubt that Trump is an ignorant, incompetent and clueless moron who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground about politics or policy or anything.
His ignorance and incompetence are truly dangerous to the security of America and the world.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
* And the beat goes on. Tony Nitti’s “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” series turns to “Kamala Harris”.
* My weekly NATP email newsletter reported –
“The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the wage base for computing the social security tax (OASDI) in 2020 increases to $137,700 from $132,900. The quarter cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) coverage figure will rise from $1,360 for 2019 to $1,410 for 2020. The increase in the quarter of coverage figure also serves to increase the lower and upper limits under optional methods for computing self-employment tax.”
The SSA also announced the 2020 COLA increase for monthly benefit checks is 1.6%.
Click here for a Social Security 2020 Fact Sheet.
* Did you know the “IRS announces tax relief for Texas victims of Tropical Storm Imelda”.
“. . individuals who reside or have a business in Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, and Orange counties may qualify for tax relief.”
Victims have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 17, 2019.
* How long does Uncle Sam have to audit your Form 1040? Robert W Woods explains in “IRS Audit Period Is 3 Years, 6 Years Or Forever: How To Cut Your Risk” at FORBES.COM.
* YAHOO MONEY tells us “These are the best and worst states for taxes in 2019.”
The article explains that NJ “charges the highest property tax in the country of $2,530 per $100,000 in home value”.
THE LAST WORD –
I am not a legal or political expert. I am not a registered Democrat or a registered Republican – although I have in the past voted for Democratic, Republican and 3rd Party candidates in various races. I am just a concerned citizen with a conscience who has been casually following Trump’s “career” for close to two decades.
It is obvious to me, and I should think anyone with a brain, that Trump the man is a worthless piece of garbage, totally devoid of humanity, humility, honor, integrity, credibility, empathy, sympathy, and intelligence, who cares only for himself - feeding his ego and lining his pockets - and absolutely nobody or nothing else. He has no political beliefs, philosophy or ideology and clearly no concern whatever for America, the American people, American values and democracy, or the world.
It is also obvious to me that no person with a brain and a conscience could ever affirmatively support and defend Trump the man or Trump the President.
It is truly puzzling that the Republican Party and Republicans in Congress have abandoned all integrity, honor and credibility by publicly supporting and defending Trump, while privately observing and acknowledging the same things about him that I do. Apparently, the Republican Party believes the votes of Trump’s core cult of ignorant racists are more important than protecting and defending the country and the Constitution.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
* At the coincidently titled TAXBUZZ blog Gordon McNamee reviews “Life Events and Taxes: A Complicated Combination”.
These events are all occasions when you should contact your, or a, tax professional – and often before rather than after.
And, BTW, this blog also has a “Weekly Tax Buzz”. Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.
* Kay Bell reports “IRS announces fiscal 2020 perdiem rates” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
There per diem rates are amounts established by the Government Services Administration (GSA) that are used to reimburse federal employees for lodging, meals and incidental expenses (there is a separate rate for lodging and for meals and incidental expenses) while traveling on government business, but they can also be used as a basis for reimbursement by other employers. And these amounts can be used by business taxpayers for claiming a federal tax deduction. The fiscal period covered by these new rates is Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2020.
Click here to find the per diem rates for a specific location
I will be going to Atlantic City in November for the annual NATP year-end tax update workshops, as I did last year. The per diem for meals and incidental expenses has not changed – I could deduct $66.00 per day without receipts for my trip last November and I can deduct $66.00 for my upcoming trip. I can also deduct actual expenses if I keep receipts – and I expect I will be spending more than $66.00 a day for meals alone in Atlantic City.
As a reminder - employee business expenses are no longer deductible on Schedule A, so the per diem is only for use by business entities. The meal and incidental eexpense per diem can be claimed as a deduction by Schedule C filers.
* And Kay also reports “Corporate tax returns arelatest forms to get IRS once-over”.
I do believe that by the time the IRS is finally finished revising its forms, figuring out correct withholding and issuing final regulations on the changes made by the GOP Tax Act the act will have expired.
* More on reality tv morons the Chrisleys’ tax troubles from Robert W Wood at FORBES.COM – “With Chrisley Criminal Tax Charges, Prosecutors May Know Best”.
* TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb began a new weekly column at BLOOMBERG TAX that will “offer commentary on the latest in tax news, tax law, and tax policy”. Her first post - “Don’t Follow Ex-Nets Star’s Playbook; Make Your Case to the IRS”
* Attention fellow tax pros. NATP’s “Taxpro Weekly” tells us –
“In the next few days, the Return Preparer Office (RPO) will begin sending notices to PTIN holders informing them that the PTIN renewal season will begin Oct. 16, 2019.”
And some good news –
“There will be no requirement to pay a user fee for anyone obtaining or renewing a PTIN.”
* Over at INVESTORS.COM Paul Katzeff explains “Roth IRA Beats Traditional IRA For Young Workers; Here's How”.
I agree with Paul.
THE LAST WORD –
The biggest question of the Trump Presidency –
Why do experienced politicians and government officials, who one would have thought to be intelligent, choose to abandon all honor, integrity and credibility to protect and defend an ignorant and incompetent delusional malignant narcissist and wannabe dictator instead of protecting and defending the country and the Constitution?
Of all the people intelligent and experienced politicians and government officials could choose to support out of Party or other loyalty Donald T Rump is the least likely. Trump, more than any other person, has not earned and does not deserve any such erroneous and misplaced loyalty.