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.

“. . 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.

The article explains that NJ “charges the highest property tax in the country of $2,530 per $100,000 in home value”.


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.

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 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.


Monday, October 7, 2019


That time of the year will soon be upon us when I say - Now is the time for all good men, and women, to come to the aid of their 2019 Form 1040!

Once the ball drops on One Time Square on New Year’s Eve and 2020 is rung in there is very little that you can do to reduce your 2019 tax liability.  But there is much that can be done during the last two months of the year to make sure that you pay the absolute least amount of federal and state income tax possible.

My 2019 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING GUIDE – which will “go to press” on October 15th - explains in detail what you can do during the last two months of 2019 to reduce your federal tax bill - in the context of the new rules for Form 1040 enacted by the GOP Tax Act.

It also contains a 2019 Preliminary Return Worksheet and details of what is new for federal individual income taxes for 2019.

The cost of this guide, delivered as a pdf email attachment, is ONLY $3.00.  A print version sent via postal mail is also available for $5.00.

Those who order the pdf email attachment will also receive a free copy of my “What’s New in Taxes for 2020” – also as a pdf email attachment - when it is available!

Send your check or money order for $3.00 of $5.00, payable to TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC, and your email or postal address to –



Tuesday, October 1, 2019


* Kelly Phillips Erb, the FORBES.COM TaxGirl, tells us “IRS Releases Updated Version Of Tax Form Just For Seniors.

KPE says the updated 1040-SR has “larger print and less fussy boxes”.

The IRS also issued an updated version of the 2019 Form 1040 – both new drafts were released on 9/11.  The content of the new draft 2019 1040-SR and 2019 1040 are exactly the same – line for line and word for word.  The only difference is that the 1040-SR has substantially bigger print and includes a Standard Deduction Chart.

The 1040 is now a 2-sided form that is 2/3 of a full 8½ x 11 sheet, instead of a ½ a full sheet like the ridiculous 2018 “postcard” 1040.  The 1040-SR is a 2-sided form that takes up an entire 8 ½ x 11 sheet – although Page 2 does not fill up the entire sheet.  The format is clearly much better than the 2018 Form 1040, with a more logical flow of information. 

I do believe I said the exact same thing about the original draft versions of these 2 forms.

What is the reason for a 1040-SR – other than it was mandated by Congress.  If you ask me the 2019 1040-SR format should be the 2019 Form 1040 and used by all.

* And KPE reports on a report with some good news – “IRS Report: Most Taxpayers Pay Their Taxes In Full And On Time”.

A report released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicates that the nation's tax compliance rate is holding at 84%, the same as in prior years.”

* Staying with FORBES.COM tax bloggers, Tony Nitti moves on to “Joe Biden” in his “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” series.

* The TAX FOUNDATION answers another question – “Does Your State Have an Individual Alternative Minimum Tax?

Very few do.  NJ, PA and NJ do not.