Friday, September 29, 2023


* No surprise – nothing new.  Kay Bell reports “New Jersey is number one in property taxes” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES -  
In calendar year 2021 (the most recent data available), Tax Foundation researchers found that New Jersey had the highest effective rate on owner-occupied property at 2.23 percent.”
My home state of PA is #11 at 1.49%.  Surprisingly New York is #12 at 1.40%.
* From the NATP BLOG – “Tax treatment of homes used for personal and rental purposes:a comprehensive guide and chart”.
* It seems each BUZZ installment includes at least one disaster relief announcement.  The latest from the IRS – “Taxpayers impacted by Hurricane Lee in Maine and Massachusetts qualify for tax relief;various deadlines postponed to Feb. 15” –
All 16 counties in Maine and all 14 counties in Massachusetts qualify. Individuals and households that reside or have a business in these counties qualify for tax relief.”  
* FYI - I have a new BOBSERVATIONS post about “The Importance of Being Margaret”.  

Friday, September 22, 2023



*  At KIPLINGER.COM Kelley R Taylor lists “The Wash Sale Rule: Six Things You Need to Know”.
Essentially, a wash sale occurs when you sell a security at a loss and then purchase the same security again in a short period.”  But it does not apply if you sell a security at a gain and immediately repurchase the same security.
You can sell a security at a gain and immediately repurchase it to generate a capital gain if you have excess net capital losses (more than $3,000).  While you are allowed to carry-forward excess capital losses on the federal return, some state returns, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, do not allow for any carry-forwards.
* Another blog list, this one from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES – “7 tax considerations for divorcing couples”.
Several years ago in an article about divorce and taxes I wrote (showing my age) -
Do you remember L.A. LAW?  While you would want Arnie Becker as the divorce attorney, the divorce agreement should be reviewed by Stuart Markowitz before it is signed.  For a more contemporary cultural reference - you would want David Lee as the divorce attorney, but have the final agreement reviewed by Will Gardner.”
* Kay follows up with a list trifecta (an appropriate follow-up to the previous post) – “A tax to-do list after you say 'I do'”.
#1 on the list – “Make sure everyone knows your new name” - is very important and echoes what I have been advising for decades (highlight is mine) –
If either, or both of the newlyweds legally change their name post-vows, they need to report it to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Internal Revenue Service matches what's on your 1040 with the SSA data every filing season. If your new name on your return doesn't match the official SSA info, it could delay any refund from your first post-wedding tax filing.”
*  From Robert W Wood at FORBES.COM – “IRS Says Disability Pay Is Taxable Or Tax Free, Here’s How To Tell

Friday, September 15, 2023



A brief BUZZ today – and all from one source.
* More disaster relief announced.  From the IRS – “South Carolina taxpayers impacted by Idalia qualify for tax relief; Oct. 16 deadline, other dates postponed to Feb. 15”.
* And also from the IRS “Georgia taxpayers impacted by Idalia qualify for tax relief; Oct.16 deadline, other dates postponed to Feb. 15”.
We have reported too many of these posts this summer.
* Finally, making an IRS trifecta, "IRS reminds gig workers, self-employed and others of Sept. 15 third quarter estimated tax payment deadline.  
That is today!  So, get your estimated tax payments made online or in the mail today.

Monday, September 11, 2023



Police Officer Maurice Barry - PATH Emergency Service Unit - P.O. Shield #1038

A Port Authority officer for 16 years, Maurice "Moe" Barry, 48, was assigned to the PATH commuter train system. The resident of Rutherford, NJ, upon hearing the reports of the terrorist attacks, was one of the first on scene when he rushed from Jersey City to Lower Manhattan and then into the North Tower to help in the rescue efforts. As thousands fled the searing flames and smoke of the Towers, Officer Barry was attempting to reach trapped and frightened workers on the upper floors. The last time he was seen, he was on his way to the higher floors to get people out.
Moe had a history of heroism - he was involved in rescue efforts during an airplane crash at La Guardia airport; he once climbed a bridge to retrieve the body of a person electrocuted there; he was involved in the rescue effort during the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and he rescued a woman from her home, by boat, during Hurricane Floyd. Moe was also a volunteer for the Rutherford Ambulance Corps.


Most of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing on dates of historic importance.

The day President Kennedy was shot I was on a 6th Grade field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The day President Nixon resigned I was at a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert in Roosevelt Stadium on Route 440 in Jersey City (it no longer exists – it has been replaced by condos).

When the planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, I was on a Parker Tours escorted bus trip to Ocean City, Maryland. At the time of the attack our group was at the Assateague Island National Seashore. We were not told about it until we had returned to the bus and were driving back to our hotel, where we were supposed to attend a welcome reception. The reception was cancelled and we all went to our individual rooms and spent the rest of the day watching the tragedy unfold on television.

On September 11, 2001, my client, and fellow Dickinson High School Class of 1971 graduate, Maurice “Moe” Barry was one of the members of the Port Authority Police Emergency Response Team, among the “first responders” to the initial attack, who were killed when the tower collapsed.

Moe always came in to have his tax return prepared on the very last day of the season, April 15, 16 or 17 of each year, a long-standing tradition he first began as a client of my mentor Jim Gill before I “inherited” the practice. After Jim or I prepared his return he would go to the main Post Office in New York City to mail the return and participate in the festivities there. Each year when we saw Moe, we knew it was almost over. One year he came in on April 10th and we told him to go away and come back on the 15th. 

To honor Moe’s memory, before I retired I no longer worked on 1040s on the last day of “the season”. For me the tax filing season ended each year on April 14th (or 15th or 16th). 


Tuesday, September 5, 2023



Another late BUZZ.
* The IRS has announced “Those impacted by Idalia qualify for tax relief; Oct.16 deadline, other dates postponed to Feb. 15”.
* This item from KIPLINGER.COM suggests something I have been recommending for years – “How to Jump-Start Your Kids’ Retirement Savings” -
A simple strategy that parents can implement to jump start their children’s retirement savings is to help them fund a Roth IRA.”
For example (highlight is mine) -
Assume they {or rather you as their parent – rdf} contribute $3,000 a year as a high school junior and senior, and $6,000 a year during all four years of college (so $30,000 in total contributions). If they earn a 6.8% annual return from ages 16 to 40, 6.4% from ages 41 to 60 and 6.1% after age 60 (the expected returns from 80% stock, 70% stock and 60% stock allocations, respectively), they’d have more than $600,000 of tax-free retirement savings by age 65, which could yield more than $21,000 of sustainable tax-free income throughout retirement.”
* Another weather disaster related post.  Kay Bell reports “Alaska, Illinois taxpayers in spring/summer disaster areas now have Oct. 31 tax deadline” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* My latest BOBSERVATIONS post – “Just Plain Stupid” – calls a spade a shovel.
* Let’s end with a Kay Bell double play.  Kay explains “Being the boss tax basics”.
This bears repeating. 
Extreme fundamentalist Christians are just as dangerous as extreme fundamentalist Muslims – and today a much greater danger and threat to America and American democracy.

Monday, August 28, 2023


 A few days late – but better late than never.

* From the IRS “Hawaii wildfire victims qualify for tax relief; Oct. 16 deadline,other dates postponed to Feb. 15” -
The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred from Aug. 8, 2023, through Feb. 15, 2024 (postponement period). As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until Feb. 15, 2024, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period.
This means, for example, that the Feb. 15, 2024, deadline will now apply to:
Individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2022 return due to run out on Oct. 16, 2023. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2022 returns were due on April 18, 2023, those payments are not eligible for this relief.
Quarterly estimated income tax payments normally due on Sept. 15, 2023, and Jan. 16, 2024.
Quarterly payroll and excise tax returns normally due on Oct. 31, 2023, and Jan. 31, 2024.
Calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2023.
Calendar-year corporations whose 2022 extensions run out on Oct. 16, 2023.
Calendar-year tax-exempt organizations whose extensions run out on Nov. 15, 2023.
In addition, penalties for the failure to make payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after August 8, 2023, and before September 7, 2023, will be abated as long as the deposits are made by Sept. 7, 2023.”
* Also from the IRS – “Reminder to employers and employees: Educational assistance programs can be used to help pay workers’ student loans; free IRS webinar will offer details”.
* And a reminder from the NJ DIVISION OF TAXATION – “Parents, Students, and Educators:Take Advantage of NJ’s Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday”.
* Finally, a reminder from me – “This I Know To Be True”.
* The NATP BLOG answers a question I was often asked years ago, when I was the accountant for the NJ Center for Visual Arts in Summit NJ, in its latest “You make the callpost.

Saturday, August 19, 2023



There is not, and never has been, a legitimate, intelligent or acceptable reason, political or otherwise, for anyone to support Trump’s bid for the White House, past or present.
Donald J Trump is a totally worthless piece of excrement, completely devoid of intelligence, integrity and humanity, who does not possess a single redeeming positive human qualify or value, and who has never performed a single totally unselfish act in his entire adult life.
It is obvious that Trump doesn’t care one ounce about anything or any one other than himself.  His only agenda is to feed his ego and line his pockets.
In our country’s history no one single individual has done more damage to America, the American people, American democracy, and American values than Donald J Trump.
Any person who continues to support Trump is either a moron, a racist, has no conscience, or, like Trump himself, all three apply.
And he or she is a traitor to America and the Constitution.