Tuesday, November 30, 2021

WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’?

 

* Andy Ives lists a dozen facts for the purpose of “Clarifying Some ROTH Conversion Misconceptions” at THE SLOTT REPORT. 

* Gordon McNamee, CPA explains “Employee Savings Through 401Ks Get Triple Savings on Taxes” at the interestingly named TAX BUZZ blog.

* Jamaal “Stikks” Solomon provides some “Tips to Maximize the Value of a Car Donation” in his latest edition of JS TAX CORPORATION WEEKLY TAX TIPS –

At the end of the year you will be inundated with commercials to donate a vehicle to charity. While it is one of the biggest contributions a taxpayer can make, if not done carefully, the tax deduction of a donated vehicle could be a lot lower than you think.

The rule-

When you donate a vehicle, the value of your donation is either the fair market value of your vehicle when you donate it OR the value received by the charitable organization for your donation. Unfortunately, you do not choose the value of the donated vehicle.”

It is important to remember that you will only receive a tax benefit from donating a car to charity if you are able to itemize, and only to the extent that the total allowable itemized deductions, including the value of the car donated, exceeds the Standard Deduction.  The non-itemizer charitable deduction is for donations of cash only.

* Kay Bell discusses “Determining child-related tax breaks when you're divorced” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

* Michael Cohn tells us “IRS warns oftax-related identity theft during holiday season” at ACCOUNTING TODAY - 

The IRS and its Security Summit partners have dubbed this week National Tax Security Week. They want taxpayers and tax professionals to beware of tax scams revolving around the confluence of the holiday shopping season, the upcoming tax season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They believe that combination of events creates extra opportunities for criminals to steal sensitive personal or finance information. That means taxpayers should take extra care while shopping online or viewing emails and text messages.”

THE LAST WORD

Absolutely nothing the deplorable and despicable Republican Party has done this year indicates that it, or its leaders, elected officials and members, has/have any integrity, credibility, honor, intelligence, or humanity.

No intelligent person with a conscience could possibly support today's Republican Party.

The Republican Party is clearly the Party of morons, racists and those without a conscience.

TTFN












Monday, November 29, 2021

THE 2021 PNC CHRISTMAS PRICE INDEX


As it does each year at this time PNC has released its annual Christmas Price Index, which PNC describes as. –

A light-hearted take on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change in prices consumers pay for goods and services over time, the PNC version applies its own analysis to procuring True Love's 12 perfect gifts at Christmas.”

The Christmas Price Index was first introduced by a PNC predecessor bank in Philadelphia in 1984.

The total cost of the items in “The 12 Days of Christmas” for 2021 is $41,205.58, a 5.7% increase in the $38,993.59 the same gifts cost in 2019.

The index compares current year’s prices to the 2019 costs instead of 2020 because, as PNC Asset Management Group’s chief investment officer Amanda Agati explains –

"Comparing 2019 data is a better gauge of the impacts of inflation, before the pandemic's effects took hold of the global economy. We are trying to normalize the comparison by excluding a-once-in-a-century pandemic that had an outsized impact on last year's data."

PNC tells us –

The largest price increases this year come in the exotic pet categories, with large spikes seen in Six Geese-a-Laying (57%), Two Turtles Doves (50%) and Three French Hens (40%). Inflation is fueling higher costs for raising the birds through higher food and labor prices.”

While dancing ladies, milking maids and leaping lords did not receive a raise, the cost of the musicians in the group – pipers and drummers – was up 7.1%, I expect thanks to the American Federation of Musicians.

Sadly the milking maids continue to be poorly paid – due to the $7.25 minimum wage.

PNC also calculates the cost of the true love’s gifts if purchased online, which is $45,599.09 for 2021 - $4,393.51 more than brick and mortar retail purchases (10.7%) and $3,340.18 more than 2019 (7.9%). 

And the index determines the total cost of items bestowed by a True Love who repeats all the song's verses. Purchasing all 364 gifts will cost $179,454.19, 5.4% more than 2019 - $210,627.12, or 8.3% more, for internet purchases.

TTFN











Saturday, November 27, 2021

SAD NEWS – A GREAT LOSS

 


I was truly shocked and saddened when I rose this morning and received an email from a long-time friend, and fellow theatre lover, telling me Stephen Sondheim has passed away at age 91.  Truly a great loss.

I was in the audience of the original Broadway productions of Sondheim’s A FUNNY THING, COMPANY, FOLLIES, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, PACIFIC OVERTURES, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, PASSION, and his mystery play GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER, written with tv character actor George Furth who had also written the book for COMPANY. 

I heard Sondheim speak in an intimate setting at a class on the Broadway Musical I took at the New York University School of Continuing Education in 1972.  Each week a different Broadway person - composer, producer, director, actor, choreographer – spoke, and Sondheim was the composer.   

He had said at the class that he enjoyed seeing local productions of his shows.  When I produced COMPANY in Hudson County NJ in 1973, I sent Stephen and Hal Prince each two tickets to the opening night performance.  Sondheim wrote back saying he was sorry but he could not attend because he would be in London working on GYPSY with Angela Lansbury and thanking me for doing the show.  The framed personally signed letter is hanging in my living room.  A small example of the kind of person he was. 

BTW, I never heard from Prince, and his tickets were not used.

As my friend said in his email, he and I were so very fortunate to have seen and heard Stephen Sondheim’s greatness as a contemporary.  There are no heirs to his magic.

TTFN










Thursday, November 25, 2021

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 


I am thankful for the support and loyalty of my 1040 clients over the past 50 tax seasons. 

And for the support of my TWTP readers.

And that Joe Biden is in the White House!









Tuesday, November 23, 2021

WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’?

 

The House did pass the Build Back Better bill, with many tax components.  But it is my policy not to report on federal or state tax legislation until it is actually passed by and signed into law.  I don’t want to confuse you by telling you what could be new tax law – only what actually is new law.

* Some good year-end tax planning advice from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES – “Bunching your expenses to make tax itemizing worthwhile”.

* More good advice, this time from the NATP BLOG – “Don’t throw this important tax notice away!”.

Written for tax pros, it has a message for taxpayers -

Remember back when your clients were getting their letters stating how much each of their economic impact payments were going to be (Notice 1444)? Do you remember how most of them threw it away?

If they qualified for the child tax credit this year, they’ll be receiving another letter soon (Letter 6419), stating how much of the credit they received already. Now’s the time to alert them to look for this letter in the mail and to save it with the rest of their tax documents. It’ll save you and your clients hours of work and headaches!

Perhaps the biggest PITA and time-consumer of the past tax filing season was getting the amount of stimulus payments received in 2020 from clients. 

* Professor Annette Nellen provides a history lesson to celebrate “November 23 - 100th Anniversary of a Capital Gains Preference” at 21ST CENTURY TAXATION.

When I began my long career as a tax preparer in the early 1970s long-term capital gains were not taxed at a separate lower rate, as is the case today.  Originally 50% of long-term capital gains were deducted from gross taxable income on Schedule D – so 50% of long-term capital gains were not included in AGI.

* More from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES – “All Mississippi, some California filers get new Jan. 3, 2022, tax deadline”. 

This new deadline despite the fact that the October 15th extended filing deadline has come and gone.  

TTFN











Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA

 


Taxpayers are required to keep good contemporaneous records and documentation of all items of income reported and all deductions and credits claimed on their income tax return in the manner prescribed by Congress, the IRS and the US Tax Code.

As I recently reported, the IRS has released most of the inflation-adjusted tax rates, and numbers for deductions and credits for tax year 2022 – for returns to be filed in the spring of 2023.  I am currently working on compiling my 2022 GUIDE TO TAX RETURN RECORDKEEPING.  This guide will help you in gathering and organizing your 2022 tax “stuff” and help you to pay the absolute least federal income tax possible for 2022.

This guide will make a great Christmas gift for family, friends and for yourself!

I am waiting for the IRS to announce the 2022 Standard Mileage Allowance rates and for Congress to pass the final version of the Build Back Better legislation, which should contain several tax changes effective for 2022. 

My guide will contain detailed text covering what is taxable and deductible and what information and documentation you will need to properly prepare your 2022 tax return, and forms, schedules and worksheets for compiling and identifying the documentation you will need to provide to your professional tax preparer in 2023.  It discusses in detail –

·         MY BEST TAX ADVICE

·         WHAT TO GIVE YOUR PREPARER

·         WHO MUST FILE A 2022 TAX RETURN

·         FILING STATUS

·         DEPENDENTS AND EXEMPTIONS

·         INFORMATION RETURNS

·         INVESTMENT SALES

·         2022 CONTRIBUTION LIMITS FOR RETIREMENT PLANS

·         REPORTING GAMBLING INCOME

·         ADJUSTMENTS TO INCOME

·         ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS

·         DEDUCTIBLE RENTAL EXPENSES

·         CHILD CARE EXPENSES

·         ESTIMATED TAXES

·         HOW LONG MUST I KEEP MY TAX RECORDS

·         YEAR-END TAX PLANNING

The cost of the Guide will be only $16.45 - postage included.  However, if you order the Guide now, before I “go to press”, I will provide a 20% “pre-publication” discount.  So, the cost will be only $13.15! 

Your order must be postmarked before I publish the final version.

Send your check or money order for $13.10, payable to Taxes and Accounting, Inc. and your postal mailing address to -

TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC
2022 GUIDE TO TAX RETURN RECORDKEEPING PREPUB OFFER
POST OFFICE BOX A
HAWLEY PA 18428

TTFN














Monday, November 15, 2021

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!


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

I have prepared a special report on “2021 Year-End Tax Planning” that discusses year-end tax planning strategies and techniques.  It includes a preliminary 2021 tax return worksheet and details of the COLA and inflation-adjusted numbers for 2021 and for 2022 (those that are available as of this writing).

I will send you this report for only $3.95, postage included, via postal mail.

Send your check or money order for $3.95, payable to Taxes and Accounting, Inc. and your postal mailing address to -

TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC
2021 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING
POST OFFICE BOX A
HAWLEY PA 18428

TTFN