Saturday, September 6, 2008


* Bruce THE TAX GUY’s weekly “Passing The Week. . .” post “turned me on to” the post “How To Deal With Higher Taxes” by Andy at SAVING TO INVEST. He offers some good ideas on various ways on how to deal with what he thinks will be inevitable higher taxes. As he points out, “some of these strategies are plain good practice even in the current investment climate”.

I am a big fan of the ROTH investment, be it an IRA or a 401(k), if available, or both, for younger taxpayers just starting out in the workplace. It is a great opportunity to grow a tax-free nest-egg. Those just starting out should be able to contribute to both the IRA and the 401(k), if a ROTH 401(k) is available, before their income becomes too high for the IRA and before they need additional cash-flow for home and family expenses.

Older workers, who are just now being offered the ROTH 401(k) as an alternative, have probably become reliant on the “pre-tax” nature of traditional 401(k) contributions, and cannot afford the additional tax cost of changing over to the ROTH alternative. And, at least in my neck of the woods, they probably have too great an income to be able to make a full contribution to a ROTH IRA.

* Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES reports on a taxpayer who went “postal” (I shouldn’t pick on postal employees, at least those who work the window at the local offices - if I had to deal with the “great unwashed masses” day-in and day-out all year round I would probably “go postal” myself - dealing with them for 2½ months during the tax season was more than enough for me!) on a local IRS office in “Man Rams Alabama IRS Office With Car”.

As Kay points out there are better ways of dealing with the frustrations of the IRS – for example contacting the Taxpayer Advocate Service. I have used the TAS myself several times in the past and, despite a few glitches that were eventually resolved, I have had excellent and quite satisfactory responses (especially for my clients) from this Service.
* Kay also discusses another in a series of recent FUs by Congresspersons regarding tax law in “Property Problems for Charles Rangel
Kay echoes the conclusion of other tax bloggers, Jim Maule and myself included, - “That's got to make you wonder just how many other things about the tax code do all our Representatives and Senators not know or understand?
* Trish McIntire of OUR TAXING TIMES discusses the new IRS CP2057 “Automated Soft Notice” in her post “There Is No Such Thing as a Soft Audit”. I agree with Trish’s comments, and also want to know “what triggers the computer to include a taxpayer in the audit” and “what happens next”.

* The MDTAXES Network September newsletter discusses “Tax Breaks For Lost Deposits at INDYMAC and Other Banks That Fail”. Good reading.

* Another blog list! Jim at BLUEPRINT FOR FINANCIAL PROSPERITY lists “5 Reasons You Should Donate Your Car”. I do agree with much of Jim’s logic.

However, while Jim is usually pretty much “on the money”, his reason #2 here is somewhat wrong. A few years back Congress made it a little bit less of a Wonderful Deduction, as mentioned in one of the post’s comments (someone beat me to it). For more information on the current rules for donating a car to charity check out my post “1040 FYI: Donating a Car to Charity”.

* As you would expect TAX PROF Paul Caron brings us the words on “Sarah Palin and Tax Policy” and follows up with “
Tax Planks in the 2008 Republican Party Platform”.
* The NATP weekly email newsletter reports that - “The General Services Administration (GSA) announced per diem rate adjustments for fiscal 2009. Starting October 1, employees traveling to about 400 locations in the continental United States will receive a per diem that is higher than the national standard rate, which is $70 for lodging and $39 for meals and incidental expenses. The standard rate remains unchanged from this year.” Click here to find the GSA domestic per diem rates.
* I know this has nothing to do with taxes, and is not even a real BUZZ item, but since I ended ANYTHING BUT TAXES I have nowhere to properly vent. FYI, I recently send the following comment to Regis and Kelly’s IN BOX.
“I realize that network-required cross promotion forces talk shows like yours to book participants and contestants of so-called “reality tv” programs like The Bachelor, The Hills, and the like – individuals with no real talent who have become celebrities merely by embarrassing themselves in front of millions of people.

I wish a talk show host would ask one of these individuals, who are basically famous for being an idiot, a real question like – “What was it exactly that caused you to completely abandon all self-respect and decide to make a total fool of yourself on national television?”
I wonder if they will respond to it on the show.


Anonymous said...

I am not a big TV watcher but would be wondering myself if that show would respond to that question.
Your Great.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to agree with bruce on this..

Robert D Flach said...


Are you agreeing with wondering if the show would respond to my question - or agreeing that I am great?


Anonymous said...

Yes to both. Sorry for the delay. Been busy as you know.