* Bruce the taxguy (please note – one word all lower case) provides us with a history lesson in “The Idea Behind the Term ‘Black Friday’”.
Bruce also tells us about a great product for tax professionals, and possibly taxpayers as well, in “Forms, Schedules and Worksheets”.
And taxguy discusses the new refundable “credit” for “first-time” home buyers in “From the Flyer Notes”. He points out, quite correctly, that this is not a tax credit but an 15-year interest-free loan from the government. Bruce is right to advise readers and clients to evaluate this as a loan and seriously consider the responsibility to pay it back at $500 per year for 15 years, or until the property is sold. One of the reasons we are where we are today is because homebuyers did not properly evaluate loan decisions or seriously consider their future responsibilities.
* Russ Fox tells of an undercover sting operation on New York State tax preparers conducted by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, similar to ones done by the GAO and TIGTA in the past, in his post “Bozo Preparers Running Rampant in New York”. I do believe I have seen the handiwork of some of these bozos over the years when reviewing prior year returns of new clients.
* FYI, here is a chart of “History of Federal Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates” from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.
* A CNN Money online article titled “Taxpayers: Furious Over Homeowner Bailouts” reports that “many Americans are outraged that their money is being spent to rescue irresponsible mortgage borrowers. Still, that probably won't stop government officials”.
According to the article, “Ask most Americans whether they're in favor of spending taxpayer dollars to help delinquent mortgage borrowers and you're likely to get an emphatic ‘No!’”.
“Taxpayers are mad - especially those who held off buying their own homes or were careful not to spend beyond their means."
The article quotes disgruntled Queens NY resident Jay Black, "’All these idiots who bought homes they couldn't really afford are going to be rewarded with loan modifications, but what about those of us who didn't make stupid decisions?’"
Taxgirl Kelly offers a similar opinion in her 2 cents on the issue from her post “Paulson Changes His Tune (Again)”.
I must admit I, too, have no sympathy for cafones who purchased more home than they knew they could afford and continually refinanced to take cash out as the market value of their homes grew. They made their bed – so now they should lie in it!