Saturday, May 16, 2009


* Trish McIntire picks up on Jim Maule’s post on the increased capital loss deduction proposal and reminds us that the income levels used for calculating taxable Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits have never been increased for inflation in her post “Index for Inflation for All” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

Her title says it for me. If some threshold items in the Tax Code are indexed for inflation then why not index all items?

* Peter Pappas continues his series on “tax protester wackzoidery” with the post “Volume # 7- Absurd Tax Protestor Arguments - Paperwork Reduction Act” over at THE TAX LAWYER’S BLOG.

* Out of the mouths of babes! Bill Sheriden quotes from a speech in the post “'This Country Needs a Big Dose of Financial Literacy'” at the Maryland CPA Society’s CPA SUCCESS blog. The speech included a story that bears repeating –

During his Dallas speech, he told an eye-opening story that speaks directly to the importance of financial literacy.

He and his 9-year-old daughter were watching the news one evening when a reporter began telling the story of a homeowner who was in danger of losing her home. She had made the first two $4,000-per-month mortgage payments but couldn't afford to make another.

Her income? About $30,000 per year.

Niederauer's daughter paused, did some quick calculations in her head and said, "Daddy, I'm confused. Isn't four times 12 more than 30?" She had simply multiplied the woman's mortgage by 12 months and realized the result exceeded her income.

Here's a fourth-grader who figured out what so many Americans don't know -- or choose to ignore: If you buy something you can't afford, you're going to get into trouble

It seems that most of the great unwashed masses don’t have the intelligence of a fourth-grader.

* The WebCPA article “Tax Preparer Proposals in Budget Greenbook” reports that BO’s “Greenbook”, which contains a “general explanation of the administration’s fiscal year 2010 revenue proposals”, may require electronic filing by tax return preparers who file more than 100 tax returns in a calendar year, effective for tax returns required to be filed after Dec. 31, 2010.

As a tax return preparer who files more than 100 tax returns in a calendar year (I prepare about 400) how does the government intend for me to file my returns electronically if I do not use tax preparation software to prepare tax returns? Will this requirement exempt those who do not use tax preparation software (like, I believe, New York State does)? Will the IRS provide free tax preparation software packages to all tax preparers? Or will the IRS provide a free online filing system at its website, much like the NJ Division of Taxation does with NJWebFIle?

Can anyone who has read the 130 pages of the Greenbook provide an answer to these questions?

* Returning to Peter Pappas - he gives us another blog list with “59 Tips for the Self-Employed” at THE TAX LAWYER’S BLOG.

No disrespect meant to Pete, but I am not surprised that a lawyer would list “incorporate” as #1. As a general rule lawyers often get a huge fee for having their secretary type up some proforma papers and selling a corporate “kit”. Incorporation is not always the best way to go for the self-employed – what is wrong with the one-man LLC. Incorporation involves a lot of extra, often unnecessary, paperwork and federal and state filings and corresponding expense. And, like marriage, it is a lot more expensive to get out of then it is to get into. Lawyers also love it because they make themselves the “registered agent” and charge an unnecessary annual fee for so doing.

Item #2 is a good idea if you have a more involved activity. I believe that it should read “Hire a good accountant” instead. And item #3 is unnecessary if you do item #2 as I have amended.

I do wholeheartedly agree with items #6, 8, 11, 13, 16, and 19 (although 19 and my #2 should be the same). And, of course, #42.

Why #10 – if your business, and home, is so suited. I would say it depends on the type of business. Working at home works for me.

Pete has a good point in another post – “My Rules: No 1”. I certainly can’t argue with his logic here.

* Roni Deutch provides some good advice and information in “Top 10 Tax Planning Tips for Families with Children” at her TAX HELP BLOG. Her #1 and #2 would certainly top my list.

* Joe Kristan informs us at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG that reality show idiot Richard Hatch (although calling someone who appears on a so-called “realty tv” program an idiot is redundant) “was released five months early on his 51-month tax evasion sentence for good behavior”.

No comments: