Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Dealing with car maintenance issues has taken up too much time so far this week. I did, however, manage to find time to discover some BUZZ-worthy items.

* Mary O'Keeffe, she of BED BUFFALOES IN YOUR TAX CODE, continues to tout her unique idea in the post “Why We Need a National Tax Bee”.

She makes some excellent points in her post, such as –

Congress is getting on the case of banks for writing mortgage contracts and credit card agreements with ‘gotcha!’ provisions that hapless ordinary Americans can't understand. They have been getting on the case of health insurance companies for writing applications with ‘gotcha!’ questions that ordinary Americans can't understand. Those gotcha! provisions come back to bite them later on, when the banks raise rates and insurance companies cancel coverage.

Congress needs to get on its OWN case, because the tax code it writes is even more complex, convoluted, and hard to understand than any mortgage contract, credit card contract, or insurance application that I've ever seen. Try reading it for yourself and you'll soon see what I mean. It is full of doublespeak. It has provisions that may look readable and clear enough, but then if you keep on reading, it turns out that later on the code says something completely different that completely supersedes and contradicts what you thought you understood earlier

* Trish McIntire complains about “Dead Beat Clients” over at OUR TAXING TIMES.

While I sympathize with her feelings about dead beats, I must admit that I, and my mentor before me, have been lucky in the collection area. Considering the tens of thousands of returns we have done over the years the number of clients who stiffed us has been minimal. We both had some late payers, some even a year so, but for the most part we have always been paid, as the continuance of our services must have been valuable to the late payers.

What has been most interesting is the individual dead beats. A one-time client who stiffed my mentor 30+ years ago was Doug Van Horn of the New York Giants. He had gone into business with one of my mentor's clients. Back then football players were earning in the low 6 figures and not yet 7 figures. The last I heard of DVH, from Brian Kelly in the 1990s, he was the manager of one of Arnold Palmer’s restaurants.

* Monica Lawver, the TAX CPA, continues the call for tax simplification in “Broken Record”. Keep playing that record, Monica. The message needs repeating.

* Kelly Phillips Erb, the TAX GIRL, discusses some tax issues concerning the clergy in her post “Ask the Taxgirl: Pastors and Deductions”. I have prepared 1040s for many members of the clergy over the years and know first hand that their tax treatment is indeed unique.

I have also done a few priests when working with my mentor (years ago) – and from what I saw they were not taking the vow of poverty seriously.

* Kay Bell hosts the 58th Tax Carnival over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES. Hold on - I posted about the Tax Carnival yesterday. Oh, well, just be sure to check it out.

* Mary, Trish, Monica, Kelly, Kay – wait a minute! Don’t my fellow male bloggers have anything to report?

Here’s something - Jim Wang provides a lesson in “How to Read Your Social Security Statement” over at BARGAINEERING.

* And, while not tax related, Bill Murray (no, not him) sends a warning about a “DHL Email Virus” over at his APRIL15.COM blog.
* FYI, The NJ Division of Taxation website “What’s New” page told us that “The Division will begin mailing Homestead Rebate checks for nonsenior, nondisabled homeowners on Monday, October 5, 2009”.


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