Friday, April 23, 2010



The tax filing season is over and I took a few days much-needed and well-deserved rest. Now I am working away on the GD extensions, and back at my computer eager to resume posting to THE WANDERING TAX PRO.

I have missed the wit and wisdom of Kay, Kelly, Mary, Monica, Stacey, Bruce, Jim, Joe, etc, and am glad to be back to wandering the web. I promise to have a WHAT’S THE BUZZ entry up soon.

I am a bit late in my return to blogging because for the past 4+ weeks I have been unable to access the internet on my office computer. COMCAST came this morning and fixed me – so here I am.

I hope you followed my daily week-day tax tips column at during the tax season hiatus. That series has ended, but I will continue to contribute tax-related items to during the “normal” year, and will let you know when these items appear.

And did you see my interview at

Before I embark on my annual review of the filing season I want to voice my agreement with the editorial in last Friday’s USA TODAY.

Titled “When 47% Don’t Pay Income Tax, It’s Not Healthy for USA”, the editorial responded to a report by the Tax Policy Center which estimated that 47% of Americans are “non-taxpayers”, at least when it comes to the federal income tax. This is up from the approximately 38% during the Bush years.

USA TODAY rightfully points out that “the fact that 47% pay no income tax is nonetheless disturbing – not for what it says about the nonpayers but for what it says about the nation’s broken tax system and how hard it will be to fix it”.

The editorial tells us that the fault does not lie with the non-payers. “The people who pay no income tax aren’t freeloaders or evaders; virtually all are simply doing what the law allows. That there are so many of them is the result of decades of deliberate, bipartisan tax policy.”

I have no absolutely no problem with my clients, or any other American, taking full advantage of all the exclusions, deductions, credits, and loopholes in the current Tax Code, and gladly assist them in doing so. My problem is with the cafones in Washington who write the Code.

I agree with the editorial when it says - “It’s not healthy for society if somewhere between a third half of all potential tax filers don’t help share the cost of most of government, from defense to highways to national parks. Everyone above the poverty level should have at least a minimal stake in financing the nation.”

I have been saying for some time now that we should replace the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax with a true “Minimum Tax” – every American citizen above the age of 18 who is not a full-time student should pay a minimum tax of $100.00.

USA TODAY hits the nail on the head when it observes – “The fact that so many people have no income tax liability is a reflection of a leaky, dysfunctional tax system. The code is absurdly complex. . . It’s riddled with loopholes and excessive social engineering. It’s undermined by spending programs that masquerade as tax credits. It even fails at its basic function of raising revenue, taking in barely $1.00 for every $2.00 the government spends.”

Please check out my post “THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!” for a detailed review of my thoughts on the matter.