Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Some good news! I had seen conflicting stories about whether or not blank federal income tax forms would be available at local Post Offices this year. When at my PO branch to send off my client mailing I saw three piles of forms out on the counter – Schedule B, Schedule M, and 1040EZ! I expect the 1040s, 1040As and Schedule As will follow. They are out early this season. I will still make a couple of runs to the IRS office on Rt 22 in a week or so and sneak out handfuls of other oft-used forms and schedules (you are supposedly only allowed 10 forms at a time).

* Guess who made the list of “50 Fantastic Accounting Blogs” at ONLINE ACCOUNTING DEGREE?

The Wandering Tax Pro: Ever wish that you could just bump into someone, randomly on the street, who could help you file your taxes perfectly this year? Here's your best shot.”

The list was alphabetical; the blogs were not listed in order of “fantasticness”.

Thanks, guys!

* Over at the IRS PROBLEM SOLVER BLOG attorney Darren Mish lists the “Top 20 Celebrity Tax Debtors (Part I and Part II)” of 2010

A look back at 2010 reveals 20 celebrities who hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons – their tax debts to the IRS.”

Showing my age, and tastes, – I have not heard of several of the “celebrities” on the list.

* The latest in the series of IRS “Tax Tips” - IRS Tax Tip 2011-06 – lists “Points to Keep in Mind When Choosing A Tax Preparer”.

The points are all good. I was surprised when I came to #10 - “Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN”.

This is a very important point, and should be included probably as worded, but I was expecting the IRS to put as the #1 point – “Be sure the preparer has registered with the IRS and has a PTIN. Only those individuals who have registered with the IRS are permitted to prepare federal income tax returns for a fee” – or something to that effect The IRS missed an excellent opportunity to begin its promised public education campaign for the new preparer registration regime.

The tip does make a good point –

"Remember, no matter who prepares a tax return, the taxpayer is legally responsible for all of the information on that tax return."

* Dianne Kennedy tells you what you can’t do with your IRA in “Avoid These Prohibited Transactions with Your IRA” at the US TAX AID blog.

* A “tweet” from MISSOURI TAX GUY Bruce led me to “The Smart Way to Use a Credit Card For Your Business” at the INTUIT SMALL BUSINESS BLOG, which has some good advice. Thanks, Bruce!
* Some great advice from EZEE TAX blog – “Avoid Refund Anticipation Loan This Year”!

The ads have begun – and it appears that Henry and Richard will be offering RALs this year. An H+R ad tells you to come into their office and walk out with a check for up to $9999 – with no “out of pocket” cost to prepare your return. This is truly misleading. Of course there will be excessive costs for both preparing the return and getting the RAL – much more than you should be paying for either “service” – which will come out of your refund and reduce the amount of the check you walk away with. {Mea culpa - apparently Henry and Richard are not offering RALs this year - I misunderstood the ad. See the first comment below.}
* Stacie Clifford Kitts is back and having a little fun with IRS advice in “Picking Apart the IRS’ Top 10 Tax Time Tips

* TAX PROF Paul Caron tells us some of the findings of the IRS Oversight Board’s 9th Annual Taxpayer Attitude Survey of 1,000 respondents in “IRS Releases 2010 Taxpayer Attitude Survey”.

Click here to view the report.

* Kelly Phillips Erb lists the various disaster areas in the US for which “Disaster Relief Available for 2010 Tax Year” at TAXGIRL.

* ACCOUNTING TODAY reports that “At Least 20 IRS Contractors are Tax Delinquents”.

The Internal Revenue Service does not verify that government contractors have paid federal taxes, despite a presidential directive last January that contractors with serious tax delinquencies not receive new work from federal agencies, and at least 20 contractors for the IRS owe a total of approximately $5.2 million in unpaid taxes, according to a new government report.”

The report that the item refers to is “Federal Guidelines Do Not Prohibit the Awarding of Contracts to Contractors With Delinquent Tax Liabilities” (2010-30-120) from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

According to the report Highlights-

From a review of 135 contractors with an award equal to at least $250,00, TIGTA identified 20 (15%) with delinquent tax liabilities totaling $5.2 million.”

All the IRS has to do is withhold the delinquent tax liability from the payments it makes to the contractors. What is so hard about that?

* Sorry – I couldn’t resist. Slut and “author” Snookie from THE JERSEY SHORE read David Letterman’s TOP TEN list on Monday (I obviously did not watch). I was shocked to learn that she could count to 10 (or that she could read cue cards)! FYI – I have nothing specific against Spookie or THE JERSEY SHORE (other than that the show is among the worst of the worst). I find the participants on such crap as THE BACHELOR and just about anything on MTV or VH1 or E! (except, of course, THE SOUP), and the shows as well, equally excremental.



Leigh Mutert said...

It doesn't surprise me that you received accolades for your blog. I've been a reader myself. Which is why I was surprised to see that you included a quote from a poorly-researched blog post by EZ Tax on Refund Anticipation Loans. The blogger has included material misstatements of fact in the post as documented in the comment section. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Leigh Mutert, CPA
H&R Block

Robert D Flach said...


Thanks for the clarification. I apologize if I FU-ed.

I am truly glad Henry and Richard will not be offering RALs this tax season. As I had said before - one less way for them to screw their clients.