Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The BUZZ is back!

+ Thanks to Jason M. Jones, MBA for the shout out to TWTP in his STRATEGEM CFO blog post “Rebuttal To a Blogger on Morals and Ethics”.     

Jason told me he has been following TWTP for over two years. 

I had an accounting and tax practice, but abandoned it in 2010 to start a CFO firm. Nevertheless, while I no longer am in the business of tax preparation, I still am an avid follower of your blog.”

His blog post talks about the offending blogger who thinks his word is gospel and that CPAs and lawyers walk on water.  While he softens on the offender in the end, if you read through his comments on the post of the offender with which he disagreed you will note that he correctly observed (about the offender) - 

. . . you do have a very condescending and self-righteous attitude and it shows throughout your blog.

+ I recently came across a new tax/accounting blog – DUE DILIGENCE by tax lawyer Brian Mahany.

In a recent post titled “IRS Overwhelmed By New Tax Law Changes” Brian discussed a recent Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration (”TIGTA”) audit of the IRS –

The Inspector General concluded that, ”During FY 2010, the IRS encountered many challenges, including a variety of tax provisions that were created, extended, or expanded.” There were over 100 new provisions alone just from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Brian also pointed out that -

According to the report, the tax changes last year were the most significant faced by both the IRS and taxpayers in at least 20 years.”

He rightfully observed -

If the Service can’t keep up despite thousands of new agents, how is a small business owner supposed to keep up? The net effect of such a complex and ever-changing tax code is to turn taxpayers into what I call ‘innocent criminals’. Criminals because they broke a law or regulation but ‘innocent’ in that they had no idea that they were breaking the law.”

Brian published a guest post from yours truly titled "5 Ways to Avoid IRS Problems" yesterday.  Check it out!

+ And here is another new, to me, tax blog – THE TAX TRANSLATOR by Steve Hoffman, “A blog about my thoughts on higher education and nonprofit organizations and the taxation of them. I work with higher education and nonprofit organizations to help them keep their most valuable asset - their tax exempt status”.

+ The IRS recently released IR-2011-89 IRS ReleasesSpecifications for Registered Tax Return Preparer Test”. The test will have approximately 120 questions in a combination of multiple choice and true or false format. Questions will be weighted and individuals will receive a pass or fail score, with diagnostic feedback provided to those who fail.  Click here to download the IRS specifications.

Fellow tax blogger Stacey Clifford Kitts provided some appropriate comment on the subject in her post “IRS Releases Specifications for Registered Tax Return Preparer Test – Doesn’t It Just Give You the Chills?” at STACIE’S MORE TAX TIPS.  (the highlight is mine) -

Here it is, what all un-registered (non CPA’s, attorneys, or enrolled agent) tax preparers have been waiting for. The specs for the competency test that will award those who pass the title of ‘Registered Tax Return Preparer’.

Wowwee doesn’t it just give you the chills….

No – well maybe that’s because CPA’s and attorneys can sign tax returns even if they don’t have a single clue what they are doing. They get to do this without passing a test (other than the initial licensing exam which he/she could have taken a hundred years ago – so not even relevant today) or taking a single hour of tax related continuing professional education. You know, training that would keep you up to speed on the actual tax laws that apply to tax return preparation.”

Fixing the mistakes of these so called professionals is a large part of my practice. I guess I should be grateful instead of loosing my mind over the absurdity of it all.”

+ I received an email a while back from Angela Wilder of -

Dear Robert-

Your blog has been recognized as one of the top blogs in the accounting profession. Congratulations on this awesome accomplishment.

I am reaching out to you today to introduce you to iShade (if you haven't already heard of it) and to ask you to join us. is the online profession online. A community for accountants that provides access to unique resources, information and training that can't be found anywhere else. We are a content "aggregator" where the reflections of the profession's thought leaders can be compiled and organized in a single user-friendly environment.

This is where you come in. In the Blogs section of the site, iShade provides a space for the leading accounting bloggers to either host or mirror their blogs. As an added benefit for the iShade user, these blogs can be searched collectively - allowing our users to easily find what multiple experts are thinking about any given topic or issue. This functionality eliminates the user from having to visit multiple sites to search for the information they need. Instead, they can just search for what they're looking for within iShade.

Sharing your expertise in will enhance your reputation and expand your reach.”

I registered with the site and gave it a brief look-over, but have not had the time to review it thoroughly yet.

+ Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, tells us about the “Millionaire Tax Proposed By Obama” over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.

Obama wants a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year.

The goal, according to the Administration, is to ensure that richer Americans pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers.”

Obviously I oppose a “millionaire tax”.  Hey, if Warren Buffet feels he is not paying enough taxes he can always make a voluntary contribution to the Treasury.

While checking out the post be sure to participate in Kay’s survey onShould the rich pay a higher top tax rate?”

+ And Kay posts about the CCH projected inflation-adjusted tax numbers for 2012 – i.e Standard Deduction, personal exemption, tax rates - in “Tax Amount Projections for 2012”.

+ On the subject of the “millionaire tax” – check out the editorial Playing Robin Hood Isn't Leadership, Mr. President” from the WASHINGTON EXAMINER.

+ The following quote is from fellow “twit” Jill Senso –

Golf is a lot like taxes - you drive hard to get to the green and then wind up in the hole.”

+ Trish McIntire reports that “Installment Agreements Go Online” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

Who qualifies to use the Online Payment Agreement? The IRS estimates that 95% of taxpayers will be eligible to use the online method. This includes individuals with outstanding balance dues and taxpayers who have a balance due on this year’s tax return.. Also, taxpayers with current installment agreements can make changes to agreements which are already in effect with the IRS. Taxpayers must owe less than $25,000 in total. That includes all taxes, interest and penalties. And of course, all applicants must have filed all tax returns.”

+ Susie Poppick tackles year-end tax planning in “You Can Lower Your Tax Bill, But Move Fast” at CNN.MONEY.

Next April may feel light-years away, but December will be here before you know it -- and many of the benefits you can reap on tax day require you to act well before the end of the year.

‘The further ahead you start your tax planning, the more strategies you will have to save money,’ says Indianapolis accountant Kevin Aaron. The early-bird tactics that follow can together keep thousands of bucks in your pocket.”

+ Speaking of tax planning, Joe Kristan makes the obvious statement “Tax Planning Beats Tax Cheating” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG.

+ Professor Jim Maule asks “Do Lower Taxes, Less Regulation Create Jobs? Do Payroll Tax Cuts, Employment Credits, More Section 179 Expensing, and Unemployment Benefits Create Jobs” at MAULED AGAIN( 

The Professor does not think so. Of all the current proposals he feels that only “the proposal to spend money to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure, makes sense.”

+ I liked Ron Teuber’s 9/16 weekly tax quote at his TAX LAW FORUM blog -

Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.”- Lord Bramwell.

Actually I have known a few who have actually forgotten about their taxes.

+ The Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG tells us that “The Internal Revenue Code Book Could Be Used as a Paperweight in a Tornado”.

The United States Internal Revenue Code (IRC) is complex. This is immediately obvious once you open it and realize that, depending on your edition, it's about 10,000 to 11,000 pages long. What's more is that these pages are phone-book thin.

Reading these pages is even more disheartening. It is a harder read than James Joyce's Ulysses and Finnegans Wake combined—and just about as thick.”

Tell me something I don’t already know.

+ And the TAX POLICY BLOG’s David Logan feels that “President Obama’s Deficit-Reduction Plan Would Do More Harm than Good”.  I do not necessarily disagree.

+ Jean Murray interviews CPA Gail Rosen on the question “How is My HomeBusiness Deduction Affected By the Sale of My Home?” at ABOUT.COM-US BUSINESS LAW/TAXES.


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