Saturday, July 7, 2012
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
* I made the list of “2012 Tax Connections Top Tax Blogs” at, where else, TAX CONNECTIONS!
* Now the IRS is asked to address “The Phantom Menace”. Michael Cohn reports “Committee Urges IRS to Combat ‘Phantom Preparers’” at ACCOUNTING TODAY.
“Among the fraud trends identified in the report is the problem of ‘phantom prepared’ returns, that is, tax returns prepared by another for compensation and filed as self-prepared. The problem has been growing in recent years since the IRS stepped up its efforts to regulate the tax preparation profession. By not signing the returns, some tax preparers believe they are able to sidestep scrutiny and the new requirements for registration, testing and continuing education.”
The IRS should indeed seek out and penalize non-registered preparers - and equally penalize the taxpayers who use them.
* And at CNN MONEY Jeanne Sahadi compares “Obama vs. Romney on Taxes” -
Both presidential candidates talk about it -- both say they want it. And there's a good chance that the one who wins in November will end up presiding over it.
But neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney has offered a comprehensive plan for how he wants to overhaul the tax code.
Instead they've each made broad statements about what tax reform can achieve. And many of the tax proposals they have offered would work within the current structure of the code.”
I continue to call for a total rewriting of the Tax Code – doing away with most “tax expenditures”. But, unfortunately, I expect the chances of that happening are slim to none. Considering the specifics provided for each candidate as outlined in this article I prefer the Romney proposals.
* Kay Bell lists “12 Midyear Tax Moves for 2012” over at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* Lots of tax-related “stuff” in the Tax Policy Center’s WEEKLY TAX UPDATE.
* Trish McIntire gives us her 2 cents on how to submit returns to your “Uncle Sam”, or any other “uncle” if you have more than one to file in “Mailing Returns”.
When reviewing the previous year returns of new clients I find that I can often amend more than one of the “open year” federal and/or state returns to claim additional refunds (by correcting mistakes made by the previous preparer – often a CPA). I tell my clients to sign and mail the oldest amended return first, and once the refund check for that return is received to sign and mail the next oldest return, and so on. I do the same if I am filing multiple original returns.
I do not want more than one return in “the system” at the same time, and risk confusing the IRS or state tax authority any more than they already are.
* Tax pros – have you checked out my “Special Summer Savings”?
THE LAST WORD-
This past July 4th I enjoyed my annual viewing of the movie version of the wonderfully written musical “1776”, with a great cast of Broadway actors, on TCM (I saw the original on Broadway as well as the revival with STNG's "Data" as John Adams).
In the film John Adams explains – “One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress”.
And he continues to complain about the Congress – “We piddle, twiddle, and resolve. Not one damn thing do we solve.”
It seems nothing has changed in the past 236 years – at least when it comes to the idiots in Congress!