Tuesday, May 6, 2014


* Russ Fox brings us more nonsense from the IRS for tax preparers in “Yes, Mom, I Need to See Your ID” at TAXABLE TALK.

OK, I’ve known my mother for all of my life. But as of now I must check her ID when I file her tax return.

Russ quotes from the new IRS publication of instructions for ERO’s (Electronic Return Originators), which are tax preparers who are authorized by the IRS to originate the electronic submission of a return to the IRS – i.e. file electronically (the highlight is mine) –

The ERO must inspect a valid government picture identification; compare picture to applicant; and record the name, social security number, address and date of birth.  Verify that the name, social security number, address, date of birth and other personal information on record are consistent with the information provided through record checks with the applicable agency or institution or through credit bureaus or similar databases.  For in-person transactions, the record checks with the applicable agency or institution or through credit bureaus or similar databases are optional…If there is a multi-year business relationship, you should identify and authenticate the taxpayer.”

Russ tells us that in certain situations the IRS requires him to run credit checks on clients to verify identification.

Are they fucking kidding???  Thankfully I am not an ERO – and after reading this I never will be!

So rather then set up internal systems to set off an alarm if thousands of filed returns use the same mailing address, which happens to be a prison, the IRS is passing the responsibility for preventing identity theft on to the tax preparer.

OK, maybe I can understand requiring the preparer to ask to see a valid government picture ID for a new client who is otherwise unknown to the preparer.  But that is where it should end.

 * Jason Fichtner and Jacob Feldman explain it’s “Business As Usual” as “Congress is ready to pass a wasteful tax extenders bill again.” At USNEWS.COM.                

Tax economists generally agree that temporary tax policies are ineffective for economic growth, so why will these tax breaks likely be renewed yet again?

The regular renewal of tax breaks is a vehicle for politicians to acquire financial and political support from special interests in exchange for tax handouts. In the 1990s, federal tax policy was relatively stable, with relatively few expiring tax provisions. But today’s large number of temporary tax provisions signals to those who benefit from the provisions that Washington is open for business.

Mercatus Center research finds that a higher number of temporary tax breaks means more spending and investment in lobbying activities.

Just one more example of the fact that the idiots in Congress care more about themselves than the American public. 

* Forget the lies in those tv ads.  Jim Buttonow reveals “The Realities About the IRS Offer in Compromise Program” at CPA INSIDER.

Television and radio are filled with ads claiming that taxpayers can settle their tax balances owed to the IRS. This settlement program is known as the IRS offer in compromise (OIC). Clients who can’t pay their taxes may inquire about this overhyped settlement option; however, according to IRS statistics, it is highly unlikely that most taxpayers who have outstanding balances will have an OIC accepted.”

* Mike Godfrey of TAXNEWS.COM reports “TIGTA Warns On IRS Obamacare Administration”.

In his testimony to the United States Senate Appropriations subcommittee, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), J. Russell George, has questioned whether the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be able to administer effectively the tax provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – many of which are already in operation.”  

J. Russell ain’t the only person questioning this.

* A Republican President honored by the Kennedy family for raising taxes.  That’s what Michael Levenson of the BOSTON GLOBE tells us in “Former President Bush Honored for ‘90 Tax Hikes”.

Actually the senior Bush is honored for his “willingness to buck party orthodoxy and reach across the aisle” by making a move that cost him re-election.  A quality which is, as the article points out, “sorely lacking in today’s Washington”.

The item includes a keen observation from Olympia Snowe, former Republican senator from Maine who was serving in the US House at the time (highlight is mine) -

Still, Snowe said, the bipartisan deal should be a model for a deeply polarized and paralyzed Congress that seems to lurch from crisis to crisis.

It’s tragic for the country when you consider how little has been accomplished because of their unwillingness to work together and build consensus on key questions,” Snowe said. “This is a moment to understand how it can work.’”

* Dr. Jean Murray provides employers “5 Tips for Hiring and Paying Teen Workers This Summer” at ABOUT.COM:US BUSINESS LAW/TAXES.

* There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but according to TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb there are at least 11 reasons to leave your tax client in “She's Just Not That Into You: 11 Reasons Your Tax Pro Wants To Call It Off” at FORBES.COM.


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