Friday, September 25, 2015


* Year-end tax planning time is almost upon us.  If you are looking for a tax professional to help with your planning you can begin your search at “Find A Tax Professional” – check out the advice and information section before starting the search.

And check out my “2015 Year-End Tax Planning Guide” for help with your year-end plan.

* Kelly Phillips Erb wonders “2015 Tax Season 'Miserable' For Many Taxpayers: Will It Get Better In 2016?” at FORBES.COM.

While the 2015 filing season was certainly not “miserable” for me – no worse than any other – I did hear from more clients whose federal refunds were delayed, for the weirdest reasons (see my post “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”), than any other filing season in my 40+ years in the business.  With continued budget cuts I expect the 2016 season will also have many delayed refunds.

* WALLETHUB announces its list of “2015’s Most & Least Fair State Tax Systems”.

WalletHub analyzed and ranked the 50 states based on the fairness of their state and local tax systems — including income taxes, sales and excise taxes, and property taxes. To rank the states, Wallethub used the results of a nationally representative online survey of 1,050 individuals to assess what Americans think a fair state and local tax system looks like. Our analysts then compared public perception to data on the real structure of tax systems in all 50 states.”

According to WalletHub Montana is the most fair and Washington state is the lease fair.  I was truly surprised that New Jersey was the 18th “most fair” state.  I expected it to be much lower on the list.  My current home state of Pennsylvania is #35. 

Methinks somehow a more progressive tax system is considered to be more fair.  To me, a flatter tax system would be fairer.

* Russ Fox talks about a different take on state taxation in “Kiplinger’s Tax-Friendly and Least Tax-Friendly States: Bring Me (Mostly) the Usual Suspects” at Taxable Talk.

Delaware is the most tax-friendly state and California is the least tax-friendly.  New Jersey is the 3rd least friendly – now that is more what I expected to see.  PA is on neither the ten best nor ten worst lists.

* For those of you who are interested, Jeff Stimpson tell us that the IRS is providing “Tax Relief for Kentucky Storm Victims” at TAXPROTODAY.

President Obama declared the Kentucky counties of Leslie, Breathitt, Fleming and Perry federal disaster areas following earlier similar declarations for Carter, Johnson, Rowan and Trimble Counties. The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area.”

* Sharon Epperson of CNBC reminds us of a “Little Known Tax Credit to Help You Save” for retirement.

She is talking about the “Retirement Savings Contributions Credit” aka the “Saver’s Credit”. 

I give details about this credit in my October 2014 post “The Saver’s Credit Numbers for 2015”.

* Peter J Reilly reports “Yogi Berra's Sayings Worked Their Way Into Tax Decisions” at FORBES.COM.

* Jason Dinesen explains “When Do I Have to Take My RMD?” at the DINESEN TAX TIMES.

* And Ray Martin of CBS NEWS’ “Marketwatch” answers the question “How Far Back Can the IRS Audit You?


Many years ago I came across a small plaque, which I still have today, with some excellent advice.

If only someone had given this advice to Donald Trump early in his career.

What does the plaque say?

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.”

Every time Trump speaks up he certainly removes all doubt!


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