Tuesday, October 13, 2015
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ – TUESDAY EDITION
Still working away on the GD extensions. As of this writing 2 started but red-filed and 1 "on the table". Can’t wait till there is none! At least all payroll tax returns for the quarter done. I hope to be back to regular posting next week.
* Want to know when I post something new here at TWTP? Follow me on Twitter (@rdftaxpro) – click here https://twitter.com/rdftaxpro.
I recently “tweeted” the following –
“Want my best tax advice. Go to-
Want my best non-tax advice - go see #SomethingRotten. It's a Musical!”
* FYI, according to the Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG “Federal Tax Laws and Regulations are Now Over 10 Million Words Long”!
“ . . . as of 2015, federal tax laws and regulations have grown to over 10 million words in length.
This figure includes the federal internal revenue code (2,412,000 words long) and federal tax regulations (7,655,000 words long). It does not include the substantial body of tax-related case law that is often vital to understanding the tax code.
The length of the federal tax code and regulations has grown steadily over the past sixty years. In 1955, the two documents were 1.4 million words in length. Since then, they have grown at a pace of about 144,500 words a year. Today, the federal tax code is roughly six times as long as it was in 1955, while federal tax regulations are about 2.5 times as long.”
It is no wonder that the majority of taxpayers turn to a professional tax preparer each year.
Not that I want this to stop – but the current Tax Code needs to be totally shredded and rewritten from scratch.
* “Do as I say, but not as I do.” Apparently that is what the IRS is telling tax professionals who are “e-file providers that participate in the role as an Online Provider”, as Russ Fox reports in “IRS to Tax Professionals: Rules for Thee but Not for Us” at TAXABLE TALK.
* DON’T MESS WITH TAXES has a new look, apparently to celebrate the blog’s 10th Anniversary. Kay Bell warns us to “Beware Crooks Using South Carolina Floods to Scam Charity Donors”.
* Jean Murray tells you “How to Stop Being a ‘Shoebox’ Business Owner” at ABOUT.COM.
She suggests using an online accounting system. I have had no experience with such online offerings. I would suggest using QuickBooks – as I do for my clients and my own business and personal accounting. It is easy to use and I expect would be cheaper than online options.
I certainly agree with this advice –
“Put a logbook in your car and keep track of business mileage. Make a note every time you drive anywhere for business, including the date, miles driven, and business purposes.”
I also suggest small business owners read my THE NEW SCHEDULE C NOTEBOOK.
* No surprise here. NJ.COM gives us the word that “Drivers in N.J. and N.Y. Pay One-Third of All Tolls Collected in U.S.”. -
“The top three are: the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which collected $1.42 billion in tolls on the turnpike and the Garden State Parkway in 2013; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which took in $1.33 billion at its four bridges and two tunnels linking the two states; and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which collected $1.23 billion at its New York City bridges and tunnels.”
It now costs $14.00 to get from New Jersey to New York City (the Lincoln & Holland tunnels, the George Washington, Bayonne & Goethals bridges, and the Outerbridge Crossing). And –
“Port Authority tolls will go up in December in the fifth and final increment of a record hike approved in 2011.”
And then there is parking.
If you must go, to see the musical “Something Rotten” for example, take the PATH or a bus!
* Steven J. Fromm, J.D., LL.M provides details on "'Reasonable Compensation': A Favorite Issue for IRS Auditors".
* For those of you who live in the Hawkeye State Jason Dinesen explains “Iowa Taxation of Retirement Income” at DINESEN TAX TIMES –
“The taxation of retirement benefits in Iowa differs from federal tax law in several significant ways.”
The take-away for non-Iowans - different states tax different categories of income differently. For example, my former home state of NJ allows residents to recover after-tax employee contributions, which, except for 401(k) distributions, are often different than federal after-tax contributions, under the “3-Year Rule”, which the IRS stopped using on federal returns decades ago. And NJ exempts disability and military pensions, and allows for a $15,000 or $20,000 pension and retirement income exclusion for many taxpayers over age 62.
And my current home state of PA does not tax pensions.
* Frankly, this is all Greek to me. According to CCH Headline News says “President Signs Bill Amending Definition of Small Businesses Under the PPACA” -
“Currently under the PPACA, employers with 51 to 100 employees are small employers and states have the option to treat them as large employers until December 31, 2015. Under the PACE Act employers with 51 to 100 employees will be large employers, but states will have the option to treat these employers as small employers for purposes of the health insurance markets. Under the PPACA health insurance offered in the small group market must meet certain requirements that do not apply to the large group market, including the requirement to cover the essential health benefits. Employers who do not comply with the health insurance mandate face a tax penalty.”
I only do a handful of “employers” (and will never do any more), and, thankfully, they all have substantially less than 50 employees. So, again thankfully, I do not have to concern myself with this “stuff”.