Monday, April 24, 2017
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
I’m back with BUZZ!
* I hope you have been checking out Joe Kristan’s Tax Round-ups to avoid BUZZ-withdrawal while I was away.
* The TAX FOUNDATION reports that “Tax Freedom Day 2017 is April 23rd”.
TTF also calculates TFD for each state. For my home state of PA it is the same day – April 23rd. For my former home state of NJ it is May 13 - #49 on the list. CT is #50 at May 21st. So once again it has been proven that moving from NJ to PA was indeed a good move.
* During the last days of the filing season Russ Fox provided his annual listing of the top ten “Bozo Tax Tips” – “strategies that you really, really, really shouldn’t try” - at TAXABLE TALK.
The most important tip for everyone to read is #3 – “Let Your IRS Notice Age Like Fine Wine!”. I say this time and time again, as Russ suggests in the post, “it’s something that bears repeating”. If you receive a letter or notice from the IRS or a state tax agency GIVE IT TO YOUR TAX PREPARER IMMEDIATELY!
Perhaps the biggest bozo in the group is featured in #6 – “Publicize Your Tax Crimes on Social Media!”. A typical example of how stupid young people are today, and how the irresponsible use of “social media” encourages and publicizes their stupidity.
* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, reported “IRS commissioner talks tax reform, simplification and additional taxpayer digital options”.
A good reminder from Commissioner Koskinen - "I think it’s important to remind people that the IRS does tax administration, not tax policy. Policy decisions are the domain of the Administration and Congress." If you think taxes are complicated and unfair the IRS is not to blame – the idiots in Congress are.
And I add my voice to that of IRS employees – “Everyone at the IRS would be delighted if you could make the tax code simpler.” I do not believe a simpler tax system would hurt the tax preparation business – at least not my business.
* Kelly Phillips Erb published an impressive blog post series on "Taxes from A to Z". At the end of the Z post you can find links to all the entries in this series.
* Ever wonder “Why is the SE Tax Deduction Taken on the 1040 and Not on Schedule C?” Jason Dinesen explains at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
I have a better question – why is the self-employment health insurance deduction an “adjustment to income” on the 1040 and not a business deduction on the Schedule C? Deducting it on Schedule C would be make the deduction more equal to how it is treated if the business owner organized as a one-person corporation and would ultimately reduce the amount of self-employment tax, as the deduction as an employee benefit on a corporate return ultimately reduces the amount of FICA tax.
FYI – it was allowed as a Schedule C deduction for one tax year in recent history.
* Jason also deals with the question “Do I Need a Receipt for Charitable Contribution Less than $250?”.
The answer – a definite “yes”. You need some kind of receipt or documentation for every single charitable contribution, regardless of the amount or the charity.
FYI - I discuss deducting charitable contributions in depth in the premiere issue of my new newsletter ROBERT D FLACH'S 1040 INSIGHTS.
* Congratulations to Professor Annette Nellen, whose 21st CENTURY TAXATION blog was included on a list of “Best Accounting Blogs of 2017”.
I applaud Annette for her attempts to encourage discussion on important tax issues.
* According to IRS “Filing Season Statistics for Week Ending April 14, 2017” there have been about 5% few tax returns received this year.
You couldn’t prove this by me – I had no more GDEs this year than last year.
Some good news – the average refund is up 2.1%.
* I realize you have already filed your 2016 tax returns (unless you requested a GD extension). But if you discover anything in the above blog posts and online articles that you could have claimed on your return to reduce your tax liability all is not lost. I explain in my vintage post “Amending Your Return”. This post is a decade old – so add ten years to the years referenced in the discussion.
THE LAST WORD
My opinion of the idiot in the White House (I realize there are currently several idiots in the White House – but then I use this description I mean the head idiot – Tronald Dump) has not changed. I continue to oppose and denounce Trump as a dangerous mentally unstable narcissist. For the sake of the country and the world he must be removed from office ASAP.
Check out this editorial from the Los Angeles Times on “Our Dishonest President” – the first in a series of editorials on “The Trouble With Trump”.
And Trump’s selfishness – his basic motivating factor in everything – continues to unnecessarily cost the American taxpayer and local governments millions of dollars, as NBC recently discussed in “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Travel Triggers Cost and Ethics Concerns”.
Finally, make no mistake – both of these statements are equally true:
Kim Jong-un is a volatile and unstable narcissist. Giving him push-button access to nuclear weapons is truly dangerous for the entire world.
Donald Trump is a volatile and unstable narcissist. Giving him push-button access to nuclear weapons is truly dangerous for the entire world.