THE WANDERING TAX PRO
Up-to-the-minute advice, information, resources, and, on occasion, commentary on federal and New Jersey state income taxes, and the various New Jersey property tax rebate programs, and insights and observations on tax policy and professional tax practice, by 45+-year veteran tax professional Robert D Flach.
“The White House does not plan to release its
own version of a tax reform plan and will instead leave that to the
congressional leadership and the major tax-writing committees, a senior
administration official said Thursday.”
here.Trump could care less about actual
legislation, and, realizing that like health care tax reform is hard, is too
lazy to actually think out sound policy and make detailed proposals. If
legislation is passed he will take undeserved credit for it.If legislation is not passed he will blame
the incompetence of Congress and his Party.
To be perfectly
honest, I am glad that Trump has passed the buck on tax reform.If he were actually involved he would just
fuck it up.If left to Congress there is
can’t do much of anything without a functioning – and intelligent, competent
and mentally stable - President.We certainly do not have one now!
* Many of my
clients always get a big refund.While I
can understand and sympathize with the use of withholding as a form of “forced
savings”, especially considering the pitiful pittance of interest that savings
and money market accounts currently pay, I also understand the wisdom of what
Kay Bell says in “Got a refund? Paid a big tax bill? Time to adjust withholding!” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
“So instead of letting the U.S. Treasury hold
onto your money — emphasis on your — for more than a year (without, by the way,
paying you any interest on it), adjust your withholding so that it comes as
close as possible to what your actual tax liability will be.”
One way to continue
a plan of forced savings is to have the reduction in federal income tax
withholding automatically deposited in a bank or credit union money market
account or used to purchase Savings Bonds – this way the money is never in your
hands.Another good use of the reduction
in withholding is to pay down credit card balances.
“Report Name Changes. Notify the Social
Security Administration (SSA) of any name changes after a divorce. Go to
SSA.gov for more information. The name on a tax return must match SSA records.
A name mismatch can cause problems in the processing of a return and may delay
This advice also
applies if you changed your name due to marriage.
Rump, the 45th President of the United States, is a dangerous,
delusional, deplorable, despicable, ignorant, incompetent, mentally unstable
and mentally incompetent, unprepared and unfit demagogue, narcissist,
sociopath, and just plain worthless piece of shit.
important part of the above description is “mentally unstable and mentally
incompetent”.Every single day he
confirms this fact by his tweets, words and actions.
whose entire world revolves around feeding his ego and punishing those who
don’t do what he wants or who question his infallibility – and whose every
thought, word and action is based solely and exclusively on his extreme
narcissism – is mentally unstable and mentally incompetent.
pathological NEED to insult and belittle anyone who disagrees with or
criticizes him makes him mentally unstable and mentally incompetent.
pathological NEED to always lie about how great he is or what great things he's
done makes him mentally unstable and mentally incompetent.
INABILITY to accept any reality other than the deluded "alternative
reality" in his mind makes him mentally unstable and mentally incompetent.
pathological DELUSION that he's smarter than everyone else and can do anything
better than anyone else makes him mentally unstable and mentally incompetent.
politician does need SOME ego – but a politician also needs character. Donald T
Rump is ALL ego and NO character!
also a deplorable and despicable human being – truly a worthless piece of shit.
got in trouble because he paid a low percentage of his gross income in federal
We have no
idea if Donald T Rump pays any federal income tax because he refuses to release
his tax returns. We do know that in one year he paid absolutely no federal
Clinton got in trouble for being a womanizer and cheating on his wife.
Rump cheated on two wives and bragged about being able to “grab pussy” with
impunity because he is famous.
goes on and on.
done many times over, often gleefully and always unapologetically, every single
“bad” thing that any other politician has ever been criticized for doing, and
often which has derailed and defeated that politician's campaign.
Rump used his family’s charitable foundation, often funded by contributions
from others, to pay bribes and purchase personal memorabilia.He once showed up at a charitable
presentation that he had no involvement with or connection to, and did not
contribute to, merely to be photographed.I have never heard of Trump ever performing a single truly charitable
act in his lifetime.
touted as a “smart and successful businessman”, Donald T Rump has had more
failures than successes.Just about everything he
has done that did not directly involve real estate development has failed.He did not build a fortune from scratch based
on intelligence, entrepreneurship, and hard work.He inherited millions from his father,
screwing his deceased brother’s children out of their rightful inheritance in
the process, and invested in real estate in New York City.Duh!And as a business man he consistently, and again unapologetically,
screwed his investors, shareholders, contractors, vendors, employees, and
customers while lining his pockets.
have always been charged with being “truth-challenged” and for “spinning” the
truth.Donald T Rump has no concept of
truth.He wouldn’t know the truth if it
grabbed him by the p---k.He lies every
time he opens his mouth – and often about little and inconsequential
things.I doubt he has made a completely
true statement since he threw his hat into the ring.
continue to, perhaps reluctantly, support him, and who are not outright white
trash racists, must be made aware that just because a person may “allegedly”
agree with you on a few issues DOES NOT negate that person’s lifetime history
of truly bad – unacceptable and inappropriate, deplorable and despicable -
words and actions and give that person any degree of “acceptability” or
much talk about Trump’s “agenda”.Donald
T Rump's only agenda is this - (1) feed his ego and (2) line his pockets.Nothing else matters to him at all.Arrogant demagogue Trump has absolutely no
political philosophy or ideology.His
only true belief is “Trump is great and Trump is good”.
of what he may think or say, Trump lost the 2016 election by almost 3 Million
votes.He is only in the White House on
a technicality – put there by the Electoral College, which was actually
originally created by our Founding Fathers to prevent a dangerous demagogue
like Trump from being elected.
its values may not be able to survive 4 years of this dangerously mentally
unstable idiot in the White House.The
Republican Party, all Republicans, all conservatives, and all Americans must vocally
and aggressively disavow, denounce and oppose the Presidency of Donald T Rump.He must be removed from office as soon as
only begin to be great again when Donald T Rump is told, “You’re fired!”
share this post with anyone you know who, on any level, still supports Trump’s
I write a newsletter, published 5 times a year - May,
July, September, November, and January, titled ROBERT D FLACH’S 1040
INSIGHTS.This newsletter shares in
detail my insights on tax deductions, credits, strategies, and issues based on
my 45 years in “the business”.
This newsletter is not written for the “wealthy” – but
for the average middle to upper-middle class taxpayer.
The September 2017 issue, currently being “proofed”,
deals with the “Just About Everything You Always Wanted to Know About an IRA”,
including how an IRA contribution can be partially “reimbursed” by the
government via the Saver’s Credit and how a deductible IRA contribution can
affect the Premium Tax Credit, and explains what I think tax reform should look
The July 2017 issue discussed medical deductions in
detail, and also discussed keeping track of investment cost basis, forming an
LLC, and some tax-related “nevers”.
The May 2017 premiere issue covered deducting
charitable contributions, taking a tax-deductible vacation, how long to keep
tax records, and when to contact your tax preparer.
A one-year subscription to ROBERT D FLACH'S 1040
INSIGHTS is normally only $11.95 delivered as a pdf email attachment.A print edition sent via postal mail is
available for only $17.95.
But as a special offer – if your subscription order is
postmarked by August 31st you can subscribe to this newsletter for only $7.75 or $11.65 –a 35% discount!Your subscription will include the May and July 2017 issues, but
will run through July 2018.
One tip from an issue
could return the cost of a subscription many times over.
To order send your check or money order payable to TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC and your
email or postal address to –
“If a preparer guarantees they can get you a
refund before you've given them your tax information, be afraid.
If a preparer guarantees you the exact amount of the
refund they can get you after seeing only your W-2, be very afraid.
If a preparer requires you to pay a fixed percentage of
your projected refund over to them as their fee, walk away; and
If a preparer plans to generate your refund by
offsetting your wages with a substantial business loss -- and you, you
know...don't actually own a business, for the love of God, run away.”
While it is my plan
to no longer accept ANY new clients – I might be willing to echo Tony’s bottom line
lesson (highlight is mine) –
“The lesson, of course, is if you've got a
return that needs prepping with only a W-2 and you're willing to pay $4K for
the process, call me first. I can't promise you a refund, but I can promise
that I'll happily take your four grand.”
if your children are preparing to begin or return to college here is some good
US Tax Code currently provides several benefits to help pay for a college
education.You should save the following
documentation and information as it is received and give it to your preparer next year at tax time –
(1)All “Burser’s Statements” and other
financial statements from the college that identifies charges and payments for
all tuition and fees.Sometimes a “hard
copy” of these statements is not provided – but they are available to download
and print from the student’s “account” online at the college website.While you must give your tax pro any Form
1098-T you receive from the college – the college’s financial statements are
usually more important, and provide more accurate and useful information, than
the 1098-T (historically the Form 1098-T has been as useful as tits on a bull).
(2)Receipts for all books and other required
classroom materials purchased, regardless of where purchased.If the student sells back used textbooks to
the college or other book store be sure to make a note of the amounts received
(this is NOT taxable income, but will reduce the amount of allowable expenses).
(3)Receipts for any “off-campus” apartment
or room rentals during the school year that are not paid to or through the
college and included on college financial statements – for example if your son
or daughter rents, alone or with other students, an apartment in town as an
alternative to campus housing.This
expense may not provide a tax benefit – but it is important to have the
information available just in case.
establishes the per diem rates meals and incidental expenses and lodging each
year for the fiscal period October through September.These rates are “based on Average Daily Rate (ADR) data from the lodging industry, which
GSA obtains through a contract with a leading provider of lodging industry data”.
The new maximum
standard per diem rate for travel locations not specifically identified in the
per diem rate tables will increase from $142 to $144 ($93 for lodging, $51 for
M&IE).Fiscal 2018 meals and incidental per diems
remain at the fiscal 2017 standard range of $51 to $74.
The GSA per
diem rates can be used by employers to reimburse employees for business travel,
and the per diems for meals and incidental expenses can be used by unreimbursed
employees and the self-employed to claim a tax deduction for business travel.
taxpayers filing a Schedule C, and employees who are not covered by an employer
reimbursement plan, cannot use the per diem method that includes lodging. To
claim a deduction for lodging expenses these taxpayers must substantiate the
actual cost.And corporations cannot use
the per diem that includes lodging for owner-employees with more than 10%
ownership, based on direct or indirect ownership.
how the Standard Mileage Allowance works for business use of your automobile,
you can elect to deduct either the actual amount of your out of pocket expenses
for meals and “incidental” expenses while away from home on business, or claim
the appropriate federal per diem allowance determined by the location of the
trip.If you claim the per diem
allowance you do not have to save receipts for actual expenses.
diem rates are based on the city where you “lay your head” at night. If your
business meetings are in New York City, but you stay overnight at a hotel in New
Jersey to get a lower room rate, you would use the New Jersey location to
determine the appropriate per diem amount.
decide whether to deduct the GSA meals and incidental per diem rate or actual
expenses on a trip by trip basis, but you must use the same method for all days
within any single business trip. I can use the actual expenses for my trip to Washington DC last week to attend the NATP National Conference and the per diem rate for my upcoming September trip to Atlantic City for the NATP Forum.
diem rate for meals and incidental expenses includes tips given to porters,
baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids (the “incidental” expenses) – so the
actual out of pocket for these incidentals are not deductible if you claim the
also a separate per diem rate for incidental expenses only, to use if you do
not incur meal experiences while traveling.It is currently $5.00 per day.
first and last day of a business trip you claim 75% of the per diem amount,
unless you can show you leave before breakfast on the first day and return
after dinner on the last.