Monday, October 23, 2017


* During my 45 years in “the business” I have heard a lot of strange things from clients – about taxes and other topics.  Russ Fox lists “The Five ‘Strangest’ Things Clients Told Us This Tax Season” at TAXABLE TALK.
#2 is something I have never heard – ““The side income was only $30,000. Doesn’t that qualify for the de minimis exception to reporting income?
#1 is a very common “urban tax myth” that many taxpayers actually believe - “The 1099 never showed up. I don’t have to report the income, right?
Russ correctly reminds us –
All income is taxable, no matter if you receive paperwork or not.”
And –
There is no de minimis exception to reporting income.”
I look forward to reading Russ’ “serious thoughts about the Tax Season that was” that he promises to post next week.
* On the same topic, I recently came across a blog post by Paul Allen at the PIM TAX SERVICES BLOG from April that I missed the first time around – “Tax Season 2017 in Review - The Biggest Mistakes I Saw.
Paul makes reference to my special designation for extensions.
The post has an excellent discussion of the importance of recordkeeping (highlights are mine) -
Tax records are for YOUR benefit. Here’s why – the courts interpret the internal revenue code to mean that ALL your income is taxable. Any adjustments, deductions, or tax credits you might receive are bestowed upon you through legislative grace. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to prove they are entitled to any adjustment, deduction, or credit.
May people seem to believe it is the other way around – that they are entitled to claim adjustments, deductions, and credits and the IRS must prove they are not entitled to claim them. It absolutely does not work that way. If you are audited and you cannot document your qualification for a deduction or credit the IRS will disallow it and charge you additional taxes, interest, and possibly penalties. Keep good records!
* Today at my THE TAX PROFESSIONAL blog “Just Say No!”.
* Getting back to Russ Fox of TAXABLE TALK, he was the first blogger to report “California Fire Victims Have Extension Until January 31, 2018” -
The IRS announced today that California wildfire victims have until January 31, 2018 to file various tax returns (including tax returns on extension due this coming Monday, October 16th). California’s Franchise Tax Board (the state income tax agency) immediately followed suit.”
Click here for the official IRS announcement.
* It appears I missed this post first time around, but “found” it via a reprint at TAX VOX.  From Janet Novack’s “Tax Reform Week” series at FORBES.COM a guest post from Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Tax Policy Center, that discusses “How To Design Tax Reform: 8 Lessons From 1986”.
* A “tweet” led me to a primer on the pros and cons of “Combining Retirement Accounts” by Paul D Allen of PIM Financial Partners.
* The TAX FOUNDATION has released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which “enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare”.
No surprise that my former home state of New Jersey is #50 in overall ranking – like Oliver Twist last on the list!  My relatively new home state of Pennsylvania ranks #26.
The 10 best states in this year’s Index are:
1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Nevada
6. Montana
7. New Hampshire
8. Utah
9. Indiana
10. Oregon
The 10 lowest ranked, or worst, states in this year’s Index are:
41. Rhode Island
42. Louisiana
43. Maryland
44. Connecticut
45. Ohio
46. Minnesota
47. Vermont
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey
* Jason Dinesen briefly reviews “Deducting Business Charitable Contributions” for the various types of business entities at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
* Professor Annette Nellen provides a “Summary and Observations on Tax Reform Framework” (aka scribblings on a cocktail napkin) at 21st CENTURY TAXATION.  
*  As I have said before, while I would NEVER recommend that ANYONE use Henry and Richard to prepare their tax returns, I do find the information on the H+R blog and website to be accurate and helpful.  Case in point – “FAFSA Tax Return Requirements”.
* Over at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW Sterling Raskie reminds taxpayers age 70½ to “Remember Your RMD” -
It’s getting close to the end of the year and that means many individuals need to take their required minimum distributions (RMDs). It also means that there will be individuals who must begin taking their required minimum distributions as they will have reached the magic age of 70 ½.
* FREE! FREE! FREE! New tax e-newsletter - TAX TOPICS.  Check it out!
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