Thursday, October 31, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
* The TAX FOUNDATION has issued its “2020 State Business Tax Climate Index”.
Here are the 10 best state tax codes:
2. South Dakota
6. New Hampshire
Here are the 10 worst state tax codes:
49. New York
50. New Jersey
Once again, like Oliver Twist NJ is last on the list –
“New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, has the second highest-rate corporate income tax in the country and a particularly aggressive treatment of international income, levies an inheritance tax, and maintains some of the nation’s worst-structured individual income taxes.”
My new home state of PA is #29.
* New from Jason Dinesen of DINESEN TAX TIMES – “S-Corporation Loans from Shareholders, Or ‘My Dentist Told Me’”.
Worth repeating here is Jason’s “Closing Thoughts on Getting Tax Advice from Your Dentist” –
“I am amazed at how, in the tax field, there are so many ‘experts’ who are not tax professionals. This field is HARD, there are no easy answers and there is no pot of gold “magical tax strategy. I work with this junk every day (there goes my cynicism again) and I learn new things EVERY SINGLE DAY. And yet a person who doesn’t work with taxes at all is going to spout off about some grand strategy?
I mean, I don’t talk to my clients about their teeth, because I am not a dentist. So why does the dentist feel inclined to talk about taxes to his patients????”
* Spencer Wilson, EA explains “Employee Stock Options Can Be Taxing” at the interestingly named TAXBUZZ blog.
* Professor Annette Nellen suggests we just “Repeal the Kiddie Tax” -
“The tax law would be simpler and more equitable and neutral to just repeal the kiddie tax.”
I agree – from both a practical and a philosophical point of view. As a tax preparer I know too well that calculating the “Kiddie Tax”, under both the old and the new method, is truly a PITA.
THE LAST WORD –
I can understand if you support and defend true Conservative and traditional Republican policies. That is your right as an American. I accept and respect that. And in some areas, I actually agree.
But I cannot understand, accept or respect you if you support and defend Trump the man.
Trump the businessman is a proven con man – Trump University. He has committed his crimes, before and after being put in the White House, out in the open – gleefully and unapologetically. He is ignorant and incompetent. He is mentally and practically unfit to serve as President. Nothing is more obvious to anyone with a brain. Opposing and denouncing Trump is the only intelligent action.
BTW – Trump and his actions and policies are neither true Conservative or traditional Republican.
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
* A new blog post from Jason Dinesen is always welcome. Glad to hear he will be posting more often, after a long hiatus.
His new post answers the question “Do I Have to Issue1099s for ‘Business to Business Transactions’?”.
I especially like, and echo, his comment (nothing to do with 1099s) –
“I know more about taxes than the ‘friend’ or ‘neighbor’ or ‘dentist’ [seriously, one time a client went on and on to me about some supposed tax strategy their dentist had told them about during the client's dental visit].”
I have been saying for years that the absolute best tax advice I can give anyone is –
Do not accept tax advice from anyone other than a professional tax preparer.
Don’t listen to a broker, a banker, an insurance salesman, or your Uncle Charlie! You wouldn’t ask your butcher for a medical opinion, so why would you listen to tax advice from your dentist?
* Fellow tax pros – have you renewed your PTIN yet? The NATP BLOG talked about renewal last Wednesday in “PTIN renewal season begins today”.
I renewed my PTIN on 10/17. It took only about 2 minutes – and there was NO FEE!
* At FORBES.COM Tony Nitti continues “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” by looking at the proposals of “Cory Booker”.
* Roger A. McEowen talks about the “Bad Debt Deduction” at the AGRICULTURAL LAW AND TAXATION BLOG.
* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, tells us “IRS issued almost 3 million fewer refunds under new tax law” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
This is not a surprise to me. While taxpayers may have actually had a lower tax liability under the law, because of the IRS withholding FU there were, certainly in my experience, less and smaller refunds, and many taxpayers owed Uncle Sam large amounts.
* Erica York of the TAX FOUNDATION reports on “New IRS Distributional Data on the Federal Individual Income Tax”.
“According to this data, in 2017, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid an average federal income tax rate of 26.76 percent. The bottom 99 percent, or all the rest of the taxpayers, paid an average rate of 11.4 percent. If we look at just the bottom 50 percent, the average rate paid by these taxpayers is even lower, at 4 percent.”
THE LAST WORD –
The situation with Turkey and the troops finally proves to everyone beyond any doubt that Trump is an ignorant, incompetent and clueless moron who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground about politics or policy or anything.
His ignorance and incompetence are truly dangerous to the security of America and the world.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
* And the beat goes on. Tony Nitti’s “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” series turns to “Kamala Harris”.
* My weekly NATP email newsletter reported –
“The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that the wage base for computing the social security tax (OASDI) in 2020 increases to $137,700 from $132,900. The quarter cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) coverage figure will rise from $1,360 for 2019 to $1,410 for 2020. The increase in the quarter of coverage figure also serves to increase the lower and upper limits under optional methods for computing self-employment tax.”
The SSA also announced the 2020 COLA increase for monthly benefit checks is 1.6%.
Click here for a Social Security 2020 Fact Sheet.
* Did you know the “IRS announces tax relief for Texas victims of Tropical Storm Imelda”.
“. . individuals who reside or have a business in Chambers, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, and Orange counties may qualify for tax relief.”
Victims have until Jan. 31, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on Sept. 17, 2019.
* How long does Uncle Sam have to audit your Form 1040? Robert W Woods explains in “IRS Audit Period Is 3 Years, 6 Years Or Forever: How To Cut Your Risk” at FORBES.COM.
* YAHOO MONEY tells us “These are the best and worst states for taxes in 2019.”
The article explains that NJ “charges the highest property tax in the country of $2,530 per $100,000 in home value”.
THE LAST WORD –
I am not a legal or political expert. I am not a registered Democrat or a registered Republican – although I have in the past voted for Democratic, Republican and 3rd Party candidates in various races. I am just a concerned citizen with a conscience who has been casually following Trump’s “career” for close to two decades.
It is obvious to me, and I should think anyone with a brain, that Trump the man is a worthless piece of garbage, totally devoid of humanity, humility, honor, integrity, credibility, empathy, sympathy, and intelligence, who cares only for himself - feeding his ego and lining his pockets - and absolutely nobody or nothing else. He has no political beliefs, philosophy or ideology and clearly no concern whatever for America, the American people, American values and democracy, or the world.
It is also obvious to me that no person with a brain and a conscience could ever affirmatively support and defend Trump the man or Trump the President.
It is truly puzzling that the Republican Party and Republicans in Congress have abandoned all integrity, honor and credibility by publicly supporting and defending Trump, while privately observing and acknowledging the same things about him that I do. Apparently, the Republican Party believes the votes of Trump’s core cult of ignorant racists are more important than protecting and defending the country and the Constitution.
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
* At the coincidently titled TAXBUZZ blog Gordon McNamee reviews “Life Events and Taxes: A Complicated Combination”.
These events are all occasions when you should contact your, or a, tax professional – and often before rather than after.
And, BTW, this blog also has a “Weekly Tax Buzz”. Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.
* Kay Bell reports “IRS announces fiscal 2020 perdiem rates” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
There per diem rates are amounts established by the Government Services Administration (GSA) that are used to reimburse federal employees for lodging, meals and incidental expenses (there is a separate rate for lodging and for meals and incidental expenses) while traveling on government business, but they can also be used as a basis for reimbursement by other employers. And these amounts can be used by business taxpayers for claiming a federal tax deduction. The fiscal period covered by these new rates is Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2020.
Click here to find the per diem rates for a specific location
I will be going to Atlantic City in November for the annual NATP year-end tax update workshops, as I did last year. The per diem for meals and incidental expenses has not changed – I could deduct $66.00 per day without receipts for my trip last November and I can deduct $66.00 for my upcoming trip. I can also deduct actual expenses if I keep receipts – and I expect I will be spending more than $66.00 a day for meals alone in Atlantic City.
As a reminder - employee business expenses are no longer deductible on Schedule A, so the per diem is only for use by business entities. The meal and incidental eexpense per diem can be claimed as a deduction by Schedule C filers.
* And Kay also reports “Corporate tax returns arelatest forms to get IRS once-over”.
I do believe that by the time the IRS is finally finished revising its forms, figuring out correct withholding and issuing final regulations on the changes made by the GOP Tax Act the act will have expired.
* More on reality tv morons the Chrisleys’ tax troubles from Robert W Wood at FORBES.COM – “With Chrisley Criminal Tax Charges, Prosecutors May Know Best”.
* TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb began a new weekly column at BLOOMBERG TAX that will “offer commentary on the latest in tax news, tax law, and tax policy”. Her first post - “Don’t Follow Ex-Nets Star’s Playbook; Make Your Case to the IRS”
* Attention fellow tax pros. NATP’s “Taxpro Weekly” tells us –
“In the next few days, the Return Preparer Office (RPO) will begin sending notices to PTIN holders informing them that the PTIN renewal season will begin Oct. 16, 2019.”
And some good news –
“There will be no requirement to pay a user fee for anyone obtaining or renewing a PTIN.”
* Over at INVESTORS.COM Paul Katzeff explains “Roth IRA Beats Traditional IRA For Young Workers; Here's How”.
I agree with Paul.
THE LAST WORD –
The biggest question of the Trump Presidency –
Why do experienced politicians and government officials, who one would have thought to be intelligent, choose to abandon all honor, integrity and credibility to protect and defend an ignorant and incompetent delusional malignant narcissist and wannabe dictator instead of protecting and defending the country and the Constitution?
Of all the people intelligent and experienced politicians and government officials could choose to support out of Party or other loyalty Donald T Rump is the least likely. Trump, more than any other person, has not earned and does not deserve any such erroneous and misplaced loyalty.
Monday, October 7, 2019
That time of the year will soon be upon us when I say - Now is the time for all good men, and women, to come to the aid of their 2019 Form 1040!
Once the ball drops on One Time Square on New Year’s Eve and 2020 is rung in there is very little that you can do to reduce your 2019 tax liability. But there is much that can be done during the last two months of the year to make sure that you pay the absolute least amount of federal and state income tax possible.
My 2019 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING GUIDE – which will “go to press” on October 15th - explains in detail what you can do during the last two months of 2019 to reduce your federal tax bill - in the context of the new rules for Form 1040 enacted by the GOP Tax Act.
It also contains a 2019 Preliminary Return Worksheet and details of what is new for federal individual income taxes for 2019.
The cost of this guide, delivered as a pdf email attachment, is ONLY $3.00. A print version sent via postal mail is also available for $5.00.
Those who order the pdf email attachment will also receive a free copy of my “What’s New in Taxes for 2020” – also as a pdf email attachment - when it is available!
Send your check or money order for $3.00 of $5.00, payable to TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC, and your email or postal address to –
TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INCORPORATED
2019 YEAR-END TAX PLANNING GUIDE
POST OFFICE BOX A
HAWLEY PA 18428
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
* Kelly Phillips Erb, the FORBES.COM TaxGirl, tells us “IRS Releases Updated Version Of Tax Form Just For Seniors”.
KPE says the updated 1040-SR has “larger print and less fussy boxes”.
The IRS also issued an updated version of the 2019 Form 1040 – both new drafts were released on 9/11. The content of the new draft 2019 1040-SR and 2019 1040 are exactly the same – line for line and word for word. The only difference is that the 1040-SR has substantially bigger print and includes a Standard Deduction Chart.
The 1040 is now a 2-sided form that is 2/3 of a full 8½ x 11 sheet, instead of a ½ a full sheet like the ridiculous 2018 “postcard” 1040. The 1040-SR is a 2-sided form that takes up an entire 8 ½ x 11 sheet – although Page 2 does not fill up the entire sheet. The format is clearly much better than the 2018 Form 1040, with a more logical flow of information.
I do believe I said the exact same thing about the original draft versions of these 2 forms.
What is the reason for a 1040-SR – other than it was mandated by Congress. If you ask me the 2019 1040-SR format should be the 2019 Form 1040 and used by all.
* And KPE reports on a report with some good news – “IRS Report: Most Taxpayers Pay Their Taxes In Full And On Time”.
“A report released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicates that the nation's tax compliance rate is holding at 84%, the same as in prior years.”
* Staying with FORBES.COM tax bloggers, Tony Nitti moves on to “Joe Biden” in his “Reviewing The Democratic Candidates' Tax Plans” series.
* The TAX FOUNDATION answers another question – “Does Your State Have an Individual Alternative Minimum Tax?”
Very few do. NJ, PA and NJ do not.