Monday, December 23, 2019


The BUZZ is a day early this week, considering tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  For the first time in decades I will not be spending Christmas Eve day and New Year’s Eve day typing W-2s!  This is part of the “winding down” of my practice.

* Last week’s big news in taxes - it was déjà vu all over again.  Once again, the idiots in Congress reminded me why I call them “the idiots in Congress” by waited until the very last minute to pass retroactive tax legislation.  Temporary retroactive extensions of a laundry list of expired tax benefits and special interest loopholes, the now infamous “extenders”, was included in the government funding bill signed by Trump on December 20th. 

The funding bill also included “The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (aka SECURE) Act of 2019” which made some big changes to retirement savings account rules, most effective beginning with tax year 2020.  The changes do not affect the 2019 Form 1040.  These changes are, for the most part, actually good and welcomed.

Kelly Phillips Erb (“Congress Passes Bill Chock-Full Of Extenders, Healthcare TaxRepeal & Retirement Plan Tweaks”), Kay Bell (“Tax law changes, fromextenders to disaster relief to retirement and more, now official”) and the JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY (“Year-end government spending bill contains many taxprovisions”) provide good initial brief reviews of the tax and retirement changes included in the bill.

I will include the changes that are effective for 2019 and 2020 in revised editions of the applicable “What’s New in Taxes for . . .” compilation when I have digested, verified and confirmed the various changes.  As a Christmas present both of these reports together are available for only $1.00, sent as email pdf attachments.  To order send your dollar to TAXES AND ACCOUNTING, INC, WHAT’S NEW IN TAXES, POST OFFICE BOX A, HAWLEY PA 18428. 

And I will discuss the changes that affect 2019 in the premiere issue of my new free monthly email newsletter ‘ROBERT D FLACH’S 1040 EMAIL LETTER”.  If you would like to receive this free newsletter in your email inbox each month send an email to with “ROBERT D FLACH’S 1040 EMAIL LETTER” in the “subject line”.

* Returning to FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl, Kelly Phillips Erb continues with her “12 Days of Charitable Giving 2019” post series. 

So far my vote will go to “Pets In Need” –

Pets In Need of Greater Cincinnati (PIN) provides affordable, high-quality veterinary services for pets living in low-income families. The organization is committed to helping to keep vulnerable pets healthy and safe in loving homes.”   

She continues with “Literacy For Incarcerated Teens”.

* Not really a tax issue – but I suggest a Medicare option that I have never heard anyone else propose or discuss at the end of my post “Medicare for All? I Vote No” at AMERICANS FOR COMMON SENSE.

* Katherine Loughead of THE TAX FOUNDATION identifies “State Tax Changes as of January 1, 2020”.  

* Back to FORBES.COM, Robert W Woods discusses “Holiday Gifts As Tax Write-Offs”.

*  It is vitally important that all Americans recognize and acknowledge “The Obvious Truth”.


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