Friday, October 29, 2021
Not much to report, but, as usual, I do not want to end a week without any BUZZ. I had prepared a BUZZ installment for last week but it got totally lost in Word.
BTW - I completed the last Form 1040 (actually 1040-SR) of my 50th tax filing season on Tuesday, October 12th and delivered it to the client on Wednesday, October 13th. I am now officially retired from preparing 1040s!
Don’t worry – I haven’t retired from writing. I will continue to post here at THE WANDERING TAX PRO.
* A person who qualifies as a “real estate professional” is entitled to certain tax benefits when deducting rental losses. The NATP BLOG answers the question “How do you determine if a taxpayer is considered a real estate professional?”
* The NATP Blog also discusses “Navigating home office deductions”.
* This just in - “IRS extends tax deadlines for some Hurricane Ida victims in Mississippi” - from Michael Cohn at ACCOUNTING TODAY.
Friday, October 22, 2021
Just so you know.
The withholding of federal and state income tax from any source of income is an estimation of anticipated tax liability. It is not in any way, shape or form a payment in full of the actual total amount of tax due on the applicable source.
So, having an amount withheld does NOT mean you have paid the tax liability in full on that source of income.
All taxable income is reported and added up on the Form 1040 (or 1040-SR) and all tax withheld, plus any estimated tax payments made, are added and applied to actual tax liability on the form. The result will be a balance due or refund. It is truly extremely rare, based on my 50 tax filing seasons, for a tax return with a tax liability to have either no balance due or no refund – although it has happened once or twice.
To repeat, having tax withheld from a source of income does not mean you have paid all the tax due on that source of income.
I realize this is pretty basic. But a fellow tax pro in the course of reviewing a tax manuscript I have written told me that he has had several occasions over the years where clients have wrongly believed that they have paid the total tax due via withholding and no additional tax needed to be paid.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
* Patience is still needed. Roger Russell reports “Service levels hit new lows at swamped IRS” a ACCOUNTING TODAY.
“Paper returns have piled up — there are 5.5 million Form 1040s and over 4 million business returns that have been opened but not processed. The goal is that by year-end, the paper returns will be processed. However, there are an additional 4 million returns anticipated by mid-October.”
A reminder – do not call or email your tax preparer to ask about your late refund. There is absolutely nothing he or she, or you, can do to expedite the processing of your tax return or the issuing of your refund!
*From Professor Annette Nellen at 21st CENTURY TAXATION – “Let's Avoid Unnecessary Costs and Complexities” –
“Let's look at all of the new credits and be sure they meet principles of good tax policy including equity, neutrality and simplicity. Also, let's be sure each has three good reasons why it is needed and that there is no alternative other than providing a tax rule.”
Right on, Sister Annette! More complexity in the Tax Code we don't need.
* Kay Bell tells us “Farmers and ranchers in most of U.S. get drought tax relief” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* And Kay explains “ABLE accounts offer tax-favored savings help to disabled individuals”.
* The JS Tax Corporation’s WEEKLY TAX TIP gives us “Five Tax-Loss Harvesting Tips”.
THE LAST WORD
Please read and share AMERICA IS NOT A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY.
It is very important that this be understood.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
According to the Internal Revenue Service (highlights are mine) –
“Individuals and households affected by Hurricane Ida that reside . . . in Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties qualify for tax relief.
This means that individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2020 returns, due to run out on October 15, will now have until January 3, 2022 to file. The IRS noted, however, that because tax payments related to these 2020 returns were due on May 17, 2021, those payments are not eligible for this relief.”
And according to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury (highlights, again, are mine) -
“. . . the New Jersey Division of Taxation is following the lead of the IRS and extending tax filing and payment deadlines for certain taxpayers impacted by Tropical Storm Ida.
This means that individuals who had a valid extension to file their 2020 returns, scheduled to run out on October 15, will now have until January 3, 2022, to file. In addition, taxpayers may be eligible for abatement of penalty and interest on underpaid tax that would normally accrue during the period of the postponement.”
Be aware that if you owe Uncle Sam additional tax with the eventual filing of the 2020 Form 1040 (or 1040-SR) you will still be assessed penalty and interest on the amount due because, as the IRS announcement correctly stated, “tax payments related to these 2020 returns were due on May 17, 2021”. A valid extension is only an extension of time to file - and not time to pay. But, surprisingly, Uncle Phil may abate late payment penalty and interest.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Just a reminder. Regardless of the rate charged - corporations do not pay federal or state income tax.
Income tax is a corporate expense – a part of overhead. Income taxes paid by a corporation are included in the price charged to customers and clients for goods and services. And it could also reduce the amount paid out as dividends to shareholders. So, the individual consumer/investor ultimately pays 100% of all corporate income tax either by increased prices or reduced dividends.
I have always believed corporations should have a “dividends paid” deduction – corporations should be able to deduct from taxable income dividends paid to shareholders. If this were instituted there would be no need for special lower tax rates for qualified dividends (although the lower rates would remain for long-term capital gains) – all dividends would be taxed as ordinary income – and really no need for Section 199a.
And, of course, all industry-specific or general corporate loopholes and special deductions and credits should be repealed.
Am I wrong in my thinking on either issue?
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
* Something to think about, from the NEW YORK TIMES – “The I.R.S. Can Register Voters as Well as the D.M.V., and Maybe Better”.
* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, starts the month off with “4 tax moves to make & deadlines to note in October 2021”.
* If you haven’t already done so, please read my post “Why I Speak Out”.
* And don’t forget to check out this week’s ramblings at BOBSERVATIONS.
* Bob Carlson explains “What You Need To Know About The Confusing Roth IRA Five-Year Rule” at FORBES.COM.
* Jim Bkankenship tells you “How to Check Your Social Security Benefits” at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW.
It is a good idea to check your Social Security account regularly for errors. I have had clients in the past who discovered omissions on their account. If there is an omission, which could affect future benefits, you have a limited time to fix the FU.
THE LAST WORD
We must NEVER give Trump any respect or consideration because he is a “former President”. We must not compound the error of putting Trump in the White House.
Remember – Trump was not elected President by the American people in 2016. He was put in the White House by the outdated and ineffective Electoral College
Trump MUST be investigated, indicted, tried, convicted, and incarcerated for his many crimes the same as any other America.
Monday, October 4, 2021
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Historically this blog has only touched on politics when discussing tax policy. But for the last 6 years I have felt it necessary – actually vital – to speak out here at The Wandering Tax Pro. This is because ignorant, incompetent and totally self-absorbed reality tv cartoon clown Donald Trump was taken seriously as a Presidential candidate, won the nomination of the Republican Party, and was put in the White House despite having lost the election by 3 Million votes. This was, to me and other intelligent Americans, surprising and truly disturbing.
Donald Trump the man is a cancer. He has already destroyed the Republican Party and could destroy America if not stopped.
Trump cares about absolutely nothing or no one but himself. He is completely devoid of humanity and intelligence, does not possess a single redeeming positive human quality or value, and has never performed a single totally unselfish act in his entire adult life.
I sincerely believe the greatest threat to America, the American people, American values, and American democracy is Donald Trump and, by embracing Trump and his lies, the Republican Party.
I will continue to vocally and aggressively oppose and denounce Trump and today’s Republican Party, here and elsewhere, until he is convicted and incarcerated for his many crimes and the Republican Party is either replaced or returned to normalcy.
As I have always said – it is not politics, it is patriotism.
Friday, October 1, 2021
Once again, I didn’t want to end the week without any BUZZ.
* Guess what? “IRS still behind in processing returns and issuing refunds.” So Kay Bell tells us at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig had admitted that "despite our best efforts, pandemic-related issues are still causing us to experience record levels of activity that continue to affect operations across the agency, including the processing of tax returns and refunds."
He reported “the inventory of remaining individual tax returns is being reduced, even as the IRS is receiving 2020 returns that are coming in prior to the Oct. 15 extension deadline.”
Kay reminds us –
“Until the IRS gets everything back into more normal pre-COVID ranges, we're all stuck with the frustration caused by the large amount of manually processed returns, limited information on tax return processing status, refund delays, and the difficulty reaching IRS employees, especially when seeking help in connection with new tax issues from recent legislation.”
What does Kay recommend?
“ . . . patience. And maybe a yoga and/or meditation class or app.”
* Ken Berry (not the actor – I do believe he has gone to his final audit) discusses “2021 Tax Deductions for Self-Employed Business Vehicles” at CPA PRACTICE ADVISOR.
Remember - employee business expenses are no longer deductible on Schedule A.
* Don’t forget to check out my latest ramblings at BOBSERVATIONS.
* The final deadline for timely filing 2020 tax returns is October 15th. If you have waited this long Russ Fox tells you to “Prepare to Panic!” at TAXABLE TALK
* Davie Rae explains “How Will 10 Types Of Retirement Income Be Taxed?” at FORBES.COM.
THE LAST WORD
The MAGA morons who attacked the capital on January 6th are NOT patriots. They are traitors and terrorists, and should be treated as such by the public and the courts – including all those who instigated, incited and facilitated the attack.
Supporting and defending these terrorists is the same as supporting and defending Al-Qaeda after 9/11. There is absolutely no difference!
If you support or defend these traitors and terrorists or attempt to downplay the attack you, too, are a traitor to America, American values and American democracy. This includes deplorable and despicable Republicans in Congress.