Tuesday, September 27, 2022



*  Russ Fox tells those of you who have not yet filed your extended 2021 income tax returns “It’s Time to Panic!” at TAXABLE TALK -
If your return is simple and straightforward, stop procrastinating and get it done and filed. If your return has any sort of complexities, you must start working on it now. Your tax professional needs time to get it done correctly. You need to turn in that paperwork post haste. If you’ve procrastinated, stop, sit down, and get it done–NOW.”
And that was posted a week ago!
* More proof it is not a good idea to use “fast food” commercial tax preparation services from Michael Cohn at ACCOUNTING TODAY – “D.C. Attorney General sues Liberty Tax over 'misleading' cash advance promotion”.

The lawsuit alleged that Liberty aggressively marketed its services to low-income residents in D.C. by offering them $50 in cash ‘just for filing,’ but then actually increased the tax prep fee for clients who accepted the cash payments.”

* A very important BOBSERVATIONS post this week.  Please read and share.
* A reminder from Kay Bell at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES – File 2019, 2020 tax returns by Sept. 30 to avoid IRS penalty”.
* And Kay also discusses “Valuing tax-deductible donated clothing & household goods” in a subsequent post.
* FYI, the NJ Division of Taxation has a new FAQ page about the also new ANCHOR property tax relief benefit program.  Click here.
* Planning to visit my area?  Check out my free local North East PA handout THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.  
More Republican hypocrisy.
An erroneous Republican TV ad in PA says we should vote against Democrat Matt Cartwright because he is “focused on himself”.
But they still love Trump.  The ONLY thing Trump is focused on is himself.
BTW – if you wonder why I am not a Republican it is because I have a brain and a conscience.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022



BUZZ is back on Tuesday.
* BLOOMBERG TAX has posted an editorial on the lies being spread by Republicans (no surprise there) about the increased IRS funding provided by the “Inflation Reduction Act” titled “Sense and Nonsense About the IRS’ Funding Increase from Congress” (highlight is mine) -
These {statements quoted in the editorial} and many similar statements about the IRS funding are not just misleading and nearly hysterical in tone—they’re also just dead wrong on the facts.”
* I have a new BOBSERVATIONS post.  Check it out.  And share with friends, family and colleagues.
* NJ.COM reports “The online portal for the N.J. ANCHOR property tax program is open and more areeligible. Here’s how to apply” -
The online portal to apply for the state’s newest property tax savings program is open. . . . . . . Applications started to be emailed on Sept. 13, . . . . . Once you receive the application, you can apply online or by phone at (877) 658-2972.”
Click here to apply online.
* Kay Bell tells us “18 states sending residents tax refunds/rebates” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES -
. . . payments going out in Massachusetts, as well as refunds headed to residents of California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.”
I assume the NJ refund/rebate refers to the new ANCHOR program, which replaces the Homestead Benefit.  But I am not quite sure about PA.
* Have you checked out my TAX PLANNING RESOURCE CENTER yet?
FYI – according to NJ INSIDER “New Jersey’s Minimum Wage to Increase to $14.13/Hour for Most Employees on Jan. 1” -
New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage will increase by $1.13 to $14.13 per hour for most employees, effective January 1, 2023.
Annual increases in the minimum wage are due to legislation signed by Governor Murphy in February 2019 that raises the wage floor to $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees. Under the law, the minimum wage increases by $1 per hour – or more if warranted because of significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as happened this year.”
And –
Tipped workers’ cash wage will increase to $5.26/hour, with employers able to claim an $8.87 tip credit, an increase in the maximum allowable tip credit of $1. If the minimum cash wage plus an employee’s tips do not equal at least the state minimum wage, then the employer must pay the employee the difference.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


* KIPLINGER.COM answers the question “What Are I-Bonds?”.

Some truly good news (highlights are mine) -

Thanks to high inflation, those issued from May through October 2022 offer a sky-high composite rate of 9.62%.”  

How are I bonds taxed? (again, highlights are mine) - 

I bond interest is free of state and local income tax, and you can defer federal tax until you file a tax return for the year you cash in the bond or it stops earning interest because it has reached final maturity (after 30 years), whichever comes first. You can also report the interest every year, which may be a smart choice if you’d rather avoid one large tax bill years down the road. If you use I bond proceeds to pay for certain higher-education expenses for yourself, your spouse or your dependents, you may avoid federal tax.

As I had been telling clients and readers for decades, claiming the accrued interest each year is a good idea for your young dependent children who do not have enough other income to have to pay federal income tax, as it will reduce the overall federal tax cost of the interest earned and substantially reduce the federal tax in the year the bonds are cashed.

* Be sure to check out the latest post at BOBSERVATIONS.  And share with family, friends and colleagues.  Thanks!

* Kay Bell warns us that “Offers to accelerate or increase student loan relief are scams” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES -

“Beware of perps on the prowl with promises that they can get rid of your student loan obligation more quickly. Or get you even more loan relief if the federal plan doesn't cover all your college borrowing. Or help you avoid state taxes that apply to your canceled student debt.

All of these offers of help, most often by phone or email, will only help the scammers steal your money.”

According to K. Michelle Grajales, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Financial Practices, quoted in the post (highlight is mine) -

"You don't need to do anything or pay anybody to sign up for the new program — or the pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility.”

* And Kay also reminds us “Have a side hustle? Estimated tax payment on that money due by Sept. 15”.

* Over at ACCOUNTING TODAY Jeff Stimpson reports “Victims of Mississippi water crisis get filing relief”.

* Have you checked out my TAX PLANNING RESOURCE CENTER yet?


Sunday, September 11, 2022




A Port Authority officer for 16 years, Maurice "Moe" Barry, 48, was assigned to the PATH commuter train system. The resident of Rutherford, NJ, upon hearing the reports of the terrorist attacks, was one of the first on scene when he rushed from Jersey City to Lower Manhattan and then into the North Tower to help in the rescue efforts. As thousands fled the searing flames and smoke of the Towers, Officer Barry was attempting to reach trapped and frightened workers on the upper floors. The last time he was seen, he was on his way to the higher floors to get people out.
Moe had a history of heroism - he was involved in rescue efforts during an airplane crash at La Guardia airport; he once climbed a bridge to retrieve the body of a person electrocuted there; he was involved in the rescue effort during the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center; and he rescued a woman from her home, by boat, during Hurricane Floyd. Moe was also a volunteer for the Rutherford Ambulance Corps.

Friday, September 2, 2022


 As I often say – some BUZZ is better than no BUZZ.

* A recent JS CORPORATION WEEKLY TAX TIP provided some good information and advice on “Understanding Tax Terms:Contemporaneous Records”.
* The National Taxpayer Advocate’s NTA BLOG provides a clear and easily understandable explanation of the recent penalty relief in “Good News: The IRS IsAutomatically Providing Late Filing Penalty Relief for Both 2019 and 2020 Tax Returns. Taxpayers Do Not Need to Do Anything to Receive this Administrative Relief”.
* Have you checked out the TAX PLANNING RESOURCE CENTER yet?  Why not?
* According to an August 29 update from the on the status of the processing backlog -
As of August 19, 2022, we had 8.7 million unprocessed individual returns received in calendar year 2022. These include tax year 2021 returns and late filed tax year 2020 and prior returns. Of these, 1.7 million returns require error correction or other special handling, and 7 million are paper returns waiting to be reviewed and processed.”
And -
As of August 20, 2022, we had 1.9 million unprocessed Forms 1040-X. We are processing these returns in the order received and are working hard to get through the inventory. The current timeframe can be more than 20 weeks instead of up to 16.”

What should you do if you are waiting for a refund?  Nothing.  Just have patience.
FYI – I and others I have heard from received our 2021 refund just within 6 months of mailing the return to the IRS (all manual returns).
* BOBSERVATIONS is now a “normal” blog posted weekly.  Check out the latest post – I remember attending the wedding of Sly of Sly and the Family Stone in 1974.
Nothing Trump said or did from January 2017 through January 2021 was the least bit “presidential” or indicated that he had any clue about the responsibilities and limitations of the office of President or actually knew his arse from a hole in the ground about anything.
Forget that Trump is a traitor and a crook, doesn’t care one ounce about anyone or anything but himself, and that his one and only agenda as President was to line his pockets and feed his ego.  Trump is an incompetent moron!

Thursday, September 1, 2022



New Jersey has replaced the Homestead Benefit property tax relief program with ANCHOR – Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters.

The 2022 program is for NJ residents who were a homeowner or resident on October 1, 2019.  The amount of the benefit payment is based on the NJ Gross Income from the taxpayer’s 2019 NJ-1040 Line 29.

Homeowners with 2019 NJ Gross Income of $150,000 or less will get $1,500 and those with 2019 NJ Gross Income of $150,001 - $250,000 will get $1,000.  Tenants with 2019 NJ Gross income of $150,000 or less will get $450.

The total amount of all property tax relief program benefits for a taxpayer – ANCHOR, Property Tax Reimbursement and any tax reduction for seniors, veterans and the disabled – cannot be more than the total property taxes paid on his or her primary residence for the year.

Homeowners whose residence was exempt from local property taxes and those who made “Payments in Lieu of Tax” and tenants who lived in tax-exempt, subsidized and campus apartments do not qualify for the benefit payment.

Payment of the benefit will be via either direct deposit or paper check.  Benefit payments applied for this year are expected to be paid in May 2023.

As with the Homestead Benefit, residents will be sent an application package and can apply either online or by phone.  Some residents may be required to file a paper application.  The deadline for filing an ANCHOR application is December 30, 2022.

Applications will be sent out next month.  Here is a chart of the mailing schedule for the application packages-



Burlington, Hunterdon, and Mercer

September 12, 2022

Atlantic and Essex

September 14, 2022

Bergen and Warren

September 16, 2022

Ocean, Salem, and Sussex

September 19, 2022

Cumberland, Gloucester, and Hudson

September 21, 2022

Monmouth and Somerset

September 23, 2022

Passaic and Union

September 26, 2022

Cape May and Middlesex

September 28, 2022

Camden and Morris

September 30, 2022

The ANCHOR application is NOT an income tax form and has nothing to do with state income tax.  While your tax preparer may be willing to assist you with the application process do not expect him or her to file it for you.