* Investment Advisor John Kaighn, a fellow NJ-based blogger, provides a good primer on “Coverdell Education Savings Accounts” in his blog THE KAIGHN REPORT.
* This past week I posted about the “809” telephone scam. Kay Bell writes about a new IRS-related telephone scam in “Telephone Tax Scammers are Back” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* Check out TAX GIRL KPE’s tax haiku, and those in the comments section, at her posting “With a Side of Sushi?".
* Several sources, including NATP’s TAXPRO WEEKLY email newsletter, report that the IRS has eliminated Form 1120-A, U.S. Corporation Short-Form Income Tax Return, for tax years beginning after 2006. Apparently Form 1120-A filers have been steadily decreasing in number every year. Damn – I liked the 1120-A, and used it for all but one of my remaining “C” corporations. Oh well, more work for me.
* Friday’s CCH daily email Tax Newsletter reports on the reaction to the Tax Reduction and Reform Act of 2007 in “Rangel Tax Relief Legislation Gets Cool Reception from GOP”. According to the article Republican lawmakers predict the bill would never make it to the White House.
* There has been a lot of buzz in the various media to the Tax Reduction and Reform Act of 2007, Chuck Rangel’s supposed “mother of all tax reforms”, introduced on Thursday. The CCH article is just one of many. As usual, Paul Caron provides an excellent compilation of resources and articles on the topic at his TAX PROF blog. Add to this Joe Kristan’s appropriately-titled posting “Third Cousin, Once Removed, of Tax Reforms” at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG. See my “This Ain’t No Mother” posting that outlines the Act.
Here are some more of my thoughts on TRARA 2007:
· The permanent repeal of the AMT is good. However, the way the bill pays for this only adds complication to the Tax Code. Forget about a “replacement tax” or “surtax”. And don’t make the various phase-outs and exclusions any more confusing than they already are. If you want to raise the top tax rate just do it. Increase the tax rates from 28% to 30%, from 33% to 35%, and from 35% to 39%, or something like that, and be done with it.
· Unless you are going to substantially increase the Standard Deduction amounts while at the same time simplifying the Tax Code by adjusting or doing away with certain itemized deductions, don’t bother with minimal increases of $425, $625 and $850.
· Forget about increasing the Earned Income Credit for individuals without kids. Chances are good that these taxpayers are already not paying any federal income tax. Same with the refundable Child Tax Credit. There is no need to encourage more tax fraud by increasing refundable credits.
· Whatever is done, make sure that the mandatory cost basis reporting requirement stays!