Saturday, November 1, 2008


* A recent article by Chuck Jaffe at titled “Commentary: Consider Selling Mutual-Fund Losers Soon to Avoid Tax Bite” provides something for mutual fund investors to think about.

If anticipated excessive year-end capital gain distributions “are about to make a bad situation worse” then it may be wise to sell your mutual fund shares “before year-end distributions are paid out, thereby avoiding a tax headache and leaving behind a loser fund in one fell swoop.”

As I reported earlier it is expected that the current stock market kerfluffle will result in lots of sales by mutual funds, many resulting in capital gains, and therefore possibly greater capital gain distribution pass-throughs to shareholders this year-end.

* TAXGUY Bruce give us some interesting non-tax facts that may come in handy next time you are playing Trivial Pursuit in his post “Here Are Some Historical Facts”.

* “You've Heard McCain and Obama--What Do the Other Parties Say?” Well Dan Meyer of TICK MARKS (which, I love saying, has nothing to do with Lyme Disease) tells you.

* Kelly the TAX GIRL tells us that “Alabama Imposes ‘Fat Tax’”. No, that isn’t a typo. It’s not a FLAT TAX but indeed a FAT TAX! Gee, I am glad I don’t live in Alabama (although still not totally thrilled to be here in NJ). Check it out.

* Thanks to IRS HITMAN Richard Close for the mention and link in his post “
A Ray of Hope...and Tons of Links!

* Now here is something I didn’t know. According to a recent study, discussed in an article, “U.S. Capital Gains Tax Rate Uncompetitive With Many Other Major Economies”.

The study finds, “At a 15% long-term capital gains tax rate, the United States ranks higher than countries with lower, more competitive rates including Canada (14.5%), Italy (12.5%) and Japan (7%). Many countries have a capital gains tax rate of zero (0%) including Germany, Mexico, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Honk Kong.”

* The CCH daily Tax Headlines email newsletter reports “
Lawmakers Mull Second Stimulus Package”.

The item says – “Lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony on October 29 from state officials and industry experts on whether a $150-billion stimulus package loaded with spending on shovel-ready infrastructure projects and higher funding for unemployment insurance claims would help Americans during the current economic slowdown. Lawmakers hinted that the House might return to Congress for a lame-duck session in mid-November, possibly during the week of November 17, to try to pass legislation that would head off an economic recession.”

How many time do I have to say this – PLEASE, NO MORE REBATES!

The White House disagrees that another bill is needed – see “Second Stimulus Bill Not Needed, White House Says, Despite Decrease in GDP”.

* No BUZZ would be complete without something from Joe Kristan of the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG. In his post “Better To Skip Your Mortgage Payments Than Make Your Student Loan Payments” he once again points out the “wisdom” on Congress.

* Joe also reports on what appears to be some good news from the courts in the post “The End of Tax Strategy Patents?”. I have long been against the practice of attempting to patent a tax saving strategy.

* Ben Harris discusses an interesting tax proposal, the Auto IRA, in his post “Something to Agree On” at the Tax Policy Center’s TAXVOX blog.

* Kay Bell of DON’T MESS WITH TAXES tells of “A Tax Attorney’s Take on Dracula”, an appropriate Halloween post. I find it apropos that a lawyer writes about a vampire – both being blood suckers.

My favorite vampire is Barnabas Collins from the DARK SHADOWS “soap” of my high school days. I do believe he was the first “sympathetic” vampire. Every now and then there is talk about bringing DS back either in series or film form (there was even talk for a while about Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins) – I wish someone would.
Did you know that the house used as the exterior of the Collins mansion in the original show is one of the mansions of Newport RI?

* Always leave ‘em laughing – check out the Tax Quote of the Week at the Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG. Very appropriate for election time.


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