Saturday, August 13, 2011


* If you haven’t already done so – check out the August 2011 issue of LOIS, my free newsletter. As usual, it contains lots of interesting stuff! Feel free to pass it along to friends and family.

* Did you see my guest post on “Regulating Tax Preparers” in “The Wandering Tax Pro Meanders to Forbes” at Peter J Reilly’s PASSIVE ACTIVITIES blog at FORBES?

Sincere thanks to Peter, who continues PASSIVE ACTIVITIES AND OTHER OXYMORONS, for allowing me to appear in the FORBES venue!

* Back at the end of July Peter discussed the issue of hobby losses in “Drag Racing and Amway – Fun Not Profit” at FORBES, with some interesting examples. In one case the Court actually accepted Feng Shui as a business plan!

I always recommend that you read the comments whenever I suggest a post. When reading the comments here be aware that my colleague did not murder his mother.

* I recently reminded you that, for tax purposes, like Vegas, what happens in an IRA stays in an IRA – so you get no tax deduction for losses in tax-deferred accounts. William Perez suggests a possible strategy to take advantage of paper losses in your IRA or 401(k) investments in his post “Market Losses Inside an IRA or 401(k)? Consider Converting”.

* I am certainly glad the NATP annual conference was in Austin TX last year. Austin resident Kay Bell recently tweeted “you know it's too damn hot when the radio DJ says ‘It's only 103’”. It was bad enough in Austin in the 90s!

I wonder how hot it is in St Louis, the site of this year’s conference? Why does NATP always have its conference in the hottest places in the country at the height of the summer?

* Another “tweet” from Kay led me to “Congress Less Popular Than, Well, So Many Things” from the WASHINGTON POST, a companion to an online article I referenced in the last BUZZ installment.

Cloning sheep. Cloning humans, even. Caning teen vandals. Believing that aliens have descended from space and abducted humans.

These are all things that, at one time or another, have enjoyed more public backing than Congress is getting right now

I bet caning members of Congress would receive wide support.

Some good news in related surveys -

And a new Washington Post poll found that only 17 percent of Americans surveyed thought their representative should be reelected in 2012.”

Let us hope this feeling of GRIP (Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians) is still here when it is time to vote next year.

* As my regular readers know, each year the Tax Foundation determines “Tax Freedom Day”, which was April 12th this year. Did you know we also celebrate “Cost of Government Day” each year as well?

Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Center for Fiscal Accountability calculate Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.

In 2011, Cost of Government Day falls on August 12. Working people must toil 224 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government, a full 27 days longer than 2008.

In other words, in 2011 the cost of government consumes 61.42 percent of national income

* Speaking of the Tax Foundation, a post at its TAX POLICY BLOG reveals that “FY2011 Data Shows Record Profits for Many State-Run Lotteries”.

Reports of record profits from the lotteries come despite continuing high unemployment and an economy that has been flat or downward-trending for the past two years.”

This comes as no surprise to me. A long-time friend (from high school) and client used to have a deli on the corner up from my apartment that sold NJ State Lottery tickets. He told me that in times of economic uncertainty he would sell less food but more lottery tickets!

* In my web “wanderings” I came across a page of good tax tips for child care providers from Alison Jacks of Fremont CA, a self-employed Enrolled Agent focusing on family child care taxes and payroll. Click here to check it out.



Peter Reilly said...

Nice having you over at Forbes. I did make my mother's life a trial sometimes. My old blogspot blog is now an archive of my pre-July posts and also a repository of original source material that I think is interesting, some of which I write about on Forbes.
Joe Kristan has already commented on his own blog about your Forbes post. I reassured him that despite public demand hand-crafted custom made tax returns are probably not going to put a huge dent in our business.

Peter Reilly said...

The CPA Mafia is back in force. I invited Joe Kristan and first thing he does is have the temerity to disagree with The Pro.