Saturday, January 14, 2012


Now this is better!

+ Check out the January issue of LOIS.  

+ Did you see my piece “6 Things to Do While Waiting for Your W-2” at MAINSTREET.COM yet?  Or “8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Preparer”?   

+ Go to the MISSOURI TAXGUY blog and look for my Robert F page at the Store”.

+ Professor Annette Nellin of 21st CENTURY TAXATION is “Not Giving Up on Simplification” and says so in an article written for the AICPA, which also applauds her publisher and IRS Commissioner Shulman for doing the same. 

Her piece includes some interesting statistics (highlight is mine) -  

Advocating for tax simplification in the face of growing complexity is a challenge. The IRS National Taxpayer Advocate observes that there have been over 4,000 changes to the Internal Revenue Code in the last decade, including 579 changes in 2010 (2010 report to Congress, page 4). The Joint Committee on Taxation reports that since the Tax Reform Act of 1986, 34 public laws added 157 new special deductions, credits or exclusions to the income tax system. (JCT 2011, pages 61 – 70).”

+ Beware of self-obsessed and self-promoting so-called “financial experts”.  20 AND ENGAGED gives us one example in “Suze Orman’s 'Approved Card' Gets Denied; Thinks PF Bloggers Are Idiots”.

In talking about Ms Orman’a latest scam the blogger says –

Suze Orman, personal finance ‘extraordinare’ has recently debuted a prepaid debit card called The Approved Prepaid MasterCard. Personal finance bloggers, including myself, were a little perturbed. Other celebrities including Russell Simmons and the Kardashians have been criticized for making a buck off of lower and middle class with these cards, so we didn’t quite understand why a finance guru such as Suze would be advocating a prepaid debit card. With its $3 monthly fee, fees for paying bills, fees from withdrawing from the wrong ATMs, fees for paper statements, fees for additional customer service, the list goes on. Sure, there’s some free things like opening the card and PIN transactions, but the fees outweigh the benefits. Seems as if she wants us to be mindless sheep and agree with everything she says.”

I remember attending an NATP-sponsored tax workshop a few years back where the instructor (a professional personal finance speaker and not a tax preparer) told us that Ms Orman didn’t know her arse from a hole in the ground.  I have never come across anything to cause me to think otherwise. 

+ William Perez reminds us that “4th Estimated Payment Due on January 17”, and provides some good advice for independent contractors who make estimated payments, over at ABOUT.COM TAXPLANNING:US.

+ Over at the DINESEN TAX TIMES EA Jason Dinesen begins a new series of blog posts on “Taxation of Aspiring Authors: Sometimes It’s Taxing”.

Are you thinking about writing a book? These days it’s easier than ever to self-publish, especially with the advent of e-books. What are the tax consequences? I’ll explore this issue in a series of blog posts.”

+ CNN MONEY talks about another finding of Nina Olsen’s report to Congress in “IRS on Autopilot”.

In 2010, it flagged 10.6 million math and clerical errors, up from 4 million in 2005, according to a government report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson released Wednesday.

The reason: The IRS has greatly increased its use of automated systems to ferret out mismatches between what an individual reports on his return and the third-party data the IRS receives for that person, such as pay information from employers or data from the Social Security Administration.”

The report also found something that underscores one of my posts from last week (highlight is mine) –

And the Making Work Pay credit accounted for more than half of the 10.6 million errors flagged in 2010, the IRS said.”

+ ACCOUNTING TODAY gives us the word that “IRS Steps up Efforts to CombatIdentity Theft”.

The Internal Revenue Service has increased its battle against identity theft, creating a special section on its Web site dedicated to helping growing numbers of tax fraud victims.”

+INC.COM correctly explains that “The 2-Month Extension Does Nothing for Small Business”.  The 2-month extension of the payroll tax reduction, that is.

But small business owners, accountants, and some politicians say the two-month extension may have done more damage than good because they now don't know if the tax cut will extend beyond February, and the lack of certainty, like all economic policy, makes it hard to plan out financial (and hiring) decisions for the year ahead. Congress will vote again on the cut in 2012, and it could be extended—or it might not be.”

+ My colleague at MAINSTREET.COM, Kristin Colella, discusses “10 Things You Might Not Know About Your Money” in a “slide show”.

+ And here is a “slide show” from Shelly K. Schwartz at BANKRATE.COM on “6 Ways to Use an IRA You Haven't Thought Of”.


A reminder from the IRS - "Remember, no matter who prepares a tax return, the taxpayer is legally responsible for all of the information on that tax return."


1 comment:

Divorce accountant said...

I've missed on a lot of good posts. Thanks for this update, i'll make sure to read them all.