Saturday, November 17, 2012
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
Once again, there is enough BUZZ for two consecutive installments.
* Over at the Tax Foundation’s TAX POLICY BLOG Joseph Henchman tells us “Colorado Debates Marijuana Tax; Would Be First Genuine Revenue-Raising Tax on Illegal Drug” -
“Colorado and Washington State have passed ballot initiatives to legalize and tax marijuana, with Maine and Rhode Island legislators now considering it as well. The Colorado initiative specifically authorized the state legislature to impose an excise tax of up to 15 percent on marijuana sales, although officials are debating whether it is written in a way to satisfy the state’s strict tax increase limitation requirements. The Washington initiative sets up a license system for producers and retailers, initially set at $250, with $1,000 for annual renewals.
These may the first drug excise taxes that are actual taxes (designed to raise revenue from a legal transaction) as opposed to disguised efforts to prohibit or penalize drug sales or use.”
Isn’t that the only reason for legalizing non-medical marijuana in the first place?
* Kay Bell brings us up to date on the Occupy Wall Street cafones in her post “Forgiven Debt or a Gift?” at her BANKRATE.COM blog.
“Remember Occupy Wall Street? After staging protests nationwide to protest greed and corruption in the financial sector, it has branched out to more public service activities.
The group's latest effort is still financially focused, but its latest targets are not high-powered financiers. They're regular people, the 99 percent, who are deep in debt.
Through its new project Rolling Jubilee, the Occupy folks plan to randomly buy securitized debts from creditors on pennies on the dollar and then write it off.”
Why should individuals who have irresponsibly overextended themselves be let off the hook in this way? How does this benefit society? Chances are these individuals will just go out and build up a ton of debt all over again.
My original impression of the Occupy Wall Streeters has not changed. Fools to the left of me, jokers to the right. They are indeed fools.
* TAXPRO TODAY discusses the IRS Advisory Council’s 2012 annual report in “Advisory Council Urges IRS to Combat Identity Theft”.
I agree with the council that the IRS should do whatever possible to combat identity theft. However, I take serious exception to another of the report’s suggestions –
“The panel also recommended specifically enumerating tax return preparation and tax advice as constituting ‘practice before the IRS’.”
Read my lips! Tax return preparation and providing clients with tax advice is NOT, and should not be constituted as, “practice before the IRS”. Tax return preparation and providing clients with tax advice is tax return preparation and providing clients with tax advice.
* At CNN MONEY Jeanne Sahadi warns “Fate of Paychecks Rests on Fiscal Cliff” –
“Lawmakers may cut a deal to avert the fiscal cliff by Dec. 31. Or they may not.
If they don't, paychecks in January will get smaller and millions of workers may face weeks of uncertainty about what their true take-home pay will be. Families that live paycheck to paycheck could feel the sting of limbo most acutely.”
The bottom line:
“If lawmakers let the country go over the cliff for even a short while in 2013, workers will be left wondering just what they'll be paid and what they owe in taxes.”
* REUTERS reports “Top U.S. House Tax Writer Vows Tax Reform in 2013” (highlight is mine) -
“The House of Representatives' top Republican tax writer on Thursday pledged to tackle a full-scale overhaul of the tax code in 2013, but offered few specifics on how to get it done.
Republican Dave Camp said in the text of a dinner speech that the House Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs, ‘will write, act on and pass comprehensive tax reform legislation in 2013’.
He added, ‘Let me repeat that: we intend to move a comprehensive tax reform bill in 2013 - no matter what’."
I would really like to believe this.
* Kelly Phillips Erb announces that her annual “12 Days of Charitable Giving 2012 Starts Soon” -
“As with last year, I’m asking readers to submit, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, the name of a charity that most deserves a boost this year for the 12 Days of Charitable Giving. Ideally, it would be one that you have supported financially over the past year or that you plan to support before the year end. In addition to the name, I’ll need the city where the charity is located, what it does and why you support the charity (personal stories would be great). A link to the web site and the best way to make a donation would be terrific: the more information that you can provide, the better.”
“The deadline for nominations is November 30, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. What are you waiting for? Go, do something good!”