Tuesday, June 18, 2013
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
* A “blast from the past” (February of 2010) from Jim Blankenship of GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW, brought to my attention via a “tweet”, explains “A Little-Known Social Security Spousal Benefit Option”.
* TAXGIRL Kelly Phillips Erb reminds us “FBAR Deadline Creeping Up Taxpayers: No Extensions Available”.
That’s FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts), not FUBAR (the current US Tax Code).
* Kay Bell celebrated Father’s Day with “Tax Breaks for Dads on this Father's Day” at DON’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* At BARGAINEERING Miranda Marquit wonders “Could a 529 Plan Mess Up Your Child’s Financial Aid?”.
Miranda’s bottom line is that, while “a 529 is one of the best ways to save money for college” parents should “be aware of how ownership of the account affects aid, and assign ownership in the most advantageous manner”.
* TAXPRO TODAY tells us about a “Bill Would Let EAs Promote Themselves Everywhere” –
“Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., have introduced legislation aimed at allowing Enrolled Agents to present themselves as such and tout their credential wherever they practice.”
I was truly surprised to learn that there are states that “prohibit Enrolled Agents from using their credential when representing taxpayers or advertising for potential clients”. I very seriously suspect that these prohibitions were the result of local CPA societies attempting to handicap legitimate competition.
The AICPA, and the state societies, believe that CPAs “own” the brand of “tax expert”, and, unfortunately, many uninformed taxpayers, and uninformed journalists, also do. But the truth is that the Enrolled Agent, or EA, is the true proven tax expert. To repeat a popular statement of mine – just because a person has the initials CPA after his/her name does not mean that he/she knows his/her arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to 1040 preparation.
“This bill would clarify that Enrolled Agents may use and display their credential when advertising their services and representing their clients.”
Now if only EAs would get a better name and be able to dispel the unfortunate widely-held misconception that they are employees, representatives, or “agents” of the IRS.
And if we could only create a voluntary designation to give “unenrolled” tax professionals, like myself, the respect that they (we) deserve.
* TAX MAMA (is there a Tax Papa?) Eva Rosenberg talks about “Maximizing Extra Mortgage Payments and Tax Deductions” at EQUIFAX.COM.
Eva’s “The benefit of making extra or increased mortgage payments” discussion is similar to advice I have been giving to clients and readers for years.