Friday, August 2, 2013


With Congress, every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.” –Will Rogers

* Wonderful news to start off the BUZZ!  Kelly Phillips Erb tells us “'Real Housewives Stars Indicted On Bankruptcy, Fraud And Tax Charges”.  To say nothing of the crime against humanity that is/was their reality tv excrement.  It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving group.

* William Perez gives us a great detailed discussion of “Federal Tax Issues for Same-Sex Married Couples” in an interview with fellow tax-blogger Jason Dinesen at ABOUT.COM TAX PLANNING: US.

* THE TAX FOUNDATION continues its series of case studies on the effect of eliminating popular “tax expenditures” with #2 - “Property Tax Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing”.

* Peter J Reilly provides his take on this case study in “Would Eliminating The Property Tax Deduction Be A Big Deal?”.

* Taxdood Brad Polizzano reports “Gambling Loss Deduction Removed from Kansas Tax Code Beginning in 2014” at TAXES IN THE BACK.

Well, the 2013 legislative session in Kansas appeared to lack some common sense when deciding to remove the gambling loss deduction from the state’s personal income tax beginning in 2014, as reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal.”

What does this mean?

A taxpayer with gambling winnings in Kansas will have to pay the State personal income tax on gross winnings, and cannot even partially offset the winnings via a gambling loss deduction. The result is paying taxes on ‘phantom’ income.”

I do believe Kansas is the 2nd state to make this move – which makes absolutely no sense.  The federal method for reporting gambling income and losses is already unfair, especially for taxpayers in states where the state income tax follows the federal income tax. 

So this is even more reason why frequent casino visitors should keep good records of daily gambling activity.  See my post “The Biggest Loser” and the Tax Tip referenced in the post.

* And that’s not all that is happening in Kansas.  Trish McIntire tells of “Kansas Taxes - Even More Changes” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

* Before I leave the topic of state taxation of gambling winnings let me refer you to “Kansas Joins Bad States for Gamblers in 2014” by Russ Fox of TAXABLE TALK.

Russ provides a “list of bad states for gamblers with the reasons why”.  I see neither NJ or PA are on the list.

* The topic of discussion at Tuesday’s McTax Hangout, hosted my MISSOURI TAXGUY Bruce McFarland, was “Business Structures, Choosing your Entity”.

* In “Lonely Bipartisan Push to Overhaul Tax Code Finally Gets Noticed” by Jonathan Weisman of the NEW YORK TIMES we learn –

Debbie Schaeffer, the owner of Mrs. G TV and Appliances, probably did not give the answer the two chairmen of Congress’s powerful tax-writing committees were looking for when they pressed her this week for ideas on a fairer, simpler tax code: ‘Get rid of the deductions that don’t affect me,’ she said.”

As Jonathan points out –

As talk of tax reform caught Washington’s attention on Tuesday, the comment by Ms. Schaeffer illustrated the central challenge of those eager to overhaul the tax code: Even those who favor eliminating tax breaks want to hang on to the breaks that benefit them.”

In terms of the idiots in Congress, or the breaks that benefit those who line the pockets of the Congresscritters.

I am reminded of the famous quote from Russell B Long -

A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform.”

* KIPLINGER.COM has a slide show of “10 Things You Must Know About 401(k)s”.  

* For ministers and church leaders – PARKER PUBLISHING shows how not to prepare an employment agreement in “Failure to Designate Parsonage Allowance Precludes Deduction; Penalties Upheld”.  


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