Tuesday, August 6, 2013
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’ - TUESDAY EDITION
“The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.” Will Rogers
* Check out my article “How Are Mutual Fund Distributions Taxed?” at MAINSTREET.COM.
* Posts by me from both TWTP and THE TAX PROFESSIONAL were referenced in “In the Blogs: Did You Know…?”, TAXPRO TODAY’s BUZZ-like “(h)ighlights from some of our favorite tax bloggers this week”.
Jeff Stimpson thinks I am “indefatigable”.
* EA Bonnie Lee explains the “Taxability of Life Insurance” at FOX BUSINESS.
“Nothing in the tax code is straightforward or easy to understand, and that’s especially true when it comes to life insurance with all the caveats, exceptions and treatments.”
* Jason Dinesen’s client's ID-theft saga with the IRS is over after 2 years, 3 months and 28 days. See the final chapter of the story – “Taxpayer Identity Theft - Part 18”.
* Another indication that true substantive tax reform may not become a reality this year.
The WASHINGTON POST reports “Obama Says He’ll Work with GOP on Tax Reform, But Only if Money Saved is Spent to Boost Jobs”.
I thought the Democrats wanted the money saved to reduce the deficit.
Actually BO is talking about corporate/business tax reform –
“Obama says he’s willing to work with Republicans to reform the tax code for businesses. That would mean lowering rates but ending many loopholes and deductions.
But Obama says he’ll only do it if money generated is used for infrastructure, training and job growth.”
The idiots in Washington must approach tax reform without any “strings”. It must be reform for reform’s sake – simplicity for simplicity’s sake. The reason to reform the Tax Code is because it is a mucking fess – not to raise money or address any social issue.
Congress should obviously try to boost jobs – but as a separate initiative that is not tied to reforming the Tax Code.
* Oi vey! The POUGHKEEPSIE JOURNAL tells us that “40,000 N.Y. Tax Refunds Still Owed” –
“About 40,000 filers still haven’t received their state income tax refunds in 2013, but the state Department of Taxation and Finance says it expects the money to be fully dispersed in the “upcoming days.”
Processing issues with a state contractor have led to the extended delay in issuing tax refunds to a contingent of taxpayers who filed their returns by paper, according to the Tax Department.”
* Jim Blankenship answers the question “How is the Social Security Survivor Benefit Calculated?” in a 2012 post from GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW.
As one may expect, “(t)his is one of those very complicated and difficult to understand areas of the Social Security universe”.
* Also from Jim a reminder that “Medicare is Not Automatic” -
“If you’re nearing age 65, there’s something you need to know: unless you’re currently receiving Social Security benefits (having filed early), you need to take action to make sure you receive your Medicare benefits in a timely fashion.”
* Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES.COM’s TaxGirl, announces “It’s that time of year again!” and wants to know “What Are Your Thoughts On Tax Policy?” -
“As I have done for the past few years, I’ll be turning over the blog to my readers for the last week in August.
This year, I’m offering readers the chance to answer one of three tax-related questions:
• Will allowing the health care act to remain in place as written benefit or harm you as a taxpayer?
• There have been lots of calls this year to cut or reduce IRS funding. Is that fair? Why or why not?
• One of the most controversial issues over the past year has been the issue of corporate tax reform. Do corporations pay their fair share? What, if anything, would you do to alter the current corporate tax structure?”
Check out her post for the details.
* Jamaal Solomon has launched a podcast series - The Tax Factor Podcast. First up – “Starting a Business”.
* BUSINESS USA.GOV offers a new “Health Care Changes Wizard” to “help you understand what you need to know about new insurance options and other health care changes as well as find health care related resources”.
* The NY POST reports “Tax Cheats About to Lose Their Licenses” –
“Gov. Cuomo plans to announce a program today that allows New York to suspend the driver’s licenses of taxpayers who owe more than $10,000, The Post has learned.”