Tuesday, September 10, 2013


We have used taxes inappropriately to achieve political, ideological, and social goals.” – David Cay Johnston

* I am listed among the “Top 50 Accountants on Twitter” by MASTERS IN ACCOUNTING!  I’m #42.

* If you haven’t already done so please check out my new monthly online “magazine” THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.  It has a couple of items on federal income taxes.

If you like it let me know - and tell your friends, family, and co-workers about it.

* A blast from the past from Jim Blankenship’s GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW provides some advice on “Which Account to Take your RMDs From”.

I would add an option to Jim’s advice – see how each individual IRA account is performing and take the RMD from the poorest performing, or lowest yielding, account.

* And Jim’s current post provides some good timely advice – “Review Tax Withholding In Time to Fix Problems” -

At this time of year, with a few months remaining on the calendar, it can be a good time to review your income and withholding to ensure that you will have enough in tax payments to ensure that you don’t get hit with underpayment penalties next year when you file your return.”

* Joe Kristan’s Friday Tax Round-Up at the ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG begins with some good detailed talk about sub-S corporation compensation issues.

* Good question, TaxGirl Kelly Phillips Erb – “Why Aren't More Parents Thinking About Coverdell ESAs?”.  The post is part of Kelly’s “Back to School” series at FORBES.COM.  Check out the other posts in the series while you are there.

* Professor Annette Nellen has begun a series of posts “to summarize and analyze {blank slate tax reform} proposals senators offered to the Senate Finance Committee”.  First up is “Senator Cantwell's Suggestions”.

I see no support of a “clean slate” here - just a continuation of the current complexity.  She wants to expand the American Opportunity Credit, which doesn’t belong in the Tax Code in the first place, and add more credits to “promote apprentice programs and better train the American workforce". 

I do agree that “traditional” student financial aid should be available for “any education following high school”, if it is not already.  But do not use the Tax Code!

Somehow I expect all the proposals will be similar – more, not less, complexity via wrongly distributing continuing or new social welfare and other government programs through the Code.  I hope I am wrong.

* THE SLOTT REPORT deals with the issue “Inheriting More Than One IRA: What You Can and Can't Do”.

* Trish McIntire explains “43% - Not What Many People Think” at OUR TAXING TIMES.

She is correct when she says -

It's easy to hear about the number of taxpayers not paying federal tax and try to make them villains. But most are hardworking people who are taking advantage of deductions and credits available to anyone who qualify. They are our parents, grandparents and children. And I bet most would be willing to have a tax liability in exchange for more in their paycheck.”

It is disturbing that 43% of Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax.  But, as Trish points out, the “villain” is not the 43% themselves.  The true villain is the idiots in Congress who insist on continuing to wrongly use the Tax Code to distribute federal social welfare and other program benefits.  Many of these benefits may actually be appropriate – but they should be delivered via more “traditional” methods and NOT via the Tax Code.


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