Friday, November 22, 2013


Sorry for not posting this week.  I was at Resorts in Atlantic City Monday through Wednesday attending the annual NATP year-end tax update classes.  There was no wifi available, so I could neither wander the web nor post until yesterday afternoon.  I will post on items of interest from the classes next week.

An FYI – I was surprised to find the 2013 W-2 and 1099-MISC forms available at Staples recently.  I do believe this is the earliest I have seen these forms available for purchase.  I purchased a supply, and will be ready for my annual ritual of typing 2013 W-2s on Christmas Eve and New Years’ Eve.  Of course, you can also order 2013 information returns and instructions from the IRS website, which I have also done.

* “Is an MBA Deductible?”  Find out in the November “issue” of THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.  

* Finally!  The MAINSTREET.COM Tax Center has published my “What's New for Federal Income Taxes 2014?”.   

* Here is something I missed earlier this month that I learned of via a “tweet”.  The TAX FOUNDATION has published a special report on “The Distribution of Tax and Spending Policies in the United States”, in which they compare how much families paid in total taxes to the amount of government spending they benefit from for 2012.

Some of the key findings of the report are reported as (highlights are mine) –

“• The question of who benefits from government spending is just as important as the question of who pays taxes. In other words, how do tax and spending policies redistribute income?

American’s lowest-income families receive $5.28 worth of government spending (federal, state, and local) for every $1 they pay in total taxes. Middle-income families receive $1.48 in total spending per tax dollar, while America’s highest-income families receive $0.25 cents in spending for every dollar of taxes paid.

• As a group, the bottom 60 percent of American families receive more back in total government spending than they pay in total taxes.

• Government tax and spending policies combine to redistribute more than $2 trillion from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent.

• The total amount of redistribution has increased slightly over the past 12 years. Middle-income and working lower-income families were the biggest beneficiaries.”  

In determining government support, William Perez explains in his post on this topic “How Much Government Do People Get Compared to How Much Taxes They Pay?” at ABOUT.COM -

Only some of this government spending is received by a person directly, as cash-in-hand, like Social Security benefits. And some of this government spending is received by a person indirectly, through the goods and services we share in common.”

Nothing surprising to me in the Foundation’s findings.

* A history lesson from Jim Blankenship at GETTING YOUR FINANCIAL DUCKS IN A ROW – “History of the 401(k)”.

* Barbara Weltman, author of the appropriately-titled BARBARA’S BLOG, takes on the issue of “Self-Employed Health Insurance for 2014”.

* TAX MAMA Eva Rosenberg provides us with a comprehensive “2014 / 2015 – Tax Calendar”.

* An interesting and resource-filled post for pet-lovers like me from Donald Kelley at WELATH MANAGEMENT.COM – “Estate Planning for Pets”.

* Jason Dinesen has an interesting question for fellow tax pros concerning amended same-sex returns in “Life After DOMA: What if You Amend One Year But Not the Next?”.   


It seems that the Dow Jones Industrial Index hit 16.000 on my 60th birthday!  I remember a Broadway musical back in the late 1960s titled HOW NOW DOW JONES whose story line was about the announcement that the Dow Jones hit 1000.

It starred Tony (then billed as Anthony) Roberts, Marilyn Mason, and Brenda Vacaro, who, if I remember correctly, spent the entire show wearing nothing but a towel.  The one semi-hit song from the show instructs, "Will everyone here kindly step to the rear and let a winner lead the way."

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