Tuesday, December 17, 2013


* If you haven’t already done so, please check out the December “issue” of THE LAKE REGION SOMETHING.   

* TAXGIRL Kelly Phillips Erb of FORBES.COM has kicked off her annual “12 Days of Charitable Giving” -

Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks and I’ll be posting one a day for – well, 12 days (I’m clever that way).”

The first charity was “Kids Making It”.

* The MILWAUKEE CPA gives us a lesson in “How to Calculate ObamaCare Penalties”.

He reminds us –

As you are likely aware, beginning in 2014, individuals without health insurance for up to three consecutive months will face a penalty on their income tax return.”

And, after explaining the calculation of the penalty, is makes the following observation -

I think there are plenty of American taxpayers not to mention tax professionals, whose heads are spinning at the language, definitions and complications of deciphering the formulas. And obviously more than one formula must be used. In fact, the calculations have to be run three times. Using the term ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ indicates a comparison and therefore requires the use of more than one formula to determine the correct answer.”

As he suggests, the calculation of the Obamacare penalty is another mucking fess – and more unnecessary non-tax-related work thrust upon the professional tax preparer.  The taxpayer is doubly penalized – first by having to pay a penalty for not having health insurance and second by having to pay more money to have his or her tax return prepared.  Talk about adding insult to injury!

The basic concept behind Obamacare is good – encouraging universal health care coverage and assisting individuals and businesses who cannot afford to purchase or offer health care.  But forcing individuals and families to get coverage by creating a complicated penalty is bad.  And having the Internal Revenue Service administer Obamacare compliance is just stupid and lazy, a perfect description of the idiots in Congress. 

As an aside, acquiring required health insurance coverage via the Obamacare marketplace website has proven to be perhaps more of a mucking fess than calculating the penalty.  I will be posting on my experience once the saga has concluded.

* A reminder from Chuck Saletta at the Daily Finance’s THE TAX CENTER – “This Is Your Last Chance to Avoid a Tax Penalty for 2013”.

I talk about a way to avoid the underpayment penalty in my MAINSTREET.COM article “Year-End Tax Essentials: News You Need to Use”.

* Jason Dinesen continues to inform on the same-sex marriage issue at DINESEN TAX TIMES.  His latest update is “North Dakota Taxes, Same-Sex Marriage, And a Really Bizarre Twist”.

The North Dakota Attorney General issued an ‘advisory opinion’ on Thursday that, while not specifically addressing taxes, makes it clear that North Dakota will not under any circumstances recognize a same-sex marriage.”

What is the “bizarre twist”?  Read the post to find out.

 * Tax Mama Eva Rosenberg (again I ask, it there a Tax Papa?) answers the question “When Do I Pay the Taxes on Interest Earned from Savings Bonds?” at EQUIFAX.COM.

When it comes to state income taxes the answer is “never”.

* The National Society of Accountants (the “other” NSA) has announced “Senate Finance Committee Approves New IRS Commissioner Nomination” -

The Senate Finance Committee has approved the nomination of John Koskinen as the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service after a hearing this past Tuesday. The nomination will move on to the Senate where it could be considered as early as next week. President Obama nominated Koskinen, former chairman and CEO Freddie Mac in August 2013.”

I already have a letter suggesting what the IRS should do about the RTRP (when the appeal of Loving v IRS is denied) ready to go once he is confirmed.

He was confirmed by the Senate yesterday - and this morning I mailed my letter.
* William Gale discusses a few of the highlights of “The Year in Taxes: From the Fiscal Cliff to Tax Reform Talks” at TAX VOX, the blog of the Tax Policy Center.

He ends the post with a warning –

But the sorry state of tax reform can probably best be summed up by a small business owner who attended the New Jersey stop of a listening tour that the two chairmen held last summer. She urged the two leaders to ‘get rid of the deductions that don’t affect me’. As long as that attitude prevails, meaningful tax reform will not happen.


There will be no Nativity Scene in Washington DC this year. 

This isn’t for any religious reason.  They simply have not been able to find three wise men in Washington. 

They had no problem, however, finding enough asses to fill the stable.


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