Tax Roundup, 11/16/2012: Yes, failure is an option. And lawyers!

November 16th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

If disaster is on the menu, we have elected the right cooks.  From Tax Analysts ($link):

Failing to pass an alternative minimum tax patch during the lame-duck session of Congress would be a “real recipe for disaster” resulting in delayed processing of tax returns and economic harm, a former IRS official said November 14.

Clarissa Potter, a former IRS deputy chief counsel (technical) and former acting chief counsel who is now with American International Group Inc., said that because the IRS has programmed its computers under the assumption that the AMT patch and related tax credit ordering rules would be enacted before the filing season begins in January, failure to pass those provisions would force the IRS to reprogram its computers and delay the processing of tax returns until the end of March “at the earliest.”

With our political class, disaster is always an option!

 

What the fiscal cliff looks like from the back side of the electionMy new post at IowaBiz.com, the Des Moines Business Record blog for entrepreneurs.

Patrick Temple-West,   Obama’s “new ideas” likely well-worn tax proposals, and more  (Tax Break)

Joseph Thorndike, Is There a Tax Reform Consensus? (Tax.com)

Donald Marron,  Understanding President Obama’s Revenue Targets (TaxVox):

As rough justice, therefore, you can think of the president’s $1.6 trillion target as being almost entirely composed of his proposed tax increases on high-income households: $968 billion + $584 billion = $1.552 trillion. That ignores dozens of his other proposals, of course, but gives a good sense of what’s in his overall revenue aspiration.

Which shows it’s all just playacting, because the rich guy doesn’t have enough money to pick up the tab.

Nor does gloating.  Sore-Losing Doesn’t Bode Well for Well-Considered Policy Choices on Taxes… (Linda Beale).

 

Jason Dinesen,  That E-mail From the IRS Isn’t Really From the IRS :

The IRS never, ever sends e-mails to taxpayers. If you get an e-mail from the IRS … the IRS didn’t send it. It’s a phishing scam. 

Paul Neiffer,   Farm Lending Rose at Fastest Pace in Five Years

TaxGrrrl,   New Taxes Boost Cost of Nutella As French Take Measures to Avoid Getting Fat.  Not eating it works better than taxing it.

Joseph Henchman,   Colorado Debates Marijuana Tax; Would Be First Genuine Revenue-Raising Tax on Illegal Drug.  Until Congress repeals Internal Revenue Code Section 280E, which prohibits deductions connected with selling marijuana and other mostly illegal drugs, tax ruin awaits those who tries to sell legal pot in Colorado.

Presumably without the aid of marijuana, Robert D. Flach has a new Buzz!

 

Lawyers, Lawyers, Lawyers!   Starting with Jim Maule,  When Tax Meets the Demands of Law Practice.  Wherein a lawyer bungles his own tax case.

It was a rough day for lawyers yesterday down south.  From Cincinnati.com:

A federal judge has sentenced longtime Northern Kentucky lawyer Meredith “Larry” Lawrence to two years and three months in prison Thursday for failing to report income from various sources – including Racers Gentleman’s Club in Sparta.

No, he didn’t perform at the club; he owned it.  U.S. Attorney Elaine Leonard argued for a longer sentence:

“The evidence at trial also established that the defendant’s conduct went well beyond merely submitting false income tax returns,” Leonhard said. “Simply put, skimming cash was the defendant’s business model, a model he adopted in every business venture he pursued, whether it was his law practice, his strip club, or his role as a landlord.”

Leonhard described how fees collected from women who stripped at the club would be stuffed into a white envelope and delivered to Lawrence once a week. Strippers were independent contractors required to pay house fees to dance at the club. The strippers also had to pay a parking fee.

Some of the unreported income was money diverted from a special escrow account for lawyers, called an IOLTA account.

 

Meanwhile in Tennessee, Knoxews.com reports:

A former Knoxville lawyer has been convicted in federal court of income tax evasion.

John Threadgill, 69, faces sentencing March 14 before U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips. He faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

A jury returned the verdict Wednesday after a five-day trial.

He was charged with deducting personal expenses, including a $69,000 wedding.  I hope the couple appreciates it.

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