Tax Roundup, 2/5/2013: Iowa conformity bill clears Senate. Also: the uses of GPS navigation!

February 5th, 2013 by Joe Kristan

20130117-1The Iowa Senate approved the Iowa tax code conformity bill, SF 106, yesterday.  The bill was approved 48-0, which is a good sign that it will pass quickly — enabling Iowans to get on with filing their 2012 business returns.

The bill updates Iowa’s income tax for the Fiscal Cliff tax bill changes passed last month by Congress.    Key items updated to match federal rules include:

- Conforming with the $500,000 federal Section 179 deduction limit for 2012 and 2013.

- Allowing the optional deduction for state and local sales taxes for 2012 and 2013.

- Conforming to federal research credit rule changes

- Continuing the IRA charitable distribution exclusion

- Adopting the federal “above the line” deductions for college tuition and for out-of-pocket expenses of educators.

The bill does not adopt federal bonus depreciation for 2012 and 2013.  The bill does not show up yet on the calendars for the House Ways and Means Committee or for House floor debate, so it may not get to the Governor this week.  Update, 9:00 am: An e-mail from the House floor manager for the bill says the House may take it up as soon as tomorrow.

 

More boffo reviews for the shutdown of the IRS preparer regulation program! 

The Weekly Standard raves:

It’s hard to choose just one IRS knee-slapper, but here goes. The agency insists IJ’s “suggestion that the return preparer program is the product of a tainted lobbying effort is belied by support for the program from the Taxpayer Advocate, the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee, numerous consumer advocacy groups, and comments from individual practitioners.”
The ETAAC is an IRS-administered panel whose members include lawyers and CPAs—who weren’t subject to the regulations—and people with connections to H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, big businesses happy to help the government force the little guys out of the industry.

Protecting the taxpayers has never been the point.

The Wall Street Journal weighs in:

Rather than continuing to fight in court, the agency would do better to cashier the rules on legal and economic grounds. They are a classic example of big business harnessing government power to aid the powerful at the expense of small-business competitors. Meantime, won’t someone in Congress tell the IRS to stop exceeding its legal authority?

Sadly, no.

Meanwhile, the IRS has re-opened its PTIN registration system. It appears the IRS will still charge for them, though it’s not clear why anymore.

 

Nick Kasprak, Weekly Map: Sources of State and Local Tax Revenue: Sales, Excise, and Gross Receipts Tax:

20130205-1

 

Leave Gennifer Flowers Alone!  Clinton woman pleads guilty to false tax returns.  Clinton, Iowa, that is.  From the Clinton Herald:

Regina Jimenez, 60, of Clinton pleaded guilty to two counts of filing
false tax returns. She faces up to three years of prison, a fine of up
to $1 million and costs of prosecution on each count.

According to court documents, Jimenez operated AA Accounting & Tax
Services, Inc. in Clinton from approximately 2007 through 2011. Jimenez
used the business to facilitate the theft of more than $200,000 from a
client who believed that Jimenez would use the money to pay the client’s
taxes.

There’s never a good reason to have your tax preparer pay your income taxes for you.  If your preparer tries to get cash from you “to give to the IRS,” ask many questions.

 

Paul Neiffer, Hedging Versus Speculation:

Remember, if the farmer purchases a corn call option as part of this hedging strategy, this no longer qualifies as a hedge (even though is a normal strategy of selling actuals and buying the “board”, for tax purposes, it is not a hedge)  and is considered speculation.  In many cases, the tax treatment can be harsh since if the option produces income, the IRS will treat it as ordinary and if it produces a loss, it will be considered a capital loss (the worst of both).

 

Because partnership tax isn’t screwed up enough?    Why the IRS Should be Taxing the Profits of Private Equity Funds as Ordinary Income (Steven Rosenthal, TaxVox).

Robert D. Flach, tax man of La Mancha New Jersey Pennsylvania, chases his favorite windmill: BEFORE I GO – MY “CRUSADE”

Windmills everywhere!  Carl Levin Continues to Play the Role of Don Quixote (Jeremy Scott, Tax.com)

Patrick Temple-West,  Democrats target corporate tax breaks, and more

TaxGrrrl, Guess What Turned 100 This Weekend?

Kay Bell,  Happy 100th birthday federal income tax

Brian Strahle,  The Maryland Wynne Case is Decided, Will The State Appeal Further?  A possible refund for Maryland residents with taxes in other states.

Brian Mahany,  OVDI – It’s Not Just For Unreported Foreign Accounts

 

Why you should spring for a good GPS unit.  You might get lost otherwise, like a star-crossed couple in my home town of West Des Moines.  The Des Moines Register reports:

The incident occurred at about 2:12 a.m. Friday, when a car pulled into a police station driveway at 250 Mills Civic Parkway marked for “Authorized Personnel,” according to a police report.

Police said the car passed two patrol cars and drove up a private drive before turning around when it reached a garage. An officer in one of the patrol cars then turned on his top lights and stopped the car.

The driver told officers they were trying get to Beach Girls, an adult entertainment venue at 6220 Raccoon River Dr., West Des Moines, according to the report.

The two officers reported that both the driver and passenger had bloodshot, watery eyes and that the vehicle smelled of marijuana.

If they mistook the West Des Moines cop shop for a strip club, either they already had enough fun for the night, or strip joints have changed a lot since my bachelor days.

 

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