Just links today, but good links!
Kay Bell, Look out for smishing tax identity thieves:
Smishing is the text messaging cousin of phishing. It gets its name from the Short Message Service (SMS) systems used for texting; sometimes it’s written as SMiShing.
Like fake phishing emailers, smishers try to get you to reveal personal financial data.
They try to get the info directly by pretending to be someone else, say your bank or tax accountant or even an official tax agent. Or they tell you to click on a URL that will load malware onto your smartphone or tablet with which the crooks can then access the info on your device.
Be careful out there.
Robert Wood, Remember IRS Stonewalling When Filing Your Taxes:
At a hearing Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, noted a letter that Mr. Koskinen sent the Senate Finance Committee saying the IRS had handed over everything. Curiously, the letter didn’t even mention that the former Exempt Organizations chief Lois Lerner’s emails had been lost. Mr. Koskinen defended his actions: “Absolutely not. We waited six weeks to tell while trying to find as many of the emails as we could. We gave you all of Ms. Lerner’s emails we had. We couldn’t make up Lois Lerner emails we didn’t have.”
Of course, it took the Inspector General to find the emails, proving they weren’t destroyed. Yet there, too, Mr. Koskinen remained defiant. The IRS chief took criticism from Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., about a recent TIGTA report showing that the IRS re-hired poor performing employees. Some were guilty of misconduct, even tax delinquency. Koskinen deflected responsibility and said they were just seasonal or temporary workers.
It is another disappointment in the long and sordid story of the Lerner e-mail information.
And Commissioner Koskinen tells us that there is nothing wrong with his agency that giving him more money won’t fix.
What, no checkoff to fund the Department of Revenue? Chickadee Checkoff benefits wildlife in Iowa (Radio Iowa) and Iowa fair encourages donations at tax time (Hamburg Reporter) Iowans can voluntarily increase their income tax to three government programs. Wouldn’t it be fun if all government programs worked that way? More here.
TaxGrrrl, Filing Your Tax Return In 2015? You Might Want To Leave Those Medical Receipts At Home. “Hitting 10% of your AGI in medical expenses is a steep hill to climb.”
Janet Novack, American Tax Informant Going To Paris To Sing About Swiss Bank UBS. Road trip for Brad Birkenfeld.
Peter Reilly, Good Execution Protects Sellers From IRS Transferee Liability. “I think this will be Reilly’s Fourth Law. It goes ‘Execution isn’t everything, but it is a lot’.”
Keith Fogg, Expanding Ex Parte (Procedurally Taxing). “The ex parte rules seek to insulate Appeals from other parts of the IRS that might taint their opinion by providing insights about a taxpayer that the taxpayer has no ability to counter.”
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 650
Clint Stretch, Tax Policy Is Really About Our Grandchildren (Tax Analysts Blog):
Every vendor says that its tool, finish, or accessory is the best. Similarly, every advocate for a tax incentive says it will increase jobs and GDP. Few of the claims in either set are true.
At least a vendor’s claim can be true.
David Brunori, Goodlatte’s Idea Is No Good (Tax Analysts Blog):
Under Goodlatte’s plan, a vendor in a no-tax state like New Hampshire would either collect tax at a minimum rate and forward it to the clearinghouse or forward details regarding sales to nonresidents to the clearinghouse, which in turn would forward it to the destination state and take steps to collect. Again, New Hampshire decides not to tax sales, but the Goodlatte plan would require its vendors to collect tax for other states.
I’m sure that would be popular with the no-tax state’s voters.
Career Corner. #BusySeasonProblems: Avoiding Scurvy (Adrienne Gonzalez, Going Concern). I hope they add vitamin C to Girl Scout Cookies.