Accounting Today visitors, click here to go to the YMCA story.
It’s time. The extended return deadline is Thursday, October 15, and no more extensions are available (unless, perhaps, you are in South Carolina, drying out from the floods, or you are in an overseas combat zone).
Haven’t filed yet? Haven’t even started? Russ Fox has some thoughts for you:
Somewhere, there’s a procrastinator wondering that exact question. He’s likely thinking, “I don’t have to do anything; I have until October 15th!” That’s not a good answer (with one exception ).
First, most tax professionals will not be able to fit you in. I took in one new client appointment this week—and he’s filling a cancellation. Determine your income, gather all your documents, and do your best. Tax forms are available online (the IRS website is actually quite good). Commercial tax software, though flawed , is a good choice at this point in time.
That makes sense. You really shouldn’t file late. It’s habit-forming, and it’s a bad habit. If you have a refund coming, you will probably lose it if you don’t file in two years — and without a due date deadline, that happens a lot. If you don’t file, you can’t get a 2016 ACA advance premium credit, making you out-of-pocket for the whole thing until you file your 2016 tax return, assuming you get around to that one.
Russ has another comment worth noting:
I disagree with fellow tax professional Robert Flach on his description that all tax software is fatally flawed. For individuals in simple situation it works perfectly. It doesn’t make math mistakes. And it usually allows for seamless electronic filing. I agree with Robert that the ability to look at a return and evaluate what’s on it (does it pass the smell test) is vital but when you’re up against a deadline, you don’t have a choice.
While I am in awe of Robert’s practice of doing his returns by hand, I don’t recommend it for anyone else. While software, like any human endeavor, is “flawed,” it’s much less flawed than a do-it-yourself tax filer without software. Tax software prevents a lot more mistakes than it causes.
Speaking of Robert Flach, it’s Tuesday, so he has fresh Buzz! His artisanal mind wanders from the size of the tax law, charity scams, and maintaining small business records. Presumably posted with flawed software!
Mike Ralston, Manufacturers shouldn’t be taxed twice. The President of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, and former director of the Iowa Department of Revenue, defends the new proposed rules broadening the definition of “manufacturing supplies” exempt from sales tax: “To the best of my knowledge, no one inside the Statehouse has argued that the proposed rule is bad policy.” David Brunori is quoted.
Tulsa World, Doug Pielsticker: Sentence more than justified. “Laid-off employees blamed the company’s bankruptcy partly on Pielsticker’s lavish lifestyle, which included a $1.3 million mansion, a Bentley and a wedding with 1,000 guests at Philbrook Museum.” We covered the sentencing yesterday.
John Mickelson, Importance of succession planning for privately held businesses (IowaBiz.com).
Keith Fogg, The Right Instincts and the Wrong Decision Leads to No Relief as an Innocent Spouse – An Adam and Eve Story (Procedurally Taxing) “Reading the opinion, I realized that I had watched the trial with my students and we had analyzed it in class reaching the same conclusion as Judge Lauber but still feeling sad for the individual who sought relief.”
Peter Reilly, Volkswagen’s Emissiongate May Include Tax Crimes
Jack Townsend, Schumacher, UBS Banker Enabler, Sentenced to Probation Only and Fine. Once again, slapping the real international financial criminals on the wrist while shooting the jaywalkers.
William Perez, Changes in Tax Deadlines to Take Effect in 2017 (Plus Deadlines for 2015 and 2016). There’s a big one this week.
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 887. Today’s installment features some guy who think the IRS isn’t meddling in politics enough.
Scott Greenberg, Bobby Jindal’s Tax Plan Would End the Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Exclusion (Tax Policy Blog):
Some of the features of Bobby Jindal’s recently released tax plan – fewer tax brackets, ending the estate tax, and eliminating itemized deductions – should be familiar from other Republican candidates’ tax plans. But a few elements of Jindal’s plan stand out from the rest of the field. Specifically, Jindal would significantly change the tax treatment of employer-sponsored health insurance plans.
It would replace the employer exclusion for health care with a “standard deduction” for insurance costs.
Bob McIntyre, We (Don’t) Need to Talk about Bobby Jindal (Tax Justice Blog). We don’t like him. We’ll pretend he’s not there.
Renu Zaretsky, A Speaker, A Speaker, Their Kingdom for a Speaker. Today’s TaxVox headline roundup covers the House Speaker situation, Hockey free agents, and the upcoming Democratic candidate debate.
Career Corner. The Rise of the Lifestyle Accountant (Chris Hooper, Going Concern).