Posts Tagged ‘Tax Grrrl’

Tax Roundup, 9/9/2013: One week to deadline edition.

Monday, September 9th, 2013 by Joe Kristan

20130104-1Friendly reminder: it’s a week until the due date for extended corporation, trust and partnership returns.  File late and it’s a penalty of $195 for each K-1 on the late return.  That can add up in a hurry.

Because of the deadline, and because I spent too much time on a long-form piece that will go up later this morning about Iowa’s economic development follies, this roundup is abbreviated.


TaxProf, Sullivan: Political Reality Blocks Radical Tax Reform in North Carolina Tax changes cause U.S. expats to give up citizenship

Delaware online,  NJ man gets 8 years in tax fraud scheme:

Gary Crawford Jr., 42, of Bridgeton, also known as Gary Taxes, was also order to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the U.S. Treasury and faces three years supervision following his prison release.

The tax fraud scheme was discovered in 2009 when the Internal Revenue Service’s Fraud Detection Center flagged a large number of fraudulent electronically filed income tax returns for the year 2008 seeking First Time Home Buyer Credits, said Kimberlynn Reeves, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware.

Refundable tax credit fraud?  What a surprise.


TaxGrrrl,  Back To School: Save Thousands Of Dollars With Education Tax Credits 

Tony Nitti, The NFL Is Back: The Tax Consequences of Sports Gambling 

Jana Luttenegger,  Is This the End of Automatic Gratuities? (Davis Brown Tax Law Blog)

Kay Bell, More Americans are paying federal income taxes

Trish McIntire, 43% – Not What Many People Think


Tax Justice Blog, Payroll Tax Loophole Used by John Edwards and Newt Gingrich Remains Unaddressed by Congress.  But not by me!

Alan Cole, Bruce Bartlett on Imputed Rent (Tax Policy Blog)


TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 123

Russ Fox,  Did IRS Give Black Nonprofits Preferential Treatment?

Jack Townsend,  The Ripple Effects of the IRS Offshore Account Initiative – Turks & Caicos


The Critical Question: Is IRS Targeting Magic The Gathering ?   (Peter Reilly)

Robert D. Flach,  WHAT A CROCK

Setting the bar too low.  The IRS Apprentice Video Is Still Better Than Anything Donald Trump Has Ever Done (Going Concern)



Tax Roundup, 11/8/2012: Denison Day! And some things to look forward to.

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 by Joe Kristan

The Tax Update is on the road in beautiful Denison, Iowa, birthplace of Donna Reed!


I’m speaking at the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation Farm and Urban Tax School.  There’s still time to register for the remaining five sessions!


“‘There are a lot of sales right now,’ explains Steve Bruere, president of Peoples Co. in West Des Moines.”  From

“I see a drop off (in the number of sales) after the first of the year.”’s one logical response to the looming increase in capital gain rates. 

With potential sellers concerned they may have to pay a 20 percent capital gains tax rate instead of 15 percent, and with many of them questioning what other tax changes may be coming, there has been a push to sell now.

The logic says if you were seriously considering a land sale, you would make sure it happened before the end of the year, Bruere says.

Actually, the rate will probably be 23.8%, including the new Obamacare tax on investment income.

More to look forward to:  “The IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division plans to increase its audit activity for passthrough entities beginning in 2014, SB/SE Commissioner Faris Fink said November 7,”  reports Tax Analysts ($link).  But if you operate a C corporation, don’t be smug:

SB/SE is planning a one-year National Research Program project to study areas of noncompliance. Under the project, the division will examine 2,500 returns from corporations with assets of less than $250,000, Fink said.

Something to look forward to, like a colonoscopy appointment.


The Election is over. Now what?

TaxProf, Boehner Would Accept ‘New Revenue’ Under ’Right Conditions’

Going Concern, Hold the Phone, John Boehner Didn’t Say Anything About Taxes Going Up

 Martin Sullivan,   Wanna-Be Tax Reformers Need a Dose of Reality (

Daniel Shaviro,  Boehner on the possible terms for a fiscal cliff deal

Kay Bell,  Investors sell stock ahead of fiscal cliff, plus locking in 15 percent capital gains

Patrick Temple-West,  How far can Obama push on key issues including tax increases, and more

Anthony  Nitti,  With The Election Over, We Can Finally Do Some Meaningful Tax Planning. Six Year-End Steps To Consider.  #6 is bold planning indeed.


In other news… 


William Perez,  New Jersey Tax Relief for Hurricane Sandy

Linda Beale,  Tax Relief for Victims of Sandy

Richard Morrison,   Chart of the Day: Can Taxing Millionaires Eliminate the Deficit?  (No).

Brian Strahle,  How Virginia Based Companies Can Reduce Their State Income Tax Liability

TaxGrrrl, IRS Commissioner Says Public Goodbye After Election 2012

Jack Townsend,  Commissioner’s Swan Song – Excerpts on Offshore Bank Initiatives


Tomorrow is Doug Shulman’s last day as IRS Commissioner.  So how is the fight against tax refund fraud going?

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor went public with her irritation at the slow pace of the investigation into a piece of the tax fraud scourge spreading among street criminals. Authorities say hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus income tax returns have been processed from the Tampa area alone.

“We have an individual that we know did in the ballpark of $9 million in tax fraud,” Castor said in February. “He was arrested and charged in September. And there’s no reason for us to believe that he’s slowed down at all.”

In March, Tampa Police Detective Sal Augeri testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee in Washington about tax refund fraud and described the Simmons case without naming him.

“We have no reason to believe he has stopped committing this crime,” Augeri said then.

Russell B. Simmons, the man referred to above, pleaded guilty this week to tax fraud. He has to give up ill-gotten goods, including “… a $60,000 Bentley coupe and diamond jewelry that included a $30,000, 18-karat gold Rolex watch with a diamond dial; a 14-karat gold men’s bracelet with 2,420 diamonds; a 14-karat chain and “RS” pendant with 703 diamonds; and a 14-karat ring with 110 diamonds.

Every day the IRS let the identity thief continue to operate, he created new little nightmares, like those experienced by Jason Dinesen’s client, for the innocent taxpayers whose identities he stole.  Meanwhile, Commissioner Shulman was focusing IRS resources on creating a big, expensive and futile preparer regulation bureaucracy.  A man has to have priorities, after all.


Tallest Midget Watch

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 by Joe Kristan

There seems to be a ranking for everything. Even Tax Blogs (via Robert D. Flach). Their composite ranking puts the Tax Update at #6, just behind the TaxProf.
1. Consumerism Commentary
2. Tax Policy Center: The Numbers
3. TaxGirl
4. California Tax Attorney Blog
5. TaxProf Blog
6. Tax Update
Whatever the formula is, it needs work. In real life, the rankings go something like this:
1. The Tax Prof
2 – Everyone else.
But in the meantime, we’re number 6!


Whither preparer licensing?

Friday, June 19th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

Everybody’s talking about licensing tax preparers. My rant the other day against licensing drew two long and thoughtful responses in the comments, and other tax blogs are pitching in.
TaxGrrrl seems to be in my corner:

Therein is the problem: will certification actually improve tax compliance and reduce fraud?
Even if it would, how could the IRS possibly regulate the industry? In 2007, there were nearly 138 million individual federal income tax returns filed. Sixty-one percent of those individual federal income tax returns


Signal fades on IRS review of employee cell phone tax

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

20081230-2.JPGAs we noted in an update yesterday, the IRS has backed away from its review of the taxation of employer-provided cell phones. Instead they will ask Congress to repeal the Stone-a-Phone era rules that treat cell phones as a taxable perk like company cars.
Check out the TaxProf, Tax Grrrl and Kay Bell for the details.


Cell phone kerfuffle heats up

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

The IRS request for comments on taxing employee cell phones has stirred up a hornets nest. The IRS said they were looking at three ways to deal with employee use of cell phones:
– a) Treat all employee cell-phone use as business use (so no amount has to go on the employee W-2)
– b) Treat 75% of use as business use; or
– c) Require statistical sampling of business use.
Most commentary zeroes in on the second alternative – taxing 25% of use as personal use to the employee. The Wall Street Journal says:

The IRS believes that some percentage of the costs incurred by employees using company-provided wireless devices should count as a “fringe benefit” and thus be subject to taxation. Since workers inevitably end up taking personal calls or emails, the thinking goes, it’s only fair that they pay for the privilege. What’s next? Maybe a per-cup tax on office coffee, or targeting furtive visits to ESPN or Hulu on the office PC? As one wag put it on the Journal’s Web site, “It’s like charging for the use of the company washroom.”

Tax Grrrl is annoyed:


Used car sales tax break works even if your state has no sales tax.

Thursday, June 11th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

Tax Grrrl has the scoop.


A deduction to avoid an exemption?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

TaxGrrrl covers the deductibility of birth control costs.


Sinking in the West

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 by Joe Kristan

California voters have decided that they don’t care to pay more taxes to bail out their feckless politicians. How feckless? This feckless:
It’s not surprising that Californians feel a bit overtaxed:
Source: The Tax Foundation
Will it get any better? The TaxGrrrl thinks not:

Cuts are inevitable now. So are higher taxes. Just months after California cut billions in spending, raised the state sales tax by a penny, borrowed and yes, begged, from the federal government, the state is expected to once again raise taxes. This time, income taxes are the likely target.

Californian Russ Fox thinks the voters who rejected their tax increases meant what they said:
Voters told Sacramento in no uncertain words it’s time to cut programs, and spend only the money you have. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats in control of both houses of California’s legislature get the message.

Expect variants of the “Washington Monument Ploy,” named after the trick of shutting down the most visible and popular programs to shelter the less visible wasteful spending. Look for Charles Manson to be put up for work release.
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Soda Jerk Poll

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

Senator Harkin, who has grown wealthy on his public servant salary because of the lucrative work people just coincidentally give to his wife, thinks a junk food tax is just a swell idea.
Of course, we know why wealthy congresscritters are cool with higher taxes — they have no intention of paying them.
Ramona Cunningham and Senator Tom Harkin at the dedication of the $1 million CIETC Tom Harkin Learning Center. Photo copied from CIETC website before it disappeared.

TaxGrrrl is running an online poll on junk food taxes, so go and vote.


Soda Jerks

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

20090513-1.JPGThe Wall Street Journal reports that some congresscritters are actually considering a tax on soft drinks, because they’re bad for us and we’re too stupid to know that without their help.
It is time for a tax on things that are much worse for us than pop. Let’s start with a 100% tax on income paid to congressional spouses, boyfriends, and relatives by taxpayers with an interest in federal legislation. Congressional gifts to favored businesses, and Barney Frank’s lover’s gift of no oversight to Freddie Mac, are much worse for us than soda pop.
More from TaxGrrrl and Peter Pappas.


Missed April 15? Don’t wait until next year

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

I reader asks TaxGrrrl whether she should just wait until next April to file 2008 tax returns, now that she has missed the April 15 deadline. The wise response:



Free advice: before asking for money, lose the Bentley

Friday, April 24th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

The Charlotte minister indicted for tax evasion is asking for financial help in fighting the charges.
Before donating to this doubtlessly worthy cause, it’s worth considering whether the man of the cloth should perhaps tap some other potential sources of cash, as TaxGrrrl reports:

The indictment lists ownership in a BMW 530i, a Mercedes-Benz S550V, five (yes, five) Lexus vehicles, a Bentley GT and a Maybach 57 (worth $250,000). Leases during that same time included a Cadillac, an Acura, a Volkswagen, a Maxima, a Durango, a Neon and a Toyota. No doubt the Neon boasted a


I wish they all could be California grrrls

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 by Joe Kristan

The TaxGrrrl has reached California in her tour of state tax systems. It’s sobering reading:
– A 2008 top rate of 10.3%, with no deduction for federal taxes (and scheduled to go up more).
– A statewide sales tax rate of 7.25% — higher in many areas.
– The highest gas tax in the country – 45.5 cents per gallon.
TaxGrrrl will be “twitterviewed” at 3:00 p.m. Central time today at @22Twts.


Spiders and snakes!

Friday, April 3rd, 2009 by Joe Kristan

You can bring too much information to your tax preparer:

If you must bring me a bag, box or crate into which you have dumped your documents, please dump them all out before your visit, wipe out the inside of the container, them put them back in one by one, making sure there are no dead spiders or rodents (or pieces thereof) attached. Live ones are worse so please check for those as well.

I’m perfectly willing to accept certain dead animal parts, provided they are in the form of good steak (rib-eyes, especially) and are properly wrapped and refrigerated.
Via TaxGrrrl.


Supporting the Arts in New York

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 by Joe Kristan

Politicians love special tax exemptions for worthy causes. New York, for example, has a special sales tax exemption for “dramatic arts” performances. Unintended consequences follow, reports TaxGrrrl:

Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett has ruled that the eloquently named Nite Moves, a strip club in Albany, NY qualifies for the


March Madness: surely you’re paying your taxes on your winnings?

Monday, March 30th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

It’s a problem I’m not likely to face, but because somebody has to win these NCAA pools, somebody will have some taxable winnings. And yes, the winnings are taxable, even if you don’t get a 1099.
Will you winners report yours? Tax Grrrl is conducting a poll. So far it doesn’t look like the NCAA tournament is going to do much to close the budget deficit.


How do you report a single-member LLC with an S corporation election?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

The TaxGrrrl has the answer.


When you have a tough problem to solve, hire somebody who works cheap.

Friday, February 6th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

BenefitsBlog has the latest on price controls for executives of companies taking money from Uncle Sugar. Of course when you are trying to keep a multi-billion dollar financial institution off the rocks, you don’t want to pay much.
Price controls always backfire, but this may have an unintended benefit: it will finally give corporations a good reason not to take government money. Heck, lower the comp limit from $500,000 to $1.98 then.
TaxGrrrl has more.


Interest deduction for car buyers?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

Like every stimulus bill, the current one promises to stimulate the tax preparation business. The Senate yesterday voted to add an above-the-line deduction for interest on loans to buy new cars.
Which only makes sense. The economic crisis was largely caused by reckless government-subsidized borrowing. Let’s do some more of that! Like so many other misguided tax subsidies, this would phase out at higher income levels, adding still more complexity to the tax law. But it will be just the ticket to enable some buyers to move up to a Lexis from a Toyota, which is what this country really needs.
To his credit, Senator Grassley opposed the bill. The TaxGrrrl has some more thoughts.