Friday, April 15, 2011

Why you should hire a tax professional

Because time = money...........

When Barack Obama was running for president, he promised voters a simpler tax code. "When I'm president," he said, "we'll put in place a system where 40 million Americans . .. can do their taxes in less than five minutes."

But President Obama hasn't made good on that promise. Not only is there no five-minute tax form, but since he took office the byzantine tax code has grown increasingly complex. This year, it will take the average taxpayer 23 hours just to fill out form 1040 — up from 21 hours last year, according to the IRS. It now takes seven hours to fill out the so-called 1040 EZ.

Tax complexity isn't merely a hassle for taxpayers, it's a huge drag on the economy. It takes more than 6 billion hours — or $163 billion a year — for companies and individuals to figure out what they owe, the IRS says. And the Government Accountability Office estimates that the distortions and inefficiencies created by the complex tax code cause up to $733 billion in "deadweight losses." Together, these costs equal 6% of GDP.

In all honesty, most years most of my new clients comes from the big name national tax guys. This year, I seemed to have a lot of former Turbo Tax users who screwed up their own returns.

One of those clients doubled her mortgage interest deduction from 21,000 to 42k. The penalty alone was $1800.

So spend a few bucks and tale care of your local tax practitioner.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life in "Progress" City - Seattle edition

Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.

"At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that," Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about "their abstract behavior rules."

"I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay," Jessica explained. "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs."

Rather than question the decision, Jessica opted to "roll with it." But the third graders had other ideas.

"When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, 'Oh look, spring spheres' and all the kids were like 'Wow, Easter eggs.' So they knew," Jessica said.

The Seattle elementary school isn't the only government organization using spring over Easter. The city's parks department has removed Easter from all of its advertised egg hunts.


Who did they vote for?

Meet 18,460 dead people still on Ohio's voting rolls..........

Ohio's top elections official says it appears that thousands of voters considered "active" are anything but.

Secretary of State Jon Husted says a report has found nearly 18,500 dead people on the state's voter rolls. Records of registered voters were cross-checked with a list of deceased Ohioans maintained by the state Health Department.

The secretary is asking county elections boards to purge those who are deceased from the statewide voter database.

During the 2008 election, who carried the Ohio dead voter demographic. McCain or Obama?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Obama's greatest hits

Hey Obama, do I pay enough?

I'm a little cranky.

I just finished my 3rd straight 14 hour day. I haven't had a day off since mid January.

Nonetheless, I was looking at some numbers for this tax season and I have to be somewhat happy.

I'm probably going to gross an extra $10,000 this tax season for my hard work. Out of that $10,000 I'll have an extra $5,000 in payroll and approximately $1,000 in incremental supplies, utilities, etc.

I don't have a problem doling out $6,000 for an extra $4,000 because I couldn't do it without all those resources.

But wait. I'm not done. See I still need to share that remaining $4,000 with significant others.

I'm in the 28% tax bracket (if you know your tax brackets you'll be able to roughly figure out how much I make). So the feds will get $1,120 for my efforts.

I have to kick in another 15.3 percent for self employment tax. Of course, you could say that this is simply my money that I'll get back in social security and/or medicare benefits. But if I die tomorrow that money doesn't come back to me at all; the feds get to keep it.

Of course, I can't forget Governor Kasich. He gets 5%.

And, of course, my little slice of "Redville" where I earn this money, gets 1% in city income tax and the city where I sleep at night gets yet another .5%.

If you do the math, all those taxes come to just under 50%. That leaves me with roughly $2,000 for my fucking hard work and effort. And exactly what does any of these government jackoffs do to help me produce that extra income?

To date, Obama hasn't dropped off a pizza to my office. Governor Kasich hasn't delivered any paper or answered the phone for me. In fact, these clowns just make it more and more difficult for me to earn even more money.

So if you've been feeling a little depressed lately and you're considering ending it all. Come to Cindy's friendly Tavern Friday night and tell me I don't pay enough in taxes and we'll just call it suicide by accountant.

It's for the children

So the California Federation of teachers get together for a weekend to discuss how to improve education for the children.

It's been a couple of days since I read this but exactly how does this help the cause for teachers and/or the education profession in general........

Convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal is finding some support in an unusual place – at the California Federation of Teachers Convention.

Last month, delegates there passed a resolution to reaffirm their support for Mumia.

Of course, the former member of the Black Panthers who was found guilty of murdering Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner around 13th and Locust streets back in 1981.

There used to be the saying that those who can; do
Those who can't; teach
Those who can't teach; teach phys ed.

Now we can add

Those who can't teach; run the CFT.


Life in "Redville" Sandy Springs edition

Here's what you get when conservatives (not to be confused with republicans) run an area........

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's tax those Roth's

Last year, taxpayer's had the ability to rollover their traditional IRA's into Roth IRA's and spread the taxes over a two year period.

Now for those non tax geeks out there, Traditional IRA's are deductible when you contribute but taxable when you pull the money out. Conversely, Roth's are not tax deductible but tax free on the back end.

For most of my clients, my advise has always been to take advantage of the tax breaks up front and not down the road. The risk of that strategy is that tax rates will probably be higher when we retire. However, in my thinking, higher rates should be more than offset by the taxpayer being in lower tax brackets at retirement.

In addition, one of the things I pose to clients on the Roth's is that I fully expect the government to give up on that tax free some day. Inevitably, my client will say "they just can't begin taxing what's supposed to be tax free..... can they?"

Well, here it comes..................

The Roth IRA is something close to motherhood, baseball, and apple pie among America's middle class. Thus it's a rather novel sensation to see someone named Gerald Scorse, who seems to be a left-leaning tax activist, takes to the pages of the LA Times to excoriate them.

In a Roth, taxes are treated the other way around. There's no tax break on contributions. But from that point on, taxes simply vanish. As long as the account is at least 5 years old, there is no tax on any withdrawals made after age 59 1/2. There's no requirement that you make a minimum withdrawal -- after age 70 1/2, or ever.

All of which makes Roths a perfect "fiscal Frankenstein." In return for little more than ordinary upfront taxes, Congress waived untold billions in future Treasury receipts. Then, too, Roths could be a drag on the U.S. economy. Since no withdrawals are required, assets can lie idle indefinitely.

For Roth holders, the accounts become a permanent, federally sanctioned tax shelter. For America, they're a bit like toxic instruments on the nation's books. Worse, Congress has them on steroids, and President Obama wants to up the dosage.

The limit on annual Roth contributions has risen from $2,000 to $5,000. Persons over 50 can add another $1,000 to "catch up." That's a $6,000 per-year maximum, $12,000 for a married couple -- triple the original limits.

While this argument is rather novel, I doubt it will be unique. I'm less excited about Roth IRAs than most people who write about personal finance, and that's because over the years, I expect we're going to see a lot more op-eds like Scorse's. When I look at the budget problems we face, I'm skeptical that Congress is going to live up to its promise to keep its hands off that money. At the very least, I'd bet that high earners are going to see some sort of surtax on their Roth withdrawals.

Actually, what I see happening is that there will be a day when Congress says any earning before a certain day will be grandfathered but all earnings after that will be taxed just like traditional IRA's.

But a government would never renege on a promise now...... would they?


Scott Ritter's looking for a job at Plunderbund

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter's defense painted a picture of him as a respected family man and patriot on Tuesday, the first day of his trial in Monroe County Court on charges stemming from an online sex sting.

Ritter, 49, of Delmar, N.Y., is accused of masturbating on a Web camera and engaging in a sexually graphic online chat with an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old girl.

Maybe he was just born that way.


More stupidity from the the "smart" party

House Democrats, citing the continued rise in gasoline prices, are renewing their pressure on the White House to release oil from the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve — a step that President Obama hasn’t ruled out but hasn’t shown great appetite for either.

In a letter to Obama Tuesday, 17 Democrats — including Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who is a senior Energy and Commerce Committee member, and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who co-chairs the Democrats’ Steering and Policy Committee – say the continued unrest in the Middle East should prompt use of the strategic supply.

It’s the latest of several Democratic efforts in recent months to pressure the Obama administration into tapping the reserve.

The letter notes the connection between oil prices and prices at the pump.

No shit!

Now where do these bozo's believe that precious oil in the reserves comes from. The very place where we could get more if they would simply allow drilling in those areas.

But idiots like Markey, especially Markey, forbid the development of nuclear plants and oil drilling that would make such dumbass issues like taking oil from the reserves moot.

It's that time of year

For ding bat, rich "progressives" to come out and claim that they don't pay enough tax.

Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength--rich guys in favor of raising taxes on themselves and other wealthy people--say they are irritated over President Obama's failure to do just that.

Nor do they believe his latest announcement that he intends to try again, says Erica Payne, founder of the Agenda project and coordinator of the Patriotic Millionaires campaign.

The president, when a candidate in 2008, had recommended ending the Bush tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 a year. But he conceded that point when he signed into law in 2010 an agreement with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts two more years.

It's that concession that has disappointed and rankled Patriotic Millionaires, curdling their feelings. "The administration cut the deal they felt they needed to cut," shrugs Payne. "But we disagreed wholeheartedly. The president's quick and easy capitulation on an issue with such solid moral elements was disheartening."

These people make me sick. Like most liberals, they have no problem being "generous". But only when their neighbor makes the same sacrifice.

I see this all the time with school levies. Proponents are always quick to judge the generosity of those who reject school levies yet do you think any of them contributes money to the school outside of taxes. The amount of money these people kick in to schools outside of taxes wouldn't make my pant pocket bulge.

And it's the same with income taxes. In Massachusetts, taxpayer's have the option to pay a higher, older tax rates than the newer, lower rates. How's that working out?

Moonbats are cheap. And they prove it again every year at this time when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gives them the chance to personally raise their own income taxes.

Your average liberal would give an illegal alien the shirt off your back. Not his back, but your back. Just ask them. They sit in Starbucks and angrily blog about how AmeriKKKans who work don’t pay their “fair share.”

They harrumph, what about the children?

But you know what they say. Money talks, you-know-what walks.

So far this tax season, the state Department of Revenue has received 1,971,000 returns.

And of those 1.971 million filers, exactly 862 have checked the box to pay at the old, higher 5.85 percent rate rather than the current 5.3 percent rate.

Or how about Virginia's "pay more tax" surtax which has been in effect since 2002. How much has that generated?

Virginia coffers hold $1,500 of taxpayer generosity this year.

As disputes rage in Richmond over proposed fees to balance the troubled state budget, some citizens want to send even more than they have to into a fund that collects voluntary giving to the state.

But not many.

Contributions to the “Tax Me More Fund” have hovered between $1,000 and $1,700 most years ever since lawmakers created it in 2002, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation. Exceptions include the fund’s first year, when taxpayers contributed $6,602, and a low point in 2006 when $19.36 was donated.

Republican Del. M. Kirkland Cox, of Colonial Heights, first proposed the fund to make a point about raising taxes on others without being willing to pay more themselves. If he intended to test the generosity of legislators, he seems to have made his point.

Only two state legislators are among the five donors who have allowed their names to be made public. Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville, and former state Sen. D. Nick Rerras contributed to the fund, although how much they gave is not public.

Since its inception, the fund has collected $12,887.04, with the largest single donation being $5,000. Except for 2003, no more than two donations have been made to the fund each year.

My question is why hasn't a media member asked one of these dolts why they don't give their "excessive" wealth to a worthwhile charity or the government themselves. For crying out loud, if it's "all about the children" they can simply walk to a local elementary school and ask a principal who to make the check out to and it's done. The don't need me to pay more tax to handle that.

In my business, the clients who have a profound hatred of paying taxes are bipartisan. But I will always remember a client who ranted about how George Bush was killing the environment. When I asked him if he wated to donate any part of his state refund to the Ohio Endangered Wildlife fund or the Ohio Natural Areas fund, he looked at me like I was Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

For "progressives" you'd think the hypocrisy would be shameful, but they seem to wear it with pride.

Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

If you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding...... How is it that the people who claim to be all about "choice" are responsible for this one.......

Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school. "Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?" the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English. Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: "We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!" Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: "Do you see the situation?" At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria. Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Protestors arrested in WA (notice they are wearing SEIU shirts)

Out of curiosity, how many tea partiers have been arrested for their rallies?

Li in "Progress" State - CA edition

So your state is billions in debt it can't repay? Well why put the foot on the brake when you can't jam the high speed rail accelerator...........

Like most large public infrastructure projects, the California high-speed rail project was sold to the public based on false promises, exaggerated benefits and lowball cost estimates.

Before the election, the cost of the project was estimated at $33 billion for the Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco portion, and an additional $7 billion for the spurs to San Diego and Sacramento. Voters narrowly passed a $9.95 billion bond in 2008, and the federal government and private investors were supposed to cover the remaining $30 billion. We were promised that a one-way fare between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cost about $55, making it cheaper than flying.

After the election, costs rose to $43 billion for just the Los Angeles-San Francisco phase (chances are the San Diego and Sacramento lines will never be built) and ticket price estimates nearly doubled to $105. Yet none of this seems to bother the California High-Speed Rail Authority or cause it to re-evaluate the feasibility of the project.

I'm so glad Ohio had enough wisdom to vote in a Governor smart enough to jam the brakes on this rail lunacy.