Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for September, 2005

Appropriate Punishment?

Posted by taxguru on September 30, 2005

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Donating To Katrina Victims

Posted by taxguru on September 30, 2005

Partners Spread the Word on Leave-Donation Program – IRS is promoting this innovative program.

 

TaxProf Paul Caron has a link to this website set up by some liberal professors under the premise that anyone who has been allowed to keep more of their own money by the Bush tax rate cuts should feel terribly guilty about that and send those savings to some left-leaning charities. 

While I have never had any problem with the concept of supporting worthwhile charities, the left’s never-ending mantra that every dollar we don’t allow the imperial government to confiscate from us is equivalent to food taken out of the mouth of a starving baby has always rubbed me the wrong way.  The left’s current propaganda campaign to connect the tax cuts with the destruction of the hurricanes is nothing less than despicable, but S.O.P. for the appropriately named DemonRats.

 

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Posted by taxguru on September 28, 2005

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Posted by taxguru on September 27, 2005

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Posted by taxguru on September 27, 2005

Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 – Good summary from QuickFinders of the new law that was just signed by Bush.

 

Withholding Required on Certain U.S. Real Property Transactions Involving Foreign Persons, IRS Warns – This isn’t a new requirement; but it appears that some people are forgetting to do their duty in reporting these sales to IRS and sending them the 10 percent of the sales price that is intended to motivate foreign sellers to file USA tax returns. Using options and contracts to control real estate is not a legal way around this requirement.

 

Hitting a Profit ‘Sweet Spot’ From Property Flipping – More developers are including restrictions in their sales contracts, requiring buyers to either hold onto the property for a minimum amount of time and/or share their resale profits.

 

The Feds bust some Florida tax scammers who used a variety of idiotic strategies to help their clients cheat the government.  – Is this another slam at the intelligence of Floridians?  Only blooming idiots would fall for these screwy ideas.

 

Three Signs Your Blog May Attract Buyers – Some obviously big pros and cons to selling out to bigger companies. 
FYI: This blog will never be for sale because no amount of censorship or control can be tolerated. Of course, as I’ve long said, I am curious how strong my principles of independence would be in the face of very big money offers.  Namely, is there an amount of money high enough to break my resistance?  I have turned down dozens of potentially very lucrative kickback offers over the decades to endorse questionable investments.  Would I be willing to decline a million dollar cash offer to sell out this blog?

 

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Posted by taxguru on September 26, 2005

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Posted by taxguru on September 25, 2005

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IRS Admits Losing Checks

Posted by taxguru on September 24, 2005

People often accuse me of being overly critical of IRS when I say they are slow to release information.  How else would you describe the fact that they have just now admitted to losing 30,000 estimated tax payments into San Francisco Bay, after TaxProf Paul Caron reported this event a week ago, and I added my comments later that same day?  It’s just one more example that IRS isn’t the quickest source of info.

IRS’s official advice for those folks whose checks may have been lost:

After Sept. 30, a taxpayer whose check has not cleared his or her bank should contact the IRS on its toll-free taxpayer assistance line at 1-800-829-1040. Taxpayers who contact the IRS will receive instructions regarding how and where to send a replacement check. The IRS will waive interest and penalties for affected taxpayers.

 

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Posted by taxguru on September 24, 2005

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Life Expectancy

Posted by taxguru on September 24, 2005

As I’ve said on several occasions, the ability to properly prepare for one’s retirement has always been hampered by the one unknowable variable; how many years of retirement life you will need to pay for.  Obviously, if you will be living to over 100, you will need a lot more resources than if you will be passing away at 66. 

While nobody can guarantee the accuracy of actuarial tables or other predictors of life expectancy, I was impressed with the breadth of topics covered in this questionnaire to calculate life expectancy to include many of the factors associated with expected lifespan.

While it covers such critical factors as family health history and lifestyle, I did think it strange that it doesn’t include some of the high-risk questions I have seen in life insurance applications, such as whether you participate in such dangerous activities as sky-diving and SCUBA diving.

While I’m not sure I would base all of my retirement planning on the results of this calculator, it is interesting for entertainment purposes.  FWIW, it gives me another three decades, to 80.31 years.

 

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