Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Our Herky-Jerky Retroactive Tax Changes

Posted by taxguru on December 23, 2014

As many people had predicted, our imperial rulers in DC have finally passed an extension of many of the deductions that had expired as of December 31, 2013.  This extension is retroactive to January 1, 2014 and expires on December 31, 2014. 

To show what a bunch of morons we have ruling us from their thrones in DC, they could have very easily helped us avoid this kind of uncertainty next year by making those deductions permanent or at least adding another year to their effective time, such as expiring on December 31, 2015.  But they had to continue their reign of incompetence and force us to go through another year wondering whether or not these things will be deductible.

Here are links to some good summaries of the items included in the tax extender bill.

CNN Money

Tax Foundation

The TaxBook (5 page PDF)

Spidell

Congress.gov

 

Section 179

The one item that I am most interested in is the Section 179 first year expensing election for newly acquired business equipment.  After four years with a maximum sec. 179 deduction of $500,000 per tax return, it dropped down to just $25,000 as of January 1, 2014.  Now, with this newly passed extenders bill, it goes back up to $500,000 for all of 2014 and then drops down to $25,000 as of January 1, 2015.

While this is a great thing for businesses that want to take this deduction, it illustrates how difficult it is to run a business and make plans for any time in the future.  Most well run businesses do make multi-year plans for their capital expenditures, such as the purchase of new equipment.  The amount of the allowable Section 179 deduction is a key factor in that kind of decision making.  Not knowing from year to year if the maximum deduction will be $25,000 or $500,000 is a very large item of uncertainty that makes any realistic planning extremely difficult. 

It’s been obvious that certain factions in our governing elite in DC love making businesses deal with this kind of uncertainty because it would be so easy to remove or at least reduce that.  They could make the $500,000 a permanent part of the law or at least keep it the same for five or ten years at a  time.  They want to keep it an annual guessing game because it gives them more power over businesses and extorts more campaign contributions (formerly known as bribes) from their owners.  

 

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IRS Bill of Rights

Posted by taxguru on December 22, 2014

Because the IRS has long been  statutorily exempt from recognizing the normal Bill of Rights that we are all supposed to enjoy in every other aspect of our lives in the USA, they had to concoct their own special Taxpayer Bill of Rights to take the place of the “ancient” one from 1789.  IRS just posted an update on their Bill of Rights on their Tax Tips page and in emails to practitioners.

After receiving this latest message from IRS, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on how well IRS has performed in living up to their proclaimed rights for taxpayers, especially in light of the crimes committed by Lois Lerner and her gang, as well as the ensuing cover-ups, that continue to this day.

Following is just the list of the titles of our rights as taxpayers according to IRS. The more descriptive details of what these mean can be found on their website.

1. The Right to Be Informed

2.  The Right to Quality Service

3.  The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

4.  The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

5.  The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum

6.  The Right to Finality

7.  The Right to Privacy

8.  The Right to Confidentiality

9.  The Right to Retain Representation

10.  The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

 

I would rate IRS fairly low on complying with many of these so-called rights.  The ongoing cover-ups of the Lois Lerner Gang’s crimes pretty much put the kibosh on Rights numbers 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 10.  The fact that her behavior has not been punished shows that these rights, while sounding so great, are just fairy tales and are actually fairly meaningless in real life application.

Or maybe it’s just a case of the IRS’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights only applying to certain parties and is null and void for others, such as.…

It’s official: IRS employees biased against conservatives   

 

GOP report: Top IRS official considered admitting targeting before 2012 election — but didn’t

 

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No stop to IRS criminal actions…

Posted by taxguru on December 17, 2014

As many have noticed, the GOP landslide victories last month are having zero impact in regard to stopping the lawless bHo juggernaut, including the flagrant obstructions of justice (aka cover-ups).

 

IRS Watchdog Continues to Hide Records on White House Leaks. Of 2509 documents, government agrees to release 31.

 

 photo NoTransparency2014-12-17_zps76560398.jpg

 

 

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Break out the violins…

Posted by taxguru on December 13, 2014

for this sob story:

Republicans seek to cripple IRS. The GOP’s moves will gut the tax agency, advocates warn.

 

IRS head says budget cuts could delay tax refunds

 

IRS warns of possible shutdown

Next will be telethons and special celebrity songs to help save the IRS from having to suffer draconian budget cuts.

 

 photo IRSTorturing_zpsd9c15db6.jpg

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2015 IRS Mileage Rates

Posted by taxguru on December 11, 2014

IRS has released the standard mileage rates for 2015.  This is handy to know ahead of next year because many employers use these rates for reimbursing employees for business miles driven on the job.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014  
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

 

If oil prices continue to drop, there is a good chance that IRS will lower the standard rate for business miles at some point during 2015, giving us another year with multiple rates for different parts of the year.

 

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Unraveling the Lois Lerner Crime Wave

Posted by taxguru on December 2, 2014

Although they do show her criminal actions, I’m sure the really incriminating emails were completely wiped out before these emails were “released” to the investigators.  Either way, nothing will happen to Lois or her accomplices, as bHo continues to cover for all of the crimes committed by his minions.

 

IRS accused of sharing 2,500 private taxpayer documents with White House

 

Department Of Justice To Release 30,000 Emails From IRS Exchange With White House - Bury critics in a huge volume of innocuous paperwork, after the really incriminating ones have been removed.

 

2,500 new documents ID’d in White House-IRS taxpayer harassment cases –  Linking the IRS crimes directly to the White House.

 

30,000 missing emails from IRS’ Lerner recovered

 

Investigators into IRS scandal may have recovered lost Lois Lerner emails

 

Lois Lerner Refused Tax Exempt Status to Hundreds of Conservative Groups – But Granted Status to an Underage Prostitution Ring – Also has links to several other pieces on the IRS attacks against bHo critics.

 

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It will be a very confusing Tax Season…

Posted by taxguru on November 27, 2014

Will Congress be able to pass legislation retroactively renewing the several expired tax provisions in time for the upcoming Tax Season?  Either way, IRS and the tax software companies will be in a mad rush to adjust their systems to account for the changes.  It’s going to delay when tax returns can be actually prepared and processed by IRS.

 7 Tax Extenders That Affect You – Almost all tax returns have at least one of these items, especially the Sales Tax deduction that is big in tax free states, such as here in Florida.  

 

‘Short sales’ home sellers face huge tax bills if breaks aren’t reinstated. Families would have to pay taxes on forgiven mortgage debt as if it were income.  

 

How immigration killed the tax deal – Extender legislation may be lost in the crossfire from the battle over illegal immigrants.

 

TaxCoach Software: Are you giving your clients what they really want?

 

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Elements of Accounting

Posted by taxguru on November 24, 2014

  photo accounting-elements_zps21ff2e6c.pngAccounting aficionados should appreciate the creativity that went into this large chart of accounting terms in the style of  the Periodic Table of Elements.  When you hover over each element, it pops up with a definition.

Thanks to Titus Dalisay, Community Outreach Specialist at Open Colleges in Australia for the heads-up on this.  

 

 

 

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Beware of parodies

Posted by taxguru on November 12, 2014

National Report is at it again, and there is a good chance that some people will see this parody and think it’s true. 

Congress Eliminates Child Tax Credit, Mortgage Deduction And E.I.T.C From Tax Code

Update: It looks like some people did fall for this spoof and Snopes had to officially debunk it.

 

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ObamaCare Info CheckList

Posted by taxguru on November 10, 2014

Similar to the info and documentation we have to get from clients claiming the EITC, NATP has produced this three and a half page checklist for info we need to get for the ObamaCare credit and penalty.

 

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