Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for January 8th, 2004

Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

Sen. Kerry Proposes Watchdog for American Family Finances – Typical moronic response to every problem by the DemonRats. Their answer to everything is to set up a new governmental agency to screw things up even more.

A Tax Debate Full of Hazards for Democrats – Anything the DemonRats do is a hazard for AMericans.

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Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

While this is obvously not the best way to plan for financing one’s retirement years, it is probably more reliable than counting on Social Security, especially for anyone under 50.

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Taxing Non-Residents

Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

I received the following from someone who was shocked to learn that states other than his home state would hit him with income taxes.

I’m not sure who to contact on this question, I get different answers depending on who I talk to. I’m a computer consultant that travels and last year the company I work for said that they have to take state taxes out of my paycheck for work I’ve perform in each of the states I was in. Which means this year I will have to fill out state taxes for 3 states, Michigan, where I live, Pennsylvania and West Virginia where I worked. Is this right? If it is right what happened to the words “taxation without representation”, because I cannot vote in those states and I have no access to whatever benefits people living there may get

My reply:

If you were working as a W-2 employee, it is correct that you will have to file part-year or non-resident income tax returns with each of the states in which you earned income for the year.

All states that have income taxes require taxes and tax returns on income earned from services provided inside the state as well as from property located inside the state (rentals).

You are right that you have no recourse against the elected officials in those states; and that is why they love to tax tourists and other non-residents. It’s not anywhere close to being fair; but it is how things are.

It’s not as bad as you may think. You won’t end up paying three state taxes on the same income. On your home state return (Michigan), you will be able to claim a credit for the state taxes paid to PA and WV. You will need to attach copies of those state income tax returns to your Michigan tax return in order to properly document your eligibility for that credit.

If you were an independent contractor or incorporated, there are ways to possibly avoid the other state taxes; but that didn’t sound like your situation. When you are a W-2 wage slave, your tax savings options are very limited.

Good luck.

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Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

Consumers dig to record debt depth – Two trillion dollars in consumer debt – it’s the American way.

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Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

The major difference between death and taxes is that Congress can’t make death any worse than it is.

Courtesy of the Dribbleglass newsletter.

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Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

Unlike those financial gurus who claim to have a crystal ball view of the future, my only predictions for those extreme risk takers who have a majority of their wealth invested in the stock market is that there will be plenty of mood swings.

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IRS Restructuring

Posted by taxguru on January 8, 2004

IRS Job Cuts to Make Way for New Hires – This is really just a shifting of IRS personnel between different tasks and locales. They have been shifting their workload again among the service centers around the country. Also, the increase in people filing their returns electronically has reduced the need for data entry on the IRS side.

In fact, everyone needs to be careful where they send their income tax returns this filing season; as the appropriate service centers have been changed for many filers. Here in Arkansas, we will now be sending our 1040s to Austin or Dallas instead of the Memphis service center. To make things even more confusing, there are now different addresses to use depending on whether the taxpayers prepare their own returns or use the services of paid preparers. There are also different addresses depending on whether the return includes a payment or not.

I normally explain to people that the true blame for the messy complicated tax system lies with our rulers in Congress who draw up the idiotic and illogical laws. However, IRS isn’t completely innocent in this regard, as illustrated by this new level of complexity with so many different new filing addresses. I am going to give IRS the benefit of the doubt and assume that returns sent to the wrong address will eventually find their way to the proper processing location.

You can get to the appropriate addresses from the IRS website

There is also an easier to use guide to the new filing addresses in the latest QuickFinder handbook which just arrived a few days ago. Any tax pro who doesn’t have this is most likely wasting huge amounts of time looking things up that the QuickFinder book literally has at our fingertips.

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