September 21, 2018

Taxes

Well, House Republicans Went Ahead With Their ‘Tax Reform 2.0’ Legislation Anyway

Despite reports surfacing last week that House Republicans were having second thoughts about pushing a second round of tax cuts this month, they must have said, “Screw it, let’s do it anyway.” House Republicans introduced legislation on Sept. 10 that would lock in individual tax provisions contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that […]

Here’s Why ‘Tax Cuts 2.0’ Would Make Some Voters a Little SALTy Come November

Back in July, House Republicans gleefully put the wheels in motion on a framework for a second round of tax cuts, which would permanently extend individual tax provisions contained in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that are set to expire in 2025. This proposed tax package, what some are calling “tax cuts 2.0” or […]

Exposure Drafts: Your Tax Clients Have More Extensions Than Nicki Minaj

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and tax extension horror stories to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Five Counts of Tax Evasion; Jury Finds Paul Manafort Guilty of Tax Fraud

We here at Going Concern have always (well, except from May 17, 2018 to July 24, 2018) given you an outlet to comment on the big news of the day. Well, two pretty big news stories broke at the same time earlier this afternoon that do not bode well for our commander-in-chief. First, in a […]

Ex-Manafort Accountant Given the Pink Slip After Testifying

We can’t say we’re shocked by this turn of events. From Bloomberg: Paul Manafort’s former accountant was fired from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort’s tax returns contained false information. Cindy Laporta testified Friday [Aug. 3] in the government’s case against the former Trump campaign chairman, saying she […]

Exposure Drafts: May the Lord Bless You and Allow Your Deductions

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and heavenly billing rates to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

Report: Feds Examining Whether Michael Cohen Committed Tax Fraud

Federal prosecutors are already investigating possible crimes related to the business affairs of President Trump’s former personal attorney, fixer, and bulletproof vest, Michael Cohen, including bank fraud, campaign-finance violations, and hush payments made to cover up alleged flings Trump had with a porn star and a Playboy model. So, hey, why not throw tax fraud […]

Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft logo

IRS Grants Tax-Exempt Status to Lesbian ‘Pussy Worship’ Church

Last week, Peter Reilly wrote in Forbes that an IRS decision to grant coveted tax-exempt status to the lesbian-centered Pussy Church of Modern Witchcraft was not well-received by individuals who believe the church’s sapphic stance to be exclusionary of men. Well duh, that’s kind of the point. At a time when people who up until […]

Happy tax preparer

AICPA Backs Down From Its Longstanding Beef Against Tax Preparer Regulation

In what could easily be the longest-running turf war in accounting history, the AICPA has softened its view on IRS regulation of tax preparers. Back in 2014, I covered the AICPA’s melodramatic freak-out over the IRS suggesting a voluntary tax preparer registration scheme, which sent Barry Melancon straight to the fainting couch and the AICPA […]

Charles Rettig Is One Step Closer to Earning His IRS Commissioner Placard

Beverly Hills tax attorney and Academy of Magical Arts member Charles Rettig is on the cusp of becoming the next commissioner of the IRS, after the Senate Finance Committee voted 14-13 on July 19 to send his nomination to the Senate floor. The nomination vote, which fell along party lines, had to be postponed until […]

Republicans Planning to Unleash ‘Tax Cuts 2.0’ in September, Stick It to Democrats

Despite public support for the recent tax code overhaul plummeting in the past two months, Republicans think another round of tax cuts is a good idea. So, it’s likely the House of Representatives will vote on new tax legislation in September, said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX). Brady, who spoke at […]

Exposure Drafts: Guy Who Loves America Forgets That Taxes Go to America

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and favorite family fireworks mishaps to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

Whoops! Tax Law Gaffe Puts Restaurants’ Renovation Plans on Hold

Back in December, White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson was singing the praises of the GOP tax bill, calling it “the biggest good thing for small business in three decades and a generation.” But I think he might be changing his tune. The “House of Sliders” is among the fast-food restaurants and retailers that have […]

Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Wrote Majority Opinion in Loving v. IRS

As Politico tax reporter Bernie Becker pointed out today, federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh, who President Trump nominated to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote the majority opinion in Loving v. IRS that the tax agency does not have the legal authority to regulate tax return preparers in […]

UPDATED: Ready or Not, Here Comes the Postcard-Sized 1040

Update, June 29, 2018: As expected, the Treasury Department and the IRS officially unveiled a draft version of the new postcard-style 1040 form, which will replace the current Form 1040, Form 1040A, and Form 1040EZ for the 2019 tax season. “As part of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this administration committed to making taxes […]

IRS Commissioner Nominee Pledges He Will Work for All Taxpayers (Not Just Donald Trump)

Charles Rettig, the Beverly Hills, Calif., tax attorney who was nominated by President Trump to head the IRS and who once wrote that Trump’s lawyers should not advise him to release his tax returns, told senators on June 28 that he would work on behalf of the average Joe taxpayer, not just the rich. The […]

Religious Groups Think New Tax On Churches Is Blasphemous

Religious groups are starting to catch wind of a new tax quietly imposed by Republicans on churches and synagogues—and they are pissed. Yes, you read that correctly: a new tax imposed on churches. Politico reports: [Republicans’] recent tax-code rewrite requires churches, hospitals, colleges, orchestras and other historically tax-exempt organizations to begin paying a 21 percent […]

Man Who Would Have Unenviable Task of Overseeing Implementation of New Tax Law Changes at IRS Will Have Confirmation Hearing This Week

That man is Beverly Hills, Calif., tax attorney and member of the Academy of Magical Arts, Charles “Chuck” Rettig. The Hill reported last Friday that the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing scheduled for June 28 to consider Rettig’s nomination to be the next IRS commissioner. Rettig was nominated by President Trump earlier this […]

Exposure Drafts: 1099s Don’t Care If You Shun Them

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and list of your least favorite tax returns to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

cryptocurrency trading taxes

Cryptocurrency Traders Learning That Taxes Are a Thing

Here’s an amusing MarketWatch story by Shawn Langlois on how cryptocurrency traders, presumably having no concept of income, are all bent out of shape about the taxes they owe on their trading gains. The lead kvetcher, latex_man, posted a thread entitled “I just did my taxes and it turns out I lost almost everything” and […]

Tax return

Are You Preparing That Tax Return the Same Way You Did 5 Years Ago?

Most likely, the answer is no. Remember the days with paper client files, colorful sticky notes, and calculator tapes? If you think about it, the “old way” of preparing tax returns was not that long ago. Change is happening and it’s happening fast. In just 5 years, the tax preparation process has changed a lot. […]

donald trump tax reform

Donald Trump’s Quest to Put H&R Block Out of Business Looking Like a Total Failure

During the presidential campaign, bellowing fast food connoisseur Donald J. Trump said that his tax policy was to “Put H&R Block out of business.” So, how’s that going? Well, last month he said, “We’re going to simplify very greatly the tax code. It’s too complicated. H&R Block probably won’t be too happy,” adding, “Other than […]

H&R Block Will See AICPA’s Sternly-Worded Letters and Raise You a Kitten

In case you missed it because no one really cares, the eggheads over at the AICPA have been engaged in a feud with the pot-stirrers over at H&R Block, presumably because the AICPA thinks more average Joes should engage the services of a large accounting firm to process their 1040s rather than some guy named […]

pwc legal us

Accounting News Roundup: More Litigation Fun for PwC and Tax Reform on Snapchat | 02.24.17

Litigation I’m sure when you’re a mega professional services firm like PwC, things like class-action litigation probably just start to feel normal after awhile. Last week we noted the firm’s pending trial with the bankruptcy trustee of MF Global and now we have this story from BloombergBNA that reports on more fun legal stuff: PricewaterhouseCoopers […]

Tax Resistance Still a Great Way to Get the IRS’s Attention

Maria Lamagna reports in MarketWatch on Ed Hedemann, a 72-year-old independent contractor who hasn’t paid federal income taxes for over 40 years. And yes, he has his reasons: Hedemann, 72, still files tax returns every year, and he doesn’t falsify any information on them, he said, but he’s still had plenty of legal problems as a […]

Australian Tax Lawyer Built an AI Tax Research Assistant That Will Never Get Sick of Your Questions

Say hi to Ailira, everyone, aka “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.” She’s here to help with all your tax research needs. Well, in Australia, anyway: Ailira, or “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant” is so clever at tax that her creator believes she could help prompt the end of human tax agents. And within […]

Accounting News Roundup: Tax Prep With Watson, GE Layoffs and Bribes | 02.02.17

Programming note: There will be no ANR or newsletter tomorrow. More details to come later today. H&R Block and Watson Last year, H&R Block drew the ire of CPAs everywhere with some videos that the AICPA didn’t think were very nice. H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb responded with, “Sorry, not sorry,” and we didn’t hear […]

Reminder: Donald Trump’s 2015 Tax Return Is (Probably) Done and (Probably) Not Being Audited

October 15th was on Saturday which means today is the final filling deadline for 2015 1040s. And as the Wall Street Journal's Richard Rubin reminds us, that includes a certain presidential candidate: Reminder: Trump's 2015 tax return is (probably) due today. https://t.co/PwPSjCgr0i via @WSJPolitics — Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) October 17, 2016 The article Rubin's linking […]

Look at This Adorable Dependent in a ‘Just Deduct It’ Onesie

If you're an accountant with a baby and you don't have one of these, your parenting is seriously questionable. This Just Deduct It cutie says "Good luck Jr Core students on your Financial Exam today!" #justdeductit #justaccountit #byuaccounting pic.twitter.com/U9W8MlZ0ux — BYU Accounting (@BYUSOA) September 28, 2016

Tax Complexity Working Out Alright for CPAs

The IRS estimates that in 2016 American taxpayers will spend 8.9 billion hours preparing and filing taxes. To put that in perspective, 8.9 billion hours is 1,015,286 years or the amount of time it takes to play about three games of Monopoly. The report goes on to estimate the cost of compliance at $409 billion. […]

New Bill Calls for Drug-Testing Taxpayers Claiming More Than $150k in Itemized Deductions

A big part of politics, I think, is trolling. And, just like on the internet, it works! Look no further than the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. He's basically the Fox Nation comment section incarnate and yet, he could be the next President of the United States! From a legislative standpoint, this works too. […]

Guy Who Tried to Ransom Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns Regretting His Choices Right About Now

Are you frustrated by Donald Trump's evasive attitude about releasing his tax returns? Were you and some co-conspirators considering a harebrained scheme to claim that you had obtained copies of his returns and would demand a ransom to prevent their release? While this may sound like foolproof plan, may I suggest you reconsider? I only […]

Tax Returns Among the Strange Things Seen at Coachella This Year

Among all the music, fashion, art and psychedelic wonder at Coachella this year, was something slightly more banal: tax returns! At least 10 people tried in the first day of the annual music festival, according to Megan Hampton, the tiny post office’s quasi-post master. “No, I can’t ‘just take it’,” Hampton said. “How do they […]

Paying Taxes Now as Convenient as 7-11

I'm somewhat nonplussed by this: In a program aimed at individual taxpayers who lack checking accounts or credit cards, the IRS has unveiled a partnership with retail stores (currently only 7-Eleven) to allow these taxpayers to pay their federal tax bill in cash (IR-2016-56). Called PayNearMe, taxpayers can pay up to $1,000 a day at […]

It Appears Some Boeing Employees Had a Little ‘Let’s Not Pay South Carolina Taxes’ Club

It's not clear whether or not these people were in cahoots or not but the Palmetto State Department of Revenue did arrest 11 Boeing employees yesterday for tax evasion: The South Carolina Department of Revenue has arrested 11 Boeing employees Monday for tax evasion. The Department of Revenue reports that 11 individuals have been accused […]

A Short List of Things Donald Trump Has Said About Releasing His Tax Returns

As noted in the roundup this morning, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, never one to waste a self-righteous crusade, has demanded that burnt orange windbag Donald Trump to release "his returns going back at least a decade before Super Tuesday on March 1 so Republican voters can know what they’re voting for." The editorial […]

Tax Season Scares Millennials

A NerdWallet/Harris survey found that 80% of taxpayers aged 18-34 "are fearful about some aspect of preparing their taxes." That's the largest percentage of any age group. Millennials are also most worried about "leaving tax-refund money on the table" and "more likely than other age groups to ask key questions before hiring help." Here's some […]

Martin Shkreli Not Exactly On Top of His Taxes

As you may have heard, everyone's favorite man-child villain, Martin Shrkeli, is having a bit of legal trouble. He sounds confident that everything will blow over, but now Gawker is reporting that he's also a little behind on his taxes: Last month, the Internal Revenue Service filed a federal tax lien against Martin Shkreli, alleging […]

Donald Trump Tweeted Something About Tax Shelters

Six foot circus peanut Donald Trump has an issue with Amazon or the Washington Post or tax shelters or something: The @washingtonpost, which loses a fortune, is owned by @JeffBezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no profit company, @amazon. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015 The @washingtonpost loses money (a […]

Tax Nerds Set Record Straight on Tax Code vs. NFL Rulebook Complexity

If there's one thing tax people can't stand, it's other people saying incorrect things about taxes. I know this because I used to be a tax person who spent lots time listening to superiors correct me (and others) constantly on nuances of the code. But, it's fine! Taxes are hard and people like showing off. […]

A Three-Page Tax Code Would Keep Accountants Plenty Busy

The US tax code is too complicated. This is known. In the race for president, like all races for president in recent memory, candidates promise a simpler tax code. Close this loophole, eliminate that credit, CUT EVERY RATE IN SIGHT. It's all just theater, albeit, incredibly boring theater. Taxes are boring and complicated and they […]

Rand Paul Supports Gun Violence Against the U.S. Tax Code

To get himself psyched up for tonight’s Republican presidential candidate debate, Rand Paul exercised his right to bear arms and literally shot holes in the U.S. tax code. Apparently he’s unaware that they have another copy. Either that or he was expecting a bigger refund. Back in June, he wrote an op-ed piece for the […]

September 15th Is the Worst Tax Return Filing Deadline

Much like Ben Affleck, April 15th is overrated and overexposed. As a tax return filing deadline, April 15th enjoys media attention and is ubiquitous in the minds of the average American when (s)he thinks about big, scary filing deadlines. This is wrong. April 15th is merely a pitstop, a formality; it is wholly inconsequential in […]

Donald Trump’s Tax Policy: Destroy H&R Block

In case you hadn't heard, Sunkist-epidermic galoot Donald Trump has taken some lumps in recent days in his pretend run for president. However, in order to milk this thing for all it's worth, DJT has kept up appearances and in an effort to avoid talking about how Megan Kelly handed him his ass, discussed the […]

The Boredom of Tax Reform, Explained

TBH, if tax reform were a sport, it would be soccer because everyone thinks something is about to happen, and then it doesn't. — Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) August 6, 2015

Your High Tax Rate Doesn’t Make You More Patriotic, Presidential Candidate Dummy

Jeb Bush recently released 33 years of his personal tax returns. Why 33 years of 1040s? For the youth vote. Millennials are sure to vote Jeb once they see his return from 1989 — you know, because the Taylor Swift album. But Bush 3.0 pissed me off when, in his tax return release, he made […]

AICPA Fails to Take an Adequate Dig at Congress in Tax Extenders Press Release

The AICPA "commends" Congress for a lot of things that it shouldn't, among them, dragging its feet on renewing the godforsaken extenders bill. What's amusing is that every so often, the AICPA tries to get all high and mighty about what they've recommended Congress do, when they know full well that those legislative cretins will […]

Chris Christie: Friend or Foe to CPAs?

For reasons unfathomable, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is running for president. Apparently, one loud-mouthed Republican from the tri-state area wasn't enough for this race. Anyhoo, Greg Kyte pointed us to this video of Jon Stewart welcoming Christie to the race in true Daily Show fashion, noting a strange comment from the Governor around the […]

NFL Deems Its Tax-Exempt Status to Be Immaterial

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell informed team owners that the league would give up its tax-exempt status, saying the move would eliminate a "distraction," and that, "the change in filing status will make no material difference to our business."   For some context, for giving up the exemption will cost the league $109 million over 10 years. However! It […]

Hillary Clinton Could Use a Hand Here

Anyone with experience amending heavily scrutinized 990s is welcome to chime in: Hillary Clinton's family's charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors. What was the problem, […]

#TBT: The First Form 1040

Yes, April 15th was yesterday and I'm sure no one wants to hear about tax returns, but after reading this Journal article on collectors of tax momentos, this seems like a worthy #TBT. 1040_1913 It seems so quaint with just a single page of instructions and nine lines for income and seven for deductions. Maybe […]

Let’s All Enjoy This Story of a Rich Guy Who Procrastinated on His Taxes and Missed Out on a $1 Million Refund

Procrastinating clients are the worst. Well, judging by their performance in GCMMBSP, they're actually not; however, I think we can all agree that clients who wait until the last minute to provide you with necessary info deserve nothing less than waterboarding. That's why it's nice to read this Bloomberg article reporting that some CPAs have […]

Wyden You Go Blaming Tax Professionals for a Crappy Tax Code?

Earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a report titled “How Tax Pros Make the Code Less Fair and Efficient.” Prior to publication, the report’s working title was “I Think Accountants Will Still Vote for Me Even if I Tell Them to Go Fuck Themselves.”   What’s really weird is that, apart from the title, […]

Conducting Tax Return Update Meetings at the Gym Maybe Not the Best Idea

If a client requests a meeting at a location where heavy objects are laying around, and there's an off-chance that the news you have may be anything other than positive, may we suggest an alternative venue: A tax preparer was attacked by his clients as they met to discuss the progress of their tax return […]

Here’s Your Perfunctory March 16th Open Thread

Yes, it's just a small bump on the road to April 15th, and both are mere pit stops towards September 15th and October 15th, but it would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the first major tax filing deadline of the year. If this marks the end of your busy season, congrats on surviving. […]

#TBT: The Tax Guy Who Died at His Desk And No One Noticed

We aren't sure why we've been getting tons of tips about this story considering it's only 11 years old and all — perhaps some of you are feeling a bit mortal these days? Dateline – Finland, January 2004: The man in his 60s died last Tuesday while checking tax returns, but no-one realised he was […]

You Won’t Mind if Your Tax Refund Is a Little Late, Will You?

No, you won't mind. The Obama administration said Friday it would allow people to sign up for plans on HealthCare.gov through April, and at the same time acknowledged it had sent some 800,000 people incorrect tax statements about their coverage in 2014. The announcement about the inaccurate forms caps a rough first year for the health-care […]

PwC’s Clever Tax Advice for Caterpillar a Little Too Clever

Caterpillar, maker of enormous sandbox toys, has received some unfun news. After poking around some old tax returns, the IRS has proposed that the company pay tax increases and penalties of $1 billion. They plan to "vigorously contest" the findings in the appeals process.  This all began with some international transactions, designed by PwC, that got […]

After Being Convicted of a $100 Billion Tax Fraud, Skipping Your Sentence to Hit the Links Is the Next Logical Step

If you had recently been convicted of a $100 billion tax fraud and it were the day of your sentencing, how would you spend those last hours of freedom? Visiting with friends and family, perhaps? Taking one last tumble in the sack with your beloved? Walking your dog? Eating at your favorite restaurant? Squeezing in […]

AICPA Mansplains Sound Tax Reform to Dudes Trying to Tax Reform

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) just took over as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the AICPA couldn’t resist sending him a letter telling him how to do his job. In his letter, Troy Lewis, the chairman of the AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee, was sure to tell Ryan that “the AICPA supports comprehensive […]

Reminder: Worst Tax Season Ever Starts Today

For months, we've been hearing how bad tax season will be this year. Not just for you poor tax people, but for — gasp — taxpayers, even. See our post in November of last year: The Internal Revenue Service is gearing up to be hated even more than usual due to a “miserable” tax filing […]

This Upcoming Tax Filing Season Promises To Be More Miserable Than Ever

These are not words you want to hear from the guy in charge at the IRS. Maybe your clients think it's miserable, or maybe you think it's miserable around March 30th when you still don't have the damn receipts you asked for two months ago, but the IRS is not supposed to think it's miserable. […]

PwC’s Tax Work in Luxembourg Is Getting Some Unwanted Attention

There's nothing quite like an enormous international corporate tax scheme, am I right?   Sure, there are no shoot-outs or car chases, but that's the beauty of it — it's a heist that's not technically a heist and the villains aren't sociopaths, they're just bureaucrats and accountants with families and paychecks just doing their day […]

Grover Norquist Will Take Candy From Little Girls to Teach About Taxes

You're never too young to learn about taxes, I suppose. And if your dad is Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, you can bet dad is going to be taking his 25% from your Halloween candy just to help you learn:   Tonight as daughters accumulate candy I must provide life lesson on marginal […]

Think of the Tax Preparers, John Boehner!

The tax code is way too complex, you guys. But House Speaker John Boehner has a solution, and it means putting every Liberty Tax sign spinner back in the unemployment line: RT if you agree: Americans should be able to do their taxes on 2 sheets of paper. http://t.co/UBtFhXq82V #5pts4jobs pic.twitter.com/zlJkUK7Zcu — Speaker John Boehner […]

CPAs Point Back After Obama’s Accountant-Blaming Fingerpointing

Poor Obama doesn't have a lot of friends these days, and as we know from last week, he just managed to piss off every accountant in the country by implying it's the accountants' fault businesses are using legal avenues to avoid corporate taxes. New York State Society of CPAs president Scott Adair had something to […]

President Obama Is Mad at Accountants For Being Accountants

Talk about scaping the wrong goat.

The New York Times Compares Americans for Tax Reform to Terrorists

When you think of "extremist groups," you probably think of grainy videos shot in a cave with Arabic text scrolling across the bottom. But here at home, we have a different kind of extremist group. The conservative kind. I just got this note from Americans for Tax Reform: Dear Taxpayer, The New York Times editorial […]

The Tax Foundation Is Concerned About the Tax Implications of Potato Salad

Zack Danger Brown's potato salad fundraiser is still racking up the simoleons, and those ever diligent defenders of tax justice at the Tax Foundation have calculated exactly what he might owe in taxes when all is said and done: As of 2:30pm on July 9, 2014, Zack Danger Brown has amassed over $70,000 in pledges […]

Tax Superhero and George Michael Among Those Caught Using Tax Shelter in the UK

News recently came out that a few well-known celebs — among them, George Michael, the Arctic Monkeys, Sir Michael Cane and a loan shark convicted of rape — took to a (legal) tax scheme called Liberty in the UK to avoid taxes. 1,600 people are believed to have sheltered £1.2 billion in Liberty. The Times […]

Americans for Tax Reform Wishes You a Happy Cost of Government Day

In 2014, Cost of Government Day falls on July 6.This day marks the point during the year when the average American has earned enough income to pay for his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels. While Americans may be celebrating Independence Day […]

Kidnapping Prostitutes Is Not a Good Way to Claim Dependents for Tax Purposes

Some people might say that a Florida CPA imprisoned three prostitutes and used them as sex slaves, but others could say he increased his number of dependents using an innovative strategy that complies with both the U.S. Tax Code and the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. I'm sticking with the former – false imprisonment and […]

Berry Bad Tax Policy

There's a thorny issue in the legislation approved by the House of Representatives last month that would revive bonus depreciation. Marc Heller of BNA discovered that while fruits and nuts that come from trees and vines will qualify under this version of the bill, bushes are losing out due to an omission in the language. […]

Man Learns It’s Probably Best to Just Pay Your Taxes and Not Threaten to Kill IRS Agents

While many of us were running off for a 3 day weekend, one Andrew A. Calcione of Rhode Island was found guilty in U.S. District Court of one count each of threatening to assault and murder an IRS revenue agent and threatening to assault and murder the agent’s family. Chief Judge William E. Smith delivered […]

H&R Block Produces Music Videos That You Can Buy On iTunes To Give Your Billion Back

I'm not a music snob, but I have my preferences. Listening to Abba makes me want to punch a kitten. But I don't. Partly because I'm afraid of Adrienne, and partly because my subjective preferences don't justify violent acts towards animals that use their sandpaper tongues to clean their buttholes. [Ed. note: I will personally […]

New Jersey Sends Erroneous Note to Taxpayers Telling Them to Pay Up, Forgets to Say Oops

Around 2,000 New Jersey taxpayers were sent a note from the state saying they underpaid their 2013 tax liabilities. OK, that happens. Thing is, they didn't actually owe any money: Meg Bracelin of Long Valley received one of the warnings. "I knew I made all of my estimated tax payments per my accountant’s instructions," she […]

Over a Third of Accountants Would Rather Get Divorced Than Experience a Sales Tax Audit, Says This

Fun statistic of the day courtesy Avalara: 37% of accounting professionals said a sales tax audit would be more stressful than a divorce. And here's a funky graphic from that same research report: Yeah, no wonder they think it would be stressful, then.

The IRS Is Asking Tax Preparers to Trust but Verify (Because You Might be an Alien)

This from our pal Joe Kristan who grinds away at the Tax Update Blog: It’s not enough that you’ve done business with me forever.  I need some ID.  The invaluable Russ Fox yesterday threw light on new requirements for electronic filing from the IRS.  These requirements, found in their new Publication 1345, were issued with no public comment […]

IRS Commish Reminds Senator That Hill Staffers Have Worse Tax Compliance Than IRS Employees

U.S. Senators are the type of narcissistic windbags who revel in the opportunity to scold bureaucrats. It gives them the opportunity to fabricate the appearance of being "tough" or "no-nonsense" or whatever on big government waste that irks their constituents. This is especially true when those bureaucrats work for a punching bag like the IRS.  For whatever […]

The IRS Is Ready For Five Million and One Amended Returns

Amended returns happen. The IRS is preparing for it: As of April 18, almost 46 million returns were e-filed from home computers, more than the total from home computers for all of 2013. The IRS has received more than 131 million returns, of which 88 percent were e-filed. The IRS also projects that almost five […]

Your Fantasy Football Results Might Have a Few Tax Consequences, Tough Guy

Face it. Fantasy football is Dungeons & Dragons for people who used to beat up people who played Dungeons & Dragons. Now I don't think there was much crossover between future accountants and D&D enthusiasts in high school, but I do think they all sat at the same lunch table. But now those jocks — […]

Utah Man Discovers Liberty Tax Not as Effective as Maury Povich in Determining Paternity

Do you remember how Greg went to Liberty Tax to get his taxes done? No? Fine, read this. Surely you remember this at least: You didn't think Greg just put on the outfit for absolutely no reason, did you? He actually had them do his taxes. Poorly, at that. Well, let's say Greg wasn't totally […]

“The New IRS” Lets You Allocate Your Tax Dollars Your Way

This is pretty much BS. "The New IRS" isn't the "New and Improved Internal Revenue Service," it's a gimmicky website that lets you play with your tax dollars until they are allocated just the way you want. Imagine including this on your tax return: "Hey, guys, I want no money going to pay interest on […]

Research Shows Peer Pressure Effective in Convincing People to Pay Their Taxes

Most Americans comply with the tax laws, but every year many of our fellow citizens don't. The result is the “tax gap” — the amount of revenue that the government loses because people are cheating. In one recent year, for example, the tax gap was $450 billion. That’s a lot of money — more than […]

Texas Woman Angered at Tax Office Grunts Accused of Trying to Burn the Place Down

OK seriously, people, what is in the freaking water? Thank goodness the end is close, poor tax office grunts must be extra terrified this year what with the stabbings and shootings and nonsense. From Click2Houston: A woman is in jail, charged with arson after investigators say she became upset with employees of a tax office […]

You Can Get Just About Anything Free on Tax Day

Almost there! By now, you and every cheap taxpayer know all about the many freebies out there on Tax Day from fries to tax-free hotel stays. But this has to be the strangest offer yet: MVPee.com. MVPee.com is giving out 1,000 “Abolish the IRS” apple scented urinal screens FREE to the first 1,000 people that […]

PSA: If You Pay $20,000 To Someone Who Calls Himself The “Tax Doctor,” You Deserve Whatever Happens Next

Screw up on your tax return that’s due next week, and you may be subject to any number of civil penalties. For example, if you understate your income by more than the greater of $5,000 or 10% of the correct tax liability, and you’ll pay an additional 20% of the liability as penance under Section […]

GAO Went Undercover to Discover Tax Preparers Are Terrible at Tax Preparing

Mind you, it was a small sample of 19 but of those, 17 were wrong: GAO found significant preparer errors during undercover site visits to 19 randomly selected preparers — a sample which cannot be generalized. Refund errors in the site visits varied from giving the taxpayer $52 less to $3,718 more than the correct […]

Milwaukee Man Killed for Tax Refund Offers Another Reason to Adjust Withholding

The violent filing season of 2014 continues: A Milwaukee man was charged Tuesday in connection with a homicide on the city's south side in which the victim was targeted for his tax refund. Doneal Bell, 21, was charged with felony murder in the fatal shooting of Mario D. Towns, 23, on March 1 in the […]

Selling Pot Out of Your Tax Prep Business Named ‘420 Multi Services’ Will Only Fool People for So Long

Remember awhile back when we looked at some unusual tax offices? Well even longer ago, we wrote about a Bronx joint called 420 Multi Services. I know what you’re thinking. What you’re thinking is not what anyone else was thinking because apparently 420 operated as a totally inconspicuous tax prep office for 10 years. I […]

Save the Date: Senate Hearing on Protecting Taxpayers from Incompetent and Unethical Return Preparers

I may have blown off the PCAOB public meeting this week but this I can totally get with. Mostly because they used the word "incompetent" so brazenly (the irony of which is obviously lost on the Senate). The Senate Finance committee will be tackling the all important topic of "Protecting Taxpayers from Incompetent and Unethical […]

Mississippi to Implement Tax Holiday For Hunters Because America

I'm all for the Constitution and all but folks in Mississippi are ALL for the Constitution and all, y'all: Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Wednesday creating an annual tax free holiday in for Mississippi sportsmen each fall. The Mississippi Second Amendment Weekend holiday will occur on the first Friday of each September until midnight […]

Maryland Lawmakers Prepared to Take Their Tax Credits Back From House of Cards

Oh, Maryland, you're so funny: Members of the Maryland House of Delegates are still stewing over a threat from the “House of Cards” producers to leave the state if they don’t get millions more dollars in tax credits. So on Thursday afternoon, delegates issued a threat of their own: Sure, go ahead, leave this beautiful […]

This Person Really, Really Loves Tax Season

For all your misery as you drag yourself ever closer to April 15th, you have people like this on the opposite side of the spectrum: Y'all still ballin or nah? #TaxSeason I counted $3500 but I have bad eyes and am not that good at counting either so might need one of you to check […]

When You Inevitably Get Laid Off, Your Severance Payments Will Be Subject To FICA Taxes

Yesterday, the Supreme Court gathered to decide an issue that had drawn the attention of tax advisors and subpar employees the country over: Is severance pay pursuant to an involuntary layoff subject to FICA employment taxes? The answer was a resounding “yes,” a reversal from the rulings previously handed down by the District Court and […]

TIGTA Reveals There Are Still Stupid People Falling for Fake IRS Phone Scams

Despite having warned taxpayers over and over that the IRS does not and will not call you and demand you wire over some cash, apparently some people are still falling for this. So much so that TIGTA felt compelled to send out a friendly reminder: The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) today issued […]

Suburban Cleveland Councilman Denies Getting in Brawl With Liberty Tax Sign Spinner

Continuing with today's theme of tax violence, avoidance and straight up creepiness, here's a strange story from (where else) Cleveland: A man paid to dress as the Statue of Liberty and promote a Brook Park tax business says City Councilman Tom Troyer shoved him Monday during a tussle over the business’ street side advertising. The […]

Missouri Man Assaults H&R Block Employee Because Tax Return

Is this turning into the most violent tax season ever or what? First the guy in Detroit shooting people over his lady friend not getting her refund in cash and now this. A Missouri man is facing a third degree assault charge after he allegedly choked the shit out of an H&R Block employee. Guess […]

Neighbors With Tax Software are Poaching Clients From Professional Tax Preparers

At least according to comments on this CPA Trendlines survey: Ray Nations, a leadership figure in the Virginia Society of Enrolled Agents, is also looking at some setbacks this year, and pricing pressures aren’t helping. “Clients are either using on-line software themselves or are going to their friends, or coworkers or neighbors who have an […]