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September 23, 2023

Tax

George and Barbara Bush Appear Confused About Who This Grover Norquist Fellow Is

Old people are great. Sure, their driving endangers the rest of us and they make funny noises but their endearing wit and wisdom is something that we should all appreciate. Yes, even "GET OFF MY LAWN" has a sliver of charm to it. George and Barbara Bush have gotten to the age where you might […]

IRS Whistleblower Gets the IRS Audited, IRS Does Not Find This To Be Entertainment

Indianapolis TV station WTHR is reporting IRS tax examiner Howard Antelis has apparently developed some concerns about the way his esteemed employer handles Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and, more importantly, what possible abuse and fraud mean for the Service's flawless record. "I'm horrified and ashamed and embarrassed by what I've seen. It's not supposed to […]

Is There Life Outside Public Accounting for Tax Accountants?

Are you considering a line of work that’s not so heavy on the Excel? Does your co-worker’s audible humming drive you crazy? Is it possible that you’ve been working too hard and are just hearing things? Email us your questions and we’ll make it stop. Hey GC, There have been a lot of articles lately about […]

According to This Maryland Group, Rich People Don’t Like Taxes

Self-described non-partisan group Change Maryland is convinced the 31,000 individuals who left Maryland from 2007 to 2010 did so due to the state's increasingly burdensome tax rates. Surely it has nothing to do with Pepco's unreliable service, bad traffic, swampy summers, sandy crabs, the proliferation of Natty Boh or any other number of annoyances that […]

Just Admit It, Choosing the IRS to Enforce ObamaCare Was Smart

One of the many beefs that people have with ObamaCare is that the IRS will be tasked with enforcing the penalty assessed to those that choose not to purchase health insurance. Joe Kristan laments: Maybe the most depressing aspect of the [SCOTUS] decision is the way it seems to endorse using the tax law as the […]

David Cay Johnston Would Just Like to Confirm That Mitt Romney Isn’t Like Richard Nixon, That’s All

And he's so excited to do it, he's throwing digits in Willard's face! Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy [via TaxProf]

Bubba Sparxxx’ Tax Situation Gets Ugly

According to TMZ, Georgia rapper Bubba Sparxxx (real name Warren Anderson Mathis) owes $29,266.88 in back taxes to the state from 2006. If you recall, the now 35-year-old came on the scene with 2001's "Ugly" and hasn't really been heard from since his biggest hit "Ms. New Booty" with the Ying Yang Twins peaked at […]

Jesus’ No-show Proving Terribly Inconvenient for Convicted Tax Evader

When the second coming of Christ is imminent, one needs to be prepared. Sure, there's the whole "accepting Jesus as your savior" thing, but there are financial considerations to be made as well. Like making large deposits in Swiss bank accounts! This was the strategy of "doomsday prophet" Ron Weinland, who used his church's money […]

Tax Pros Don’t Need to Sweat the IRS Budget Cuts

This is the first post from our slew of freelancer candidates. The following is by Jeremy Woodward. The House Appropriations Committee has settled on an IRS budget, and it’s not good news for everyone’s favorite group of suits and ties. The $11.8 billion allocation is $1.2 billion below what they requested. Probably not enough for […]

FYI: Going Off the Grid for Your Personal Safety Does Not Constitute a Legitimate Reason for Not Paying Taxes

Last week, we learned that musician Lauryn Hill was a little behind on her taxes. Not unusual for a celebrity, many of whom are artists first and taxpaying citizens of the United States second. However, on her Tumblr, Ms. Hill set the record straight that her noncompliance was not willful and malicious, but rather 100% […]

Woman’s Absurdly Unsophisticated Tax Scheme Still Managed to Dupe The Oregon Department of Revenue

As we've witnessed, perpetrators of tax fraud oftentimes utilize very simple methods. Slapping a dead person's name, birthdate, social security number, isn't terribly difficult once the data is obtained; throw some minors on there as dependents and you've got yourself a nice little refund at the expense of some grieving family members. Not complicated. You […]

Memo to “I’m-not-a-good-test-taker” Tax Preparers: The IRS Asks That You Take Their Competency Exam Sooner Rather Than Later

No one is saying that you can't pass this thing, but if tests aren't your bag, maybe you should move on this. So far, more than 4,800 people have become Registered Tax Return Preparers, according to the IRS. The IRS is urging an estimated 340,000 preparers required to take the test to do so as […]

Arkansas Governor Questions Anyone’s Patriotism Who Can’t Get Behind Tax Breaks for Wind Energy

Today in let's-make-asinine-statements-in-regards-to-tax-policy-news, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe recently told a large crowd that, “[a]nyone standing in the way of [the wind] industry, frankly, they’re unAmerican.” Right. Because anyone that opposes federal tax dollars being redistributed into the hands of specific corporations and industries are clearly communists. [The Cabin via David Brunori]

Hemp and Cannabis Foundation Director Prefers Using Taxpayer Dollars for ‘Corporate Growth’ Rather Than Investing in Wall Street

The Daily reports that the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation owes nearly $3 million in back income, foundation, and payroll taxes, citing "IRS documents." Foundation director Paul Stanford claims that things will be straightened out this year although the Foundation and Stanford have had their share of financial troubles. Regardless! Stanford argues that there were far […]

And Here You Thought It Was Just Peasants Not Paying Any Income Taxes

  Our income tax system is joke. This is known. One of the most controversial results of the current system is, with all its complexities, millions of people still manage to pay no income tax. And it's not just the poors getting away with it!   The percentage of U.S. taxpayers reporting adjusted gross income […]

Oddly, Chuck Schumer Didn’t Appreciate the Nazi Comparison

Last week, tax slayer Grover Norquist chimed in on the Ex-PATRIOT Act, legislation that was introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA). The Senators were concerned that ultra-rich dudes who no longer fancy American citizenship – namely Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin – were turning their backs on the USofA to avoid taxes. This […]

Casey Poking Boehner to Like the Ex-PATRIOT Act

After the world discovered that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin had high-tailed it for Singapore and wasn't interested in being a citizen of the USA, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Ex-PATRIOT act. They did so in order to teach Eddie and other rich, tax-dodging Benedict Arnolds what happens when you bolt […]

Apparently Some People Filed Tax Returns In Their Pets’ Names

Everyone knows that the IRS makes silly mistakes from time to time, but presuming that the Service employees who look at these tax returns won't be fooled by a 1040 from "First Name: Mr." and "Last Name: Bojangles" seems a little reckless:  According to an indictment obtained by CBS4, Mathew and Sandra Zuckerman are accused […]

Eduardo Saverin’s Spokesman: Don’t Go Believing That My Client Would Leave the U.S. Just to Save $67 Million in Taxes

As was noted last week, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship, according to an IRS report. Some people speculated that the cause for this GTFOOTUSA was the savings in federal income tax because, as you may have heard, the Facebook is going public and ES is probably going to do okay when this thing […]

IRS: Facebook Co-founder Is Gonna Take Off Now

So to speak. Bloomberg reports that Eduardo Saverin has renounced his U.S. citizenship ahead of Facebook's IPO. This has a number of obvious advantages – the lack of Kardashians, Nickelback, and NBA playoffs to name a few. But also, there are the tax advantages to consider, which it appears Saverin may have done: Facebook plans to […]

You’ve Got the Tax Code All Wrong

Christopher Bergin explains: Our tax code isn’t about collecting revenue. It’s about taking care of political friends and being used as a campaign election issue to divide and conquer the electorate.  Okay, I think I understand. And sooooo, what about tax reform?   The point of Washington is to get reelected. And “can-kicking” – which […]

David Cay Johnston’s Plan to Save Social Security Has Some Really Big IFs

David Cay Johnston has a story with the counterintuitive headline "Social security is not going broke."  How does that work? With the coming bulge in retirees, Social Security will start to pay out more than it takes in 2021, according to projections in the latest annual report. Under current law the program would be able […]

Here Are a Couple of Corporations Whose Taxes (or Lack Thereof) Are Actually Worth Bitching About

Over the weekend, I aired some grievances that I've had with The New York Times and its tax shaming. One commenter on the thread mentioned a Times article on AIG from a few months back that exposed that companies tax dodgy ways. I had a chance to dig it up today, but it's worth noting that article was […]

Memo to The New York Times: The Tax Shaming Has Gotten Old

Last weekend, the New York Times ran an exposé on Apple and its "sidestepping" of taxes. Since it's been a week-ish, I think things have quieted down enough so we can take this discussion in a new direction. Specifically, how the Times' tax coverage, of late, has been the equivalent of ten pounds of monkey shit stuffed […]

Stephen King Gives You a Frightening Visual of How The Rich Feel About Paying More Taxes

The man does know a thing or two about imagining ghastly scenes: The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar. If you think you can one-up SK, leave your best effort below. Stephen King: […]

Layoff Watch ’12: H&R’s Post-Tax Season Chopping Block

Three hundred fifty preparers and two hundred locations won't be included in any future tax seasons: Kansas City-based H&R Block said the company plans to eliminate 350 positions and close about 200 underperforming offices. The announcement was part of a broad strategic realignment that the company announced Wednesday. H&R Block said the plans were designed to […]

Supreme Court Rules That IRS Will Have to Hustle If It Wants to Bust Tax Shelters

Aspiring wolf packs will want to take note:  The justices, voting 5-4, said the IRS has only three years to challenge so-called Son-of-BOSS tax shelters. Lower courts had disagreed on the question, with some saying the IRS had up to six years. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that the case is governed by a 1958 […]

Here’s Audio of Jon Lovitz Bitching About Taxes, President Obama (NSFW)

It's obviously a slow day when a number of media outlets are concerned with what Kevin Smith and Jon Lovitz think about taxes. This audio is NSFW, so use headphones unless someone yelling "fucking asshole," amongst other things at your workplace is considered kosher. [via TaxProf]

Tax-Shaming Has Become Quite the Popular Thing

So you're an egregious tax delinquent. You're not necessarily proud of that fact but you know, these things happen and your intention is to make things right…just after you rob a bank or something. Well perhaps you should come up with that plan fast, lest you end up a victim of the latest craze in […]

Tax Day Means Paying Very Little for a Fast Food Feast

It's finally tax day, which calls for celebration. If you're a tax professional, this means not being shy with the bottle in your desk drawer and looking forward to leaving the office some time before dark. If you're simply a taxpayer, it could mean that you woke up today, realized it's tax day, freaked out, […]

Our Thank You Captain Obvious Tax-Related Quote Of the Day

“All taxes have to be paid by somebody at some point,” said Steve Wamhoff, legislative director at Citizens for Tax Justice, the liberal lobbying arm of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a research group. “The corporate tax is paid by the owners of corporate stock and business assets.” Taxes: Are you paying your […]

The AICPA’s Top 10 Tips For Procrastinating Taxpayers

Happy almost April 17th, people! Home stretch here, home stretch. Those helpful folks at the AICPA have issued some tips for trudging slowly toward tax day that probably won't do most of you any good but might serve some procrastinating taxpayers well. Let's put aside our superiority complex for a moment and share. My useless […]

The IRS Could Use a Hand Here

Specifically, because a lot of taxpayers could…uh, use a hand here: A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the combination of the weak economy, and efforts by the IRS to promote its [offer in compromise] program for helping taxpayers pay off a portion of their outstanding tax debts has […]

Gambling, Florida, and Worthless Green Bay Packers Stock: A Sports Fan’s Guide to Taxes

Ed. note: With less than a week until the tax filing deadline, Deadspin asked me to delve into tax wonkery for sports fans. The post appears here with permission. Those of you who are not Darryl Strawberry will be spending the next few days on your tax returns. Here are a few practical things–and a number […]

Survey: More Than Half of Canadians Are Crazy and/or Lying

A recent survey found that "54 percent of Canadians like preparing to file their taxes," and that "57 percent say their files are organized throughout the year." The results would indicate that our friends to the north are a bit off, pathological liars or maybe it's because they're actually capable of having a sense of humor […]

Who Else Is Repeating Their Tax Rhetoric Today?

“You might have heard of this,” Obama said in his remarks, before a crowd of faculty and students at Florida Atlantic University. “But Warren Buffett is paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.” [The Hill, Earlier]

This Woman’s Tax Season Has Been Infinitely Worse Than Yours

Yeah, we all have our tax season stories.  Like remember the day in April when you got arrested on charges of stealing from your business partner while your husband got arrested for making a drunken spectacle of himself at the local elementary school? You don’t?  Then your story can’t top this one out of the […]

George W. Bush Still Doesn’t Like the Bush Tax Cuts Being Called the Bush Tax Cuts

Stop me if you've heard this before. "I wish they weren't called the Bush tax cuts. If they were called someone else's tax cuts, they'd be less likely to be raised," the former President told some people who still listen to him speak about anything. Just save us the trouble and play it on a […]

This Might Be The Most Grateful Tax Preparer In The Entire Country

It's rare we share any feel-good stories with you all so when I saw this letter of thanks printed in the New Jersey-based Daily Journal, I thought it might be nice for you to read. Let's all remember as some of you miserably trudge ever-onward toward April 17th that no matter how bad you have […]

David Cay Johnston Has a Plan to End Tax Fraud

If you thought that tax hack David Cay Johnston was going to idly stand by while the country's tax system spins into a ferocious web of inexplicable rules and soaring criminal deceit, you'd be wrong! Oh, so wrong. The bearded man has a plan and in his Reuters column, he explains that it's really pretty […]

Tax Professionals: Tell Us the Stupid Things Your Clients Are Saying to You This Month

With less than two weeks to go until the tax filing deadline, some people (myself included) are starting to think, "Oh, right! My tax return! I should really get on that." Yes! You and I should! Personally, I just file an extension and forget about it for another month or so. For those people who […]

Tax Court Not Convinced That F. Lee Bailey Didn’t Have Fun Owning a Custom-made Yacht

For those of you not familiar, F. Lee Bailey was one of the defense lawyers on O.J. Simpson's dream team of attorneys. His star moment was when he asked the lead detective on the case, Mark Furhman, if he had used the n-word in the last ten years, who said that he had not. When […]

Just Blow Up the Tax Code Already

Tax wonk Christopher Bergin has some concerns that if President Obama and Congress don't do something some about our tax system between now and the end of the year, a bomb will go off: If Congress and the President do nothing about our tax system between now and the end of the year, here are just […]

Kids! Join the Voluntary Tax Accountant Extinction Movement!

  The world doesn’t owe us a living. Of course you know that.  If you thought the world did owe you a living, you wouldn’t have gotten that Accounting degree.  You’d have gone for that much easier Critical Gender Studies or 19th-Century American History ticket.  But even when you get that first tax accountant job, […]

Next Time You’re At the Bar, Order an Income Tax Cocktail

Not surprisingly, the Income Tax Cocktail (yes, it's real) doesn't sound that good. Don't get me wrong, I'm a creative drinker with my own shaker who likes to get wacky with the floofy drinks when I'm up for something other than Raging Bitch. But something about tons of vermouth and a dash of bitters just […]

Here’s Your March 15th Filing Deadline Open Thread

It would be remiss of us to not recognize today, March 15th, as the first big deadline of the 2012 tax season. This post serves as tribute to all of you tax jockeys whose tax season more or less ends today (but it never really ends, does it?). And for those of you still furiously […]

Here’s a Video of Grover Norquist Getting Fastidious About His Beard, Juggling

We know a lot of things about Ronald Reagan soldier boy Grover Norquist. He doesn't care for colorful language. He's one of those bluetooth guys. He's willing to sacrifice all our grandmothers for the sake of keeping marginal tax rates low. But what about the real Grover you ask? You know, the guy who haunts […]

Anyone Desperate for Free Tax Prep Help Should Make a Reservation at Andaz Wall Street ASAP

If you're going to be staying in Lower Manhattan on business, this makes for a great deal and you can stare at the East River while Marc Albaum cranks out your 1040. Just don't forget to bring your shoebox. Andaz Wall Street, the only hotel on Wall Street, launches their Accountant in Residence series where […]

Illinois Congressman Timothy Johnson Forgot That He Signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Then Remembered and Says It’s No Big Deal, Doesn’t Apply to Him

After Congressman Timothy Johnson (R-IL) called Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge “disingenuous and irresponsible,” and claimed he "never signed anything," when told he was, in fact, a signor, someone from ATR got on the case:  Americans for Tax Reform provided Roll Call with a copy of Johnson’s signature on the tax pledge from 2002. On Feb. […]

Mitt Romney Would Like To See You Try Scoring His Tax Plan. Just Try It.

Fresh off his Super Tuesday meh, Mitt Romney went on CNBC and made a strange admission that his tax plan is not a real plan, per se:  “What I put out in my plan was a series of principles that allow our economy to grow and at the same time maintain a neutral budget impact,” […]

Joe the Plumber Will Tackle Tax Reform If Elected to Congress

Samuel Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber) is running for Congress. Yep! The man who became a hero to uncounted conservative Americans for having a slightly contentious driveway moment with then-candidate Barack Obama wants to represent the citizens of Ohio's 9th Congressional District. Despite his claims to be an outsider, JdaP has a pretty sophisticated campaign going […]

BREAKING: Multinational Corporations Engage in Complex Planning Strategies to Avoid Taxes

Who knew?  U.S. companies with offshore operations could be saving billions of dollars by utilizing apparently legal tax maneuvers, according to a new study. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in a report released Monday, found that companies around the world are using a sometimes complex series of moves to take advantage of differences in […]

Late 1099s Lead To Awkward Confrontations at the Gym

According to Reuters, brokerage houses have upset some clients by needing more time to provide 1099s based on a new IRS rule that requires brokerages to report how much their clients spent on equities. Though some houses have informed clients of the delay and recommended extensions, some folks aren't too happy about that, including random […]

Seasonal Tax Preparers Would Be Wise to Dismiss Drug Trafficking As an Option in the Off-season

The life of the seasonal tax preparer isn’t for sissies.  You work your butt off for 15 or so weeks, neglecting family and loved ones, and then you still have 37 weeks to kill.   Some people just live off their tax season earnings and the odd extension.  Some find work that matches the tax […]

Northern Illinois Accounting Professor Is the Subject of the Nerdiest, Most Obscure Hitler Parody Video To Date

The Hitler outburst video meme has long run its course but every once in a while, a new one emerges that is mildly amusing. Rarely are these videos centered on accounting-related matters and even if they are, they tend to be quite unfunny. Today, We received a link to the latest offering and yes, while […]

Brass Taxes Is Here for All You Warrior Poets and Other Nice People Who Hate TurboTax

From the team that brought you a tax preparer in a diaper, comes the latest bit of marketing ingenuity that all tax preparers should be striving for: Brass Taxes VS Turbo Tax [YouTube]

Apparently a Connecticut Man Misunderstood the Intent of a Jackson Hewitt Employee When She Mentioned Schedules B and J

New Haven, since you ask. A 25-year-old New Haven man was arrested Monday on public indecency charges after he unzipped his pants and exposed his genitals to an employee at Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, police said. […] According to Capt. Ronald Smith, [Anthony] Randolph walked into the Jackson Hewitt office at 1338 Dixwell Ave., and […]

Tips For Filing Your Taxes For People Who Don’t File Taxes For a Living From the AICPA

Now, before the trolls rally and start complaining about how this post is stupid and totally useless for 99% of the people who read this website, let us all take a moment to remember that accounting professionals (I use the term loosely) aren't the only ones who read Going Concern. Plus, auditors despise taxes down […]

Accountant Can’t Bear the Thought of Serving Clients on the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic Sinking

As CPAs and capital market servants, you are all acutely aware that that serving clients to the best of your ability is priority numero uno. Forget your family and friends. Forget your pets. Forget your beloveds.  Clients complete you in ways that those other people/animals can't possibly understand. Sure, there is the occasional event that wouldn't allow […]

Don’t Immediately Dismiss Naming Your Company After a Murderous Dictator

We’d all like to settle our taxes for pennies on the dollar.  Sadly, two of the biggest providers of pennies-on-the-dollar tax settlements — JK Harris and Roni Deutch — have left their clients with, well, pennies on the dollar in liquidation.  Only the best neck-beard in the late-night TV tax settlement business carries on.  Being […]

Warren Buffett Has No Problem Backing the Buffett Rule

The Oracle said as much in a letter to Buffett Rule scribe, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI): Billionnaire investor Warren Buffet said in a letter Wednesday that he was “delighted” to support legislation to implement the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that those making over $1 million annually pay at least a 30 percent effective tax […]

Here’s the President’s Framework for Business Tax Reform

At 23 pages, it's nearly readable! But it's still wonky tax stuff so it's not exactly breezy. Via the TaxProf here are the five elements (and the whole document is below): I. Eliminate dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, broaden the base and cut the corporate tax rate to spur growth in America: The Framework would […]

Chris Christie *Knows* That Warren Buffett Is Man of Means and Capability

That's a nice way of putting it, anyway. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who called for the nation’s wealthiest people to pay more taxes, should “just write a check and shut up.” “I’m tired of hearing about it,” Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan in an interview that aired last night. “If […]

Rick Santorum’s Tax Returns Reveal That He’s a Cheapskate on Charitable Giving

Champion of zygotes Rick Santorum released four of his tax returns today because he thought lots of people really cared about them. Maggie Haberman of Politico has the scoop and they reveal that, when compared to Mitt Romney, Rick is in the poor house but compared to the rest of us, he's doing all right for himself: […]

And Now, the Day After: Two Tales of Love and Taxes Gone Wrong

When they set the date for Valentine’s day, they avoided April 15 for good reasons.  True love and taxes often mix badly.  Consider: The centerpiece of a multi-state federal investigation into tax fraud and identity theft was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and fraudulent use of bank […]

One Chicago Woman Apparently Felt That 293 False Tax Returns Was Not Enough

You have to wonder how efficient both the IRS and Social Security systems are in this country if one person can file fake claims for 3 years before finally getting busted. According to the Chicago Tribune, 35 year old Zorana Theresa Charleston-Black filed 293 false tax returns between 2005 and 2008 for refunds the amount […]

Could Someone Have Tax Problems Big Enough to Walk Away From $14 million?

That’s one explanation for a weird story where a New York lawyer acting on behalf of holder of a winning lottery ticket purchased at a Des Moines convenience store let the ticket expire rather than revealing the identity of the ticket owner.   The ticket was turned in hours before its expiration by a Des […]

Grover Norquist Has a Suggestion for Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich nemesis Mitt Romney told Larry Kudlow last week that "phase two" of his tax plan was in the works but Godfather of Anti-Tax Policy Grover Norquist thinks he should save his energy. “The smart move is to say, ‘I’m with Paul Ryan,’” Norquist says. “Then it’s not ‘his plan,’ and [Romney] can simply […]

Is There a “Ponzi Scheme” Button in Turbo Tax For Convenience Purposes?

File this under "serious tax questions" posed to the Intuit community: Back in 2007 I invested $80,000 into a company for Real Estate develeopment. No property was involved just a written contract. After 5 years and an FBI investigation I have come to the realization that the money is not recoverable. Where in Turbo Tax […]

Desperate Company Sears Teams with Desperate Company H&R Block to Offer Desperate People Free Tax Prep Services

Okay so maybe Sears isn't "desperate" but they did announce 100+ would be closed this year and maybe H&R Block isn't "desperate" but they no longer offer refund anticipation loans. Couple that with the news that Jackson Hewitt has 2,800 tax prep kiosks in Walmart stores, one might conclude that the brain trusts at Sears and […]

Grover Norquist Has a Solution to Warren Buffett’s Problem

RELATED: I'm starting to think that ol' Grover is purposely spelling the Oracle's surname incorrectly.  [@GroverNorquist, Earlier, Earlier]

Rick Santorum Actually Believes That People Care About His Tax Returns

Ha! President of frozen-over hell, Rick Santorum told everyone that he had to get back to Pennsylvania, apparently, to get his tax returns thrown together.  Rick Santorum will follow Mitt Romney’s lead and unveil his tax returns, telling reporters Wednesday that he would head home over the weekend to gather and prepare his tax documents […]

Everybody Relax, Warren Buffett’s Secretary Is Not Making Six Figures

Earlier we discussed how Warren Buffett's secretary and glory hog, Debbie Bosanek, has become a poster child for all of us that have effective tax rates higher than those of wealthy dudes like her boss and GOP Presidential cyborg Mitt Romney. This has caused a number of people to freak out and start wondering aloud how […]

Everyone in Warren Buffett’s Office Pays a Higher Tax Rate Than He Does, Says His Secretary Who Is Obviously Stealing All the Glory

The fact that O^3's effective tax rate is probably lower than yours and mine is pretty ridiculous. We have Congress to thank for that. But this secretary thing is getting played. Why does she get all the attention? Why did she get to go to the State of the Union? I mean she seems like […]

What Are People Saying About Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns?

By now, you've probably heard that ultra-rich dude Mitt Romney released his tax returns last night (and a 2011 estimate this morning) and everyone is jumping on the returns like his grandkids on a decapitated piñata. He's running for office, for Pete's sake, why wouldn't we want to take a peek? The most unsurprising thing […]

David Cay Johnston: Mitt Romney Is Going Through the Wringer Unless He Releases Tax Returns From His Bain Years

DCJ lays it out for Willard: Unless he releases the tax returns from his Bain Capital years he will surely be pressed about how much, if any, of his fortune has yet to be taxed and how long he deferred paying on the portion that has been taxed. He will be asked about Bain accounts […]

Maybe We Should Wait to Throw More Money at the IRS’s Problems

Wouldn’t life be sweet if our bosses gave us more money when we failed?  Gee, I wouldn’t have hit on the client’s daughter at that bar if only you paid me better… Yet that’s just what we’re supposed to do with the IRS.  Caleb notes that the Taxpayer Advocate pointed out all sorts of ways […]

Oh, Mitt Romney, How You Tease Us with Your Approximate Effective Tax Rate

As we know, inevitable GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney hasn't been too forthcoming with his 1040, basically saying to hell with tradition and his own son Tripp Kip Skip Flip MATT! suggested (jokingly but sorta seriously) that just as soon as Imam Obama released his birth certificate, maybe dear ol' dad would dig out the […]

Report: Grover Norquist Admits to Being Hot for Taxes

America's Finest News Source has the photos that led to a press conference earlier today. In three particularly salacious shots taken one night during last summer's debt-ceiling standoff, the powerful conservative lobbyist can clearly be seen smiling while doing his taxes in a chair, on top of his desk, and in the hallway against a […]

David Cay Johnston Wonders If It’s Time We Threw the Income Tax on the Scrap Heap

Income tax pontificator David Cay Johnston can't help but think that maybe this particular revenue generation policy has run its course. It’s time to consider whether to get rid of income taxes, personal and corporate. What are the strengths and weaknesses of our current system? Should we tax individual and corporate income — or something […]

Congress Isn’t Interested in Discussing the Payroll Tax Cut Right Now

House Republicans on Tuesday declined to recognize a House Democrat who was trying to speak about the need for Congress to quickly resolve its differences about how to extend the payroll tax cut. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) gaveled today's pro forma session to order at about 2 p.m. After the House prayer and Pledge of […]

Watch Out for the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Bait-and-switch

If your creepy uncle, known for bad behavior with underaged girlfriends, bought an ice cream truck, you’d not trust him to limit himself to selling ice cream. Last year the Taxpayer Advocate’s Office tried to force the IRS to stop luring people who have foot-faulted their foreign account reporting obligations with the promises of leniency, […]

This is Your Most Recent Last Chance to Bring That Offshore Money Home and Come Clean with the IRS

Doug Shulman believes in third chances: IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who announced the program’s renewal Monday, said previous efforts in 2009 and 2011 resulted in the collection so far of $4.4 billion from 33,000 people. He said the government could gain several times that amount, as a result of both the newest initiative plus people […]

The IRS Seems Surprised That the Tax Gap Isn’t a Lot Worse

Your efforts to keep the increase in the tax gap under $100 billion is greatly appreciated. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that U.S. companies and individuals failed to pay $385 billion in taxes they owed in 2006, an increase from $290 billion five years earlier. The agency said the rate of compliance remained almost unchanged at […]

Michele Bachmann Can Take Solace in the Fact That the IRS Is Also Feeling Rejected by Iowa Today

You've probably heard by now that escaped mental patient Michele Bachmann has suspended her campaign for president. While this is upsetting for many that stand proudly around the Bachmann couldron, the congresswoman should know that while voters all over Iowa were skipping over her name with ease last night, the Iowa City school district also […]

Ohio CPAs Want Some Answers On This Whole Criminals With PTINs Thing

This is from the November issue of the Ohio Society of CPAs' CPA Voice: OSCPA submitted a comment letter to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman and Director of the IRS Return Preparer Office David R. Williams, regarding fingerprinting of certain non-signing PTIN applicants. Written on behalf of OSCPA’s more than 22,000 members, the letter commended the […]

While You Were Out: Mitt Romney’s Son Was Kidding (Probably) When He Suggested Dad Would Match Obama’s Birth Certificate with His Tax Return

Since it's the first day back and many of you have spent the last week or so in alcohol and food-induced stupor (and are, therefore, unable to email us anything of interest), you won't mind that we throw out this little story from a few days ago. As you may have heard, eventual-GOP-presidential-candidate-that-no-one-wants Mitt Romney […]

The Year in Taxes: Sleepwalking Through 2011

  In January, the tax world was still reeling from the extension of the Bush-era tax rate cuts signed into law in December.  It also allowed rich people who died in 2010 to go to their rest without paying estate taxes, making George Steinbrenner a happy ghost.  It also allowed living taxpayers to make tax-free […]

Forty-three People Who Will Never Breathe Free Air Again Are Registered Tax Return Preparers

Also! Over 900 applicants had an incarceration date within the last 10 years received active or provisional PTINs and over 70% of those did not disclose their felony conviction.   • 962 PTIN applicants on the IRS’s Prisoner File with an incarceration date within the last 10 years received active or provisional PTINs – 745 (77 […]

It Appears That Both John Boehner and President Obama Are Prepared to Ruin Christmas for the Payroll Tax Cut

Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama spoke on the phone earlier today and both men seem pretty eager to get something accomplished re: the payroll tax cut. The Hill reports that Boehner reportedly told Obama, "Let’s get this done today,” while White House spokesman Jay Carney later said, "The ball is in the […]

It Takes a Special Kind of Scumbag to Steal a Dead Child’s Identity To Commit Tax Fraud

There are crimes, and there are tax crimes. Murder and rape stir primitive urges of revenge and retribution. Scamming old folks makes you want to get out the tar and feathers. Tax crimes, not so much. Sure, you realize why they jail people for tax evasion – to make an example of them. But you don’t usually […]

Here’s Something Stupid That an Alabama Man Said to an IRS Employee

Thomas Sitzler really wanted the IRS Contact Rep to remember what he had to say, so he insisted (s)he write it down: "I'm gonna make Waco, Oklahoma City and nine eleven (9/11) look like a fire drill. I have paid in over one point five million dollars ($1.5 million) in federal taxes while illegals reap […]

The IRS Occasionally Falls for a Crackpot Theory That Says Everyone Born in the U.S. Is Entitled to $630,000

Of the many implausible theories in the tax resister netherworld, it's hard to beat the "1099-OID / redemption" theories for pure crazy.  Unless, of course, you think it's perfectly sensible to believe that the government has a big secret pot of cash with your name on it, and you can tap it if you just […]

David Cay Johnston: President Obama Has Out-Norquisted Grover Norquist

Granddaddy of tax gazetteers, David Cay Johnston, is poking at Grover Norquist again, this time over the quagmire that the Republicans find themselves in over President Obama’s payroll tax cut proposal. The very proposal that could make Obama the biggest Grinch of 2011. Ruined holidays aside, DCJ points out that if the Republicans shoot this down, they do so at the behest of what seems to be a very popular idea:

[N]umerous opinion polls show overwhelming public support for continuing tax cuts for workers and for raising taxes on millionaires. That has left Republican leaders no choice but to silently cry uncle and agree to the president’s request to extend and possibly expand the payroll tax cut.

The reason that Republicans aren’t so hot on the payroll tax cut is that it’s “temporary.” They’d rather see “permanent” tax cuts enacted, although those “permanent” tax cuts are never “permanent.” The “permanent” Bush tax cuts, for example, had to be “extended” last year because they were about to “expire” which basically makes them “temporary.” The payroll tax cut was originally enacted last year with the Bush tax cuts but as Paul Ryan says, it’s supposed to be like a holiday, which is to say, “We lived through it and we’ll just move on with our lives and never to speak of it again.” DCJ writes that this means Obama has beat the Republicans at their own game:

Having outsmarted Norquist, Obama gets to run for a second term as the champion of at least a $100 billion tax cut. Obama can even say that if Republicans had had their way, working people’s taxes would have gone up while taxes on billionaires would have gone down. And he gets to tell small business owners that, but for Republicans, their taxes would have gone down too.

This is a marketing fiasco for Republicans to rival the Ford Edsel and New Coke. Already more than 40 congressional Republicans have taken steps to distance themselves from Norquist, who scowls at the mere mention of what could have been his, but is now Obama’s, very popular tax cut.

In other words: Whose shorties are snagged now?

Republicans paint themselves into a tax-cut corner [DCJ/Reuters]

President Obama Just Might Ruin His Family Christmas for the Payroll Tax Cut

That’s what Harry Reid is saying anyway. I’m not a parent, so I’m not exactly sure how a man would explain to his daughters that they’ll have to spend Christmas on the beach without Dad but he can always Skype in from the West Wing, or he could take the Paul Ryan approach. [Reuters]

Here’s An Original Idea for Threatening Your Local Tax Authority

Envelopes with white powder? Please. Bomb threats? Played. Planes into buildings? Meh.

If you really want to get some attention, you need to employ tactics that would make Samuel L. Jackson soil himself:


[via TaxProf]

Gingrich, Romney Currently Leading the Race to Be Grover Norquist’s Whipping Boy

Did I say “Grover Norquist”? Sorry, sorry. By that, I meant, “the American People.”


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hear that, Mittens? You need to do a re-write, or the the citizens of this great land will have you by the short and curlies. Get on it.

[via The Hill]

These New IRS Competency Exams Are Going To Be a Hoot

Our resident tax nerd, Joe Kristan, touched on the IRS competency exam a couple of weeks ago but yesterday the IRS officially rolled out the red carpet. So, if you prepare tax returns but aren’t a CPA, lawyer, or enrolled agent, you now have the distinct pleasure of spending $116 to spend a few hours with everyone’s favorite test vendor – Prometric – whose proctors will keep a watchful eye on you to make sure your ostomy bag isn’t a secret answer bank, that you aren’t packing heat and your gum is appropriately disposed of. What’s the point of all this, you ask? IRS Commish Doug Shulman can answer that:

“This is another major step forward in our effort to enhance tax preparation service to millions of taxpayers. People should feel assured that the person they hire to prepare their federal tax returns has a working knowledge of the tax code,” said Doug Shulman, IRS Commissioner. “The majority of tax return preparers are reputable professionals but the few bad apples cause great harm to taxpayers and the industry.”

Got it? It’s for the good of the country. Just make sure you don’t have a runny nose on the day of your test. That’ll get you in trouble.

[via IRS via NYSSCPA]

Steel Cage Death Tax Match: David Cay Johnston vs. Grover Norquist

Yesterday we called attention to the 60 Minutes interview of tax hatchetman Grover Norquist. Norquist haters nationwide were no doubt gritting their teeth while GGN yukked it up with Steve Kroft and spread the gospel of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (aka “THE PLEDGE”). This may have inspired today’s column by the Godfather of Tax Journalists, David Cay Johnston. It explains first, how the utter failure of the Congressional Supercommittee actually will result in tax increases:

[B]arring a mad scramble to pass new laws in the next six weeks, workers will pay around $110 billion more in payroll taxes next year and they will not get a $55 billion tax cut proposed two months ago by President Barack Obama. Absent another last-minute fix, more than 22 million families will be required to pay higher income taxes due to the Alternative Minimum Tax, some only because a parent or child has cancer or some other costly medical need.

DCJ is of the opinion that these tax increases would violate THE PLEDGE and thus, should put every signer of THE PLEDGE directly in the tax assassin’s crosshairs. In short, THE PLEDGE is bullshit, says DCJ and its signers should really thinking about another pledge they took and act accordingly:

Pledge signers cannot serve two masters, Norquist and the Constitution. Politicians who do not renounce their pledge of allegiance to Norquist do not deserve to hold office as it prevents them from doing whatever is in the country’s best interests.

You have a choice to make, GOP lawmakers. This plea comes from another bearded man, so it should be taken just as serious.

GOP inaction means higher taxes [DCJ/Reuters]

Grover Norquist Denies Having Republican Congressional Members By Their Pubes

Republican Party HMFIC Grover Norquist was on 60 Minutes last night and Steve Kroft did his best to pull one over on him but as you might expect, GGN took all the questions like the K 12th Street gangsta that he is.


Lots of great moments to note. Some of my personal favorites:

1. Bob Dole’s face at ~1:30.

2. Newt Gingrich’s horrendous handwriting

3. Rat heads in the Coke bottle are quite a stunning image.

4. Two words: Grover, Babe

5. Let’s be real here: The President of Americans for Tax Reform doesn’t take the metro.

And Jesus, is Alan Simpson a grumpy old coot or what? Other observations are welcome at this time.