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 lifetime gifts up to $5 million per year, thrilling kids everywhere until they found out their parents didn’t have $5 million.
In March, the Tax Court clarified that the casualty loss deduction is available only for casualties you suffer, not casualties you inflict
, disallowing the deduction of a $250,000 payment by a taxpayer-driver to the family of a pedestrian he ran over and killed. Meanwhile, Wesley Snipes appealed to the Supreme Court
to try to get his 3-year tax crime sentence overturned. Audit personnel everywhere went on spring break, while the tax people got into serious tax season personal hygiene neglect.
In April, the tax world lost a giant with the death of James Eustice
. Thousands of tax people blinked at the sight of the sun after weeks of toil in the cubicle galleys. TV Tax Lady Roni Deutch was sued
by the California Attorney General for allegedly fraudulent practices, after the California explained that “pennies on the dollar” was for state bondholders, not taxpayers.
Like in 2010, December saw a year-end showdown over expiring provisions, this time the 2 percentage-point reduction in employer social security taxes. The impasse was resolved when Congress agreed to pretend to solve the problem for two months. That prepares us for next December, when the Bush-era tax cuts pretend to expire again. And Richard Hatch finally finished his tax sentence
for failing to report his “Survivor” income, long after anyone else cared.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me just crave 2012.
Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.