Monday, August 5, 2013


Finally a “meaty” Taxpro BUZZ!

+ Jamaal Solomon has posted #2 of his series of “Confessions of a Mad Tax Accountant” - “Dealing With Bum Clients”. 

I agree when JS says -

There is nothing wrong with firing bum clients. Life is too and complex to deal with them! Firing bum clients will give you more time to concentrate on your valuable clients.” 

As tax pros we get enough agita dealing with the IRS, the states, and good clients.  More agita we don’t need.

JS is more lenient than I am – he gives these cafones “two chances to prove that I should keep them as clients”.  At this point in my career, especially as I am trying to “thin the herd”, one strike and you are out.

+ In “Spousal IRAs Retitled” JK LASSER tells us that “In honor of a former U.S. senator, the spousal IRA has been renamed the Kay Bailey Hutchison Spousal IRA.”  Like the Keogh Plan, the Roth IRA, the Coverdell Education Savings Account, and the Pease in PEP and Pease.

I am not familiar with KBH, so I cannot properly comment on the appropriateness of the naming – but considering today’s Congress it seems the members deserve contempt more than they do “honor”.

Back in the late 80s (I believe) someone suggested that the government “sell” naming rights to bills and items created therein, like what is done with stadiums and concert venues.  For example the “Citibank Spousal IRA”.  At least that would generate some cash to reduce the deficit. 

+ Once again Jason Dinesen asks “What’s the Upside of Preparer Regulation for Enrolled Agents?” in light of “recent NAEA talking points were regarding tax preparer regulation at a legislative day NAEA held in Washington, D.C. in May.”

As usual, Jason makes good points.  And he again correctly points out that most of the taxpayer public has no idea, or the wrong idea, what an EA is. 

I believe my proposal for incorporating the RTRP designation, with a more difficult competency test (and a grandfathering exemption from the test for proven experienced tax pros), into a 2-part voluntary certification program with the Enrolled Agent credential would appropriately deal with his issues.  See my TAXPRO TODAY editorial “What the IRS Should Do About the RTRP”.

+ I have not attended an IRS Nationwide Tax Forum since the east coast location was changed from New York City to National Harbor (near Wash DC).  They are a good source of CPE, although the individual seminars are limited (at least when I attended) to 50 minutes, which also limits the coverage of a topic or ability for Q+A.  The seminar rooms were always crowded, and it was often difficult to take notes as there were no tables at which to sit. 

The main benefit of the Forum is the IRS speakers – hearing the Service’s point of view on tax topics.  It also has a good Exhibition Hall.

I asked Kay, via “tweet”, “Did Werfel address the RTRP issue?”  Her response was “no he didn't ...”.  Odd, considering he was addressing tax professionals.  Kay told me the RTRP program was not discussed anywhere at the Forum.

+ Speaking of the IRS - in case you haven’t heard, the WASHINGTON POST announced “Obama Nominating Restructuring Expert to Lead IRS Amid Political Controversy” -

President Barack Obama has chosen a retired corporate and government official with experience managing numerous organizations in crisis to take over an Internal Revenue Service under fire for targeting political groups.

Obama said his nominee for commissioner of the tax agency, John Koskinen, ‘is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform’.”

+ The NATP’s weekly email newsletter advised members that the IRS has released the 2013 draft Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, and the accompanying instructions. The draft form includes a new Section C, Theft Loss Deduction for Ponzi-Type Investment Scheme Using the Procedures in Revenue Procedure 2009-20. This revenue procedure provides an optional safe harbor treatment for taxpayers who experienced losses in certain investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent. It also describes how the IRS will treat a deduction for such a loss if the safe harbor treatment is not elected.

I have had one client who was a victim of a non-Madoff Ponzi-like scheme a few years back.

+ FYI, NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) has an online “Healthcare Resource Center” with lots of information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

+ And another FYI – I was recently emailed for review “7 Career Options for the Aspiring Accountant”, an “infographic” you might find interesting “on career possibilities for the aspiring accountant. It highlights the various job opportunities that are available for those entering the accounting workforce. Additionally, it provides a closer look into average salaries, qualifications, job growth and other key facts and figures.”


1 comment:

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