Monday, October 2, 2017


+ I dedicate all my writing – blogging, articles, reports, and books – to my friend and mentor James P Gill, who want to his final audit in August of 2001.  He had basically handed his practice over to me a couple of years earlier at age 75. 
We had worked together for almost 30 years.  He taught me all I know about taxes, and much of what I know about life.
James P Gill was my uncle’s tax preparer.  He would hire students from St Peter’s College, which I attended, during the tax filing season as apprentice tax preparers. During his annual visit, always on Lincoln’s Birthday (then an actual legal federal holiday), my uncle happened to mention to Jim that I had taken my first accounting course and that I was helping him with the books for the non-profit organization he ran.  Jim told my uncle to send me in to see him – and the rest is history!
On my first visit to Jim’s storefront office near Journal Square in Jersey City he took me to a desk in the outer office.  He gave me a copy of a client’s previous year’s tax return and a briefcase full of papers that constituted the current year’s tax “stuff” and told me to “jump in and swim”.
Prior to meeting Jim Gill I had no experience with or education in any aspect of income taxes. I had never even done my own simple return. I had not yet taken the college tax course.  If I had a question about a tax return I would ask Jim, who would either take the time to explain the answer or tell me where to find the answer in his CCH tax library.
Jim, I know I'm who I am today because I knew you.  Who can say if I've been changed for the better?  But because I knew you I have been changed for good!
+ Tax pros who prepare NJ state tax returns – mark your calendar.  The New Jersey chapter of NATP’s annual “Famous State Tax Seminar” will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at, where else, the APA Hotel Woodbridge in Iselin NJ (why it isn’t the APA Hotel Iselin I do not know).  This is a “must-attend” seminar for anyone who prepares NJ state individual or corporate income tax, inheritance and estate tax, sales tax, and payroll tax returns. 
It usually also includes a New York State tax update (unlike the state tax update webinar tax pros who prepare NYS returns must sit through, this NYS update will be for the current tax year – for 2017 returns – and not the previous tax year).
The NJ chapter is also offering a full-day “round-table discussion” on “Practice Management” at the same hotel on Tuesday, December 17th.
Both events include a buffet breakfast and buffet lunch.  For more information on NJ-NATP educational events click here.
+ Have you seen the premiere issue of my new FREE monthly e-newsletter for tax preparers – THE TAX PRO – yet?  Why not?  Click here.
Please share it with your colleagues and co-workers – it’s FREE!
And let me know your thoughts and comments on the contents of the issue.
+ In my opinion the biggest PITA related to the preparation of 1040s today, the item that provides tax preparers with the most agita and aggravation, is the Form K-1 from a limited partnership investment.
This is mainly because of the items included in “Other Income” and “Other Deductions” that are identified in the supplemental statements and schedules, many involving obscure Tax Code section references.  And because they always arrive months late.
I hate K-1s.  I do not “hate” Donald T Rump – I strongly oppose and denounce him and believe he is a despicable and deplorable human being, but I do not “hate” him.  I truly do “hate” K-1s.
I firmly believe –
ü brokers earn an increased or enhanced commission for selling these GDMF things,
ü there are many mutual funds available that offer similar, or better, investment returns and benefits than these GDMF things, and
ü in many cases any earnings and tax benefits from these GDMF things are wiped out by the additional costs involved with 1040 preparation. 
This is another area where I would like to see tax reform – do away with all the weird specialized items of “other” income and deductions and have the K-1s report ONE line item – Box 1 - that reflects ALL non-rental business income or loss.
+ The IRS has apparently decided to suspend its Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) program.  The IRS has concluded that the money raised by the ASFR program has not offset the costs of the program.
Personally, I think this is a bad idea.  As fellow tax blogger Russ Fox put it – “it likely forced noncompliant individuals in to compliance—and that’s the goal of the IRS (current compliance).”  That was certainly true a couple of times in my practice.

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