Every summer around this time, states all over America offer special tax-free days. These are weeks or weekends when families can buy their back-to-school supplies, and certain other needed merchandise, without having to pay sales taxes. Clicking on today’s graphic will take you to the national list. Just look for your states. On high-ticket items, like computers and energy-saving installations, the savings can be substantial.
News this week has been interesting. Congress has voted more money for the Cash for Clunkers program. Those $3500/$4500 credits are going like hotcakes. It only took 10 days to use up the first $1 billion – and to sell about 220,000 cars. Will this revive the auto industry? Or just be a short-term boost?
Sonia Sotomayor was just confirmed 68-31 by Senate. Looks like we have a new woman on the Supreme Court – and the first Latina. I can’t tell how excited I am about her confirmation. She’s an intriguing woman. One, who I feel has a strong sense of honor. Congratulations Justice Sotomayor!
In light of the continued high rate of unemployment (even though the rate just dropped slightly last month), Congress is considering extending unemployment benefits when they return to session in the fall.
And private citizen, former President Bill Clinton pulled off a major coup , bringing back two imprisoned reporters to Burbank, CA this week. Oddly enough though, I can’t find any discussion of what he offered or promised to North Korea in exchange for their pardons. Does anyone know?
This week’s CSEA DigiTax workshop about Hobby Loss started a little late due to my technical difficulties. Ooops. Should have started on a different computer in the first place. Regardless, the class was interesting. The questions lively. And afterwards, from the e-mails I received, it is clear that IRS IS running hobby loss audits. One attendee already has a Tax Court petition planned to review the harsh results from the initial audit. For me, that’s always the fun part of the process – winning those Tax Court cases – without ever having to go into Court! You can pick up a CD of the workshop from CSEA
We’ve been having a lot of fun in the EA class. One of the favorite pastimes is working on sample tax returns and analyzing them, going into detail on how to handle particular issues. A little bit like the old bookkeeping concept of the Sample Set. (Do they still teach that?) What’s interesting is that even using someone else’s prepared sample return and data, certain things jumped out at me that would definitely not make sense on a tax return (usually missing expenses). For instance, the return we worked on included investments in tax-exempt bonds – but no interest income from tax exempt bonds. It included rental income – but no rental expenses. In fact, this business didn’t even pay rent – or a mortgage. Where the heck was the business domiciled.
The reason I bring this up is to alert you to your own tax return. Review your personal or business returns for things that jump out at you as being missing. Even if you never prepare your own tax return, get BOLD! Read it – every page. See what IRS is going to see. Does it hold together? Does it make sense? Are there numbers on the return that you didn’t give your tax professional – and shouldn’t be there? Sometimes, those numbers are sheer errors. Other times, they are designed to give you a large refund to which you’re not entitled.
In IRS News this week we learn about the $35,000 loan program from the SBA to stressed small businesses – and who doesn’t qualify (the tough love program). And IRS tells us what to do if you think your identity has been stolen.
In today’s Money Funny – we learn about the Medical Stimulus Package in a Nutshell.
TaxQuips this week we learn about some ridiculous and wasteful behavior in the Cash for Clunkers program; a generous fellow wants to design and donate a website to a local school; some pathetic business ownder didn’t file or pay payroll taxes for years; and dear old Dad is paying a whopping $900 per month towards his son’s health insurance – does he get ANY tax breaks? As always, I really appreciate all the help from tax professionals and readers all over the world. You are what makes it all worthwhile for me!
As always, we love your feedback, opinions and ideas.
You are what makes all this fun – and interesting!
Please use the Comments link online.
Hugs from your favorite TaxNerd,
Eva Rosenberg, EA
Your TaxMama is watching…out for you.
TAX CALENDAR 2009
08.17.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
09.15.2009 Employers Make monthly Payroll tax deposit
09.15.2009 Corporate & Partnership Returns Due- FINAL DEADLINE
09.15.2009 3rd 2009 Estimated Payment – all entities Due
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