Tax season musings

Ah, it’s January already. Time to prune my fruit trees and look forward to the Superbowl party. Hopefully there is time to broadcast it between all the ads for Turbotax, H&R Block and the latest rich guys running for President. Personally I agree with President Eisenhower who said that the only way to get rich in politics is to be a crook. But what about if you’re rich before you get into politics? Are you still a crook? But I digress… This time of year IRS puts out some public service announcements to help folks avoid problems getting their taxes…

Pass the SALT!

As we race towards the end of the year our office is scrambling with year-end tax projections for clients. Tax Planning used to be easier, but with the recent tax act capping State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions at $10,000 for taxpayers itemizing deductions, planning has taken on new challenges. With the SALT deductions limited to $10,000, coupled with the increase in standard deductions, many taxpayers who previously could itemize deductions no longer will. This can lead to scenarios where people make charitable donations, pay property taxes and mortgage interest and receive no tax benefit from these expenditures. For example,…

Roach Squashes people!

It seems that it’s a weekly occurrence that I read that somewhere another Ponzi scheme bilked a bunch of unsuspecting investors. Given that this type of fraud has been around since the 1800’s and made famous in the 1920’s by Charles Ponzi, you would think the public would wise up to them. Apparently the fraudsters are getting sophisticated faster than the public is getting wiser. This one caught my eye because the perpetrator, Ron Roach, is (was) a CPA and held an SEC license. Apparently Roach and a partner bilked investors out of over $900 million in cash plus more…

Taxes and politics

Long time readers will know that it wouldn’t be the Holiday Season if I didn’t comment about year-end tax planning. Even though your time may be fully absorbed running between Holiday parties and shopping excursions, as we approach December 31 now is the time to evaluate your tax situation for 2019 and make any moves necessary to reduce the amount of money you send to the IRS. But first, let’s talk about one of my least favorite things, politics. The recent tax reform act that kicked in on January 1, 2018 was passed entirely without Democratic support. So, it’s probably…

Finally, Some Progress

It seems that the only things that come out of Washington these days are stupid headlines about stupid stuff. I guess that’s how they keep the masses attention focused where they want it. Sadly amidst all the spin and PR jockeying the less sexy important things get buried and overlooked. One such thing is H.R. 4344. H.R. 4344 is a bipartisan (Yes, that really happens!) bill that will overturn a 2017 US Supreme Court decision that gave the SEC only 5 years to seek disgorgement of ill-gotten money. What this meant was that those committing frauds got to keep the…

While You Were Out Celebrating…

One of the reasons I love the 4th of July is the open display of defiance to overregulation by the use of illegal fireworks. You can drive through some areas of town and see ample evidence of civil disobedience, despite threats of heavy fines by local governments. Pushing back against overregulation and taxation is what caused us to become independent in the first place, and the use of illegal fireworks is just a small reminder of that spirit. But earlier in the week our political class was very busy pushing their own agenda. At the Federal level a new tax…

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