Smart TaxesSmart Taxes

Proposal would allow contributions to be deducted on 2009 returns.

By Kay Bell Jan 19, 2010 4:19PM

As relief workers scramble to bring aid to the victims of last week's devastating earthquake in Haiti, U.S. lawmakers are working out details of a tax break for those who've donated (or plan to donate) to the cause.

 

Under a bipartisan House bill, if you contributed money to nonprofits providing relief to the stricken island nation, you would be able to deduct those donations on your 2009 tax return. This would allow you the tax benefit of the gifts now, rather than making you wait almost a year to claim the charitable gift when you file your 2010 tax return in 2011.

 

New rules, which start next year, may help weed out the crooks.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 18, 2010 11:28AM

Yippie! They’re from the government and they’re really gonna help you.

 

The IRS is now requiring all federal tax return preparers to register with the agency and get a preparer identification number. IRS agents plan to set up sting operations

 

But the unlimited exclusion is likely to end this year, and the tax will stay alive.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 16, 2010 3:07PM

Enough already!

 

Will somebody please smack the back of the head of the supposed savant, still searching for the second digit in his IQ, who keeps asking the same silly question:

 

“Will the estate tax disappear?”

 

This complex set of rules changes too often.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 16, 2010 2:45PM

He told the truth.

 

Last October, in a speech at the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Conference, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman uttered the words, “the complexity of the Tax Code may make your eyes glaze over.”

 

Tell it like it is, Commish!

 

But this is nothing new, sir. Had you opened your eyes and actually read the Tax Code, you’d probably be blind by now. You surely would be confused and concerned.

 

Tax code sounds boring, but it leads to mental Viagra.

By Jeff Schnepper Jan 16, 2010 2:01PM

My first blog.

 

Let’s be honest. The excitement factor for taxes lies somewhere between watching paint dry and listening to my mother-in-law regurgitate all the mistakes I’ve made in the last 30 years.

 

Taxes may be boring. But money and wealth accumulation are mental Viagra. Money leads to wealth and wealth creates options and independence.

 

Ruling could aid other students who want to deduct costs of getting MBA.

By Teresa Mears Jan 15, 2010 9:26PM

This news article comes from Laura Saunders at partner site The Wall Street Journal:

 

A Maryland nurse accomplished two rare feats in her battle with the Internal Revenue Service: She defended herself against the agency's lawyers and won, and she got a ruling that could help tens of thousands of students deduct the cost of an M.B.A. degree on their taxes.

 

The U.S. Tax Court handed Lori Singleton-Clarke her victory last month, saying the 47-year-old Bryantown, Md., woman had properly deducted nearly $15,000 in business school tuition.

 

The Tax Court ruling should make it easier for many other professionals to deduct the expense of a Master in Business Administration degree.

 

Washington weighing proposals to increase taxes on wealthy.

By Kay Bell Jan 15, 2010 9:09PM

Taxes on higher income earners are getting a lot of attention, as I mentioned in my presentation to a local CPA group recently. A surtax on the wealthy, for example, is part of the House version of health care reform.

 

But taxes and how they are distributed has long been part of our fiscal and political landscape.

 

In the last presidential election, Obama set $250,000 as the threshold for defining where the tax hikes would fall. Whether you consider a quarter of a million dollars wealthy depends on a lot of things, including not just your current paycheck or Visa balance, but also your political and social points of view, as well as geography. Many folks who live in major urban areas don't see $250,000 as the wealth jackpot.

 

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