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Health Care: More Washington Theatrics

Frankly, in my opinion, all of the controversy yesterday, March 7, 2017, over the American Health Care Act is simply A LOT MORE Washington Theatrics.
Yes, there are Refundable Tax Credits, which die hard conservatives disagree with, but how else are folks that cannot afford health insurance supposed to purchase it? And there are some other provisions which I can understand conservative backlash and lend credibility to liberal claims that this is a way to give fat cats more tax benefits.: *40% tax on “Cadillac Plans” pushed out to 2025; * reduction of 20% O-Care Tax on withdrawals from Health Savings Accounts not used for health needs; *repealing the O-Care limitation paid to an officer, director or employer; however, this appears to be a darn good start.
I have read the bill, all 123 PDF pages of it (I NEVER could have got through O-Care’s 1,000+ pages), posted right on… Continue reading

Trump’s Speech: Rhetoric vs. Specifics

Oh well, another rhetorical Presidential speech to both houses of Congress; however, what Presidential speech in front of Congress EVER laid out a lot of specifics?
Then there’s Cory Booker, a rising star in the Democratic Party: “This speech was more of the same fear and factual distortion that President Trump has made central to his campaign, transition and first weeks in office”. Sorry Mr. Booker, but I read the whole transcript and I did not see the “factual distortion” you referenced. This country is in decline, it does have illegal immigrants in it causing havoc, ObamaCare is slowly but surely collapsing under its own weight, with insurers exiting the program regularly, and many more factual issues Trump laid out.
Then there was former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s Democratic response to the speech where he said his “party would oppose every GOP move to undo the 2010 health law they… Continue reading

The Affordable Care Act (ACA): Here for Longer Than We Might Think

Only a little over one month since Trump took office, it is now becoming more evident than ever that the ACA is an albatross that might be with us a lot longer than was promised during the campaign. As published in an article by Roger Russell in the January 2017 issue of Accounting Today, Roger Harris, President of Padgett Business Services feels “it’s more than likely we’ll have the ACA for all of 2017, probably for all of 2018 and maybe longer”. As has been said by SOOOO many: “Repealing is easier than replacing – they have to give themselves time to wrestle through the economics of a new health care system, particularly because they want to continue to offer insurance for pre-existing conditions and up to” the age of “26 for young adults”. Now, as of just this morning (02/28/2017), according to Scott Wong and Jessie Hellman of TheHill.com,… Continue reading

Isn’t it about time?

I have said many times that I would try and keep from going into politics here, but recently the IRS was mentioned as a retort to the FBI, concerning an investigation into Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton’s emails while at the State Department and all the Clinton shenanigans that have been coming to light recently.  Frankly, I do not think the IRS would do an “unbiased” investigation into any matter concerning the Clintons, based on my assessment of its current director, John Koskinen (see my last post: “Benghazi or IRS”).  The initial suggestion made by Bill O’Reilly of the FBI doing an investigation might be more plausible, in light of the fact that I couldn’t find any “political” issues with its director, James Comey, but I DO feel an investigation HAS TO BE done.  Based on all the past “incidents” Mrs. Clinton appears to have… Continue reading

Benghazi of IRS

First, it’s been a long time since I last posted; August 14 of 2014 to be exact!

I’m going to tell it like it is; I’m not good at blogging!  I am a lousy writer and a WORSE typist; however, I think I am pretty good at researching and even better at expressing my opinions.  Sometimes I don’t have much to say, others I’m running from something I do not like, and then there was tax season, etc.  Let’s hope the writing and typing improve and when there is something to say I do not run scared of the writing or typing so I can try and share some information and maybe my opinions.

My subject today, as it has been for a couple posts in the past is the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, but maybe from a slightly different perspective.  In essence, I feel… Continue reading

Telephone Tax Scam!

Based on an email notification I receiced from the Maryland Society of Accounting & Tax Professionals dated 08/14/2014, the “Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 Million from a scam where unsolicited phone calls are received from someone claiming to be from the IRS, demanding payment for tax issues”.

Based on the email notification:

  • “Scammers use common names and surnames to identify themselves;
  • May be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s social security number;
  • Spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling;
  • Sometimes send bogus IRS emails to support their bogus phone calls; and
  • Even create background noise to mimic a call site”.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen stated: “taxpayers should remember that their first contact with the IRS WILL NOT be a phone call from… Continue reading

IRS = Paper Tiger?

The Kiplinger Letter of July 3, 2014 asked the question: “In the wake of IRS budget cuts, is the IRS turning into a Paper Tiger”?  The facts supporting the case were:

  • Funding levels have declined significantly since 2010;
  • Employee head count has decreased; and
  • Workload has been expanding, due to health care reform, complicated foreign account reporting rules, its effort to prevent fraudulent refunds from going to tax identity theft scammers, along with other responsibilities.

According to Kiplinger, examinations are plummeting, with “last year’s audit rate of 0.96% for individuals” being “the lowest since 2005”.  Put another way, “the service examined just one out of every 104 filed returns, and the individual audit rate for 2014 is expected to drop to 0.80%”.  Not bad for folks skirting the system, but not good for the folks that pay their taxes according to the rules.

On top of the… Continue reading

GAAP: Pitifully Old & Obsolete Principles or POOP!

According to an article in the July 2014 edition of Accounting Today: “POOP: It’s time to bring GAAP into the 21st Century”, by Paul B.W. Miller and Paul Bahnson, GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, are the only exception to the fact that “progress, even disruptive progress, is the only constant, and woe to those who deny it”.  In the opinion of Miller and Bahnson (M&B), GAAP is a sad example of something unable to grow and improve with the forces of change.  M&B put forth some pertinent examples where GAAP, or the powers that create GAAP, appear unable to embrace change.  For example:

  • Depreciation, which has been Cost Based Depreciation “going back to the 1830’s … how come we’re still using it as “cost based depreciation” 180 years later”?  The APB (Accounting Principles Board) and the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) have considered changes to… Continue reading

Tax Reform: Rearranging Titanic’s Deck Chairs!

As my followers might know, the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committees are the primary tax writing committees of the U.S. Congress.  As readers might also know, Max Baucus, the former Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and David Camp, the current Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee have already moved or will be moving on in the near future, with Baucus being nominated and confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to China and Camp announcing his retirement after his current term.  Based on these major transitions and the current log jam in Congress, according to the Kiplinger Tax Letter of 06/20/2014, “tax overhaul won’t occur until 2018 at the earliest”.

Frankly, this might not be a bad thing, considering some of the provisions David Camp put forward in the Tax Letter of 03/14/2014 as his ideas for tax reform/overhaul:

IRS Sued – AGAIN!

According to an article by Alistar M. Nevius, J.D. in the Journal of Accountancy dated July 15, 2014, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday, 07/15/2014.  In the suit, the AICPA is asking the court to halt the IRS’s recently introduced Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), which I outlined in my post of 07/01/2014, where I also expressed the AICPA’s concerns with the program.  The AICPA’s three-count complaint asks the court to declare the rule implementing the program unlawful and stop its operation, based on:

  1. The IRS’s establishing the program in a “revenue procedure” violated the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) “notice and comment requirements” (“the APA requires federal government agencies to provide for notice and comment, except when issuing interpretive rules, general statements of policy, or rules of… Continue reading