Tax News & Views Unroll

March 13, 2020

Coronavirus & Congress – Alexis Simendinger & Al Weaver, The Hill. “Assuming the package passes [the House] today, the Senate will take up the measure next week, having canceled its planned recess in order to deal with the pandemic.”

Mel Schwarz, Director of Legislative Affairs for Eide Bailly, also notes,

"Pelosi has specifically stated that this is only the first bill and there will be more to come."

Related: What tax measures are likely to be part of Washington’s Coronavirus response?

Six Reasons Why Trump’s Plan to Delay Tax Filing Won’t Help the Coronavirus Economy – Howard Gleckman, TaxVox

Would a delayed tax filing actually help? 

“Only about 15 percent to 20 percent of low-income households and about one-quarter of middle-income taxpayers owe money when they file their returns.”

Not to mention we still, at the time of writing this in the wee hours of the morning, don’t have details on who it would apply to, as the term “certain individuals and businesses” has been used too much for comfort. Relieving or reducing estimated tax penalties could help some, if the filing date isn’t moved.

Despite market crash, contribute to your 401(k) & claim the Saver’s Tax Credit – Kay Bell, Don’t Mess With Taxes. “The best advice for those still many years from retiring is to stock up on Tums and ride out this tumultuous market.”

Related: Should You Care What The Financial Markets Do Each Day?

Affluent Lifestyle plus Ignoring Tax Debts Equals No Discharge – Keith Fogg, Procedurally Taxing

I’m always amazed by people who knowingly dodge paying taxes and instead treat themselves to the high life.  Wouldn’t we all enjoy fancy trips and cars than paying Uncle Sam?  What’s even more bold is trying to have the debt discharged.  But it didn’t work in this case, with the author noting:

“Many people owe the IRS but those who have enough money to spend on items that support an affluent lifestyle while not paying the taxes receive the scrutiny of the IRS in discharge cases.”

Tax Fraud Blotter: An EFIN mess – Jeff Stimpson, AccountingToday. “No kidding; Time’s up; jailbird; and other highlights of recent tax cases.”

Should You Stop Giving Money To Your College? – Peter J Reilly, Forbes. “An interesting exercise before you write your annual contribution check to alma mater would be to look at the Form 990 and see how much of the contributions are dropping to the bottom line. Call up the development office and ask them why they still need your money, if year after year there is a lot more coming in than going out.”

OMB Completes Review of Net Operating Loss Rules  – Emily L. Foster, TaxNotes ($). “One question expected to be answered in the coming rules is how taxpayers with both pre-TCJA and post-TCJA NOLs should determine the annual deduction limitation.”

What is the obsession with toilet paper right now?

Your local grocery stores have been stripped of, that’s right, toilet paper.  Reuters reports many items are sold out in some London supermarkets and we’re seeing a lot of the same here in the U.S.  The toilet paper phenomenon seemed to be first, before hand soap and nonperishable food…but why?  I’ve given this some thought because it’s a little bizarre and trending news headlines.

I realized that I generally have a decent amount of TP at home and admitted that, yes, I do feel calmer when I know we have enough on hand.  It actually makes a lot of sense, when Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is considered.  I think people are mentally meeting their sense of basic needs by ensuring they can comfortably do one of life’s most basic and necessary functions.  This is how people are calming themselves amidst the panic.

Maybe don’t buy ALL the toilet paper (let’s remember there is a whole world out there who also has needs), but sure, supply your household with a few items to prepare if it helps calm fears.  Reminding us all, myself included, that we will be alright – this too shall pass. 

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