Weekly Digest – June 2, 2023
We have good news this morning as the debt limit bill, (H.R. 3746), the Fiscal Responsibility Act passed the senate and house and is being sent to President Biden for his signature; the nation’s debt limit ceiling will be suspended until January 2025. This may be just what economy needs in order to stabilize. This morning I read The Motley Fool blog about the market and Warren Buffet’s advice to buy and hold high-quality stocks, should we all be muttering duh? I love this time of year with daylight lasting 15+ hours and the mild weather enabling most of us to enjoy the outdoors. I am happy to be able to continue my morning walks and workout then work in my garden a bit before heading into the office. Mother’s Day weekend in New York City signals the start of gardening season. This year my friend Edith helped me prep my vegetable garden patch before we shopped for seedings. I have saved some space to transplant those seedlings I started from seeds a few weeks ago, some string bean, lettuce and kale varieties.
We turned my aged compost into the bed and used her method of covering the soil with garden fabric to limit the weeds…
My recently planted garden is starting to produce and it’s time to pick the lettuce…
We also attacked my fig tree with shears and a chain saw; fingers crossed as my heavily trimmed down fig tree is starting to sprout, we may get a decent harvest in the fall…
The army corps of engineers is busy working on the beach barriers which should protect us from most storms. The metal barrier goes down approximately 25 feet, then a 5 foot poured concreate wall tops it before it is covered by a 14 foot sand dune…
This morning was beautiful at sunrise…
It’s even warming up in Michigan as my grand-dog Rory has started paddleboarding with his “dad” on Gourdneck Lake MI
My grand-dog Sampson loves going for hikes on the local southern California trails sporting fields of wild flowers,
I am hoping you have plans to get out and enjoy the great weather forecast for this weekend.
“Touch-it-once” has been one of my favorite efficiency recommendations since I first heard it countless years ago. The touch-it-once mantra serves us well for the client information gathering process and tax return finalization step. We have learned this lesson well and created check lists for our clients to use as well as “project file routing or status sheets” where we list documents needed in order to allow us to submit tax returns via the e-file system. Included in this critical document list are fully completed signed engagement letters, current driver’s license details and answers regarding virtual assets and foreign assets. In the past we have “received” the last tax document and are ready to finalize and prepare a digital print and corresponding e-file signature document only to fine one of these documents had not been submitted to our office. We come to a dead stop. This is so frustrating for us and our clients necessitating another round of email requests and calls. We are working through this now as we work towards our June month-end goal of completing extended tax returns. I hope this resonates with you as you gather all of the requested/necessary documents at one time and forward them to our office so we all TOUCH IT ONCE!
TAX ISSUES/TAX PLANNING
IRS’s 2023 Dirty Dozen #5-8: Be Wary of Scams and Schemes
Fake charities: scammers set up these fake organizations to take advantage of the public’s generosity. They seek money and personal information which can be used to further exploit victims through identity theft.
Unscrupulous tax return preparers: A major red flag or bad sign is when the tax preparer is unwilling to sign the tax return, others charge a fee based on the size of the refund, others change the taxpayer’s filing status, while some do not submit the tax return through their on-line software. An indication of a “ghost” preparer” is one who will prepare a tax return but refuse to sign or include their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) as required by law. The IRS reminds taxpayers to never sign a blank or incomplete return. A recent issue of @accountingtoday titled Tax Fraud Blotter: Home Is Where The Con Is listed several tax preparers convicted of tax fraud; some were not licensed and some didn’t sign the returns.
The tax returns included:
- false: filing statuses business losses, household help deductions, American Opportunity and Education Tax Credits
- fabricated: itemized deductions, educator expenses, employee business expense deductions, business expenses, and student loans
Social media: Fraudulent form filing and bad advice: we see inaccurate or misleading tax information on social media sites involving common tax documents like Form W-2 or more obscure ones like Form 8944. While Form 8944 is real, it is intended for a very limited, specialized group. Both schemes encourage people to submit false, inaccurate information in hopes of getting a refund. Taxpayers should always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Offer in Compromise mills: Offers in Compromise are an important program to help people who can’t pay to settle their federal tax debts. But “mills” can aggressively promote Offers in Compromise in misleading ways to people who clearly don’t meet the qualifications frequently costing taxpayers thousands of dollars. A taxpayer can check their eligibility for free using the IRS Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.
To report an abusive tax scheme or a tax return preparer, people should mail or fax a completed Form 14242, Report Suspected Abusive Tax Promotions or Preparers and any supporting material to the IRS Lead Development Center in the Office of Promoter Investigations.
Internal Revenue Service Lead Development Center
24000 Avila Road
Laguna Niguel, California 92677-3405
Alternatively, taxpayers and tax practitioners may send the information to the IRS Whistleblower Office for possible monetary reward. For more information, see Abusive Tax Schemes and Abusive Tax Return Preparers.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, H.R. 3746 Has Passed the Senate and Congress, Now Waiting for President Biden’s Signature
This is good news as the legislation allows the government to continue running and paying it’s bills. The bill imposes strict limits on discretionary spending for the next two fiscal years and changes social assistance eligibility rules for some individual recipients. Click through for the actual bill and click through or google reports:
House Committee Passes Six Bills Favoring Main Street
The House Committee recently passed six bills that are designed to help small businesses. These bills focus on providing access to capital, increasing access to federal contracts, and providing tax relief. The bills are expected to help Main Street businesses and create jobs.
US Stock Futures, Asian Equities Rise on Debt Deal: Markets Wrap
US stock futures rose on Tuesday as the dollar weakened and investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were all up, with the Nasdaq leading the way. Investors are expecting the Fed to keep interest rates unchanged and provide an update on its economic outlook.
Tight labor Market Has Increased Demand for Teens for Summer Jobs
The tight labor market has increased the demand for teen summer jobs, with employers looking to hire more teens than in previous years. This is due to the low unemployment rate, which has made it difficult for employers to find workers. Teens are taking advantage of the opportunity to gain work experience and earn money.
The Dangers of Money Market Funds
Money market funds are a popular investment option, but they can be risky. They are not insured by the FDIC, and their value can fluctuate, leading to losses. Investors should be aware of the risks before investing in money market funds.
The Recession Keeps Getting Postponed It May Never Come
The US economy has been growing for over 10 years, and many economists are predicting that a recession may never come. Despite the fact that the economy is slowing down, it is still growing and there are no signs of a recession in the near future.
Russia’s War in Ukraine is Spurring Investments in Renewable Energy
Russia is investing heavily in renewable energy, with plans to increase its clean energy capacity by 40% by 2035. This is part of a larger effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and become a leader in the global clean energy market… read more
- IRS resources for stimulus payments:
- IRS information about the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
- The best source for up-to-date and accurate health information is the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Our prior blog posts, videos and prior weekly newsletters
- Entrepreneur put together a listing of free tech resources for remote work
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warnings about COVID-related scams
- The New York Times has an online newsletter on K-12 and higher education
- The Wall Street Journal has a collection of articles on education
- The Louvre has digitized 482,000 artworks from its collection
- How to create a strong password
We sincerely hope that you and your family are well and remain well. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.
If you need help with your accounting, want to create a tax minimization plan, want to discuss your business growth plan or your finances, are concerned about retirement goals or need to be held accountable for your 90 day action plan, contact us for a complimentary discovery session or an appointment to just get started
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