State government waste and a Sales Tax reminder for those with retail sales in California

 Accounting & Taxation, Current Events, Tax Tips  Comments Off on State government waste and a Sales Tax reminder for those with retail sales in California
Aug 222019
 

I received an envelope today from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration in Sacramento. This was not a window envelope, but rather a heavy stock (20lb? 24lb?), security envelope (you know, with the blue hashed printing so one cannot easily discern what’s inside), bulk mailed under USPS permit number 569. I don’t get all that much mail from California, but as we do handle clients all over the country and abroad, it wasn’t that unusual.

Inside the envelope was a letter-sized (well, 11×17, folded to form a booklet) 4-page, full color newsletter, entitled, NEWS FOR TAX PRACTITIONERS (Publication 542, August 2019, Edition 10). This is apparently a semi-annual newsletter for tax professionals. Who knew?

Before I get to the Sales Tax reminder (hint: think the Wayfair decisionPortable Document Format), I was struck by the apparent cost of the mailing of this information. First, the zeitgeist is that we should never print anything unless absolutely necessary (because trees won’t regrow or that paper isn’t biodegradable or some such justification). Not that I’m all that crazy about having more paper to handle, but that’s not my point. So, here I had in my hands a full color, moderately-heavy-stock newsletter entirely lacking in personal information to be kept private, mailed in a heavy-stock, custom printed security envelope, sent from a state reportedly having financial difficulties. It boggles the mind.

Please, people, lobby your elected officials to stop wasting your hard earned money. Of course, it’s easy to waste taxpayer money when all you need to do is increase the tax rate to cover the expense. So it goes.

PS – I did not knowingly subscribe to this mailing.

Now, as for the Sales Tax reminder: In April, with the signing of Assembly Bill No. 147, California joined the growing group of states which now impose the collection of Sales Tax on out-of-state retailers selling over the internet and delivering into the state. In the case of California, the threshold is $500,000 of sales within the State, with no minimum number of transactions required, and effective April 1, 2019 (district tax collection became effective April 25, 2019). See this page for specifics.

There is some relief afforded “marketplace sellers” using fulfillment centers located in-State. See this page for details, under Special Notices – 2019, July postings.

To determine whether any or all of your sales into the state of California are subject to the collection of Sales Tax, you might want to review the current California statutes.

 Posted by at 5:10 pm

Deduction for legal fees related to civil rights and whistle blower suits

 Accounting & Taxation, Current Events, Tax Tips  Comments Off on Deduction for legal fees related to civil rights and whistle blower suits
Dec 102018
 

While most legal fees relating to personal matters are non-deductible (or no longer deductible), IRC Section 62(a) provides for a deduction for attorneys fees in civil rights & whistle blower cases as a write-in deduction on Line 36 of Form 1040, before AGI.

Be sure to bring to your tax preparer’s attention any such legal fees which you have paid during the tax year in order to properly report them and take the deduction to which you are entitled.

The 2017 Tax Extender Bill and what it means for 2017 personal returns

 Accounting & Taxation, Current Events  Comments Off on The 2017 Tax Extender Bill and what it means for 2017 personal returns
Feb 152018
 

The 2017 Tax Extender Bill was passed on February 9, resurrecting no less than 32 provisions which were to have sunset December 31, 2016. In fact, a number of these provisions would/could have impacted 2017 tax planning, had they been been taken up in a timely manner, but so it goes. Nevertheless, there are some important points to bear in mind for this tax season. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:17 pm

Cryptocurrency and you (or, what you need to know about Bitcoin, briefly)

 Accounting & Taxation, Current Events, Tax Tips  Comments Off on Cryptocurrency and you (or, what you need to know about Bitcoin, briefly)
Jan 092018
 

This will probably morph into a series of brief posts about cryptocurrency and how to handle it from a business and tax perspective. Most of us are still working through the maze, and of course, the tax landscape continues to shift beneath our feet. This article has been written post-signing of H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December, 2017. Continue reading »

Phone scams: Don’t be a victim!

 Accounting & Taxation, Current Events  Comments Off on Phone scams: Don’t be a victim!
Feb 272016
 

It seems that each year, criminals become emboldened by their past successes, and 2016 is no exception to that rule. While not at the top of this year’s <a href="https://www singulair generic.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Wraps-Up-the-Dirty-Dozen-List-of-Tax-Scams-for-2016″ target=”_blank”>IRS Dirty Dozen list of tax scams, phone scams are certainly toward the top of ours. Continue reading »