I’ve enjoyed the advent of Eastertide. As was the case with most CPAs in public tax practice, I did not get any time off. However, I went to a beautiful sunrise service and had a nice early brunch with my bride before returning to the office.
What I appreciate the most is the fact that Congress is on a break of almost two weeks. Hasn’t it been nice for a few days to have something (anything!) other than Washington name-calling and bickering at the forefront of the news? Congress is far away from fixing the yawning budget deficit. Democrats are still looking for more money from the top “one percenters.” Republicans have their paring knives poised over expenditures. There hasn’t been any compromise and there won’t be any in the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, there are tax changes in the offing. Proposals to improve tax compliance are surfacing. The ideas include expanding information reporting, more funds for IRS enforcement, and limiting opportunities for identity theft in the tax system. A proposal to increase the staggering of tax filing deadlines is moving along. These “domino” due dates will make it easier for taxpayers to report accurately the income from returns such as income from partnerships, S corporations, and trusts. Generally, these kinds of proposals are being fairly well-received on both sides of the aisle.
In other – only tangentially related – news, the Tax Court recently ruled that Ms. Villareale could not deduct her charitable contributions of $250 or more to a ferret rescue organization that she cofounded and for which she served as president and managed its finances. She did not issue to herself timely and properly-prepared acknowledgements. I wonder: From what do you rescue a ferret? Have you ever tried to catch a ferret? Have you ever had a ferret in your bed? I have. Catching a ferret is darn near impossible, but probably easier than Democrats and Republicans agreeing on comprehensive tax reform.