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2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced and are Down

Last week, the IRS announced the 2016 optional standard mileage rates for Business, Medical and Moving.  The rates are less than 2015.  The IRS conducts a study each year of the fixed and variable costs of operating a vehicle.  Surprise!  Gas costs have been down in 2015 from 2014 – way down.  According to the […]

Tax-Friendly and Not-Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Kiplinger recently released its 2015 survey about states and their relative tax-friendliness to retirees. Of course, one quickly focuses on the absence or presence of a state income tax.  That is definitely a factor in determining the tax burden of living in a particular state.  However, there are other important tax considerations for retirees, including […]

Happy NEPAW!

Several years ago – before the estate tax exemption was raised to $5,120,000 for 2012 and increasing each year thereafter (so far) ($5,430,000 per individual in 2015), Congress designated the third week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week.  That equates to October 19th through October 25th in 2015. AccountingToday reports that only approximately […]

Some Ado about Little

Okay, it’s not the best rip-off of Shakespeare.  I thought about calling this blog “Be Careful What You Ask For.”  This installment addresses some proposed regulations that came out last week. Every year, we at HM&M may be perceived by some of our clients as harpies – shrieking, scolding and nagging about obtaining “contemporaneous written […]

Some More Statistics of Income

The Statistics of Income Program of the IRS released some interesting information last week in Publication 4801, “Individual Income Tax Returns Line Item Estimates, 2013.” (OK, I find it interesting. I never said I wasn’t a nerd.) The analysis involved the information on 65 forms and schedules. Here are a few of the tidbits about […]

Want to get audited by the IRS? Here’s how.

Recently, The Kiplinger Tax Letter published on its website “15 Audit Red Flags.” I set them out below – some verbatim and some paraphrased. The snarky comments are mine. Making a lot of money. If your income is $200,000 or more, you must be doing something bad: you are three times as likely to be […]

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY, SOCIAL SECURITY!

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Today, Social Security provides benefits to about one in five U.S. residents, including retirees, people with disabilities, young children whose parents are deceased or disabled, widow(er)s and spouses. Without changes in Social Security, the system is projected to run out […]

The 2015 Income Tax Filing Season: A Tale of Two Cities

The IRS funding was down in fiscal year 2015 about 17 percent from fiscal year 2010 on an inflation-adjusted basis. In addition to its normal duties involved in collecting about 93 percent of Federal revenues, the IRS was tasked this year with implementing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act and the Foreign Account Tax […]

Multitasking? Not so Fast

Dictionary.com says that to multitask is “to perform two or more tasks simultaneously.” It might also be described as performing tasks sequentially, switching among tasks before the task at hand is finished. Anyway, I’ve always have had a hard time accepting the validity of the asserted benefits of fast-paced multitasking in the information workplace. So, […]

Katy Perry, Travel and Taxes

Got your attention, didn’t I? Katy Perry graced the cover of the July 20, 2015 edition of Forbes. In the magazine’s annual survey, she was named the highest earning entertainer with estimated earnings of $135 million over the 12-month measurement period. The accompanying article portrays her as talented, bright, business-savvy, and intellectually curious. It highlighted […]

Accounting TV Shows – That’s What I Am Waiting For!

   A while back, I commented in my blog about a rumored movie in the making that stars Ben Affleck as an accountant with a sideline business – hit man.  The movie doesn’t seem to have made it to the theaters (and may never).   There is just not enough good entertainment featuring the accounting profession. […]

Jeb Bush’s Supercharged Retirement Plan

Last week, presidential candidate Jeb Bush released his income tax returns for the last thirty-three years. News outlets sliced and diced the returns to analyze his income, his tax payments, and the significant wealth he has accumulated over the years. What caught my attention were the reports of a vaguely-described pension plan in which he […]

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