Summer time is tax pro time
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IRS Tax Forum random observations II

Another full day of IRS Nationwide Tax Forum seminars and talking with tax folks from across the country. I even hooked up with some members of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, of which I was a member a few years ago.

First, the business. Today's sessions covered Schedule C issues; inherited assets and step-up basis; Small business health care tax credit; foreign tax credit; IRS efforts to combat online fraud and identity theft; and amended returns.

Irs tax forum image

The amended returns program was the fullest. Perhaps it was the use of "X-rated" in the seminar's title. I'll make the same promise (threat?) regarding these sessions as I did for Tuesday's. I'll blog about at least parts of each seminar later.

Now to day two's random thoughts and observations, some of them even tax related.

Today's open letter goes to a special group of speakers:

Dear attorney presenters, I know Internal Revenue Code sections are important, but the listing of them is more sleep inducing that the world largest flock of sheep.

Exception to the walking out of a session rule I cited yesterday. It's allowed when the whole presentation is a droning recitation of examples of how to figure various theoretical situations. Give us the rules and calculation methodology. If we can't do the math on our own, we'll get back to you.

I'm not naming session or presenter names, but you know who you are by the steady stream of exiting attendees. And no, they weren't leaving just because this was the last session before lunch.

Another rule, however, stays in effect. Just as conference attendees shouldn't talk during a presentation, neither should Forum staff. I know I slipped into the session at the last minute and was relegated to back row seating, but I showed up to hear it, not y'all discuss lunch plans.

Speaking of food, tic tacs are not a meal substitute.

The pre-recorded young woman's voice that periodically intones Forum protocol -- Take only one seat. Do not use surrounding seats to store your personal items. Do not obstruct areas reserved for scooters and wheelchairs. You must scan your badge to receive CPE credit. Turn off all cell phones. -- reminds me of Disney World's tram. And that makes me wish there was a PeopleMover for this sprawling hotel.

A laptop battery will not recharge if you don't plug in the power strip into which you plugged your computer.

Why I'm glad I don't do other people's taxes for a living: They tell tax preparers things like, "I need to re-do my 1040. I didn't know they were going to send me a 1099!"

Tax tip prompted by that 1099-MISC comment: All income, even payment that's not reported on an official form because it didn't meet the $600 threshold, is taxable and must be included on your 1040 or Schedule C.

Have you heard of vishing? I hadn't until today.

Sometimes room service is worth all the extra fees they tack onto your meal.

And presenter comment of the day goes to Larry Gray, a Missouri CPA and National Association of Tax Professionals member who led a session on all the recent tax changes dealing with inherited assets:

"We're all talking about Congress not doing anything about the debt. But If Congress wouldn't do anything in tax law for while, we might figure out how to do the returns."


Finally, the Tax Forum continues to rock in every way. Here's a selection from today's between session playlists:

We Can Work It Out, The Beatles
One Piece at a Time, Johnny Cash (today's pick)
Sloop John B, The Beach Boys
Rock the Casbah, The Clash
Last Dance With Mary Jane, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Changes, David Bowie
Message in a Bottle, The Police
With Love From Me to You, The Beatles
Signs, Five Man Electrical Band
In the Jailhouse Now, Charley Pride

I know tomorrow I'll be hearing about new information reporting rules, automated underreporter issues and innocent spouses, just to name a few seminars.

But I have no idea what the conference disc jockeys have planned.

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