Tag Archives: predicting the future

The only thing worse than talking to the IRS is NOT talking to the IRS

Will taxpayers need to “pay to play” in dealing with the IRS?

Nina Olson is head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the office of the IRS that actually reports on how the IRS performs in dealing with taxpayers. She is your voice within the IRS. So when she says something, I pay attention.

Patricia Cohen of The New York Times writes that in her annual report to Congress, Olson said her office “has been left with the distinct impression that the I.R.S.’s ultimate goal is “to get out of the business of talking with taxpayers” altogether.

Fewer taxpayer services. More incorrect processing of returns. Higher costs to taxpayers who wind up having to use tax pros to deal with problems that consumers used to be able to handle themselves. No good spin on this story, but the report is highly readable and you can find it here. I recommend having an adult beverage by your side while you read.

Why real estate prices keep falling

When clients are considering buying a home and ask me about the tax consequences and what I think is going to happen with real estate prices, I can usually answer the tax question easily. For the question about what’s going to happen with prices, I have to say, “I don’t know.” The problem is, with… Continue Reading