Location: Westland, Michigan, United States

Graduate of Walsh Institute Of Accountancy (Now Walsh College) Michigan in 1959. Retired in 1987, but still active in the profession **World War II Veteran (Pacific) **PHONE 734-261-1979 **E-MAIL **(Domain Name CPASENSE Registered) **Mentioned in the Journal of Accountancy, SmartPros, Tax Prof Blog, CPA2BIZ, CPA Journal, AccountingWEB, CPATrendlines & More **Search Accounting Blogs: (Includes cpasense)**TOPICS - FINANCE - FEDERAL & MICHIGAN TAXES ** Making Sense Of Your Finance & Taxes

Saturday, March 29, 2008

As Tax Day Looms, Avoid These Audit Traps

The most closely-guarded secret at the Treasury Department is not the amount of gold in Fort Knox. The real secret is something that goes by the name DIF. The Discrimination Information Function is the IRS' formula for determining which tax returns get audited..........


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Homeowner Records: What To Keep and How Long

Keeping full and accurate homeowner records is vital for determining not only your home deductions but also the basis or adjusted basis of your home. These records include your purchase contract and settlement papers if you bought the property or other objective evidence if you acquired it by gift, inheritance, or similar means.

You should also keep any receipts, canceled checks, and similar evidence for improvements or other additions to the basis. Here's some examples:

**Putting an addition on your home
**Replacing an entire roof
**Paving your driveway
**Installing central air conditioning
**Rewiring your home
**Assessments for local improvements
**Amounts spent to restore damaged property

In addition, you should keep track of any decreases to the basis. Here's some examples:

**Insurance or other reimbursement for casualty losses
**Deductible casualty loss not covered by insurance
**Payment received for easement or right-of-way granted
**Value of subsidy for energy conservation measure excluded from income
**Depreciation deduction if home is used for business or rental purposes

How you keep records is up to you, but they must be clear and accurate and must be available to the IRS. And you must keep these records for as long as they are important for the federal tax law.

Paul Dion CPA

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Savvy Steps In Shopping For A Mortgage

What’s the best advice for people who are buying or refinancing a home? Get the best mortgage. According to the Michigan Association of CPAs, shopping around for the best mortgage deal you can find and being informed about the right questions to ask mortgage lenders can be the most important things that you do........

Michigan Association of CPAs

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2008 Michigan Taxpayer's Guide

Dear Taxpayer:
With our varying tax laws under constant review and often changing, the task of sorting all the information put before you at this time of year becomes more and more difficult.

For the 2007 tax year, I hope to make that task a little easier by providing you with the “2008 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide.” This booklet gives you the latest information on many of Michigan’s tax laws, in simple-to-understand English, put together in a single publication.

This booklet contains information for the 2007 tax year on property taxes, homestead property tax credits, farmland and open space tax relief, the home heating credit program, the Michigan Income Tax, the Michigan Business Tax, and other tax-related subjects. Your attention to the information contained in this booklet may ease the burden of filling out state tax forms and may even save you money. However, this
booklet is not designed to provide you with line-by-line instructions for filling out state income tax forms.

That information is provided by the Michigan Department of Treasury in the income tax instruction books that include your tax forms.............

2007 Individual Income Tax Forms & Instructions:

2008 Business Forms & Instructions:

2007 SBT Tax Forms & Instructions:

Michigan Treasury

Michigan Enhanced Drivers License

Michigan Public Act (PA 23) Driver’s license—enacts Enhanced Driver License and Enhanced Official State Personal Identification Card Act, which may be proof of identity and citizenship for people entering the United States at land and sea ports; provides that an applicant can apply for either a standard driver license or ID card or an enhanced driver license or ID card (which must include reasonable security measures to protect against unauthorized disclosure of personal information) (HB 5535; effective 3/13/08)

Michigan Legislature

Michigan Property Tax Explanation

Video with Terry Stanton of the Michigan Department of Treasury explains why property taxes have gone up while property values have declined

Help With Figuring Your Taxes

Detroit News

Monday, March 17, 2008

IRS Announces Economic Stimulus Payment Schedules, Provides Online Payment Calculator

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will begin sending more than 130 million economic stimulus payments starting May 2. The initial round of weekly payments will be completed by early July.

The IRS also announced the availability of a new online calculator on to help people determine the amount of their stimulus payments............

Internal Revenue Service

Michigan OFIS Commissioner: Refund Anticipation Loans Are A Bad Deal For Consumers

Agency strongly supports Tobocman bill requiring consumer disclosures for tax refund loans

LANSING – With the April 15th Tax Day deadline for filing income taxes one month away, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS) Commissioner Ken Ross urged Michigan consumers to think twice before they agree to a refund anticipation loan (RAL) also known as “tax refund loans” or “instant loans.”........


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tax Season Scams Video

Michelle Eldridge, chief of national media relations for the IRS, sat down with the AARP Bulletin to discuss the latest tax scams and how you can avoid falling into con artists' traps during tax season.


2007 Info About Economic Stimulus Payments To Social Security, Veterans, And Other Beneficiaries

........File a Form 1040A with only a few lines filled in to receive
your economic stimulus payment. You may use the enclosed
Form 1040A. You may also file electronically for free. Visit and click on the free file icon...........

Internal Revenue Service

CPA Journal: WebSite Of The Month - SmartMoney's Tax Guide

MARCH 2008 - The Tax Guide features articles on individual and small business taxation, online calculators, and other resources. The Tax Guide is part of the SmartMoney online financial publishing group, which covers investing, personal finance, and small business. Although the website is aimed at individual taxpayers, preparers may find the material useful when checking on current events or seeking ideas to better communicate with clients. Educators and students also will find the variety of resources quite interesting and fun to read.

CPA Journal

Friday, March 14, 2008

Best Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund

As the April 15 tax filing deadline nears, many people will be in the enviable position of receiving a tax refund. It’s a nice surprise..........

Michigan Association of CPAs

Michigan Governor Signs Bill To Create Optional Driver's Licenses

3/13/2008, 4:14 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Governor Jennifer Granholm has signed legislation to create optional Michigan driver's licenses designed to make it easier to cross the nation's borders.............


Identity Thieves Target Tax Refunds

By TOM HERMAN (The Wall Street Journal)

March 13, 2008 (Associated Press) — Doing your taxes is painful enough. But it can be especially so when a scam artist files a phony tax return with your name, Social Security number and other personal information in an attempt to collect a refund.........


IRS 2008 "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has issued its 2008 list of the 12 most egregious tax schemes and scams, highlighted by Internet phishing scams and several frivolous tax arguments.

Topping this year’s list of scams is phishing, which encompasses numerous Internet-based ploys to steal financial information from taxpayers. New to the “Dirty Dozen” this year is a scheme, which IRS auditors discovered, that relates to unreasonable and/or excessive fuel tax credit claims............

Internal Revenue Service

SEC Chairman Discusses Scams Targeting Seniors

.........In the last year, the SEC has targeted what Cox called the free lunch seminar scams. In those, seniors are invited to a free meal, where they are promised investment education.

In every case, Cox said it turns out to be a high-pressure pitch from a salesman.

He said 59 percent of the ones the commission investigated had indications of fraud.

"That was a good area for us to crack down," he said.

Cox said the SEC has not totally shut down the free lunch scams, but he said it has reduced the number............

Smart Pros

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Special Economic Stimulus Packages Go To Social Security, Veterans Recipients

March 10, 2008

WASHINGTON — Starting next week, the Internal Revenue Service will mail special information packages to 20.5 million recipients of Social Security or Veterans Affairs benefits to help them get their 2008 economic stimulus payment.........

Internal Revenue Service

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Michigan Gov. Applauds Senate on Mortgage Foreclosure Bills


Two legislative packages dealing with mortgage refinancing through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and installing requirements for mortgage loan officers to be licensed by the state and go through criminal background checks will come up in the House for action this week, clearing the way to the Governor's desk.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

SBTV - Small Business Television Network

SBTV is the first television network on the web devoted 100 percent to the small business market - from business start-ups to established enterprises. ...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

New Form For Employees Misclassified As Independent Contractors

In 2007 were you an employee whose employer paid you as an independent contractor? Employees usually receive a Form W-2 while independent contractors usually receive a Form 1099-MISC.

Generally, a worker who received a Form 1099 for services provided as an independent contractor must report the income on Schedule C and pay self-employment tax on the net profit using Schedule SE. However, if the worker was actually an employee, rather than an independent contractor, the worker is not required to pay the full self-employment tax, and expenses can only be deducted as an itemized deduction.

Beginning in 2007, Form 8919, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages, may be used if you were an employee and your employer did not withhold your share these taxes and you meet certain criteria. These taxes will then be credited to you social security records.

To be eligible to use Form 8919 you must meet one of several criteria indicating that you were an employee while performing these services. The criteria include:

*You filed Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding, and received a determination letter from the IRS stating that you are an employee of the firm.

*You have been designated as a “section 530 employee” by your employer or by the IRS prior to January 1, 1997.

*You have received other correspondence from the IRS that states you are an employee.

*You were previously treated as an employee by the firm and you are performing services in a similar capacity and under similar direction and control.

*Your co-workers are performing similar services under similar direction and control and are treated as employees.

*Your co-workers are performing similar services under similar direction and control and filed Form SS-8 for the firm and received a determination that they were employees.

*You have filed Form SS-8 with the IRS and have not yet received a reply.

Internal Revenue Service

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Money Back In Michigan

2007 Tax Year. This packet promotes awareness of various federal and state tax credits available to low and moderate income households in Michigan. It is designed to assist organizations that serve low-income individuals and families by providing timely information about credits for which they may qualify. The flyers can be distributed or displayed in local offices, libraries, community centers, and retail businesses.

Michigan League for Human Services


When you think about filing your tax return, do you have more questions than answers? The entire process can be confusing and..........

Michigan Association of CPAs


What’s the best advice for people who are buying or refinancing a home? Get the best mortgage. According to the Michigan Association of........

Michigan Association of CPAs