Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tis the Season for State Sales Tax Holidays

In a rite becoming quite commonplace over the last decade or so, at least 14 states will hold a "sales tax holiday" to encourage purchases for the back to school period. While clothing and school supplies make almost every state's list, some states also include computers. Additionally, some states waive sales tax on different items such as hurricane preparedness supplies at other times of the year.

While retailers love the sales tax holidays and crafty shoppers can save money, there is some question whether the holidays are effective from a macro perspective of social welfare. Perhaps "good old fashioned" price competition by retailers would provide just as good a deal to consumers as the tax holidays with a lower tax loss to state treasuries.

Monday, July 11, 2011

AICPA Offers IRS Assistance on Tax Preparer Exam

NOTE: Thanks to Kay Bell for including the "Sun Rises in the East" post from June 29 in July's Carnival of Taxes at Don't Mess with Taxes.

AICPA Tax Executive Committee Chairman Patricia Thompson sent a recent letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman offering assistance by the AICPA in writing the exam for Registered Tax Preparers. Thompson emphasized AICPA experience in writing the CPA exam and planned to primarily test competence on individual tax issues. Thompson pointed out the need for an ethical component to the exam as well.

I cannot imagine the IRS fully subcontracting the Tax Preparer exam to the AICPA, but might agree to use the AICPA as one source of material.

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