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Some bad and good tax advice from the pros

Sophocles bad advice quote_quote-coyote
OK, I can't confirm that the Greek dramatist Sophocles said this. But it's on the internet, so…. What is irrefutable is that bad advice is too often given and worse followed, especially when it comes to taxes. (Image by Quote Coyote)

That cheering you hear is, well, everyone as 2020 finally is winding down. This mess of a year can't end too soon for most of us.

But in our enthusiastic anticipation of the Year of COVID-19, we still must get ready for the upcoming tax season.

At the start of the month, I offered some year-end tax moves that all us taxpayers should consider making by Dec. 31.

Now it's time for some advice for the tax professionals whom many of us will turn to file our 2020 tax returns and otherwise help us maneuver the Internal Revenue Code.

AICPA bad and good tax advice: For that important information, I turn to none other than the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, better known by its acronym AICPA.

And today I turn specifically to the recent guest post by April Walker, a CPA and Lead Manager — Tax Practice & Ethics at AICPA, on the organization's blog. April, aka @Aprilshowerstax, asked her #TaxTwitter colleagues for their advice on getting ready for tax season 2021.

But this being 2020, April noted that she was seeking not real advice. Rather, she wanted wrong and terrible advice dispensed on purpose because for this horrendous year, "we all need some healthy sarcasm in our lives, right?"

Right and right on, April!

April, however, is a responsible tax pro, so she also followed up the errant advice contributions with sound recommendations. And that combination earns her post, titled Do THIS — Not THAT in preparation for the upcoming tax season, this weekend's Saturday Shout Out honors.

Faux form advice: I'll let you enjoy April's post at your leisure. But I've just got to note the bad advice highlighted by Liz Farr (@liz_farr on Twitter) because, even though I'm not a professional tax preparer, I hear it all the time from the ol' blog's readers:

"If you got paid in cash, it doesn't count. If it's not on a 1099, you can leave it off your return."

Wrong, wrong and wrong. You are legally required to report all taxable income, even if you don't get a Form 1099.

Thanks for reiterating that very costly taxpayer misperception Liz and April.

And thanks to all the tax professionals who help us not only correctly complete our 1040 forms and make other necessary tax moves, but also do so with such delightful perspectives.

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Comments

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Ella Starr

Thank you for mentioning how important a 1099 is with taxes. My husband and I are thinking of starting a small business this summer. We will find a reputable tax service locally as well.

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