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Observations of the world about me – there should be an exciting collection of short stories entwined in that phrase.  And, like a grizzled, old gold prospector, I’ll be doing my “durn tootin’-est” to pan some out.  Out of fair play, however, I’ll give you, dear readers, the “first go” and start with an observation that all of you are most likely sharing.

OBSERVATION #1:

th“Where’s Paul (or Waldo, or whomever)?”  Perhaps that’s better refined into, “Where’ve you been?”

Throwaway Ticket Service - The Business that works while you sleep

Well, I won’t go all “Johnny Cash” on you with the old, “I’ve been everywhere, man, I’ve been everywhere ….”  yet, strangely, I can sum up the last couple of months with the “Wedding Vow.”  You know, “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, …, ’til death do us part.”

— FOR BETTER 

Since income tax season opened up, business has been crazily abundant.  More business, to those of entrepreneurial spirit, is a good thing.  To those “in the trenches doing the actual work,” that “good thing” better be reflected in the paycheck, else its greatness fall into question.

thAnnouncements by the U.S. Government of new “collection actions” available to the IRS for use in recovering back taxes from delinquent taxpayers is this year’s business stimulant.  Add the numerous “Prophecy of Doom” articles and stories being spread by the press and by bloggers (both in search of higher revenues courtesy of the “reading and believing” sect among us) serve to push that stimulation into the “narcotic” category.

The announcements of which I speak are the additional collection actions of:

  • Revoking passports of extremely delinquent taxpayers (the objective being to keep them within U.S. borders, but thbunot giving much thought to those already outside of the U.S.);
  • Denying new and renewal applications for passports of extremely delinquent taxpayer (this time giving a little more thought to “expats” and travelers);
  • Adding the names of extremely delinquent taxpayers to the TSA “Watch List” (thinking of those inclined to cross U.S. borders); and
  • Enhancing the IRS’ abilities in previously available collection actions (liens, levies, seizures, etc.)

Needless to say, taxpayers are running scared.  Running to thmy office door (and those of other tax specialists); all seeking protection from “Uncle Whiskers” and his hordes of revenue officers.  While not an example of “for better” to the worried masses, it’s ironically an example of “for better” on my side of the desk.

— FOR WORSE

With every “Yin,” there comes a “Yang.”

My portion of that “Yang” is counted in minutes, hours, days, and weeks – all of which must be shifted from availability thand leisure to dedication and labor.  While it’s truly a labor of love for me (there’s nothing like “sticking it to the [tax] man” to make my satisfaction meter peg positive), the compromises being made on my “social dance card” can hardly find their place among things loved.  The draconian scheduling of my “free time” is my boss’ fault.  Being the boss, however, …, you see where that’s going.

— FOR RICHER, FOR POORER 

One can argue about what constitutes “rich or poor” – I’m not one for argument.  “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” pretty well sums up my point of view on that.  Being the “ever-optimist,” it’s difficult to see the dark clouds through all of the silver linings.  When feeling “poor,” I need only to look about me to enhance my riches.

I did have any opportunity to sneak away for the weekend before Easter, and take in a little “deep-sea” fishing out of Santa Ana, Cagayan.  Tremendously beautiful area there in the farthest northern (NNE) region of Luzon accessible by land.  Felt rich.  At the end of our trek into the Philippine Sea, FB_IMG_1459957861810the Babuyan Channel, and the Strait of Luzon, all of those riches couldn’t offset our being “fish poor,” however.   It was a gamble we (my fellow Phil-Am friends and I) took – we went a month ahead of “season” for optimum fishing and catches.  Being the only time we could be together, and hearing of some good “pre-season” trophies being landed, we went for the gusto.  “Catch” was the only category that we were “poor” in; everything else – camaraderie, atmosphere, beauty, etc. – is where our wealth lay.

— IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH 

Plenty to bore you with here, especially with that “sickness” business (no, “seasickness” was definitely not among the thmaladies encountered).  But, on the flip-side of the coin, health has its fair share of stories as well.  With “Summertime” upon us, it’s all heat and humidity.  For me, that means health.  I can find no other weather that makes me feel alive and healthy.  (Where else can one “work up” a good, healthy sweat without need for that “work” thingie?)

— UNTIL DEATH …

Sadly, we lost a close family member here in Pasuquin.  My Brother-in-law “Boy” (+Roberto Velasco Dancel+) was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in a construction area where FB_IMG_1459959044134the “other driver” couldn’t wait for traffic to be allowed to travel in the direction he wanted.  “Boy” was on a motorcycle, awaiting the “green light” to go, when he was side-swiped into a steel and rock barrier.

After almost a week in ICU, he passed (bringing the charges against the other driver up to include “vehicular homicide” with a number of other citations).   Tradition was followed for wake and funeral, and all celebrated “Boy’s” Life, and their friendships and acquaintances.  Sufficient time was spent to make sure that all relatives and friends, who were to travel good distances, were afforded their farewells.

“Boy’s” was an “untimely death,” but when you contemplate it, is any death “timely”?

OBSERVATIONS #2 AND BEYOND 

I just looked at the word counter (939), and see that once again, I’m going long.  The other observations will have to wait for “the next one.”  I could easily run that counter up a few more thousand, but “Too much of a good thing ….”

158f279d-a44a-46d7-a1a9-8792c0294f05If memory doesn’t quit on me, and neither does time, I’ll continue down story paths involving observations connected with things like “Very, Very High IQs,” “Simplicity Versus Complexity,” and maybe even a couple of “Only in the Philippines” anecdotes thrown in for good measure.

Until then, it’s “TTFN” (“Ta-Ta For Now,” for those who are IMA – Instant Messaging Adverse).

Posted in ,

PaulK

Paul is a CPA and a retired tax accountant, having served companies and corporations of all sizes, as well as individuals, in public accounting practices. Prior to what he refers to as his "real job," he served a 24-year career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Master Chief Petty Officer. It was during this career that he met and married his OFW spouse of 40+ years, Emy, while stationed in London, UK. (Though he pleaded for the assignment, Paul never received orders to the Philippines.) A "Phil-phile" from an early age, Paul remembers his first introduction to the Philippines in the primary grades of a parochial elementary school where, one week each year, children donated their pennies to purchase school supplies, food and other necessities for Filipino children in need. That love for Filipinos continues to this day. Calling Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte--in the far northwestern part of Luzon--home (just about as far away from Davao as one can be while still being on one of the major islands) Paul prefers a more relaxed provincial life style, and willingly shares a different view of the Philippines from "up north"!

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PalawanBob
PalawanBob
5 years ago

“The prophecy of doom” is not a fantasy.
It’s written on the WALL… that is Wall Street.
Those who know the stock trading business know the date. It’s engraved into SP500 chart since 2009. It’s public information… and it’s right in front of our eyes.
While I will not write the date here on public forum, I can tell you that we are only a few weeks away from it.
Believe it not is irrelevant…

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  PalawanBob

Hi Bob – The “prophecy” that I was referring to was the notion that everyone who owes back taxes – even if measured in chump change – will be subjected to each and every harsh collection action that the IRS can come up with. All of that fear being generated just so an author can make a (taxable) buck. Shame!

PalawanBob
PalawanBob
5 years ago

Should we make our income tax returns?
Yes, we should…!!!
This year is more important than ever before.
Why?
Because 2016 is looking more and more like it will be a difficult year.
Advice; make paper copies of it.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  PalawanBob

Hi Bob – When you think about all of the tax dollars that will be consumed in going after those who do not comply with their income tax responsibilities, you can see that the “non-compliant” cost all of us more than just the amount of their piddly little taxes.

Freedom
Freedom
5 years ago

The usa government is the only one that goes after citizens even if they dont live in Usa. And then your tax
Money is used to pay for stupid wars and for fancy dinners
Just do the fancy dinner yourself and say bye to the government. Remmember is all
A lie, nothing more. The whole system is fake and yoi get brainwashed daily. They want to screw you? Screw them. American society is rotten LOL

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Freedom

Freedom(?) – Spoken like a true “Un-American”!

PalawanBob
PalawanBob
5 years ago

@Freedom
I have chosen to join them rather than fight them but I must admit that it takes a lot of information processing to do it successfully.
That processing of information is available to all. It’s public domain… It’s on Internet!
Fighting them or dropping out will get you nowhere.
There is no escape, this is world wide.
Better conform now or face the music later on.
We are all in the same boat.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  PalawanBob

Hi again, Bob – The comments that you are commenting on appear to have their origins at the bottom of an empty “Ginebra bottle.” Random blatherings without a hint of truth or fact among them, penned by one who obviously feels he’s/she’s been “done wrong.”

At least Ginebra is cheap.

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul,
Palawan Bob has been saying these things for the last several years and really it is getting old to a lot of the commenters here. Last i heard it was the beginning of June and the world will end. We will both be in the States in May so i guess we will have little time to prepare lol. I do have one question. If you live outside the US is it correct that you have till June 15th to file your taxes? Or maybe i won’t have to file taxes if Bob is correct lol.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi PD = Yes, a U.S. citizen who is physically outside of the U.S.A. on April 15 receives an automatic 2-month extension of time to file his/her federal income tax return. This year, that would make the deadline June 15, 2016. All income taxes are still due on April 15th, however. For those enjoying the automatic 2-month extension of time to file mentioned above, however, there will not be any “failure to pay” or “late payment” of income taxes penalties assessed if those taxes are all paid by June 15, 2016. Interest (3% per annum compounded daily), however, will still… Read more »

PalawanBob
PalawanBob
5 years ago

I don’t drink and I am not religious.
In my better days I was the high flier, regularly hiring a helicopter for the week-end in wilderness. No booze, no girls, only papers (charts) and a laptop to study my next move in the markets.
That was my fun in life. Being ahead of the herd.
Better pay attention to what wrote above… Only a few weeks left…!!!
It’s very serious!

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  PalawanBob

Hi Bob –

I wasn’t referring to any comments that you made when I mentioned the “empty Ginebra bottle.” My target was the commenter to whom you were imparting your wisdom. I know you to be a solid abstainer.

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
5 years ago
Reply to  PalawanBob

Palawan Bob,

Only two weeks left? So no Hillary, Bernie, or Trump for president. This year I am finally getting my 2 centavos of a refund and I won’t be able to enjoy it?

Also the Pistons are finally in the playoffs. I guess I can watch them get whipped by the Cavs, right?

Rusty

GaryM
GaryM
5 years ago

First of all condolences. I am sorry for your loss. The roads here are very dangerous. Now for the IRS, if you are on the up and up, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. I don’t think that they will revoke my passport anytime soon. I know that I try to file my taxes correctly. I don’t want any fines on the back end. I need to pay for those stupid wars and fancy dinners as @Freedom says. Who else would do it if it wasn’t for us patriotic ones. I only want to pay for my fair… Read more »

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  GaryM

Thank you, Gary – I fear that it’s not the roads that are very dangerous (but some who ply those roads). In a “sidebar discussion” with a senior revenue officer from the Cincinnati IRS Center, I was reassured that taxpayers owing back taxes and who have to travel internationally to make their living would most likely not have their passports messed with. “Can’t get blood out of a turnip,” was his rationale – if the IRS prevents the taxpayer from making a livelihood, then there’s no chance to recover those back taxes. The IRS’ sole reason for existence is to… Read more »

Willie
Willie
5 years ago

Paul,

How is business going in the tax preparation industry. With the amount the tax preparation software and websites out there I am a bit shocked to see the industry doing well. I have never used a tax preparer and my taxes can be a bit complicated. Now that I think about it more maybe its a generational thing. I am relatively young (34y/o). Does most of your business come from an older generation than mine? If so , then that would explain a lot as older generations have been more resistant to technology.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Willie

Hi Willie – Business is booming this year. The federal government even reported that record tax revenues have been received during the first half of the fiscal year. Those of us helping clients with tax returns are seeing a large increase in the number of filers this year. In my situation, the number of citizenship renunciations (and their associated final income tax / expatriation tax returns) and the number of taxpayers coming forward to file delinquent tax returns (and pay back taxes) is up substantially. Added to the list of “regular filers,” things are quite busy. My clients range from… Read more »

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
5 years ago

Paul,

Glad your back. Enjoy your articles. Sorry to read about your brother in law. Too many accidents here. Too many accidents everywhere.

On a technical note. I couldn’t get an answer from Google. I have a 13 A visa. I received a 1042-S from AZ where I was a teacher. The rest, SS and NV, are sending me 1099-R forms. Do you know why I am getting the 1042-S form?

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Rusty Bowers

Hi Rusty – Your question is one that should be directed to the entity in AZ filing the Form 1042-S and sending you a copy. My suggestion is to contact them and ask, “Why?” Without knowing the entire background of your situation and that of the AZ entity, I would venture a guess and say that the “astute individual who intellectually divined the need for a Form 1042-S” may believe that you are not a “U.S. Person” because you live in the Philippines. The Form 1042-S is generally used when reporting income (and withholding associated income taxes) provided to a… Read more »

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
5 years ago

Paul,

Read this today. Is it true? A non resident expatriate in the Philippines not engaged in trade or business in the Philippines is subject to 25% withholding on gross compensation. Is that on U. S. income?

A resident alien in the Philippines is a non-Filipino citizen whose residence is within the Philippines. A resident expatriate is taxable at 5-32% income tax rate in the same manner as a Filipino citizen. Is that us?

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Rusty Bowers

Hi Rusty – Your comment is confusing. E.g., for US income tax purposes, the term “expatriate” is a person who has renounced his/her US citizenship and may or may not be liable for US income taxes. For Philippine income tax purposes, this term may have a different definition. Toss in the words resident/residence and the confusion is compounded. I think that you may be discussing the differences in taxation for two categories of foreigners in the Philippines – resident aliens and nonresident aliens. Definitions mean a lot here, so we’ll have to defer to the Republic Act No. 8424 [The… Read more »

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