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August 29, 2006



Maybe artists are seosppud to use Schedule E if they work with oil paint? Bank accounts including CDs should be reported to the IRS on a Form 1099-INT, which only shows the interest income. I don't know how they can screw that up. However, anything with a fluctuating share price has to be reported on Schedule D, and you have to keep track of your basis (i.e., the original share price) to determine your profit or loss. Unfortunately I've heard that if you don't record the basis, they will assume that the entire sale is profit even if anyone with half a brain realizes that can't be true. Obviously, that's an incentive to keep good records! If your money market or CD was through a brokerage firm, it might be easier for them to screw up something apparently listed as a sale so they think you should have reported the sale and the basis on Schedule D rather than using interest section of Schedule B. In other words, about the same level of robotic mindlessness as assuming royalties can only mean Schedule E.If you do have good records, it's usually pretty easy to fix mistakes. About fifteen years ago I had to send in copies of my records to prove I had rolled over an IRA within the window; that's all it took to satisfy them that I did not own taxes and penalties for an early withdrawal. Annoying, but not nightmarish. @Philip Owen: You didn't list the specifics of your issue with the IRS, but I'll make one general comment. Like any other organization, there are occasional incompetents who can't seem to understand the simplest things. Unfortunately, when those incompetents have the power to empty your bank account, hilarity does not ensue. If you ever think you're dealing with one of those, I've heard it's a good idea to ask to talk to a supervisor sooner rather than later.

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The Federalist Papers

  • Degree of Madness
    "...... ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm.....But what DEGREE OF MADNESS could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity." Federalist #46 James Madison

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