I chose to review this book because of all the advertisements in the media. After all the advertising hype, and after reviewing what has been called “The Trump Tax Cut” I wanted to see what the excitement was all about.
This is an interesting book. It is clearly targeted at those who really don’t understand the tax code and are either terrified or at least curious about what the newest rewrite of the code means to them. As a tax professional, I was glad to see that Ms. Rosenberg didn’t try to educate her readers to the level of an Enrolled Agent. She did on many occasions suggest the services of a tax professional. There are 249 tips and five appendices contained in 276 pages covering everything for the 1040 to estate returns.
Many readers may find this book reads like the Encyclopedia of old with just enough information to go running to their tax advisor. That isn’t necessarily bad as it may be good to start conversations. For those who try to act on the information contained in the book, Ms. Rosenberg sprinkles URL’s to her website very liberally throughout the book.
I question many of her recommendations, but she only made one factual error that I found. This occurred when she was discussing powers of attorney signatures which per Section 601.503(c) must be signed by the individual. Other places where we disagree are a matter of choice and some of hers were perhaps a bit excessive.
As an example, to follow her filling and record retention recommendations would require me to either build an addition to the house or invest in a significantly large external hard drive plus additional space in my cloud backup system for just my personal records, not to mention my company records. I think her record retention recommendations are based on the theory that if one saves every scrap of paper ever generated and add more to it, they will never lose in an audit. Her recommendations, if followed would give a taxpayer or their representative a mountain to weigh through unless there is an incredible filing system in place.
As one might expect, this book was written right after President Trump signed the bill into law and so some of the tips need updating. I’m not sure it was worth the $20, I spent for it, but it did fill time for me in waiting rooms. Reading this book will give the reader a look at one person’s interpretation of the code but not a detailed look. There is a lot of good information and the most important piece of information is to hire a competent tax professional.