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Wild About Taxilla/Users/adamp/Desktop/Oct_Mag_pics/mailbox
Thank you for printing that awesome article “Taxilla: He’s Back” in the February 2008 issue of Florida Realtor. It was refreshing to read an article that helped to educate people. I’m an IRS employee. My wife, Amber, a real estate professional with Atkinson Realty Group in Jacksonville, showed me the article because she thought I would get a kick out of Taxilla. 

I can’t agree more with the writer, who said, “The tax codes are among the most complex laws on the books.” Nearly one-fourth of my calls from taxpayers with balance-due accounts are real estate professionals who are great at their jobs, but have no clue about their tax obligations. So, even if you have a CPA or tax attorney, educate yourself so you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth.

In addition to the resources mentioned in your article, IRS Publication 334, “Tax Guide for Small Business,” available through www.irs.gov, is a great place to start.

We must all make sure to pay the correct amount of taxes when they are due. Otherwise, Taxilla (and his minions) tend to show up and ask for money, plus penalties and interest!

Ray Hollister
Internal Revenue Service
Jacksonville

Mileage Rate Mix-up
There’s a discrepancy regarding the mileage rate for 2008 listed on page 36 of Florida Realtor magazine’s February 2008 issue. Under the heading “Recent Tax Code Changes” it says: “The standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your vehicle has increased to 48.5 cents a mile for business miles driven.” However, the IRS Web site states: “Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven.”
 [See www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=176030,00.html.]

With gas prices, we need all the help we can get!

Sofie Lefebvre
Sofie Lefebvre, Realtor®
Trinity


Evolving Escrow Rules
I knew the deposit rules explained in your February 2008 Know the Law article, “Escrow: The Rules Have Changed” were being toughened. Attempts at overregulation should never be surprising.

These rules are regulatory boondoggles that waste valuable time and hinder far more than they assist sellers and buyers. Even a moderately busy office could keep a staffer busy four hours a day, five days a week just following these rules to full compliance.

While deposit rules have most likely also tightened for title companies and attorneys, I would bet that they are nearly immune from the degree of red tape these new rules have created for real estate professionals. 

What is the Department of Business and Professional Regulation going to do with licensees when sellers complain they never received notices if there is no written proof of delivery?

In truly “ancient times,” deposits were commonly delivered directly to the seller.

Donald A. Renfranz
Taylor Creek Real Estate
Okeechobee


Submit letters to “Editor” via e-mail to FLRealtor@far.org, mail to P.O. Box 725025, Orlando FL 32872-5025, or fax to (407) 438-1411.
Letters are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter does not constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the Florida Association of Realtors®.