RANDOLPH TWP. – Accountant Ron DeFilippis doesn’t care much about the IRS.
However, it is an organization he has worked with and has known inside and out for over 40 years.
The Roxbury resident and Mount Arlington-based accountant, spoke to the Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce at the Randolph Diner on Thursday, February 17.
Incoming House Speaker Lisa Natoli, also a resident of Roxbury Township, introduced the longtime accountant.
“Right now the IRS has 24 million 2020 tax returns that have not yet been processed,” DeFilippis began.
“It creates all kinds of problems if you have credits,” he said. “It’s not even in the system because they never processed your returns from 2020. It’s unbelievable, but that’s where we are,” he said.
“We have some feedback that we are trying to process right now. We get the message “The IRS is not ready to accept”. We have to stack all the returns because we can’t get them through,” he said. “It’s an absolute nightmare. We go back to those stacks, and we try to get them through, and most of the time we still can’t get them through,” he said.
He said new companies are popping up that charge $1,000 to stay on the line for you, waiting for the IRS to pick up the phone. “It’s beyond belief. It’s a scary, scary thing, but that’s the world we live in,” he said.
With regard to changes in tax laws, he highlighted several.
One concerns business meals. “New for 2021-22, you can write off the meal, but only if it’s in a restaurant. Entertainment is no longer eligible. So if you’re taking a customer to see a Broadway show, or something like that, you can’t deduct it,” DeFilippis said.
“And, our president wants to hire 77,000 more IRS officers. That’s 77,000 more people who will do nothing,” he said.
“That really doesn’t help much. They are understaffed. I say that’s bullshit,” he said. “It’s a lack of value ethics.”
He also pointed to the new IRS mileage reimbursement allowances.
For 2021, for example, business uses of one’s own vehicle made eligible 56 cents per mile. This year, that amount climbs to 58.5 cents per mile. For medical purposes, the deduction was 16 cents per mile last year and 18 cents per mile this year. This is another law that DeFilippis said he doesn’t understand.
“They increased the professional mileage rate, but it’s the same car. It’s the same fuel. Why don’t you get the same medical use deduction? It never made sense,” he said.
Meals on Wheels is now considered a charitable deduction.
“If you donated to them, it’s now deductible,” he said.
As for the Paycheck Protection Program, DeFilippis said there is no requirement in New Jersey that they be reimbursed.
So-called “PPP” loans are also not taxed, he said.
Keller Williams Realtor Andrew Walker, also a member of the Chamber, gave a brief update on current home selling/buying trends in the Morris County area.
“The market is just crazy right now,” he told the chamber. “Everything you have heard is true. I’m not used to begging, but I need lists,” he said.
“We’re seeing multiple offers, above asking price, across Morris County,” he said.
It’s similar, he says, across the country.
“Covid has started. And it’s just booming. People living in congested areas are flooding the suburbs,” Walker said.
“We list a house on a Tuesday. By Wednesday, we show it. We have 20 or 30 people showing up, and after the open house we have three to 12 offers,” he said.
A recent listing in Roxbury Township, he said, was $539,000. He said for $571,000. Lakefront homes on Lake Hopatcong, meanwhile, sell for $500,000 and $550,000.
Estate agent Linda Smith, the new president of the Roxbury Area Chamber of Commerce, reported similar results when her chamber met the day before.
“It’s a phenomenal time. The stars are aligned. This is the perfect time to sell your home if you wish. In fact, there’s never been a better time to sell,” she said.