Highlights of some of our favorite tax-related blogs from the past week.

School’s in

  • Liberty Tax: The cap, the gown, the sheepskin and the deduction: How the feds still permit writing off up to a few thousand dollars in higher-ed. bills under certain conditions. Head of the class is the American Opportunity Credit, good for up to $2,500 per college student and open to both pupils and their parents or guardians.
  • Tax Girl: Your eyes may have popped over the recent case involving New Jersey students who sued their ‘rents for tuition money. Beyond that, though, are such kids still dependents? If you or your client are/is a middle-age parent, here’s the key question: “At what age can parents legally stop paying expenses for their children?” (We vote for 12.) Also, a look at a recent infrastructure bill that includes the right for involved companies to repatriate assets at zero tax, and the hearing room taciturnity of former IRS director of tax exempt organizations Lois Lerner.

Spring ahead

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Daylight Savings Time isn’t just another reason for parents of school-age kids to get cranky (not counting those in Arizona, Hawaii and most of the U.S. territories where DST is somebody else’s loss of an hour’s sleep). It also opens the door to energy tax credit savings.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Just as movies add magic to real life, a real pizza deliveryman added magic to this year’s Oscars after host Ellen DeGeneres’s order. She then collected the some-$600 tip from front-row luminaries Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt and others. The point: tax tips for tip takers. Also, a look at how spring’s extra daylight translates into more gas taxes resulting from additional driving before the sun sets.

Confusion says

  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: Your clients’ perspective on the tax changes for this year, along with half a dozen strategies for filing. Remember, from the other side the desk, “There is nothing as dreadful as dealing with income taxes each year.”
  • Taxable Talk: When It Absolutely, Positively Won’t Get There Overnight Dept.: Another instance of a U.S. Postal Service vehicle catching fire, this time in California (where in recent years a postal truck also plunged into the sea). No one hurt, but what if your client’s return had been on such a truck and reduced to such ashes? A lesson in reminding clients to use certified mail, if not e-filing.
  • Fromm on Taxes: The tragically late Philip Seymour Hoffman left more behind than a too-short legacy of films. He also left his estate in a royal mess. Confirming, apparently, that nobody really does plan to die from a drug overdose.
  • Block Talk: Another entry regarding the ACA. First question here covers same-sex marriages and the advance tax credit and how IRS rules state that couples married in states recognizing same-sex marriage are considered married for federal tax purposes and will use a married filing status when filing federal returns. Key to the credit is which married status.
  • The Income Tax School: What exactly does your prospective client think of the condition of your office this time year? Do you really want to know? Tips for keeping at least the image of an efficient office during tax season – though there’s always the chance that a few prospects respect a leaning tower of file folders spotted here and there with mocha rings.

Legal moves

  • Due Diligence: In this wee wake oek’s round up: “Court Awards Whistleblower $64 Million” (“What would you do with $63,900,000.00? … ”); and “REIT Funds – ‘Big Shiny Object With Sharp Edges’.”
  • Rubin on Tax: Looking for an easy way to move assets beyond reach of a state’s court. A look at a recent Florida case that’s a living, breathing how-to on the matter.
  • Tax Vox: The pot still bubbles: “Forgotten but Not Gone” looks at the continuing, if quieter, long-term fiscal imbalance in thf passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestrations and slowdowns in projections of health-care expenditures. “The current debt/GDP ratio is far higher than at any time in U.S. history except for a brief period around World War II.” At least then we had Bogart and the Andrews Sisters.