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

Hue can’t hide

  • Mauled Again: The colorful correlation between states that pay in fewer federal tax dollars than they take out in federal expenditures and the tax policy philosophy of those states as indicated by their political color, and the correlation between states that pay in more federal tax dollars than they take out in federal expenditures and the tax policy philosophy of those states as indicated by their political color. “Those who are anti-tax seem quite happy to be among the takers even though their mantra in being anti-tax rests principally on a distaste for takers among whom, of course, they don’t count themselves.” Tax philosophies are like jailbreaks: You can run but you cannot hide.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s round-up: “Berthel Fisher Back From The Grave (a TIC Fraud Post)”; “FATCA and Foreign Investment Funds”; “Atkins Diet Co-Author Convicted of Tax Evasion – Loan App Was Cause”; “Lawyer Charged With Tax Evasion”; “Court Offers Victory to Ponzi Scheme Victims”; and “Ex-Employee Sues DuPont for Millions.”
  • Procedurally Taxing: How the IRS considers the first-time abate program in the wake of the “somewhat scathing” 2012 TIGTA report on the service’s administration of the program (FTA). A breakdown of FTA for those unfamiliar and the reasons FTA is underutilized.

 
Season’s greetings

  • Roth & Co.: Corsages and deductions, the white strapless and the home-office write off: Prom season coincides with tax season, and here’s a look at how some of the cash clients’ suddenly grown-up kids drop on their rites of passage may reduce some state taxes. Proof, it seems, that you can put a price on once-in-a-lifetime memories.
  • Tax Policy: Don’t Tell Your Clients Dept.: “The High and Regressive Costs of Tax Preparation” looks at how, “unlike the taxes themselves,” prep costs don’t shrink for low-income people and sometimes even grow. A nod to the recent New York Times article on unscrupulous preparers.
  • TaxMama: Mama helps a couple of people who sold real estate on an installment sale and who’ve held the mortgage and who saw a buyer default, necessitating repossession of the property.
  • Liberty Tax: In this wondrous age of extensions, there’s still time to help clients save the most on taxes. A reminder of the need for everyone to take an extra hour or two to examine all potential to reduce liabilities and maximize refunds using tax breaks available to everyone and to just some.
  • The Income Tax School: Expect the unexpected: The importance of putting procedures in place to handle the unforeseen bumps in business, including proper training and staff preparedness.

 
Where there’s a way there’s a mean

  • Tax Girl: “Inside a Billionaire’s Yacht” should you dream of the day when all those clients actually do pay their tax prep bills. Plus, taxes A to Z and a look at the mess around disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner, subject of a recent vote by the House Ways and Means Committee to send a criminal referral letter Attorney General Eric Holder.
  • Taxes at About.com: While we’re on the topic of Ways and Means, a look at committee Chair Dave Camp’s draft legislation, the Tax Reform Act of 2014, proposing a wide variety of changes to America's tax system. This installment examines proposals for changing personal tax credits.

 
Strange and true

  • Backtaxeshelp: “Oh but they’re weird and they’re wonderful!” doesn’t just apply to Bennie and the Jets. A look at the nuggets of apparent silliness lurking in the 73,000 pages of the federal Tax Code, “a list of some strange but true tax laws that are currently on the books.” Anything about mohair suits?