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

Not toking around

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: How Colorado collected some $12 million in taxes from the sale of recreational marijuana in the first six months of this year, an amount “substantially less” than what the pro-pot contingent advertised when the measure went before Rocky Mountain voters. A study by the Marijuana Policy Group for the Colorado Department of Revenue (seriously?) found that tourists purchase as much as 2.54 tons of pot a year. “To meet that tax projection, sales are really going to have to pick up. Perhaps the state should consider promoting pot tours.” That doesn’t address the real questions: Where are the Doritos and how exactly does a state monetize marijuana and still not make enough tax money?

All together now

  • Tax Policy: A look at a new online tool from The New York Times that slices-dices state populations back to 1900. Also, how not all measurement methods of income inequality are created equal, “How Much Will Corporate Tax Inversions Cost the U.S. Treasury?” and the California tax folks look to pre-empt the next Donald Sterling from deducting professional fines after saying something boneheaded.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Banker Charged in Offshore Account Leak”; “Hospital Group Settles Whistleblower Claim for $98 Million”; “Reams of Info from Swiss Banks Sent to IRS”; “New Guidance for REITs = New Opportunities for Taxpayers”; “‘Rotting Economic Carcass’ and Other Quotes on Tax Inversions”; and “Swiss Accounts & Declaration of Consent Letters.”
  • Tax Girl: How the former home of two self-avowed tax protesters may be booby-trapped and, curiously, remains unsold. Also, TIGTA and the IRS turn up the heat on efforts to stem still-mushrooming phone scammers.

Victory in the Pacific

  • Taxable Talk: “Yamashita’s gold is the supposed booty that Japan accumulated during World War II in the Philippine Islands … Freeman Carl ‘Buck’ Reed told investors he found it (and) raised $1.3 million to get the gold buried in the Philippines. Instead of treasure hunting, the $1.3 million was used for maintaining Mr. Reed’s facade of wealth. Mr. Reed also didn’t believe in filing tax returns.” Off to Club Fed. Some people will swallow anything so long as it doesn’t involve actually opening a history book.

State levels

  • Roth & Co.: The truly questionable nature of tax incentives revolving around a gubernatorial candidate in Iowa and his development of subsidized housing projects. Also, Elvis is in the building!
  • Mauled Again: “I'd make my promises now,” Charles Foster Kane tells supporters in his doomed bid to be governor, “if I weren’t too busy arranging to keep them!” Perhaps Charlie K. should chat with wannabe Providence chief resident Leon Kayarian, who promises to drop gas prices to $2.50 a gallon in Rhode Island and not raise taxes. Rosebud, indeed.
  • H&R Block: You’ve tried the rest of taxes, now try the best: The varying sales taxes in our great land over such traditional American foods as pizza, which some pizzerias sell uncooked for customers to take home and bake themselves. Restaurant-prepared food or grocery item?

Their questions and yours

  • The Wandering Tax Pro: How long should your clients keep tax records, including W-2s? Simple: Forever.
  • John Dundon II EA blog: Thorny question no doubt for some of your seasonal-employer clients this time of year: “What is an FTE? What is a Seasonal Employee?” in the eyes of the IRS.
  • Taxes at About.com: Basic reminders about charitable deductions and (probably the reason more than a few clients give them) the resulting deductions.
  • The Income Tax School: Half a dozen ways to grow a business, from a guy pretty successful in such matters.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Giving voice to the next generation in your practice.
  • Backtaxeshelp: A look at the new IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which “spells out consumer protections.” Opening words to live by: “The federal tax code is complex and if you’re not a financial professional, trying to make sense of it is often an exercise in frustration.” Pass that on to clients when they crab about your fees.

New to us

  • The Tax Times: Ronald A. Marini, Esq., tackles various issues in this informative site. This week, another look at the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” including its availability in several languages. Willkommen to this blog.