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

Bit o’ this, bit o’ that

  • John R. Dundon II EA blog: A look at how the IRS treats Bitcoins, that headline-grabbing virtual currency worth either a fortune or about as much as an equal amount of used Charmin, depending on the day. IRS Notice 2014-21explains how virtual currencies figure in transactions, and offers questions to consider before anyone converts their bank account into a hard drive.
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Another look at the IRS guidance, including how virtual digital currency should be taxed as property instead of currency for federal purposes and that rules applying to property transactions, like the sale of stocks, apply to virtual currency.

 
Never-ending stories

  • Tax Vox: Mirror mirror on the wall, “Can Congress really pass a reform that has no natural constituency, is extraordinarily complicated and requires exceeding amounts of compromise in a distrustful environment?” The answer’s probably obvious.
  • Taxable Talk: Remember Richard Hatch? No, not Captain Apollo from the old Battlestar Galactica but the guy who won $1 million on the first Survivor? We sort of do, too, as do the 300 million viewers who watched him finagle the prize, among them no doubt several employees of the IRS. Hatch claimed CBS and the makers of Survivor promised to pay his taxes. CBS denies this. The makers of Survivor deny this. Hatch doesn’t want to cough up taxes and the story continues somewhere beyond the heavens. At least Captain Apollo knew how to fly straight.

 
Crime time

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Like roaches in your kitchen when you turn the lights out: “Tax scams ramp up as filing deadline nears” looks at that annual ritual of refund-hungry taxpayers jamming IRS offices and sites, the agency’s own (and bustling) “Dirty Dozen” scams and the seemingly endless ways that people, rather than work just as hard at a real job, try to steal identifies and dollars. Latest alias donned: the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s round up: “Meyers Associates Slammed in Stockbroker Fraud Case”; “FATCA – ‘There Will Be Glitches’ ”; “New FBAR Indictment – Nominee Accounts Alleged”; and “Pakistan Closer to FATCA Deal with U.S.”
  • Rubin on Tax: Jack Webb Lied Dept.: A Supreme Court case from 2013 warns of an important exception to the idea that keeping silent is always a wise right to exercise when the IRS comes knocking with tax questions – but not with an arrest warrant.

 
Client chat

  • Liberty Tax: Not as funny as Letterman but awful important: The top 10 money-losing mistakes that taxpayers make.
  • Our Taxing Times: The annual extension post, including a reminder about those two little questions for clients: “What do you owe?” and “Can you pre-pay that?”
  • Block Talk: Weird envelopes in the mail do two things: They rarely contain good news and they almost always jog your memory and make you feel like a fool. Keeping track of those bigger, often irregular, pain-in-the-butt expenses that crop up throughout the year.

 
Where the money goes

  • Tax Girl: The devil’s in the potholes when it comes to paying up for either roads or new shock absorbers. Also, the ongoing alphabetic list of tax topics (“O Is for Overpayment, P Is for Personal Exemption”) and a rundown of the lowlifes, i.e., tax schemers.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: A look at how the estate tax exemption is likely to jump in Maryland after that state’s senate voted to gradually raise the $1 million estate tax exemption to match the much-higher federal exemption.

 
Practice practice practice

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: How to appreciate your staff Millennials, who unbelievably turn 34 this year. Wisdom and biz smarts don’t always need a wrinkled body to ride in, so take time to appreciate the whippersnappers in your firm. They’re tomorrow’s leaders, and tomorrow tends to come faster than you think.