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

Crony up

  • Tax Policy: What is “tax cronyism” and do you think it (like rip-snortin’, according to Dave Barry) should be legal? A look at the American Legislative Exchange Council recent report “on the unseen costs of tax cronyism that offers for the first time a figure on how much states give away in tax favoritism per year.
  • Roth & Co.: The ALEC report blasted by Good Jobs First, “a left-side outfit that has been on the side of the angels by highlighting the baneful effects of corporate welfare tax incentives.” Good Jobs slams ALEC “because many recipients of tax incentives have close ties to ALEC.” But, this blogger wants to know, so what? “That corporations provide support to ALEC doesn’t diminish the argument that incentives are terrible.”
  • Tax Vox: In this roundup: Walgreen’s plan to keep its tax base in the U.S. after purchasing Alliance Boots and how other companies are pinging former senators to lobby against any legislation to block inversions (Accounting Today); an annual “housecleaning” bill to potentially bypass political gridlock; and retirees, their income and spiraling property taxes.

Hear ye hear ye

  • Procedurally Taxing: How the IRS in some cases looks to conflict out lawyers who represented taxpayers in collection due process hearings. Also, “IRS Chief Counsel Advises Its Attorneys to Concede Rand Issue.”
  • Rubin on Tax: Part six of Rick Josepher’s analysis of the new offshore enforcement environment in light of the new 2014 offshore voluntary disclosure procedures.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Around the 40th anniversary of the resignation of the president his movie character helped bring down, actor Robert Redford is suing the New York state tax office over a $1.6 million bill Redford calls bogus (Accounting Today). The tab, $845,066 in tax and $727,404 in interest, rides on money Redford made in 2005 from the sale of the Sundance cable TV channel. Isn’t that amount also about what he helped con off Robert Shaw in The Sting?

To your health

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Continuing the series on Affordable Care Act’s impact on marrieds, this entry looks at same-sex couples’ now-legal status for coverage. Also, creating and sticking to a first grown-up budget.
  • Mauled Again: Few issues of the contemporary white-collar world loom as large as employee-versus-independent contractor, at least from the perspective of the employer who has to field (or saves a bundle on) health insurance and paid days off. A look at this issue through the unusual lens of Philadelphia’s recent sales-tax issue regarding strippers and lap dances.

School tools

  • Liberty Tax: Real life teaches us many lessons. For recent college grads, here’s the skinny on student loans now that adult life has begun. Chapter One: Repayment.
  • H&R Block: Saving on dorm room essentials, from electronics to a pad to crash on, with a nod to the unique humor that marks this time of life (“Vacuum [yes, you really will want one…]”).

Workaday

  • The Income Tax School: Working from home might seem to hold all the glamor of writing great novels or painting wondrous canvases, but what really goes into making a living not having to comb your hair or change out of week-old sweatpants?
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: There’s a right! And there’s a left! There’s a delete! And there’s a spam! Winning a title bout with your own e-mail, the blizzards of which are “python-like … squeezing the life out of CPAs.” Why you really can let your assistant see your e-mail without incurring a lawsuit or shriveling in embarrassment.
  • Tax, Society & Culture: How regulating tax preparers is actually morphing into a worldwide issue.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: Brian Stoner blogs about whether software can really replace accountants in a good article that we hope wasn’t really e-written by some AI version of WordPress.

Thankless jobs

  • John Dundon II EA blog: Ask your clients if they remember seeing their mom and dad late at night every mid-April, under the dining room light, Excedrin bottle empty and ashtray overflowing beside them, trying to stay afloat doing another year’s 1040. Tell your clients it is now their turn: interesting “Tax Considerations When Supporting Parents.” (Mr. Dundon has been helping his mom transition into life as a widow.)
  • Taxable Talk: Blogger Russ Fox documents his disagreement with Karen Hawkins, director of the office of professional responsibility, which oversees preparer regulation, regarding what did happen with Loving. “I do want to point out,” Fox stresses, “that Ms. Hawkins has a sometimes thankless job.”