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

Speeding bullets

  • Tax Vox: Only thing moving quicker than high-frequency trading – and its consequences for the market and investors – is the sizzling bestseller Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. A look at these traders’ warp-speed computers and connections that outrace investors and that now account for more than half of all U.S. stock trades. Key point: The technology may be off the Enterprise but the strategy is steeped in ease and practice (though we will wait to see what the FBI says) and raises the question: Could Washington someday tax HFTs?

 

Now that it’s over

  • Taxes at About.com: A look at setting up ostensible monthly IRS payments to complement clients’ usually unnoticed weekly ones. Also, another peek at Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp’s released draft of the Tax Reform Act of 2014.
  • Backtaxeshelp: Yippee, more time to file! Slow down there, little taxpayer: “3 Income Tax Extension Myths You Shouldn’t Believe” examines the most common misconceptions clients must know if they filed an income tax extension. Also, how to help clients avoid having that fat refund slip like quicksilver through their fingers.

 
Money’s the matter

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: All we hear today is that we’re likely to die in poverty unless we play the ant who prepares for winter. To help make your clients’ golden years a little more golden and give them a leg up in the Formicidae world of saving, answer their question about which is better to invest in first: a 401(k) or an IRA?
  • Taxable Talk: Wowie Kazowee! “It’s Bozo Tax Tip #1: The Eternal Hobby Loss,” in which a horse-loving couple decided to start raising them and losing money in the business. “They remember their accountant telling them that if they had a business that loses money they can take the loss and offset some of their income. That’s true. They don’t remember their accountant telling them that the business does need to be structured to make money eventually.” Otherwise their tax situation turns into a pile of something very familiar to those who love horses.
  • Tax Girl: Next Time You Complain About the Government Dept.: How does our great nation stack up against others globally when it comes to taxes? Also, how tax scammers prove about as easy to get rid of as bedbugs and what clients can learn from their Federal Taxpayer Receipt.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Mostly we think of him as the guy on one side of President Obama during big speeches, but it turns out that some of VP Joe Biden’s Social Security is taxed, a revelation unearthed by the recent release of the president’s and vice president’s 2013 returns. “The Bidens’ tax return offers a great example of what has to be considered when it comes to taxes on these monthly payments.”

 
Gone a-courtin’

  • Rubin on Tax: Written and verbal communication between client and attorney is generally privileged – and this includes communication about taxes. How a recent Tax Court case threatens to void this privilege in “a great swath of tax cases” where the taxpayer asserts a reasonable cause defense to a penalty.
  • TaxProf Blog: Think just the bad guys are out to get you? “Taxpayers rely on IRS guidance at their own peril,” Judge Joseph W. Nega wrote in an order denying a motion that he reconsider his earlier decision to penalize tax lawyer for making an IRA rollover that IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), says is allowed. Like we’ve always thought: Compliance is as much art as science.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Tracy Sunderlage on Fraud (The Pot Calling The Kettle Black)”; “Is TelexFree Another Ponzi Scheme? SEC Says Yes”; “DBSI TIC Fraud Defendants Convicted”; “Kickbacks Land Total Wealth Management in Hot Water”; “FBAR Required for Offshore Online Gaming Accounts”; “Honduras Signs FATCA”; and “Victims Get Less Than 1¢ On The Dollar – Asset Recovery Post.”

 
Business development

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: Running a practice can blind you like a blizzard – especially when it comes to your most personal decisions. Blogger Rita Keller looks at how to keep your perspective on such matters as career moves, chasing promotions and even where to do your job.
  • H&R Block blog: A burgeoning segment of the population is sometimes used to receiving tax prep bundled with many other services. “Multiservicios: A Range of Services for the Latino Community” looks at Block’s business model to reach this market.

 
And again, TGIO