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

The bucket stops here

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Late summer’s all awash in ALS Ice Bucket Challenges in which luminaries (and others) agree to take a bucket of ice water over the head to benefit treatment and support for victims of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Great cause. Question here: Is an ALS bucket challenge donation deductible? Also, “Back-to-School Savings: Tax Tips for Parents and Students.”
  • TaxMama: Mama helps a donor who asks, if a given taxpayer’s deductions are too low to itemize, can said good-hearted citizen give the money to a friend who does itemize, then have the friend donate the amount to charity so at least somebody gets the deduction?

National interests

  • The Tax Times: A look at a recent lawsuit filed against the Canadian Attorney General challenging the constitutionality of an agreement the Canadian government struck with the Uncle Sam under FATCA. “Canada has violated the charter rights of nearly a million Canadians by agreeing to share their financial details with authorities in the United States, two Ontario women allege.” Oh, Canada.
  • Tax Girl: Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Why don’t Italians pay taxes? Because they’re Catholic, according to Rossella Orlandi, newly appointed head of Italy’s Agenzia della Entrate. A look at the unsurprising fallout. Plus, a big-dollar take on the Little League and BofA’s recent record settlement with the Department of Justice.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Have Special Servicers Lost Their Way (a CMBS post)?”; “Phony Refund = 27 Months in Prison (a tax fraud post)”; “IRS, Justice Department Seek Civil Injunction in Tax Evasion Case”; “Morgan Stanley Loses $4.5 Arbitration – Stockbroker Fraud Post”; “India Quietly Readies for FATCA”; “Lawyers As Whistleblowers – An Ethical Conundrum”; “Alliance & Nikolai Battoo – ‘Figment of Criminal Imagination’ ”; and “American Tax Relief Slammed by FTC.”

1 + 1 = 2

  • Liberty Tax: The effect is plain on TV watching, nights out with friends and allowing your wet dog on your own bed, but “How does a marriage affect an individual’s tax planning?”
  • Tax Vox: Age-Old Question Debt: How would cutting individual tax rates really add to the federal deficit? Howard Gleckman notes that a one percentage point across-the-board reduction in rates would pile $662 billion onto the budget deficit over the next 10 years. More important, “Who Would Benefit?” Also, a look at Hill v US, wherein a prisoner had his $1,182 tax refund check stolen and cashed by another prisoner with the same name.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: You want it fast, you want it cheap or you want it good? The push and pull with clients regarding what they want to pay, what you want to deliver and collect, and how the work needs to be done.

As young as you feel

  • Backtaxeshelp: Real school begins now: “Top 5 Tax Planning Tips for Recent College Grads” covers such basics as conditions needed before a client can claim their very own (first) personal exemption. Ah, to be young again.
  • The Gleim blog: Three young professionals give their take on being first-year associates at a CPA firm and candidates for exams for major accounting credentials.