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In the Blogs: It’s the Law, Stupid


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

At their Service

  • Taxable Talk: Ever since the good Mr. Ryan suspended his belief in the words of the good Commissioner Koskinen, IRS procedures have withered under jaundiced eyes. “Deadlines for Us, But Not for Them: GAO Gives IRS an F on Correspondence Audits” continues the tough scrutiny with a review of reviews of IRS programs by TIGTA as well. The IRS seems to need a transfusion of the good ol’ Write Stuff.
  • Backtaxeshelp: Flipping burgers or scooping out a cone isn’t the simple go-getter summer job it used to be, at least as far as the IRS goes. A look at the service’s eight pointers to students regarding a summer gig.
  • Rubin on Tax: Part one of a look at new IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Procedures, plus an update to the Florida Trust Amendment diagram.
  • Our Taxing Times: Again, the new voluntary tax preparer program is now familiar to all in tax prep who didn’t spend early summer “under a rock,” says blogger Trish McIntire. A look at how the new program looms and a layman’s guide to how we got to whatever point we’ve gotten to.

Pass it on

  • CPA Tax Musings: Gone but not forgotten: “Avoid Summertime Tax Scams” looks at how one of the hottest topics of earlier this year has done anything but take a vacation. Link included to an IRS tip on the nagging matter.
  • Roth & Co.: Before your client reaches for hammer and saw, consider if the tax law prompts property owners to undertake DIY work on rentals better (from a tax standpoint, anyway) hired out. A look at a recent Tax Court case in which a landlord chose do work herself that, based on the time she says she spent, should have gone to a contractor, and exactly what “passive” losses are.
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: How close is the connection between Obamacare and taxes? The answer promises to be more lively for 2014. Also, whether clients can deduct summertime moving expenses.
Partner Insights

It’s the law, stupid

  • Procedurally Taxing: Ongoing look at a recent case in which a failure-to-file penalty was imposed when the taxpayer had made a full timely payment of all tax due. “We found … the dissent persuasive that the penalty should not have been imposed. The same sentiment seems to be shared by various other practitioners.”
  • Tax Vox: Why Congress keeps playing with the Highway Trust Fund (chauffeured limos?), plus how “a very large” U.S. conglomerate milks reduced tax rates abroad and how Philadelphia school districts benefitting from improved collections of school income tax ($150 in Community Chest, wasn’t it?).
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “ ‘Freedom Professional’ Loses Freedom”; “CWCapital Asset Management Hit With Billion Dollar Suit”; “Investigation of Paul Larsen – a/k/a Paul Cragg Larsen (TIC fraud)”; “The Jig Is Up (FATCA – FBAR Post)”; “Whistleblowers – America’s True Patriots”; and “Are FBAR Penalties Unconstitutional? In Many Cases Yes.”

To-do lists

  • Taxes at About.com: So they loaded up the truck and they moved to “7 States With No Income Tax.” Plus, maximum contribution reminders regarding 401(k)s and this year’s big tax deadlines.
  • Tax Girl: What’ll They Think of Next? Dept.: The wild and wacky expenses that taxpayers believe (the key word is “believe,” if not “wacky”) they can take. Other questions: What’s up tax-wise with that potato salad guy and the thousands he’s raised on Kickstarter? And who should pay for schools?

Marketing magic

  • ClientWhys: In the beginning all was darkness, then tax accountants looked around at the marketing cycle of their practice and realized that to grow their firm their Web site needed to attract not only traffic, but the right kind of traffic. How to be fruitful and multiply, starting with your own database.

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