In the Blogs: The Devil and the details


Highlights from some of our favorite tax bloggers this week.

Devil in the details

  • TaxMama: Expenses help for a taxpayer with a long-term out-of-state contract and who’s considering buying a condo at the remote location, as well as a question about actual living expenses versus GSA per diem rates.
  • Missouri Tax Guy: That Super Bowl touchdown, pennant-winning homer or Game 7 buzzer-beater may look great at the moment, but few big pro athletes actually retain their wealth. A look at how  “Bankruptcy Rates Among Professional Athletes Need to Be Addressed.”
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: How to counsel a client who has unfiled taxes from years ago, including the headache of long-gone records and how the IRS and states team to track tax avoidance.
  • Taxable Talk: The “very very nasty” implications of the postmark deadline for FBAR (as opposed to “FUBAR”) and how to avoid filing glitches with a client’s Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (TD F 90-22.1).
  • Tax Policy: Good Intentions Dept.: How “Green Tax Incentives Just Don’t Work” from blogger Lyman Stone, who cites a KPMG report that the U.S. Tax Code “promotes environmental initiatives more than any other nation” and how a recent report by the National Research Council sheds light on the effectiveness of green tax incentives -- especially how current green tax incentives “do very little to reduce emissions.”
  • Tax Vox: Blogger Howard Gleckman examines how the Senate’s version of the immigration bill displays in the front window whether Congress “really cares” about the budget deficit anymore, especially in terms of “immigration pork” (we like ours on a seeded roll…).
  • Due Diligence: Fact of the matter is, FACTA is far from dead, says blogger Brian Mahany.


Your friendly neighborhood Service

  • Liberty Tax: This primer on what to tell clients about the “three types of IRS audits” is an informative piece (from clients’ perspectives) in that itcontains the words “cringe” and “cold room.” Always good to remember that you know your clients sometimes don’t, and it scares them.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: Comforting and Frightening at the Same Time Dept.: How the IRS honchos have stressed that not only conservative groups were targeted last year for their tax-exempt status, but everyone was a target.
  • H&R Block blog: See you and call: The World Series of Poker, but what about Uncle Sam’s take of the take?


Lessons for us all

  • Fast Forward Academy blog: New lease accounting standards different than those previously studied are likely to be a bombshell for CPA exams in the coming years. “A slow process,” the blogger notes, “has unfolded to bring lease accounting under GAAP closer to International Financial Reporting Standards used in other countries.”
  • Taxes at No small number of your clients are small-business owners, and this primer on small businesses’ deductions of health insurance benefits will surely come in useful.

Just trust me, okay?

  • Tax Girl: Even as the IRS (aka Mr. Spock and Dan Draper) insists its control procedures are on the rise, “More questions are being raised about the tax treatment of undocumented workers and others who might be illegally in this country. Of specific concern is the notion that undocumented workers might not be forced to be accountable for their tax obligations to date – especially while revelations of…” Well, you get the picture. Or video.
  • Taxing Subjects: Wonder of wonders: the rate of tax compliance by small businesses is directly linked to their trust in their tax preparers. Obvious maybe, but still quite a warm compliment, isn’t it?


New and last words

  • Rubin on Tax: Birth of a blog by writer (and daughter to this blogger) Jenna Rubin that will primarily cover “recent case law and statutory developments in Florida relating to probate, trust and guardianship litigation.” Details on how to subscribe.
  • The Tax Professional: Robert D. Flach’s self-admitted “final word” on the “CPA vs. EA or RTRP.” What it takes to earn each credential -- and the projected future of one. 
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