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

Cactus if you can

  • Taxable Talk: Don’t commit tax fraud. Don’t threaten the tax authority personnel who try to collect what you owe. And for sure don’t skip your jurisdiction to avoid your sentence by taking a vacation in Arizona.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Jury Tags Bank for $17 Million”; “Banks … Victims or Pariahs?”; “Gov’t Intervenes in Nursing Home Medicare Fraud Case”; “CCA and Medicaid Fraud”; and “Fidelity Charged With Securities Fraud.”
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: Again and again and again, remind them that the IRS does not initially contact taxpayers over the phone.

End-of-year moves

  • Liberty Tax blog: As 2015 steadily evaporates, here’s what to remind clients to take as deductions before we flip the calendars. Your opening line: “You could be throwing your money away if you haven’t taken steps to decrease your tax liability and spend down your flexible savings account.”
  • TurboTax Blog: Ant Beats Grasshopper in Season Closer: What your clients can do now, no matter their age, to prepare for retirement.
  • Backtaxeshelp: “Have you reached your golden years and you’re already enjoying your Social Security benefits?” “Golden” and “benefits” are open to your clients’ interpretation, of course, but nonetheless here are some good considerations for this year regarding tax-saving options.
  • Taxlaw: Taxes probably offer no more tantalizing letters to the indebted client than OIC. Here’s what to know and what to remind them of.
  • Taxjar: Strange in a way that even as the end of year gathers steam in November — as do online sales with the looming holidays — the month is a light one for sales tax. A breakdown of due dates; only monthly filers will have to worry overly much about sales tax due dates before Thanksgiving.
  • Rubin on Tax: Some 2015 Florida law changes, including grandparent visitation rights, “a major rewrite of Chapter 752.”

Reform and function

  • Tax Vox: If bipartisan tax reform seems the latest Chinese finger puzzle in Washington, perhaps we can take lessons from President Bush’s reform panel from almost exactly a decade ago. Bloggers Jonathan Ackerman, Rosanne Altshuler and Jeffrey Kupfer examine the idea.
  • Tax Girl: Five things you need to know about Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as the new House Speaker, especially regarding tax reform.

Endings

  • H&R Block blog: Few sadnesses in life can cloud financial judgment like the death of a loved one. Nor is giving tax advice when your client suffers a close loss the easiest job. Here’s what to pass on before the survivor files their next return.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Everybody loves a happy ending, “however long in coming.” The story of a client who filed his 2014 return and was informed by the IRS that processing his refund wasn’t possible because he was dead. Writes the client now: “I was rewarded with a treat on Halloween [of all days – editor] when I opened my mailbox and found a letter from the IRS and inside was the check with my refund plus interest since February.” Blogger and preparer Robert Flach then reminded the client that he will have to report this interest as income and pay tax on it on his 2015 Form 1040. Life does go on.

Shooting the loops

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: What’s worse than a helicoptering manager? One that acts, according to this entry, more like a seagull: flies in, makes a lot of noise and then flies away.
  • Taxing Subjects: “If you grew up shooting the loop every Friday night in high school, knew the names of every single person living on your block or rode a tractor to school at least once, chances are that you grew up in a small American town.” Yeah, the bustle of cities can entice the preparer who gets off the bus with a calculator in his hand and ambition in his heart (to paraphrase White), the small town also features big chances for prep marketing.

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