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

The Beginning of the End

  • Tax Vox: Five tax policy questions for the candidates in the first presidential debate. “Secretary Clinton, do you see any downside to increasing taxes only on the rich?” “Mr. Trump, how specifically would you pay for your tax cuts?” Let’s hope those questions, or any, got answered.
  • Tax Analysts: How Clinton’s “tax-relief plan” may be mostly post-Sanders smoke and mirrors. Key point: “Nowhere in Hillary's plan for a raise for the middle class does her campaign discuss lowering any income tax rates.”
  • The Tax Times: Revisiting each candidate’s tax plan. Again. (As Phil asked in Groundhog Day, “What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today!”)
  • Tax Girl: A look back at debates, from Nixon’s sweats (we hear it was just that TV was in black and white then) to viewership numbers to a certain VP candidate relatively recently being assured that he was no Jack Kennedy.
  • Backtaxeshelp: What could lurk in Trump’s heretofore unreleased tax returns? Evil? Nothing? Those torpedo-bombers lost in the Bermuda Triangle in 1945? We may never know. Or we may know on Nov. 9.

Depends

  • Turbotax blog: Sure they’re brats and ingrates and they turn out to be obstinate SOBs just like everybody else, but are dependents good for tax benefits? Of course, often by the time you find out, it’s too late.
  • IRS Tax Trouble: So let’s see a show of hands: How many of you have clients who think that just because you prepare and file their returns, they’re not liable for tax penalties? A few cases that show how very wrong said clients are.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: In this heyday of texting, does anyone use e-mail anymore? Sure, starting with your firm and the conduct of accounting business? How your e-mail looks reflects directly on your practice.

California Streamin’

  • Taxable Talk: Pasadena casts an eager eye on Netflix as a revenue source, taxing users of streaming video 9.4 percent beginning Jan. 1. A local councilman calls the idea “ridiculous” and a potential burden on families and their entertainment. Notes the blogger, dismissing rumors of also taxing Pandora, “It does show the desperation of California cities to balance their budgets.”
  • Tax Policy: What proposed federal tax changes would look like in real live dollars.
  • Summing It Up: Avoiding the merry mix-ups that can occur when a nonresident sells U.S. real property interests, a.k.a. via the FIRPTA rules that require that buyers of U.S. real property know the residency status of whoever is selling the property.

Courtside

  • Federal Tax Crimes: Another entry in the litigious and extremely ongoing saga of former U.S. Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa and her husband.
  • Mauled Again: Talk about your big F… Who knew that failure to enroll for a course not only endangers a credit count, but can create adverse tax consequences? A look at Pilmer v. Comr., in which the Tax Court held that the IRS denied a taxpayer’s claimed American Opportunity Tax Credit because the taxpayer failed to enroll in a course.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: How the IRS is once again turning over some delinquent tax accounts to private debt collectors, kicking off in 2017. A list of the collection agencies.
  • Dinesen Tax Times: Knowledge can be inside, carnal or book, but when it comes to a college prof’s tax return deductions, can “general knowledge” qualify? A look at how the Tax Court ranked that argument.

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