In the Blogs: Decking Halls

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

Decking halls

  • Rubin on Tax: ’Tis better to give than to receive, unless your client didn’t adequately disclose the gift on a 709 (incidentally igniting the clock on the statute of limitations). “So what happens if a gift is reported on the return, but the prior gifts are improperly reported, resulting in an underpayment of gift tax?” Happy holidays!
  • Taxjar: For monthly filers in this month of online shopping, December sales tax due dates, in order of state.
  • Tax Vox: Do you or your clients pay sales tax on online holiday shopping? A history of the issue that once set brick-and-mortar and online retailers swinging at each other like two value hunters over a great Black Friday deal.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: How the big shopping weekend just passed did in terms of online purchases and, more to the point, sales taxes. Once upon a time, wisdom held that such taxes would kill online sales. Ho ho ho.
  • Tax Policy: “We shouldn’t lose sight of the legal foundation for protecting online businesses and the costly administrative rules that states could impose on businesses around the country.” Also a reminder that both the Quill and Bellas Hess rulings stipulate that a seller have nexus with a state before that state can tap the seller to collect taxes.
  • Turbotax: Yeah yeah, tinsel’s tinsel and fun’s fun, but here’s what to tell clients about making next tax season more fa la la la.

Five months and counting

  • Intuit Proconnect: Upcoming is the third (last?) year for the Affordable Care Act. Here’s what to tell your small-business clients about how to stay in compliance.
  • Taxing Subjects: In the long-ago time B.V. (Before Hackers), computer security was a sound though unrequired idea. Life might not have been better then but your data was undeniably safer. A primer on security software and other safety measures.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: Medical deductions have become harder under the 10% AGI limitation, but it pays – literally – to remind self-employed clients that they can deduct medical insurance on the first page of the 1040 instead of as an itemized deduction. The circumstances to do so.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Testimonials from some experienced firm administrators on their firms’ e-file tracking processes.

Bad Service

  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: What to tell the panic-stricken on your client list about responding to IRS trouble. You’d be surprised what some people would try to not do … .
  • IRS Tax Trouble: Straight Answer Dept.: “If the IRS fails to mail or mails a notice to a taxpayer and uses the wrong address, should the taxpayer be faulted for missing the deadline set out in the IRS notice?” In Adolphson v. Commissioner, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals says “Yes.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes: A look back at a very special IRS CI Agent in Chicago.
  • Roth & Co.: What happens to many deductions taken in the name of multi-level marketing, as seen in a recent Tax Court case. “MLM entrepreneurs often take an expansive view of just what constitutes a ‘business’ expense,” notes blogger Joe Kristan (who declines to prepare returns for MLM clients).

Take a hike

  • Tax Girl: Turns out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won’t end the income tax reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania.
  • Mauled Again: How repeal of the agreement noted above would’ve upped income tax burdens on higher-salaried Pennsylvanians working in New Jersey and lower-salaried New Jersey residents working in Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney Blog: The numbers behind what would’ve been the tax hike: Pennsylvania’s flat personal-income tax rate of 3.07% and New Jersey’s 1.4% to 8.97%, depending on income level.

Clat clut

  • John R. Dundon II EA: Our favorite headline of the week: “With a CLAT, CLUT here and a CRAT, CRUT there – Old MacDonald had a Trust EIEIO.” The often-mysterious and lawyer-centric language of “the full force and effect of tax and estate planning.”
  • Taxable Talk: How an electrical engineer tried to hot wire his way to paying no income tax for a couple years.
  • Tax Analysts: Taxes galore loom in the wake of President-elect Trump’s foundation admitting that in 2015 it “engaged in what the Tax Code calls ‘prohibited transactions’ and what the rest of us call self-dealing.” Big deal indeed.
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