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

Your fellow Americans

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: We pull out their portraits to pay Uncle Sam, so why not find out what presidential luminaries Washington and Lincoln really thought of taxes. George: “It is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.” Decades later, Abe questioned if the president had THE constitutional authority to collect taxes, especially from Southeast states the residents of which were more or less constantly shooting at federal troops. Ah, the good old days.
  • H&R Block blog: Where O where have all the refunds gone? Perhaps to the Department of Treasury’s Offset Program. Reasons why TOP may come between your client and their check this spring.
  • TaxMama: Mama tackles the cutting-edge question of minimizing tax impact of using crowd funding to raise cash for a sick family member.
  • Our Taxing Times: What Does Floyd Know? Dept.: “You listened to the guy at the barbershop. Or maybe it was someone at work or some expert on television or on the Internet. They said that Social Security is in big trouble.” For those clients who think dipping into the well, no matter the cost, while there’s still water is better than waiting, “what drawing Social Security will do to your taxes.”

Ex parting is such sweet sorrow

  • Rubin on Tax: “Getting to Appeals in an Estate or Gift Tax Audit with Pending Information Requests.” Along with recent guidance details, here’s the gist of your chances: “Ain’t gonna happen!” Do the homework well short of the appeals level.
  • Procedurally Taxing: “Expanding Ex Parte” looks at the IRS version of ex parte found in Section 1001(a)(4) of RRA 98, its changes and uses since its creation some 17 years ago, and how, among other observations, lawyers view ex parte differently depending on the net wealth of clients.

Back at your ranch

  • The Income Tax School: Hit the books: How the indispensable concept known as the manual can help with every phase of your practice, from hiring to marketing.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: You’ve got fuzzy covered at firm: better coffee, flex hours, sportswear with logos, referral bonuses and even better coffee. But are you doing the right things or just things to improve staff retention?
  • Thegleimblog: Exam candidate and “chronic test-taker” Jonathan brings us up to date on his quest to pass the CPA Exam.

Altered states

  • Mauled Again: How governors in Louisiana and Kansas are following Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in cutting education funding while increasing tax breaks to the wealthy.
  • Tax Vox: Fiscal 2016 promises no relief for states’ sluggish revenue growth, according to one study.

Questionable moves

  • Taxable Talk: Our favorite headline of the week: “Oops” looks at the new 1095-A and how an eighth of these forms recently mailed in just California were wrong. Oh, and some states, if similar to Cali, won’t even catch the goofs until later.
  • Tax Policy: As Rod Serling said, “People are the same all over,” at least when it comes to fiscal follow-up. A look at how the president of Brazil levied new taxes to slow the country’s growing deficit then failed to close the loop with promised spending cuts.

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