In the Blogs: Fail, Caesar

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

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: “Ready. Set. File. Wait.” Results of the season’s opening gun, plus what we can all expect in terms of processing returns and kicking out refunds. We wonder if the letters to taxpayers regarding taxes owed will be equally hampered by Commissioner Koskinen’s proclaimed shortage of resources at his agency.
  • Taxing Subjects: A look at IRS online tools to help in what’s expected to be a season for the books (as long as the book has “waiting” in its title).
  • Liberty Tax blog: What clients are looking for when they might, or might not, be looking for you.
  • Backtaxeshelp: You’re only as good as your answers, apparently: This primer offers your prospects’ red flags, from rep to credentials, to spot a scamming preparer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hold a mirror in front of yourself for every occasion?
  • Tax Girl: What would kicking off your season be without Tax Girl’s “wildly popular” Tax Haiku?

After changes upon changes

  • Roth & Co.: Do your biz clients wonder why their return seems extra thick this year? As noted here, “It could be a result of an ‘accounting method change’ application – Form 3115 – buried in it.” Additional note good for this and many other subjects: “Of course, timing is everything in tax planning…”
  • John R. Dundon II blog: Revisiting recent IRS regs governing tangible personal property, including some all-too-common preparer misconceptions.
  • Tax, Society & Culture: A look at a recent Canadian panel that discussed “the nature and impact of so-called illicit financial flows in Canada, the U.S. and the world’s developing countries. Specifically, what promising policy instruments or reforms could potentially curb outflows of illicit finance? And what exactly is meant by “illicit?”

Courts and Code

  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Whistleblower to Receive $23 Million in Office Depot Case”; “Court Greenlights ‘Usual and Customary’ [in a] Medicare Fraud Case”; “Is the IRS Reading Your Mail? Maybe!”; and “Eye-Opening FBAR Survey Results.”
  • Tax Litigation Survey: How in Moneygram Int’l v. Comm’r, the Tax Court recently adopted the Fourth Circuit’s Staunton functional test for defining a bank for purposes of IRC Sec. 581, a narrow but, as this blogger notes, “really neat niche issue.”
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Details on how the president’s plan to tax the richest to help the middle class complicates an already Byzantine code, including misconceptions about the current top rate on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains.
  • Burbank CPA Tax Musings: The most annoying part of the president’s proposal: the potential taxability of some inherited assets now exempt by the estate tax exclusion. Why does every presidential proclamation have to do with tax increases, rather than putting the Tax Code up on a lift for an overhaul?

Filling them in

  • Taxes at What your clients may well not know about the 1099-MISC, from fishermen to lawyers.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Your mission likely comes to three little words: Help clients succeed.
  • ClientWhys: The Only Thing Worse Than Being Talked About Dept.: Online comments about your practice, and how they can help or hinder.
  • Our Taxing Times: “Don’t want or can’t pay a tax pro to do your tax return? You have some options.” Sure, you don’t collect any immediate payoff – but consider the goodwill you’ll spread by informing some needy prospects about these alternatives.

Fail, Caesar

  • Taxable Talk: This section’s headline comes from this entry, which examines how Caesars Entertainment Operating Company filed for Chapter 11 in Chicago and, soon after, second-tier bondholders filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition in Delaware. Which bankruptcy filing will win? Round and round she goes.
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