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

Fears without end

  • John R. Dundon II EA: As Halloween passes, the year-end holidays loom and another 12 months prepare to go in the books, a look ahead at why and how 2015 tax planning will be “hugely complicated and profoundly significant” for almost every taxpayer. Also: What’s the best business structure?
  • H&R Block blog: “Something taxing this way comes…” Common tax mistakes, potential skeletons in your clients’ financial closets.
  • Taxing Subjects: What to tell your biz/employer clients about their Obamacare requirements.
  • Roth & Co.: All tax preparers want for Christmas is a tax law “so a tax season that we already expect to be bad won’t be just godawful.” Yes, but holidays do brim with disappointments.

 Stumped

  • Tax Vox: In the wake of the midterms, a look at how state ballot initiatives offer clues to how much voters will cough up for government services.
  • Tax Policy: And so did voters in Nevada opt to copy the Texas margin tax? Blogger Liz Malm notes how that could turn out to be a bad idea. Also, blogger Joshua McCaherty looks at how the ACA might gum up the works next season.
  • Mauled Again: How a 10-hour round-trip drive to meet a first grandchild brought to mind political addictions when it comes to our nation’s tax policy.

Real problems

  • Backtaxeshelp: The Real Tax Trouble of New Jersey: “3 Important Tax Lessons We Can Learn From the Giudices” looks at the recent stiff sentences for two “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars. “Lesson #1: Filing a return isn’t optional if you owe taxes.”
  • Taxable Talk: What You Preach Dept.: A look at Phoenix businesswoman, author and money-launderer Tanya Marchiol, “accused of not paying tax on $1.4 million of income from 2008 to 2010. Last week, Ms. Marchiol pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion (and) ‘a number of Marchiol’s former employees told authorities she engaged in money laundering for personal profit.’ ” The phrase “drug traffickers” also pops up. When you’re done savoring this tale, check out her book: The Prosperity Principles: Secrets to Developing and Maintaining Generational Wealth.

Staying on ’em

  • Liberty Tax Blog: Handy reminder list for your clients on deducting charitable donations, and how not all gifts straight from the heart are created equal.
  • Income Tax School: Checklists to ready for the coming season. National Checklist Day? That one’s off the list…
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: Dots and dashes of deducting mortgage interest on a 1098.

Big moves

  • Rubin on Tax: Even the big boys occasionally give in to bad ink: “IRS to Ease Up on Civil Forfeitures for Structured Deposits” looks at how the service may back off on seizing funds involved in banks’ cash deposits of less than $10,000 (avoiding need of currency transaction reports). “A lot of publicity has been given to the unfairness of these forfeitures when the deposited proceeds are from legal sources and/or the depositors were not knowledgeable of the illegality of structuring.” Plus, a few Tax Code 2015 inflation adjustments.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Illinois sure isn’t tanking when it comes to recovering big bucks on unpaid gasoline sales taxes: “For years, the state's tax department and Attorney General's office have been cracking down on gas tax fraud. And their efforts are continuing to pay off.” To the tune of more than $100 million for the state. Some mileage.
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Two types of IRS guidance for taxpayers who answer the call for charitable donations and other relief efforts for Ebola-stricken Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (Accounting Today). Also, what freelance clients need to know to maximize write-offs and a “Energy Tips to Brave the Cold” now that almost all of us switched our clocks back to Standard Dark Time.

Case by case

  • Procedurally Taxing: Guest blogger Michelle Feit Schwerin chimes in on how “Failure to File Required International Information Return Suspends Statute of Limitations on Entire Return Until the Information Return Is Filed.”
  • Tax, Society & Culture: A look at a recent letter to the U.S. State Department from the grassroots group challenging the validity of Canada’s implementation of FATCA with respect to Canadian citizens and residents. Specifically, the recent decision to increase the fee for renouncing U.S. citizenship.

Two-Bitcoining

  • Taxes at About.com: Got a real client with a virtual old jar on their virtual dresser in their virtual bedroom filled with Bitcoins? A look at a recent IRS ruling that may mean the ether’s doubloons incur new taxes. Also, saving for retirement with an eye to trimming next April’s bill.

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