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

Happy returns?

  • Tax Analysts: “There are plenty of good reasons why taxpayers under audit might want to keep their returns private. If audited returns are made public, the audit itself becomes a public process. And that’s likely to make it a very tough audit, indeed. The IRS isn’t likely to grant a taxpayer much slack when the rest of the country is looking over its shoulder ... No doubt, Trump would rather not release his returns. But who cares? If Trump can’t handle a tough audit, he’s running for the wrong job.” Also, where to find the return of every president since Nixon.
  • Mauled Again: Glass Brackets Dept.: “It seems ridiculous that a former presidential candidate whose tax returns highlighted the inequity of the federal income tax system and its enablement of wealth and income inequality would be criticizing another candidate for not ‘paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay.’ ”
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: And another thing about Donald Trump, because it’s been almost 20 seconds: Trump’s in-progress audit play is “probably the sound advice he's getting from his tax counsel.” Which of course does nothing to silence the issue as the Republican Convention looms.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: How blogger and preparer Robert Flach is doing this season (“ … a bit ahead of last year’s first-third statistics ...”)

The up and up

  • Tax Girl: Only 114,000. Only 220,000. Only 390,000. The level keeps a-risin’ on taxpayer accounts potentially hacked, according to the IRS.
  • Taxable Talk: Maybe escalating IRS estimates stem from math just being plain old hard.
  • TurboTax: What taxes did those swag bags at this year’s Oscars incur?

Howdy, partners

  • BNA Bloomberg Software: A look at 2015’s federal filing changes for corporations and partnerships to help pay for the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act. Note: “There may actually be some logic behind these changes …”
  • Rubin on Tax: When thinking about what partnership liabilities count for regarding adjusted basis, you might think of promissory notes, mortgages and other major booked liabilities of the partnership. “A recent private letter ruling points out that other esoteric liabilities can enter this computation.”

‘Lack of clarity’

  • BNA blogs: God? The theatre? Convergence? “By the look of things, ‘Is convergence dead?’ is a question that will be asked ad infinitum by accounting practitioners.” The question pops up at most financial reporting conferences and was recently posed to FASB. “Apparently there still seems to be a lack of clarity regarding whether or not firms can expect more alignment between U.S. GAAP and IFRS.”
  • Tax Policy: California here we attempt to come: How the Golden State, with arguable some of the bumpiest and most crumbly transportation infrastructure in the nation, must finally consider such alternatives as a Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax.
  • Taxjar: Colorado can now require out-of-state sellers to notify Colorado buyers of use-tax liability. What this means for all e-commerce sellers.
  • Roth & Co.: Joe Kristan provides one of our favorite openings this week: “One year for you, forever for them.” The catch in Iowa Governor Branstad’s change of heart on conforming with the $500,000 federal Section 179 deduction, which allows taxpayers to lop the cost of up to $500,000 of equipment that would otherwise have to be capitalized and depreciated.

Walking on Airbnb

  • ClientWhys: It’s rabbit season! It’s duck season! Rabbit season! Duck season! Elmer Fudd should just put away his shotgun and remember that it’s referral season, as least as far as preparers are concerned.
  • H&R Block: Airbnb – opening your home to budget-minded travelers for a price – has taken hold as a viable alternative to hotels, “whether it’s an apartment for a night, a castle for a week or a villa for a month.” What the hosts can expect tax-wise.
  • TaxMama: Mama helps a 35-year old who’s withdrawing from an IRA for a down-payment on an eventual primary residence and who’s wondering whether to roll an IRA into a Roth IRA before taking out the funds.
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: What to remind clients of regarding deducting gifts to charity.

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