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

Two little words

  • Mauled Again: Just two words for the IRS in the wake of its processing systems recently (and maybe a little mysteriously) becoming “unavailable.” One of the words is “back.” The other is “ups.”
  • Backtaxeshelp: People are scared of the IRS. People are scared of debt collectors. Getting a call from a debt collector who’s working for the IRS – after Congress decided again to allow the IRS to outsource collection efforts – might soon be the equivalent of a ring from Darth Vader.
  • Roth & Co.: The password is, “ID Theft.” Our favorite line of the week is in this one: “Reusing passwords is poor data security hygiene.”

Forms and functions

  • Taxjar: For your new-business clients, the benefits of filing as an S Corp, beginning with pass through taxation.
  • Rubin on Tax: How to file the new Form 8971, now required by executors of estates filing a 706 and necessitating a schedule for each beneficiary that lists the assets received by the beneficiary and the estate tax value of those assets. But suppose the executor doesn’t know what assets will go to each beneficiary?

Tidings

  • TurboTax: What to remind clients as it begins to sprinkle tax-time paperwork, such as W-2s and 1099s.
  • Taxing Subjects: Every spring the sun grows warmer, the flowers bloom and the clients begin appearing complaining that they haven’t received all their W-2s. What to tell them.
  • Taxes at About.com: “Why should I ask for an extension?” the lamb-like filer asks you. Here are eight good reasons – and some drawbacks.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: A look at filings required by the end of this month.

On targets

  • Federal Tax Crimes: A look at the two additional categories of the DOJ’s new final NPA under the Swiss Bank Program, specifically those that committed no criminal acts but that wanted to obtain non-target letters.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s collection: “Seeking Oil Industry Whistleblowers”; “Compliance Officers: Heroes or Targets?”; Homeless Whistleblower Gets $140,000”; “Court Refuses to Dismiss Minority Business Set Aside Case”; “TD Bank VP Conviction Opens Door to Ponzi Scheme Victims”; and “Court Dismisses Ambulance Medicare Fraud Case.”
  • Taxable Talk: Kickbacks never pay (eventually), no matter what port you call home.
  • Procedurally Taxing: Guest blogger David Vendler looks at the latest on the lawsuit against Bank of America that the financial giant “intentionally and systematically understated millions of dollars in homeowners’ mortgage interest payments following loan modifications.”
  • Tax Girl: End zone antics aside, Carolina Panthers quarterback and short-end-of-the-Super-Bowl-stick player Cam Newton is renowned for being a nice guy who gives balls to fans. Rumor is the NFL has fined him a total of six figures for such generosity. Before you make the call, though, check the replay.

Happy New Year

  • BNA blogs: You Can’t Trust Anybody Anymore Dept.: “Are Vendors Hyping Complexity of FASB’s Standards to Generate Business?” examines how “misinformation has filtered into company meetings” after dissemination by vendors as factual, according to the discussions during a meeting of FASB’s Small Business Advisory Committee late last year.
  • Tax Analysts: How Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards does want to try such measures as raid the rainy day fund, cut spending and use oil-spill settlement money to trim the state’s looming deficit of almost $2 billion. Afterward, of course, “the taxing starts.”
  • Tax Policy: Blogger Scott Greenberg looks at how Obama’s budget will propose adjusting the Cadillac Tax to account for geographic variations in health costs. Seems sensible on the surface, but the “proposed changes would further weaken the ability of the Cadillac Tax to raise revenue and restrain health-care costs” even if potentially necessary to ensure long-term viability of the tax.
  • BNA Bloomberg Software: This year, complying with the final repair regulations on tangible property will likely be much more automated.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: It’s a new Chinese New Year, but if you’re thinking of cashing in on that collectible stamp commemorating the just-passed Year of the Monkey, beware the higher capital gains rate.

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