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

Legally speaking

  • Taxable Talk: How the California legislature passed a law mandating e-filing of most business returns beginning with 2014 returns filed in 2015. Exemptions are available, but you must request them from the Franchise Tax Board. One wrinkle: Most tax software today doesn’t allow for e-filing a single-member LLC return.
  • Mauled Again: Hell No We Won’t Pay Dept.: A look at a recent Tax Court case, Salzer v. Comr., that reveals yet another disadvantage to tax protesting. Granted, the blogger adds, “The Court correctly noted that the outcome must be based on what the taxpayer did, not what the taxpayer would have done had he not failed to file returns in the first place.”
  • Rubin on Tax: Healthy growth of a 501 and its mission is one thing, exemptions another. How one charitable operator of private schools vaporized its own tax status by drifting into real estate.

If not now, when?

  • Tax Vox: Apple’s ongoing “Aw, snap!” with the Irish government; how corporations are exploring options in the wake of newly revealed Treasury rules to curb inversions; the push and pull of a business personal property taxes debate in Wisconsin legislators; and on the Potomac, is the GOP eschewing cuts in favor of out-and-out tax reform?
  • Tax Policy: He still feels your pain: Bill Clinton’s recent call for a territorial tax system and a lower corporate tax rate.
  • Taxing Subjects: How the IRS is stepping up promotion of the voluntary Annual Filing Season Program with informational e-mails to some 390,000 preparers. “The e-mail targets all uncredentialed return preparers with an active PTIN, and encourages them to review the purpose and requirements, and consider participating in the program … Preparers are reminded that receiving an AFSP Record of Completion means they will be included in a public directory to be made available on the IRS website in January 2015.”
  • Backtaxeshelp: Parents’ first lessons in higher education usually come with the initial tuition bill. A helpful, if not career-saving, comparison of the 529 and the Coverdell ESA.
  • Tax Girl: Latest back-to-school entries look at education savings bonds and “Saving & The Kiddie Tax.”
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: The wisdom of planning ahead regarding your 2015 income and family size before shopping in the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace. Also, a handy guide to last-minute deductions for filers of extensions.

Long stories

  • Procedurally Taxing: A tale of assessed federal taxes, a late 1040 and the question of what constitutes a viable return.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Prefaced with “Smokers are an easy and popular target for state tax collectors,” this entry looks at how Arizona residents looking for online cigarette deals as long as a decade ago are finally getting hooked (and not in the way you think).
  • TaxMama: Mama tackles the increasingly common problem of state residency taxes when work calls one family member across a border.
  • Liberty Tax Lounge: Divorce inspires a lot of questions in a client’s mind; taxes may not be among the first. But who gets to claim the kids? What happens to the suddenly single’s retirement fund? What happens, in the big tax picture, when MFJ is abruptly gone?

FATCA life

  • The Tax Times: In “1st FATCA Indictment Against Foreign Company,” the feds have charged six Belize business execs with a scheme to help American citizens evade $500 million in taxes.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “If Brains Were Taxed, He Might Get A Refund…”; “FATCA … Ruining Lives Around The World?”; “Brazil, U.S. FATCA Pacts Have Slow Start After Spy Scandal”; “Indie Broker Dealer Resource Horizons Group Survival in Jeopardy”; “Appeals Court Allows Contingent Fee Arrangement for Tax Refunds”; “WFG Investments Faces $650,000 Fine”; “Barclays Capital Sanctioned $15 Million”; “NY Man Arrested for Tax Fraud and TARP Fraud”; and “New FHFA Watchdog Reports Offers Whistleblower Opportunities.”

In practice

  • Income Tax School: The craziest time of year looms, and here’s “How to Reduce Your Turnover In a Seasonal Job Market.”
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Women’s initiatives and their importance in the best firms now and in the future.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: You Know They Were Good for Something Dep’t.: A primer on how to secure tax prep referrals from your friends.

New to us

  • Tax Litigation Survey: Professor and blogger Timothy Todd’s fine overviews of recent tax decisions. Among the first up for us: “Tax Court Approves Predictive Coding for Discovery Responses” and “Person Other Than Taxpayer Is Not Entitled to CDP Rights or Tax Court CDP Review.” Welcome!

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