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

‘Cry havoc!’

  • Procedurally Taxing: Guest blogger Marilyn Ames outlines the IRS master file “in order to provide context for some of the discussions we have had about taxpayer accounts … be aware that the IRS does not always move the account to non-master file status when it should and the failure to do so can cause havoc.” Noted.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s collection: “Hospital Faces FLSA Wage Suit for Docking [Nurse] Pay”; “U.S. Contractors Tagged for Iraq, Afghanistan Reconstruction Fraud”; “Whistleblower Helps Feds Nab Medicare Fraud Suspect”; “Whistleblower Suit Accuses Frontier of $42 Million Fraud”; and Lance Armstrong – Doper, Dealer, Liar?”
  • Taxing Subjects: Tips on speedy recoveries (at least in terms of tax records) in the wake of natural disasters, from electronic backup to off-site storage to documenting your office using photos or videos.

Matters of deduction

  • Dinesen Tax Times: What to tell them about deducting donations to 501(c)s.
  • Liberty Tax: And what about deducting contributions to political campaigns?
  • The Income Tax School: In case somebody young asks and in case you’ve forgotten yourself: the considerable plusses of a home-based tax business.

All the pieces

  • H&R Block: You’re Not a Kid Anymore Dept.: “Teaching Your Teen About Tax Withholding” looks at how to break the news that the total hours a young adult works at his or her first summer job multiplied by his or her wage does not equal what comes home in the paycheck.
  • Taxes at About.com: “The Internal Revenue Service isn't the only tax entity that wants a piece of your paycheck.” Indeed. A look at the landscape of state income taxes, including the states that don’t charge the levy and those considering changes.
  • Rubin on Tax: “IRS Wins Debt vs. Equity Case” examines a frequent area of dispute between taxpayers and the IRS: whether an indebtedness obligation should be treated as debt, or an equity investment, for income tax purposes.
  • Summing It Up: Plan fiduciaries for Employee Benefit Plans are held to the highest legal standard and are required to act solely in the interest of the plan and its participants. What to ask to ensure your bases are covered.
  • Taxable Talk: How California’s taxpayers are on the hook for the state pension system’s large shortfall in recent returns (“Oops…”), sticking the Golden State in between the rock of hiking taxes or the hard place of cutting state payrolls. “Actually, the idea of cutting California government by 30% is wonderful. It also has a 0% chance of happening in California.”
  • BNA blogs: A look at states’ mixed signals regarding the future of that “catch-all for taxes that don’t fit the old categories of levies such as income, excise, property or sales”: franchise taxes.

And of course, politics

  • Tax Analysts: How any prospective Hillary Clinton administration will be defined not by its first 100 days but by the 50 days before she’s sworn in. Just in case you thought anything was not going to be weird about this election.
  • Tax Policy: A lunch-hour spin around the Web unearths Trump claiming Romney lost due to tax returns; preserving tax records and keeping an eye on tax implications of natural disasters (excluding, we guess, elections this year), and Indiana closes its fiscal year with a record surplus.
  • The Tax Times: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has asked the G20 governments to approve its proposed three-step formula for deciding which international financial centers are to be blacklisted as non-cooperative. So far, the good ol’ U.S.A. hasn’t made the list.

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