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

Monster repellent

  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: You can recommend a blessed crucifix, a silver bullet or a strand of garlic, but your clients might be best off with some of these pointers on how to avoid getting audited.
  • Taxable Talk: Remember to remind clients: To claim a casualty loss, you actually need a casualty.
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Handy list of tax credits and deductions for working mothers.
  • Taxing Subjects: Via the IRS, “Five Key Facts About Unemployment Benefits,” including what’s perhaps the biggest eye-opener when your client spends their day in a robe: Unemployment is taxable.
  • The Income Tax School: Well, you got the prospect into the chair in front of your desk. Now what? “Your relationship starts with the very first interaction: their tax-preparation interview.” Tips on what a good first prep chat sounds like.
  • Burbank CPA Tax Musings: Reminding your clients who have college kids (or are married to one, or are one themselves) of the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. Plus why one might better the other.
  • Mauled Again: Three out of five taxpayers have yet to file their tax returns, according to the IRS. “Is this a surprise?” Putting aside the early birds anticipating big refunds, what’s behind these numbers?
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: To you recent grads and industry interns: You landed here because you interviewed well and stood out. Now in the blizzard of the season, believe it or not, is no time to keep your head down and your mouth always shut. “Volunteer for assignments. Ask for the difficult tasks. Force yourself to stretch.” Maybe learning early how to bust your butt is the best way to prepare for seasons ahead.

The sunshine state

  • Rubin on Tax: In Florida, taxpayers try for a homestead exemption to reduce their ad valorem taxes. A look at a recent case to see whether a spouse can benefit from this under certain conditions.
  • The Tax Times: Time to change stripes: Two Florida men recently sentenced to some six years apiece in connection with a scheme to snatch more than $11 million dollars in kickbacks and other benefits while senior execs at Systemax and its subsidiary, TigerDirect.

Art imitating life

  • Tax Analysts: A few weeks of Potomac headlines, from Hilary’s e-mail mess to Bill’s portrait containing a shadow of his former self. “Oh, and it snowed yesterday in Washington … so much so that it shut down the federal government. Everyone in the country noticed the snow, not so much the shutdown of the government.” These proved merely overtures to the IRS erasing the line between forgetfulness and wrongdoing over possible abuse of mostly conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status.
  • Our Taxing Times: Blogger Trish McIntire recently stumbled across a phrase you don’t hear every day in book blurbs: “This intriguing political thriller raises questions about income taxes.” More on the con argument about these taxes, plus some other books using taxes as themes.

Capitol ideas

  • Taxjar: This week’s roundup looks at how California recently decided 800,000 was a worthy number to try for regarding sales-tax notifications and how the famous Quill v. North Dakota Supreme Court decision plays out today in such cases as Direct Marketing Association v. the Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • Tax Vox: Dynamic scoring spruces up the proposed tax plan of Senators Rubio and Lee to the tune of a 15% jump in GDP after a decade. “Rosy estimates notwithstanding,” another look at the plan’s possibilities. Also, “Does the tax system’s complexity stifle the economy?”
  • Tax Policy: Seems in Pennsylvania both sides of the aisle in Harrisburg can agree to phase out the commonwealth’s Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. Also, how the medical device tax burden falls squarely on the soon-to-be-aching back of taxpayers, according to a new report.
  • Procedurally Taxing: First-time guest blogger Patrick Thomas examines how the IRS often engages in forced collection after a collection statute expiration date. “Of course, the IRS does so not because they intend to flout the law …” After all, CSED isn’t e-mail.

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