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

Painfully boring topics?

  • Tax Policy: How recent IRS stats about corporate depreciation in 2012 (potentially “a painfully boring topic to many readers”) relates to some of the most important current tax policy discussions in Congress.
  • Federal Tax Crimes: Do we need a unanimous jury to determine at least one obstructive act for tax obstruction?
  • Mauled Again: Why Should They Be Any Different Dept.: How the CNN Reality Check Team botched fact-checking the latest Republican presidential debate regarding the Tax Code – specifically after Carly Fiorina “informed the world that the Tax Code consists of 73,000 pages” and Ted Cruz calculated that there are more words in the “IRS code” than there are in the Bible. In the beginning all was deducted …

Home-field advantages

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Cleveland (the city, not the Browns, Cavs or Indians) is revising their jock tax system through which they collect cash from athletes and entertainers who come into town to perform. Unfortunately, the city lost a court match-up over the tax methodology and might end up refunding, “by one estimate, as much as $2.4 million to previously taxed NFL players.” Flag on the play?
  • Taxable Talk: Rocky Mountain road ahead? “Colorado Voters to Get the Chance to Add 10% Payroll Tax for Single-Payer Health Insurance.” The 10% payroll tax will, if approved, get piled on top of other already-levied federal and state taxes. Should be an interesting barometer of what the average person thinks about universal health care. Plus, “The Real Winners of the World Series of Poker.”
  • Tax, Society & Culture: “Senator Rand Paul has been holding up tax treaties for several years, but he apparently stepped away from the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday and eight slipped through.” Maybe he’s got bigger campaigns to fry right now. Anyhoo, a look at the treaties now to be considered by the full Senate.
  • Procedurally Taxing: First-time guest bloggers Jay Soled and Kathleen DeLaney Thomas discuss “the pervasive failure” of employers to report many types of fringe benefits that have sprung up due to advances in technology and globalization of the work force.

‘Don’t throw me in the oil patch!’

  • BNA blogs: Looks like the potential outcome of Gillette vs. California Franchise Tax Board may bode ill for the average taxpayer, if predictions based on verbal arguments are any indication. This grim prognosis from an attorney who filed an amicus brief in favor of Gillette.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Anti-Kickback Law and Questionable Real Estate Arrangements”; “Can an Employer Force Whistleblower to Return Documents?”; “Trouble in the Oil Patch”; “Andrews Kurth Loses $200 Million Malpractice Claim”; and “Whistleblower Award in Oil Pollution Case?”

Don’t have a cow

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Moo on: A look at the scared cows you may inadvertently have in the barn when it comes time for merger discussions or acquiring a firm.
  • H&R Block blog: “According to a study by the Small Business Association, more than 50% of the population works in a small business, and since 1995 small businesses have generated over 65% of net new jobs in the U.S.” Tempting numbers. What to tell clients about starting a new business, aside from recommending a head exam.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: We love headlines that remind us of Yoda. “Trapped By Our Capital Gains Are We” looks at how conventional wisdom about brackets and cap gain rates ain’t necessarily so. Bonus line: “Wow! Two Broadway musical lyric references in one post!”
  • ClientWhys: As you struggle to make sense of how to display your practice online, bear in mind the “4 Ways Marketplace and Niche Directory Sites [have] Taken Over the Google Search Results.”

To your health account

  • Taxes at About.com: What to tell your clients about HSAs.
  • John R. Dundon II EA blog: More on HSAs, especially as year-end tax saving vehicles.
  • The Income Tax School: How carving out a prep niche is not only one path toward the Secret of the Universe but can also give you one leg up on the national chains. The key question: In what should you specialize?
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: What they may be thinking about tax preparers – more to the point, what they may ask you – when they walk through your door.

New to us

  • BNA Software Discussions and Perspectives: Bloomberg BNA offers expert software products for tax and accounting professionals; happy to have them aboard. In this entry: “Repair Regulations Update: Preparing for 2016 and Beyond” looks at how “just two short years ago” the IRS issued the final tangible property repair regulations, which represented some of the most significant tax law changes to affect businesses in decades. “There is still ample opportunity to streamline the repair regulations function for 2016 and beyond.”

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