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

Fa la la la

  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Where did the year go? “The Twelve Days of Tax Season” are again upon us (“On the twelfth day of tax season my client got from me: a finished tax return, 11 employee business expenses, 10 stock sale confirms…”). Joy to the prep world.
  • Taxjar: February’s big sales tax days, state by state.
  • The Income Tax School: Print mail is making “a bit of a comeback.” Here’s how to use the old-fashioned paper and ink to best advertising advantage this season, from targeting to choosing a provider.
  • Tax Vox: Penalty on the play: Why the NFL’s rule that states exempt Super Bowl purchases from host cities’ local taxes benefits only the league – which also pulled in $12 billion in revenue last year.
  • Taxing Subjects: How many of the top 10 IRS tips for choosing a preparer do you score well on?

Scary

  • Liberty Tax: What to remind clients about regarding the ACA, PTC and APTC. Given the deadlines, try to do it PDQ.
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: Handy infographic to hand to clients worried about the IRS boogeyman. Note, “Today more Americans than ever owe back taxes to the IRS. Make no mistake about it, having a problem with the IRS can be a scary thing to go through.”
  • Rubin on Tax: If a client suffers a loss on the disposition of real property, why to advise them to be treated as a developer for income tax purposes.
  • Procedurally Taxing: Guest blogger and Enrolled Agent Charles Markham examines how late a taxpayer can request an equivalent hearing and how “perhaps there is a greater opportunity for the equivalent hearing than just the one-year window.”
  • Taxes at About.com: For those staffers still lucky enough to have them, employee stock purchase plans grant employees the option to purchase the company’s stock using after-tax deductions from pay. An overview of the benefit and its four phases (grant, offering period, transfer and disposition).

Red flags

  • Federal Tax Crimes: A recent “60 Minutes” exposé examined money laundering into the U.S., “a process enabled by the ease to create U.S. corporations whose owners are anonymous,” and a look at some of the blogger’s late posts on initiatives to curb the practice for real estate cash deals.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s collection: “Bank Board Misconduct Can Pay Whistleblower Dividends”; “Whistleblower Still Unpaid in New Mexico False Claims Case”; “Is Hazardous Waste the New Frontier for Whistleblowers?”; “Shipping Co. Loses False Claims Act Battle”; and “Bank of America Threw a Party and No One Came.”
  • BNA blogs: How financial reporting often mirrors life itself regarding “the ‘judgment’ conundrum.”  Two big points: Practitioners admit that segment reporting especially requires significant judgment; and, in financial reporting circles, “the word ‘judgment’ is an automatic red flag.”
  • The Tax Times: The battle against money laundering rages on, one latest front being investigations into luxury real estate sales that involve shell companies such as LLCs.

New ideas

  • Tax Policy: A new National Bureau of Economic Research paper “strongly confirms” that bonus depreciation boosts investment. “The paper’s authors estimate that bonus depreciation raised investment by 10.4 percent from 2001 to 2004 and 16.9 percent between 2008 and 2010. Additionally, they observe an investment response that is 27 percent higher for small and medium-sized firms than larger companies.”
  • Mauled Again: An alternative proposal in Pennsylvania – albeit only by a Philadelphia Inquirer reader – to spur the state government into more fiscal care and action by redirecting state taxes collected. The reader “notes that there are risks in doing this. He is correct. The biggest risk is that it will not work.”
  • Tax Analysts: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s recently released tax plan in a state “long known for its bad policy” does little to address the problem.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: Almost The End Dept.: How the Surface Transportation Act of 2015 requires executors of estates filing an estate tax return to separately provide to the receiving beneficiaries (as well as the IRS) the estate’s claimed tax value of all property included in the decedent’s estate that was or will be distributed.

We’ll miss you, Mr. Lawrence

  • TaxProf: How the late great David Bowie was very far from a space oddity when it came to taxes and divvying up his estate.

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