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

Say what?

  • BNA blogs: There go da judge: How a retired U.S. Tax Court judge and her husband have been charged with – “wait for it” – tax skullduggery.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: “It seems a bit funny, and sometimes bothersome, that the public often thinks that just because a person – say, a tax preparer – is trained and experienced in one set of government forms – say, preparation of federal and state individual income tax returns – he or she automatically knows how to fill out every other federal and state government form.” Seems blogger Robert Flach got asked about a financial disclosure statement. So much for sending Mr. Flach our voter registration form…
  • Taxable Talk: Have to Hand It to Them Dept.: How one employer tried to use income to pay staff under the table. The logic that failed? “The employees won’t complain, so I won’t be caught!”
  • Mauled Again: A look at an online back-and-forth debating basic math – featuring the former helmsman of the Enterprise, oddly enough – and the prep advantages of learning “about parallelograms instead of how to do taxes.” Seriously, one commenter “did take all of the business classes in high school, including accounting. And taxes weren’t covered.”
  • A Taxing Matter: IRS scrutiny of 501(c)(3)s that surprises few.
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: When you need tax help, go to the experts? Taxpayers’ top nine questions about taxes – according to Google.

May daze

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: This shocking time of year brings showers, hail and tornadoes. Here’s how they all affect taxes.
  • Taxjar: Now that the “April sales tax perfect storm has come and gone,” here come May sales tax due dates by state.
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA: A fond glance back at this year’s Tax Freedom Day (April 24).
  • Taxes at About.com: Remember: Not everybody lives and breathes taxes and sometimes needs a nudge regarding year-long planning. What to remind them about adjusting withholding from their paycheck.

Case studies

  • The Tax Times: A look at Smoot v. Smoot, in which a “divorced woman not only gets her deceased ex-spouse’s cake [but]  gets to eat it all without (estate tax) apportionment.” A lesson in updating beneficiary designations.
  • Federal Tax Crimes: How U.S. v. Fokker gives wide deference to prosecutorial discretion in charging decisions and limits the district court's discretionary oversight in accepting deferred prosecution agreements, or DPAs.  
  • Rubin on Tax: An individual, his sold interest in a Florida homestead, his subsequent decision to put a portion of the proceeds in two Wells Fargo brokerage investment accounts, and whether said guy was entitled to protection from creditors’ claims under local law.

Paper tigers

  • Bloomberg BNA: Snowballing alert: How recent changes to the federal audit rules might well ignite more federal audits of pass-through entities, such as partnerships that operate in multiple states.
  • John R. Dundon II EA: For the newly arrived in our country, the simple points that “the paper tiger that is the U.S. Tax Code or the rhetoric of pantywaist politicians” really boil down to.
  • TurboTax: While giving money to your favorite White House hopeful may constitute a great way to get involved in civic discourse, the donations are not tax deductible. Plus here’s a list of donation limits.
  • Tax Policy: A look at a recent response by Illinois Rep. Lou Lang, Rep. Christian Mitchell and Emily Miller of Voices for Illinois Children regarding criticism of their proposed graduated income tax proposal.

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