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

Of toasters and accounting

  • Tax Analysts: Blogger David Brunori examines how services should be subject to sales tax (though it isn’t in many states), the theory being that such a tax “should fall on all final consumption … there is no economic or tax policy reason to tax the purchase of a toaster oven but exempt the purchase of a haircut or accounting service.”
  • Roth & Co.: Our favorite opening of the week: “On further review, it’s silly.” The recent IRS “Action on Decision” to continue trying to collect self-employment tax on Conservation Reserve Program payments in the Eighth Circuit constitutes, to this blogger, “a poke in the eye of the court, and one that will probably not help the IRS when it inevitably has to defend itself before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.”
  • Rubin on Tax: How legislation provides no automatic charitable set aside deduction. Also, October’s AFRs.
  • Procedurally Taxing: Summary opinions for the week ending August 28.


  • Taxable Talk: Neymar, one of the world’s best soccer players, hasn’t succeeded in slipping one past tax-evasion investigators. A judge has frozen some $47 million of assets belonging to the star and his parents – nearly triple the value of the alleged evasion.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Medicaid Fraud – Score One for the ‘Little’ Guys”; “More Bad News for Holders of Oil & Gas Bonds”; “Fake Pharma India: 10,500 Facilities, 19 Inspectors”; “Missouri Whistleblower Doctor Awarded $825,000”; and “Hospitals to Pay $69 Million in Medicare Fraud Suit.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes: GE, “bulls--t tax shelters,” and seeking vindication in the land’s highest court after repeated appeals failed at lower levels.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: Have you or your clients noticed the tiny golden square suddenly appearing on all cards plastic? The chip is there to fight fraud – eventually.

In your face

  • Tax Girl: The four simple goals (and even more simplistic reasoning) behind Trump’s at-last revealed tax plan.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: “The Donald knows how to sell, that’s for sure … What person wouldn’t welcome no taxes and an in-your-face message to the hated IRS?” If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably part of an early political campaign.

Shutdown corner

  • Tax Vox: Bye bye, Boehner – and how the departure may head off a government shutdown. Also, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio proposes a tax incentive for paid family leave, and Michigan has only a few more days of “tax-free” online shopping.
  • BNA blogs: Recollections of a former attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel when a shutdown loomed four years ago and the devastating fallout for the office plants. This is a crisp read.
  • Tax Policy: A look at the Democrats’ (on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources) recent American Energy Innovation Act, a 437-page bill aimed at promoting clean energy and improving the country’s energy infrastructure. “About 100 pages of the bill are devoted to rewriting several sections of the Tax Code that deal with energy.”

Winners’ circles

  • Mauled Again: How a sweepstakes winner who nabbed $26,000 in prizes and who declined the winnings out of tax concerns was told by the sponsors’ CPA that there would be no tax implications. Congratulations – except that’s wrong.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Is there life after death? What’s the nature of the universe? While we’re on a roll, what are the obligations of a tax client?

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