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

A-C-A and o-o-p-s

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: What to tell clients about the Healthcare Marketplace if they have or haven’t yet filed. Oh, and a lot of tax forms about this matter are wrong (Accounting Today) (see below).
  • Our Taxing Times: A look at some 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled and received a botched 1095-A. What the form should and shouldn’t say and what to do if a client’s form is wrong. We guess this time of year wasn’t complicated enough.
  • H&R Block blog: To continue, what to tell clients who just plain missed the Marketplace/insurance deadline.
  • Tax Vox: And this from a volunteer preparer in the trenches: “Sorting through all the necessary paperwork is hard to do, even for those of us whose day jobs are in tax policy.” Enough to make you sick.

Slights of hand

  • The Income Tax School: When you come right down to it, aren’t all those reports about rampant tax scams kind of funny? Who would fall for such malarkey? Easy: your clients, often without even knowing it. “Why You Should Be Communicating With Clients About Tax Fraud.”
  • Tax Girl: So how does a seasoned security worker who “spent a lot of his professional life learning how to avoid a hack” log onto TurboTax and find that somebody already filed a return? The three or four hours on the phone with the prep software company included many (unnecessary) reminders about strong passwords but basically boiled down to one proper name: Anthem.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “NY Resident Pleads to Unreported Account FBAR Charge”; “Unusual Medicare Fraud Cases Settles for $1.25 Million”; “Bulgaria Approves FATCA Pact”; “Doc Pleads Guilty to Unreported Leumi Account”; “Skilled Civil Litigation Attorneys Explain the Characteristics of a Malpractice Case”; “Patient Recruiter Scam Leads to Medicare Fraud Conviction”; “Unlicensed Medical Assistant Leads to Big Whistleblower Payday”; and “Mispent Homeless $ Leads to Healthcare Fraud Charges.”
  • Mauled Again: Our favorite headline of the week: “The Parade of Tax Horribles Never Ends.” How the depreciation deduction swelled beyond justifiable use.

What’s in a name?

  • Tax Maven: If your business-owner client is selling, what’s in a good name? Plenty in the form of personal goodwill, “when an individual’s reputation, expertise or contacts contribute significantly to a company’s value and future income stream.” What to know and how to take advantage of it.
  • Procedurally Taxing: How the Senate recently “marked up” supposedly non-controversial legislation to change several provisions of Tax Court operations. Bill JCX-19-15 (no bill number yet; no public disclosure, either) looks to clarify that the Court is not an agency, set up a procedure for judicial complaints and stipulate that the Court can again have judicial conferences. 
  • Tax, Society & Culture: Uber-type arrangements potentially open a Pandora’s cab door of tax and labor/employment reg avoidance. Are Uber drivers employees, independent contractors or neither? Of note: “That new economy firms are actually returning us to an old economy model, in which everyone is an artisan hunting for a daily paycheck.”
  • Liberty Tax: If tax time brings good news for some, this must be it: Many job-hunting expenses are deductible.
  • Burbank CPA Tax Musings: Remind them again: the plusses of direct deposit for clients’ refunds. The clincher: “Do you really want to trust the Post Office?”
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: And this year’s winner for Best Picture Oscar is…? Every one of the eight nominees, if you’re talking about tax breaks.

Service doings

  • John R. Dundon II blog: Step-by-step how-to in releasing a federal lien from the IRS. We also like when bloggers deftly pause before taking up a subject to explain themselves and give a nod to colleagues: “Fortunately I graduated from providing this service for hire preferring to refer all tax collection work to a handful of trusted friends and advisers consciously choosing (bless their hearts) to focus solely on Section 6325(a) … Contact me directly for a referral to my A team!” Also a note to beware “Guido and Luigi” and offers too good to resist.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: Applicable federal rates for March.
  • Tax Policy: Puerto Rico recently introduced a bill to implement a value-added tax while eliminating or reducing several other taxes. Is this just testing the blue Caribbean waters before trying to debut a VAT in the U.S.?

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