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

Fair shakes

  • Procedurally Taxing: A look at Senators Grassley and Thune’s recent introduction (Accounting Today) of taxpayer bill of rights legislation, including the unusually plain talk of the lawmakers (“Grassley [starts] off by generally talking about how no one likes to hear from the IRS but that that people need to have a ‘fair shake’ …” not to mention the phrase “systemic abuse of taxpayer rights”).
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: In honor of Father’s Day just passed: Uncle Sam’s child-care tax gift for the new world of parenthood.
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: Up to Her Ingalls Dept.: The $360,000 tax woes of actress Melissa “Little House on the Prairie” Gilbert (Accounting Today), who cites limited work and a previous divorce – and at age 51, she’s hardly alone among Americans in those problems – and that she’s established an installment payback plan.
  • TaxProf: Shades of Ted Koppel Dept.: Guest blogger Kristin Hickman looks at Day 774 of the IRS scandal, specifically how the D.C. Circuit won’t let up with the Anti-Injunction Act amid the possibility of the IRS having violated an entity’s First Amendment rights.
  • Tax Policy: Blogger Kyle Pomerleau examines the recent tax reform plan (Accounting Today) of Sen. (and White House hopeful) Rand Paul, R-Ky., which replaces most of the current Tax Code with a 14.5% tax on all individual income with a large standard deduction and personal exemption and a similarly sized VAT on a business’s profits and payroll. Also, “Ohio Senate Mulling Tax Changes, Good and Bad.”

That clinking, clanking sound

  • Tax Girl: Trials and tribulations of crowdfunding, via a story about two high school buddies’ craft beer dreams.
  • Taxjar: What you need to know to register for a sales tax permit in Ohio. Also, a jaundiced eye on Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and his new Remote Transaction Parity Act, “this new stab at an Internet sales tax.”
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: As the current talent war among CPA firms trembles on the nuclear, how long will current senior-level compensation percentages remain effective?
  • H&R Block: Flipping houses – buying and then swiftly selling for a profit – seems like a cross between sophisticated personal finance and swapping Ventnor for Pacific Avenue. The tax implications of this breed of home deal.
  • John R. Dundon II EA blog: What is “worth,” especially as the slippery word applies to tax implications for something like a partnership interest or an intangible asset? And yes, “one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure.”

Stating cases

  • Our Taxing Times: Let blogger Trish McIntire get this straight: She loves Kansas. But last-minute tax increases by the Kansas Legislature to cover the budget shortfall (caused by major tax cuts passed in 2012 and touted as a magnet to business) only raise the question of why most people choose to live or do business in a certain state.
  • Tax, Society & Culture: A look at the California Labor Commission’s decision that Uber is the employer, and not partner, of a driver cited in a recent story from Reuters. Uber’s rebuttal, plus exploration of whether other jurisdictions will tailgate on this call.

Off-shore things

  • The Tax Times: A look at new revisions to the U.S. offshore voluntary disclosure initiative, which now provides for an increased 50% FBAR penalty for ‘willful’ non-disclosers. 
  • Taxes at About.com: How those born in the gold ol’ U.S. of A. and moved away as children are often unaware that they remain American citizens – a gap in knowledge costing many overseas thousands of bucks thanks to FACTA.

‘Get the facts right’

  • Mauled Again: One truth almost always universally accepted when it comes to comments about the immensity of the Tax Code: Said commenter is often uninvolved with tax policy and taxation. “Politicians who repeat this erroneous claim should know better, and are in a position to inform themselves, but very few politicians know much about tax policy or taxation beyond the talking points that their handlers provide them. On the other hand, when those who should know better and who profess to be experts in tax policy speak or write about the size of the Internal Revenue Code, they owe it to themselves and to their audiences to get the facts right.”
  • Taxable Talk: Yeah, let us say you are 100% certain that the price of a certain article will increase from 20 cents to 62 cents in a few weeks. Sure you can buy the stock – just also be sure to pay the taxes on the 42 cents of gravy. Seem obvious? Ask a certain Tennessee legislator.
  • Rubin on Tax: The IRS now issues closing letters to estates for federal estate tax purposes only if the taxpayer requests it. Does this indicate that the agency “no longer has the resources to do a preliminary review of every filed Form 706, as in the past?” Plus, latest APRs.

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