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

Over there

  • Taxes at About.com: Uncle Sam, like Mother Nature, never forgets a debt. How those born in the U.S. but moved away as children may walk foreign soil often unaware that they are American citizens. Enter FACTA, which forces banks to reveal the identity, accounts and investment income of these Americans overseas. What the typical client caught in this situation may likely think and say.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: “In simplest terms, the Greeks borrowed more money than they can pay back.” At issue now is a three-year bailout of 53.5 billion euros, or $59 billion. True, in this ancient land this is no new problem – but one clear point of every analysis is that the country has “done a terrible job over the years of collecting taxes that could have helped it pay down its debt.”
  • Tax Policy: Thinking Big Dept.: The Senate Finance Committee’s working group unveils its framework for international tax reform, a bipartisan framework for reforming the taxation and regulation of overseas income, especially the income of multinational corporations. If a thankless job, at least it’s also endless.

Hardly amusing

  • Tax Girl: Hogstreamer for the World Dept.: How Chicago’s new proposed cloud tax scheme would increase costs for services such as Netflix. Chicago – which already imposes an amusement tax “upon the patrons of every amusement within the city” – claims that upping the ante on shows like “Orange Is the New Black” is “merely an interpretation of the city’s existing tax system.”
  • Taxable Talk: Stonewalled: A look at a victorious IRS audit of a San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary in San Francisco and the owner’s subsequent lost appeals. The issue in this case was the section of law prohibiting a taxpayer from deducting any expenses (but not cost of goods sold) related to a trade or business of trafficking in a controlled substance prohibited by federal law.

To your health care

  • Taxing Subjects: Recent IRS information pertaining to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, outlining the prerequisites for receiving the credit and which forms need to be filed. Also, “It may still be possible to claim the credit for 2014 returns.”
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: How the common small-business move of alleviating employees’ medical costs by reimbursing the cost of health-insurance premiums may vanish: A new IRS reg could potentially fine small businesses $36,500 a year per employee.

‘Seems high’

  • John R. Dundon II EA blog: Pity your clients – they’re awash in letters and acronyms when it comes to tax sitches. What to say when you take a sec to explain the ITIN.
  • TaxMama: Mama helps a taxpayer who just received a CP2000 from the IRS informing him of $1,900 in proposed taxes due from 2013, an amount “that seems high” even though he did forget to include his wife’s 1099 earnings in the return.
  • Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney blog: A look at Philadelphia’s new use and occupancy tax rate.
  • Tax Maven: Blogger Diane Gilabert looks at the trickiness involved in helping a startup decide on a type of entity.
  • Taxjar: The reasoning behind Amazon’s constant plugging to become the world’s premier e-retailer. Also, how to register for a sales-tax permit in Arkansas and Washington, D.C.
  • The Tax Times: A Florida construction worker offers a concrete example of why you should always seek representation in a tax case.

Fee speech

  • Mauled Again: “For most people, paying a fee for something in return is more palatable than paying a tax. This nomenclature silliness has recently moved back to center stage.” We couldn’t agree more when it comes to Republicans saying “fee” to describe an increase in the penalty imposed on businesses for failure to file a 1099-MISC.
  • Tax Analysts: Blogger Cara Griffith examines how covering taxes certainly has perks (“tax is a fantastic beat”) but one plus sure isn’t government speakers’ increasing tendency to talk at events closed to the press. Maybe we’re biased, but if everyone might get taxed because of something somebody proposes, should everybody have a chance to hear what that somebody proposes?

To market

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: Lee Frederiksen’s top observations on accounting marketing in this year, including the rise of content and online marketing, the mobile revolution and the growing swell of an “generational sea change.”
  • Procedurally Taxing: Happy second birthday, PT!

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