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

Bad taxpayer!

  • Roth & Co.: Speaking as one who once got a summons he didn’t deserve, we agree with this post maintaining that “use of penalties to fund government operations is an ugly development in public finance.” How the latest failure-to-file penalties simply feed this questionable fire.
  • Federal Tax Crimes: Journalism calls this the Champagne Kicker, the big punch at the tail end. A look at Redstone v. Commissioner, which recently found a taxpayer liable for a big six-figure gift tax deficiency for the calendar quarter ending Sept. 30, 1972. “That’s right, 1972. The interest alone on that deficiency will be several, perhaps many times the principal amount of the tax.”

Season’s cautions

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Amid all the windows glistening once again this time of year, don’t forget client communication and service.
  • BNA Software Discussions and Perspectives: With brick-and-mortar sales down and those online up, are retailers really ready to collect sales tax in all the states in which they do business?
  • TurboTax Blog: A look at the major tax bite inflicted on most holiday bonuses. How many taxes? “Plenty of them. There may be other reductions as well.”
  • Taxjar: As the online gift shopping dribbles to a close, a reminder about how much sales tax applies to discounted items.
  • Liberty Tax Blog: Gimme an I, gimme an R, gimme an S! “All bets are on as the playoffs quickly approach for both college and professional football. This usually results in an increase of sports betting and daily fantasy sports activity for sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings.” Sure bets these sites – and your clients’ winnings, if any – are not when it comes to taxes.

When not to give

  • Tax Girl: The blogger’s experience when, like many of us, she was asked to pass out her Social Security number like it was just her middle name. Note the drifty reasons: “For demographics. As the guarantor.” How about because somebody somewhere decided such critical information would just be fun to have without a thought as to how to protect it?
  • Taxing Subjects: The IRS recently ventured the idea of stronger password standards to combat ID theft. Talk about a full-time job …
  • Tax, Society & Culture: An update on Canada’s FATCA litigation, including a cautionary call for witnesses from the grassroots group responsible for launching the litigation.

The big squeeze

  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: Nothing can drive dollars and sense out of client’s head quite like worrying about a kid – especially the some 15% of median family income that goes to full-time infant childcare. Blogger Sarah McCraine looks at the tax benefits available for such expenses.
  • TaxProf: Blogger Paul Caron looks at a report that the American middle class continues to lose ground.
  • Rubin on Tax: Death and taxes are certainties, but sometimes they’re anything but certain themselves. “Are Income Tax Refunds Due to a Decedent Subject to Estate Taxes?”
  • H&R Block Blog: Avast hauling on that deduction! A look at what you can and can’t write off when traveling for business on a cruise.
  • Tax Vox: Should the taxman have his hands in our Coke and Fritos, as in many nations and some parts of the U.S. already? A look at the recent report by the Urban Institute’s Maeve Gearing and John Iselin, “Should We Tax Unhealthy Foods and Drinks?”

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