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

Early bird gets the shaft

  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: Who gets mad at overpayments? Apparently, the upstate New York village of South Glens Falls, which with its “strict rules on tax due dates and payment amounts” socked the mortgage-payment firm CoreLogic with a fine after rejecting the latter’s $21,333 sent early for a June tax bill.
  • Tax Policy: Movie magic? Well, Michigan did just make film incentives disappear.
  • ClientWhys: De-tangling the new tangible property reg, with a nod toward Accounting Todays recent piece on getting it right.

Sneaking up

  • Tax Maven: How 1239 “is one of those IRC Sections that can sneak up on well-meaning tax advisers.” The meat (see “ordinary income”) seems to lie in wait in subsection.
  • The Tax Times: How new revisions to the U.S. offshore voluntary disclosure initiative now provides for much stiffer FBAR penalties for “willful” non-disclosers.
  • Mauled Again: A jaundiced look – which we agree with wholly – regarding the origins, machinations and ultimate benefits of tax breaks for the private sector. As always, follow the money.
  • Taxing Subjects: All Work and No Play Makes? Dept.: A look at a recent study showing that more professionals than ever work through vacations, usually via smartphones – if not more devices at once.

The dull and the depressing

  • Tax Analysts: Blogger Jeremy Scott looks at what the 2012 Romney presidential campaign taught Republicans, at least in terms of Jeb Bush recently releasing more than three decades’ worth of tax returns. The real treat? “The details of Jeb's tax returns aren’t all that interesting...”
  • Procedurally Taxing: The “very depressing” picture for tax administration from the recent NTA FY 2016 Objectives Report.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Divorce Can Lead to Tax Audit and More”; “Bank of America Wins First Round in Suit by NFL Player”; “Worst Tax Audit Idea Ever?”; “Aramark – Wardens Gone Wild?”; “LPL Financial In Trouble … Again”; “The ‘Butcher of Detroit’ Sentenced to 45 Years for Medicare Fraud”; and “FATCA and the Presidential Race.”
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: A USA Today story on the nagging IRS slowdown in customer service. Notes Stoner, “Since my feeling is that you should not depend on IRS telephone advice anyway (you can get three different answers to the same question with three different phone calls), it is better to talk to a tax professional for this type of information than a telephone person who is probably being paid close to minimum wage and now is not available most of the time.” Good to see the service has joined the ranks of much of American retail.

What were the odds?

  • Rubin on Tax: No, living at the casino does not make you a professional gambler. A look at Tax Court decision in which a taxpayer, employed full time by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey but without a permanent home (he kept his belongings in a storage locker), would drive 125 miles to Atlantic City and stay overnight at casino hotels and gamble.
  • Federal Tax Crimes: How a recent D.C. Circuit affirmation of upward variance in tax crimes sends a clear signal “to government officials who abuse their position.”
  • Tax Vox: A look at the first filing data on the ACA. Also, TPC estimates alternatives to the ACA Cadillac tax, Microsoft and the IRS head to court over audit practices.

Ahoy!

  • H&R Block blog: Puns galore, from “pier” pressure to “seaworthy tax tips that are see-worthy,” about the tax implications of buying a boat. Our advice: Beware three-hour tours.
  • Taxes at About.com: A look at the Lifetime Learning Credit, including how it differs from the American Opportunity credit.
  • TurboTax Blog: Savings tips for summer travel, from tuning up and packing right to topping off and seeing sights.
  • Liberty Tax: Like You Haven’t Thought About It Too Dept.: Ant-Man, latest super do-gooder in a Marvel Comics movie line, battles crime with the best (and smallest) of them. Too bad he misses so many chances at great tax deductions.

Important letters

  • The Income Tax School: The advantages of going the Enrolled Agent route.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: Some sets of letters – such as I, R and S or A, C and A – never seem to leave your life. A look at the looming deadline for paying Obamacare PCORI Fees.

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