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

The more things change …

  • Taxes at About.com: The federal tax world changed a lot lately for same-sex couples. Here’s a handy chart for such partners’ filing state returns.
  • H&R Block blog: Self-employment is befuddling enough even before your poor (and sometimes increasingly poorer) SE clients consider retirement options. What to bear in mind when preparing for the day when self-employment becomes self-golden years.
  • John R. Dundon II EA: Tips and tricks when calculating basis of a primary residence that your client converts to rental property.
  • Roth & Co.: A reminder of the corporate rates and statuses of a given professional business.
  • Tax Vox: Blogger Howard Gleckman looks at the marvel of opposites agreeing. In this case, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who look to change the way Congress “scores tax reform even before Congress begins a rewrite.” Still, the pair sees distinctly different problems.
  • Tax Policy: “Bracket creep” is more than some guy who gave you the willies in college. A look at how every year, the IRS tries to prevent such creep by adjusting more than 40 tax provisions for inflation the CPI-based formula to reach the new numbers.
  • Backtaxeshelp: The client’s Grand Opening banner snaps in the breeze outside, their desks still have the shipping stickers sealing the drawers and the front door of their new enterprise gleams in fresh paint (mostly since it’s not yet been opened by a customer). Blogger Rebecca Lake looks at “5 Tax Tips for Starting a New Business.”

Just business

  • ClientWhys: Offering a white paper to help with one of your practice’s surest avenues of new business – referrals – annoying though it is to think that what other people say about you does matter.
  • Taxing Subjects: As If You Didn’t Know Dept.: How the “typical” tax season is a myth between last-minute changes in tax laws and seasonal workers as hard to come by as Native American Redskins fans. A look at the past season and a peek ahead at 2015. Also, possible effects of new direct deposit limits.
  • Income Tax School: One of the reasons you’ve busied yourself with building a successful practice is to avoid thinking about, well, death. “Why Every Tax Business Owner Needs a Succession Plan. Now.” Relax – it’s not (everyone hopes) so much for the arrival of the Grim Reaper as for the arrival of retirement.

The bucks stop here

  • Mauled Again: Withholding from our paychecks is so omnipresent that it’s almost alarming when the money doesn’t evaporate automatically. A look at “Who’s to Blame for Failure to Withhold?” and a recent Pennsylvania case involving none other than the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Rubin on Tax: If you or your clients hold one of a few popular retirement accounts from north of the border, the U.S. Treasury just automated how U.S. taxpayers elect to defer taxation of Canadian RRSPs and RRIFs and eliminated some reporting requirements for such accounts (Accounting Today).

The lost weekend

  • Taxable Talk: So you’ve got to do this long-standing system maintenance. So a weekend’s usually a good, quiet time to do such maintenance and not annoy your users any more than is necessary. So there’s a long weekend coming up, which gives you an extra day or so. Trouble is – and the IRS doesn’t seem to notice their own calendars year after year – there’s a tax deadline (Accounting Today) less than 48 hours after your system comes back up.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: “So of course the Internal Revenue Service is putting up a ‘closed’ sign. OK, it’s more like a ‘taking a long lunch’ sign … Annual bad timing.”

All the breaks

  • Procedurally Taxing: The recent IRS issuing of SBSE 05-0913-0077, announcing a change in policy regarding the attachment of the federal tax lien to unrecorded conveyances. What this change does and doesn’t mean for those battling the federal tax lien.
  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: You may be at death’s door with hospital bills to the ceiling – but you may also qualify for exemption from the usually-mandatory ACA penalty. Get well soon.

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