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

Warning: Fun Ahead

  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: What to remind them about forms and your three favorite new letters: ACA. “Remember the fun last year with the Form 1095-A from the insurance exchanges that let you file for the Premium Tax Credit (or pay some or all of it back if you didn’t deserve it)?” Oh, vividly.
  • John R. Dundon II EA: The coming year, your business clients and tax planning. One curveball: “Proactively minimizing this year’s income tax can indeed have an equally adverse impact on next year’s tax planning.”

The tough indecisions

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: Holly, tinsel, twinkly lights and turtle doves abound again. So does a possible government shutdown.
  • Roth & Co.: Your handy checklist of perpetually extended extenders that stand to evaporate if Congress doesn’t do something before heading to break.
  • Mauled Again: Source of Your Headache Dept.: “When Congress Dilly-Dallies on Tax Issues” looks at the confusion that reigns when our beloved lawmakers appear to want to do anything but take definitive action “to prevent chaos.” The most recent example: the Internet Tax Freedom Act. This bars governments from imposing taxes on Internet access and, judging from the wide vote margins supporting its frequent resuscitation, demonstrates strong bipartisan support “for the policy represented by the act.”
  • BNA blogs: Will new federal partnership audit rules produce administrative challenges for states, new revenue or a tantalizing combination of both?
  • The Wandering Tax Pro: We can always depend on blogger Robert Flach’s colorable ability to spell out the profession’s issues. Here, the provision in the Surface Transportation Act (FAST – haha) that “directs the IRS to contract with private collection agencies for the collection of inactive tax receivables.” Flach states his opinion, with a nod to Washington’s intelligence level.
  • Federal Tax Crimes: Another deep look at FAST. 

Sitting a spell

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: What are your staffers’ prime needs? Here are thoughts on three.
  • BNA Software Discussions and Perspectives: The two best tools to address the state and local tax compliance burden? Studies and software. Stir well.
  • The Income Tax School: Is your Web site more bum’s rush than friendly for users? How to get them to pull up a mouse and click awhile.
  • ClientWhys: A-Tweeting you should go: “Why Accountants should use Twitter to Promote Their Practice” looks at the why and how of telling the world about your work – and finding new clients – 140 characters at a time.
  • TurboTax Blog: Everybody knows what happens this time of year when everyone’s sleeping: Everyone from airlines to package-shipping services to gas stations tack on hefty, hidden taxes. Unwrap the average holiday travel, for instance, and you find up to $101 in sales, hotel, rental car and other extra taxes on an average three-day trip.
  • H&R Block blog: What started in 2015 stays in 2015: Helping clients preserve their new year from ongoing tax trip-ups, from penalties and audits to under-reporting.

Pounding the table

  • Tax Analysts: Blogger Stuart Gibson looks at Microsoft’s recent court tantrums/arguments after the IRS summonses demanded documents and testimony in a long-running transfer pricing audit.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Dark Days for IRS, Mixed Signals for IRS Whistleblowers”; “Putin, Money Laundering and Whistleblower Awards”; “Medco Asks Court to Dismiss Whistleblower Suit”; “Medicare Fraud, Nursing Homes & Ambulances”; and “Buy American Act II – Jett Industries Revisited.”
  • Taxable Talk: In case you needed more proof that tax professionals’ licensing requirements won’t stop preparers from stealing, a look at a recent case of a tax prep firm owner in hot water over inflated deductions and refunds – and in California, where everyone who prepares a tax return for money must have a license.
  • Procedurally Taxing: Guest blogger Ben Bolas examines Schaeffler v. United States, which “expanded the boundaries of attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine in the context of tax advice.”

On the borderlines

  • Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney: An info-graphic on the tax positions of the presidential candidates. Makes a great gift.
  • Taxes at About.com: The filing details for citizens, green card holders and resident aliens who meet the Substantial Presence Test.
  • Tax Policy: A look at Australia’s recently released guidance on its Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), a proposal that introduces a new special tax aimed at deterring multinational corporations from shifting income to low-tax jurisdictions, the so-called “Google tax.”
  • IRS Problem Solver: Our favorite opening line of the week: “Sometimes, politics will outdo itself and borderline on the bizarre.” A look at the proposal of Ted Cruz to eliminate the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Education and the IRS – the last “an interesting scenario indeed.” If you think so now, just wait three months.

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