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

Turn out the lights

  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Robert D Flach’s incomparable wrap on this, his 44th season as a paid preparer. Some nifty predictions made way back when, and why they were somewhat right and somewhat wrong. “Tax season has become, for me, all about the last three weeks,” Flach notes.
  • Our Taxing Times: “Quiet today!” Indeed, for a while anyway. Love the gingerbread man in the latte bath. Blogger Trish McIntire uses a very easy return, a tax novel or vegging out as part of her closing ceremonies.

To forgive divine

  • Taxjar: A look at state tax amnesty programs and whether they’re right for a given business.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: And a detailed look at Maryland’s proposed go-and-sin-no-more program for individuals and corporations who are past due on filing state returns and taxes.

Cases in point

  • Procedurally Taxing: Our favorite line of the week involves the relationship of the APA to procedures embedded in the IRC: “When you mix the murkiness of administrative law with the labyrinth of tax procedure, you wind up often with head-scratching questions.” To wit here, a recent order in Illinois Tool Works v Commissioner that included an interesting APA issue.
  • Rubin on Tax: Just Keep Giving Dept.: “60 Crummey Withdrawal Beneficiaries Allowed” looks at how courts (Estate of Cristofani v. Commissioner) have recognized beneficiaries that are merely contingent remaindermen as having a substantial enough interest such that annual exclusion can be applied to gifts subject to withdrawal. The IRS, incidentally, hasn’t gazed kindly on this practice.
  • Tax Girl: Forbes’ picks for 10 most infamous U.S. tax cheats, and, in a lesson for all the kids out there, they’re “a diverse lot, ranging from Chicago mob boss Al Capone … to Ty Warner, who became a billionaire hawking Beanie Babies in the 1990s.”
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: Yes, “everything is bigger in Texas,” including IRS liens: Dallas Bankruptcy Court recently saw a filing of a possible record $3.23 billion against a local man and his late brother's estate.

Simplify simplify

  • Mauled Again: Hope springs eternal. “Another Tax Simplification Idea” examines how streamlining “the confusing array of taxes faced by businesses” might help Philadelphia collect more of what the Burg of Brotherly Love has coming from many of its real estate agents.
  • Tax Vox: Blogger Renu Zaretsky tackles how the corporate-only tax reform could raise taxes on many small businesses, how major British banks might bolt the merrie isle because of a tax bump and how Ohio House Republicans might cave on a cigarette tax increase.
  • Tax Policy: The vaporizing of the federal estate tax (Accounting Today), hailed as good news.

Keeping at it

  • Taxing Subjects: Taking you back or moving you forward? “How to Start a Successful Tax Preparation Business” notes that some 1.2 million paid professionals engage in the preparation and filing of forms required by the federal, state and local governments; the industry generates $9 billion in revenue and last year prepared more than 82 million individual income tax returns. Feel less lonely now?
  • H&R Block: Earth-friendly tax breaks.
  • ClientWhys: No rest for the weary or wary: Online marketing strategies to use off-season to build your practice. Note: “Many of the best ways to be found are free (or almost free), but require year-round effort.”
  • Burbank CPA Tax Musings: Counter-intuitive as it may seem, many parents willingly give kids headed to college a low-cost checking account with a debit card provisions. What to look for in hidden fees and other costs in school-sponsored plans, via The Wall Street Journal.
  • TaxProf Blog: A fond goodbye to Chuck Davenport, a beloved senior tax law professor.

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