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

Good sports

  • Tax Girl: The National Football League gives up decades-old tax-exempt status. We’re unsure of all the Xs and Os of the previous arrangement, but it seems that a sports group that presents an annual event that almost everyone in the world watches or knows about should, one way or another, pay its fair share. Cue the highlight reel.
  • Tax, Society & Culture: A look at PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) and the still tantalizingly informal arrangement that highly visible/profitable multinational corporations have when it comes to giving back to the communities where they do business.

Where the money goes

  • The Tax Times: If You Loved Me You’d Leave Me the Apartment Building Dept.: How domestic property passing to a surviving spouse doesn’t always qualify for the marital deduction, a common goof for American estate tax preparers who prepare returns infrequently.
  • Procedurally Taxing: A look at a recent Tax Court case (Ligman) determining that benefits exempt from levy do indeed constitute part of a taxpayer’s ability to pay. Especially interesting: the court’s discussion (or more lack thereof) regarding accepting the treatment of railroad benefits as income available for an IA even though the benefits are generally exempt from levy.
  • Rubin on Tax: The not-so-little guy gets another responsibility: “IRS Plans to Shift Risk of Withholding Agent Fraud to the Taxpayer for Foreign Withholding” looks at how under new regs the taxpayer and not the IRS bears the risk of tax money being stolen or misappropriated in the above circumstances.

Unsafe harbors

  • Taxable Talk: How the chief of the LA Port Police is now in hot water regarding alleged kickbacks and failure to report taxes.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Rest in Peace – TIC Scams”; “Whistleblower Ordered to Pay Legal Fees”; “Dialysis Clinic Accused of ‘Witness Coaching,’ Settles Medicare Fraud Claim”; and “Wall Street Bailouts Are Finally Over, Right?”

The customer is always puzzled

  • TurboTax blog: Time to get clients going for April 15, 2016. Tip one is the timeless yet practical classic: “Stay organized.”
  • Taxes at About.com: What to tell them about backup withholding.
  • TaxMama: Mama fields the question of whether interest on a mortgage on a primary home to buy a second, eventual retirement home is deductible.
  • Taxjar: In this week’s report, “Is Shipping Taxable in South Carolina?” and online sellers’ pointers regarding the Lone Star State’s franchise tax.
  • Taxing Subjects: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s recent testimony regarding how the IRS weathered this season despite budget cuts affecting customer service – including some eye-opening numbers regarding unanswered calls and disconnects.
  • The Income Tax School: Great to think that you can coast until next 4/15 (you sure deserve it) but here are ways to keep your practice humming after Tax Day.

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