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

Big questions

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: Life Lesson One for your clients still in school: Just how deductible is a student loan? Also, three money-saving tips for the new year.
  • Mauled Again: Age-Old Question Dept.: “Do Taxes Kill Jobs?” looks at a recent debate in Pennsylvania over whether a severance tax on the energy companies producing natural gas in the state will in fact “harm the state’s economy” and have “a crippling effect on jobs” (companies’ quotes). How has this played out in every other state in which gas companies extract natural gas -- and pay a severance tax?
  • The Tax Times: The eight companies that the DOJ wants to produce information about U.S. taxpayers who may be evading or have evaded federal taxes via foreign accounts.

You don’t know what they don’t know

  • H&R Block blog: Four things your clients probably don’t know about taxes. Just four?
  • Our Taxing Times: Word to the wise client: Know how much your dependents earned in 2014.
  • Roth & Co.: The market zooms and your client cashes out swelling stocks. Good time to cash out losers, too. Tips for deducting investment losses.
  • Tax Girl: The new Yellow Pages? The service’s new tax professionals’ partner page and the soon-to-come directory of registered preparers.
  • Thegleimblog: This week’s credential candidate offering a first-hand look: Jonathan, “a chronic test taker” currently tackling the CPA Exam. “My brain,” he notes, “is past capacity and is going into the red.”

Miracles on the Potomac

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: More Like What We Expected Dept.: “Congress gets low marks for honesty, ethical behavior” looks at a recent Gallup poll that showed public perception of Congress in 2014 actually rising by a percentage point from the previous year.
  • Tax Vox: Blogger Renu Zaretsky looks at the end of chances for the White House tax-reform plan amid partisan disagreement over which tax breaks need to go and how much money a new code should raise.
  • Taxing Subjects: The new IRS procedure regarding rules for the nationwide rollout of post-Appeals mediation for OICs and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty cases.
  • Taxable Talk: How the recently passed extenders translate into an unpleasant looming season “for tax professionals, the IRS or the taxpaying public. The IRS is anticipating answering just 50% of the phone calls it receives. On the bright side, since many of the answers given on the IRS help line are wrong, this might have a positive component.”

The world over

  • Tax Policy: Remember when “Made in Japan” basically meant crap? A look at how “Japan Plans to Cut Corporate Tax Rate, Leaving U.S. Further Behind” and how the sun may soon rise on another new eastern Pacific manufacturing power.
  • Rubin on Tax: A look at final Treasury regs on reporting of specified foreign financial assets on the 8938. Highlights include dual-resident taxpayers reporting as non-resident aliens under a treaty, non-filers, non-vested property and disregarded entities.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “High Roller Developer Convicted of Tax Evasion”; “Lawyer Sued Over Ponzi Scheme”; “Ocwen In Trouble … Again”; “No Time Limit for FBAR Audits?”; “Children and FBAR Reporting”; “Big Banks – Pariahs or Victims?”; “Moonlighting Police Chief in Tax Fraud Beef”; “Another Reg Z Violation, Another Whistleblower Opportunity”; and “Exotic Dancers and False Claims Act?”

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