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

Taxes and death

  • The Wandering Tax Pro: Blogger Robert Flach thought he’d heard everything until the IRS wrote to a taxpayer to tell said taxpayer that he was dead (and so they were not going to process the refund). “This is very literally the strangest thing I have heard from the IRS or a state tax agency in 44 tax seasons.” And correction: Thanks to Robert for pointing out that “Tax season has become, for me, all about the last three weeks” is a quote from fellow tax-blogger Joe Kristan (Roth & Co.). We regret the error.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes: Yes, money collected for special projects via crowdsourcing sites also is generally viewed as taxable income. “Then there are the contributions to help out folks in need.” How a cancer survivor – who received donations – got a $19,000 tax bill to begin her new life.

Spend or swim

  • Mauled Again: The Rich Get Bitchier Dept.: “Why do those drowning in wealth feel compelled to acquire more? The answer might be found in a remark by New Jersey’s governor.” How Chris Christie, unsatisfied with merely suggesting that the overly complex federal tax law gets even more confusing the richer one gets, further maintained that he and his wife “are not wealthy by current standards.” The numbers refuting his claim.
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog: The bottom of the barrel regarding states’ tax systems. Hint: California and see above.
  • Tax Vox: Seems Minnesota House Republicans want the state’s estate tax to affect fewer bequests sooner. A look at a proposal to hike the tax exemption to $2 million (from $1.4 million-plus) before the scheduled 2018. Also, how a continuing dip in oil prices might allow drillers to avoid the state’s extraction tax, and tax cuts mean possible public education cuts in Kansas.
  • Tax Policy: Is income inequality just the latest political buzzphrase? “Interesting data visualization” from a recent NPR report on real income growth in the U.S. since 1917. Hint: The last 35 years (since the presidential election of 1980, incidentally) sure doesn’t look like the first 63. Or does it?
  • Backtaxeshelp: It’s not how you play the game but how you claim exemptions: How entities like the NFL, NHL and the PGA Tour get the same tax treatment as the American Medical Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Talk about scoring.

Picky picky

  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: How the Tax Court’s eye grows ever more jaundiced regarding recordkeeping for charitable contributions.
  • The Tax Times: A look at a recent Bloomberg/BNA report that IRS summonses have spiked as the service’s Large Business & International Division turns its light on new processes for information document requests.
  • Due Diligence: In this week’s roundup: “Guernsey Latest to Target Belvedere Management” and “Belvedere Management – ‘Wolf of Wall Street’”; “Wells Fargo Broker Aaron Parthemer – Can ‘Play’ No More”; “Cancer Doc Awaits Sentencing in Gruesome Medicare Fraud Case”; “OVDP and Double Counting”; and “3 Whistleblowers Eligible for Awards in ManorCare Lawsuits.”
  • John R. Dundon II EA: Richard S. Leyh et ux. v. Commissioner details how a taxpayer could revise her contemporaneous log of daily rental property activity and qualify as a real estate professional for income tax reporting purposes.

Getting a jump

  • Burbank CPA Tax Musings: True, the ink is barely dry on your clients’ 2014 returns, but here’s an IRS tip sheet on good moves your folks can already slot for this year.
  • The Income Tax School: What went wrong? What went right? Will you ever get that coffee stain out from early March? “Evaluate Tax Season Now and Prep for Next Year.”
  • H&R Block: Tips for your military clients regarding negotiating a compensation package, especially as they re-enter civilian life.
  • ClientWhys: Hey, you put up your Web site! You built it and now they’ll come, right? Happens in the movies. You’re not trying to grow a practice in the movies: how to attract visitors on the Net now that you have the primary destination up and running.
  • Tax Maven: Two scenarios that might help with the headache of converting a C corp into an LLC.

Hardly Wasted Here

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders: Congrats to Belicia Cespedes, CPA. She’s loved bookkeeping her whole life. All 17 years of it. As of January, Cespedes became the youngest voting member of the AICPA.

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