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

The big money

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes: How cutting the IRS budget is a bad idea for taxpayers and the Treasury. For one, the latest findings of the Taxpayer Oversight Board indicate that most taxpayers support more funding for Service services and enforcement (just not necessarily, we suspect, out of their own refund).
  • Tax Vox: The recent fight in Washington over the 2015 budget, the president’s immigration orders and refundable tax credits, perfectly legal financial legerdemain by life insurers moving offshore, and where capital gains do wander.
  • TaxProf Blog: Healthy, Wealthy and Above the Herd Dept.: How the man-in-the-U.S.-street’s average wealth dropped 40% in the last seven-or-so years and how income inequality widened across racial lines.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA: So just what does lurk in the shadows of the recent federal spending bill? If you can believe it, gasp, “Government funds can’t be used by officials to commission expensive portraits of themselves to hang in hearing rooms and other areas.” Nothing’s sacred anymore.

Grow, baby, grow

  • The Income Tax School: If you’re a new practice, how do you build a client base? As with so much in life, start with friends and family.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders: Ah, the refrain: “The MP and his partner are nearing retirement and no one at the firm was ready to take over.” A look at selling out versus other Where’d I Leave My Putters? options. Note from Todd Shapiro, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society: “If you don’t have your succession plan by age 50, you’re going to sell your firm.”
  • Taxing Subjects: A look at the new New York Tax Department’s Preparer Continuing Education Program  (Accounting Today).
  • Tax Policy: Kudos to COST (the Council on State Taxation), named a 2014 Organization of the Year by State Tax Notes. Also, what exactly is the problem with “Free Stuff?”
  • Thegleimblog: Welcome to blogger Allison H., an EA who’s currently nose to the grindstone for the CPA Exam and vividly recounts such a special point in a career.

Briefly noted

  • Rubin on Tax: How a recent Florida appellate court decision upholds the ability of a trust “protector” to amend the provisions of a trust.
  • Tax Litigation Survey: How RSW Enterprises Inc. v. Commissioner shows that in declaratory actions involving the revocation of a plan’s qualified status, the Tax Court is not limited to reviewing only the administrative record under Tax Court Rule 217 at the summary judgment stage.
  • Procedurally Taxing: A look at a recent Tax Court opinion in the collection due process (CDP) case of Hosie v Commissioner – a bad one for CDP backers.

Your pearls of wisdom

  • Tax Break: The TurboTax blog: And in case your client wants to just let the health insurance ride, here are five reasons to reconsider auto-renewal of Obamacare plans.
  • Bond Beebe’s It’s Taxing: The Most Deductible Time of the Year: tips for your clients on year-end charitable contributions, with a nod to the IRS release (IR 2014-110) that might help you word e-delivered ticklers as part of your marketing. People don’t want to think about taxes under the mistletoe – but fact is they may be wise to.
  • Backtaxeshelp: Blogger Rebecca Lake looks at major tax changes for the coming season.
  • Taxes at About.com: All about those wondrous penalties under the ACA for not having health insurance. Also, tax planning for the self-employed, and deducting car and truck expenses.
  • Mauled Again: It isn’t just a matter of stupid client questions. “Considering how tax issues are entangled in the roots of civilization, tax ignorance poses a threat to societal success.” The big picture behind knowing nothing about this key financial part of life, and a look at a recent Bloomberg Politics survey on the federal deficit.
  • TaxMama: Mama helps a reader who wonders about a self-employed father’s covering thousands of dollars of uninsured medical expenses for his 21-year-old daughter – whom he does not claim as a dependent.
  • John R. Dundon II blog: Tread softly when shuttering an LLC.
  • H&R Block blog: Of all the biggest questions of mice and men, the greatest is this: “What Does It Really Mean to Be Audited?”

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