Voices

In the blogs: A relaxing pace

Recognizing risk; the price of conformity; Desmond’s confirmation; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

A relaxing pace

  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Seems like a day never goes by without a story about a large, reputable organization in hot water for a failure of management to recognize and manage a risk. The news is also full of favorable press for executives and businesses navigating tricky waters and thriving despite risks. Here’s how to be one of the latter.
  • Intuit Proconnect (https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/): How to hire a cybersecurity pro for your tax practice.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): What to remind them about choosing the right preparer post-reform.
  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): What to remind them about the possible need to file a 2018 gift tax return, even if one isn’t strictly required.
  • Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Are online reviews hurting your business? How many stars does your practice page have on Facebook? How about on your local BBB page? Online reviews are everywhere — and worth looking into, as 91 percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84 percent trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): No move has been made on the recently introduced Taxpayer Extension Act to give taxpayers an additional five weeks to file in the wake of the five-week government shutdown that prevented taxpayer assistance. “Regardless of whether this bill passes or not,” the blogger notes, “I will stop work on 2018 Form 1040s on April 14th…and will not return to working on tax returns until April 23rd at the earliest — at a much more relaxed pace.”
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/: What to tell them about getting a tax refund if they were considered exempt.

Impracticalities

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Since the Wayfair decision, the amount of conflicting information can boggle the minds of retailers trying to learn where they have nexus. Last week’s letter from Fiona Ma, the California State Treasurer, to that state’s government has created a stir among the online seller community as the letter implies that online sellers have no legal obligation to collect sales tax, and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s targeting of online sellers is “unlawful, unconstitutional and impractical.” (The State of California says otherwise.)
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): An Arizona resident forms Primary LLC in Arizona, its main purpose owning a warehouse in Phoenix. With extra money in the LLC the resident invests in Secondary LLC in Nevada; Secondary invests in various things, including Tertiary LLC, a California LLC. Would the California Franchise Tax Board allege that Primary LLC is doing business in California? Guess.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): “Kansas struggles with implications of federal tax reform conformity” examines how, even as the Kansas legislature moves forward with a bill to update the state’s conformity to the Internal Revenue Code, Gov. Laura Kelly may veto the bill and the legislature does not appear to have the votes to override that veto. What would that mean for Kansas taxpayers?

Let me tell you

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): DOJ Tax has reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd. and its subsidiaries. The bank has admitted that from 2002 until 2012 the actions of its bankers, relationship managers, and other employees defrauded the United States and the IRS with respect to taxes by conspiring with U.S. taxpayer-customers and others.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” Fitzgerald wasn’t talking about the way they make their money or the taxes they pay, but he could have been. According to a new Tax Policy Center analysis, while the vast majority of us make our livings almost entirely from wages, salaries, or other forms of labor compensation, the highest-income 1 percent are the sole exception. Capital income accounts for around a third of their income, and that fraction increases as you go further up the income scale.
  • TaxProf (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at Michael Desmond’s swearing in as Trump’s first IRS chief counsel — and the confirmation votes that didn’t go his way.

New for this week

  • Ignite (https://exchange.kscpa.org/ignite): The Kansas Society of CPAs offers this collection “spotlighting possibilities that spark future-ready success amidst a constantly evolving profession.” Latest entries cover Wayfair and reform, students’ views of accounting as a career and the almost athletic versatility needed in today’s accounting.