Voices

In the blogs: All president and accounted for

The price of SALT; raining in New Jersey; using cause-related marketing; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

All president and accounted for

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Using Twitter in your practice.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): In honor of the holiday just passed, “A Look at How Much Influence Presidents Have on Your Taxes.”
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Despite all the Presidents’ Day sale signs in the windows, it was Mr. Washington’s birthday. Since 1971 we’ve celebrated the third Monday of his birth month thanks to a law that took effect that year mandating that most federal holidays be observed on Mondays. (Why, exactly?) “Then, being a culture that likes to expand things,” we expanded commemoration of the Father of our country’s birthday to recognize other C-in-Cs.

File and dandy

  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): What’s the biggest filing pothole at the IRS. Reform? Nope: Four out of the six categories that contain the 20 most serious problems address the post-filing stage.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): Marrieds wait on two sets of paperwork before filings. Not so singles, who saw a number of changes under reform.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): How the IRS is trying to catch up after the recent (and, thankfully, not more-recently repeated) government shutdown.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): “WHERE THE FAKAWI” kicks off with a look at this year’s smaller refunds. “But the number to compare on your 2018 and 2017 tax returns is not the refund or balance due amount but the total tax amount…your refund is a factor of your withholding. It is not a reflection of any change in your tax liability.” Remind them of this when they’re screaming.
  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): How reform imposed a new limitation for business interest expense.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Why a tax pro is more important now than ever.

Storm warning

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is staring down a $2.3 billion shortfall and he thinks he’s identified the culprit: the SALT deduction cap. “A politically convenient scapegoat,” but it misses the point — and an opportunity to improve that state’s uncompetitive Tax Code.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): We have a European friend who says that in his country if you ever owe annual tax or receive a refund, it’s an event. Americans call it an event when their refund is a pittance, which is already happening a lot this season. Why in fact that might be a bad thing.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): The New Jersey legislature has passed a bill that would permit local governments to set up “storm water entities” to collect fees on property owners and occupants who contribute to storm water runoff. And not surprisingly it has opponents, at least one of whom terms it a “rain tax.”
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at reform legislation in New Mexico that would adopt market-based sourcing and enact a new personal income tax deduction, among other changes.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): How sales tax laws in different states affect marketplace sellers. Wyoming just joined more than a dozen states in imposing a sales tax collection obligation on marketplace facilitators and “we should expect every state to have a law like this by this time next year.”
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Most confident opening of the week: “Who controls the data will rule the new world order post Industry 4.0! A layman’s perspective on the importance of data colonialism in a world order where companies are the new countries.”
  • Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): How your practice might use cause-related marketing, a mutually beneficial collaboration between a business and nonprofit for the purpose of promoting both, usually tied to a specific campaign designed to drive donations and awareness around the nonprofit.

None of your business

  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A recent case from the Tax Court (Steven Samaniego v. Commissioner) teaches “a great [and short] lesson about the Tax Court’s subject matter jurisdiction.”
  • Rubin on Tax ( http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): A common issue in planning for marriages with prior children is how to provide for the surviving spouse while also making provision for children of a prior marriage or relationship. A regularly used planning arrangement is to designate as successor owner at death of the original owner a marital trust that provides for assets to be expended for the surviving spouse during their lifetime, with a remainder to the children and lineal descendants of the first spouse to die. And other assets? A recent private letter ruling confirms a fairly straightforward planning mechanism to obtain stretch status for an IRA via a trust under some circumstances.
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/blog/): Section 179D provides an incentive for building owners to install energy-efficient systems, and the IRS recently released guidance addressing a controversial aspect: the ability for government building owners to allocate the deduction to the designer of the energy-efficient property.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): With the United States v. Hom decision, we must again file an FBAR for foreign online gambling sites. The joker in the deck? Most of these entities don’t broadcast their addresses. (“Some individuals sent email inquiries to one of these gambling sites and received politely worded responses [or not so politely worded] that said that it’s none of your business.”)