In the blogs: Animal instincts

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Reform’s effect on tax-exempts; hitting the marketing balance; Bozo of the year; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

The hodge-podge cometh

  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Crawled out of the ooze and was running before we knew it? “How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Evolved.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): A look at the Michigan Public Service Commission directing regulated public utilities to analyze the impact of the recently enacted federal income tax cuts on their financial position and to propose how the tax savings will generate reductions in utility bills for consumers. A slight tremor in the earthquake of reform, perhaps, but imagine if corporations and businesses were actually required to use their tax cuts to reduce the prices of their goods and services?
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): First-time guest poster Phyllis Horn Epstein examines the end of a deduction that once saved Oscar Madison during an audit: alimony.
  • Backtaxeshelp (https://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): Eight things to know about the plan, starting with the point that for individual taxpayers “the new tax laws are a hodge-podge of adjustments and minor changes that could make tax planning significantly more complicated for some.” Critically, these changes are also subject to a sunset provision after 2025 — a fact often overlooked in the reform analysis.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): What to tell them about the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the average client’s return — line by line.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Three ways the new tax law impacts tax-exempts, including excise tax on an organization’s excessive compensation, excise tax on a private college’s investment income, and an organization’s Unrelated Business Taxable Income computed separately for separate businesses.

Now’s the time

  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): Your family-biz clients will see you as little short of a miracle worker if you can help them find that toughest of tough essentials: a successor for the business.
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/): Here’s an opening tough to argue with: “Many CPAs … get overwhelmed and disillusioned by their marketing efforts.” Note, though, that many of your prospects feel the same way. Where to look to find the best marketing tools to balance not bombarding prospects yet still staying in front of them.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): You always say “I’ll do it next year…” Well, next year is now.

Animal instincts

  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com): January tax and compliance deadlines.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): Favorite opening of the week: “Bacon lured me back to meat after more than a decade of vegetarianism: I find it almost impossible to resist. But pigs have personality and smarts; having known a few, it pains me to eat their brethren. So here I sit, conflicted. And hungry.” The complexities of eating bacon can still be a lot easier than sales tax laws surrounding the production and sale of pork products.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): A look at Barnhart Ranch Co. v. Commissioner, in which the court considered who was entitled to deduct expenses for cattle that were descended from cattle the taxpayers inherited and other cattle subsequently purchased.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!page=1): The Texas Supreme Court put what is likely one of the final nails in the coffin of years of litigation concerning the Multistate Tax Compact: Graphic Packaging Corp. v. Hegar ruled that Texas Franchise taxpayers cannot elect three-factor apportionment under the compact in lieu of the Franchise Tax’s single-factor formula. The ruling should end meaningful litigation on the issue in any states that still have ongoing litigation.

On offense

  • TaxProf (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at a recent Washington Post editorial on how the Tea Party mess eventually crippled IRS oversight of nonprofits.
  • Manhany Law (https://www.mahanyertl.com): Hasty loan approvals, shaky underwriting, fraud and rising defaults? The mortgage industry in 2008? Try the auto industry in 2017. Also, “killer” hospitals in Texas based on a recent report, and how Corizon Health endangers the well-being of the patients they were hired to heal.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com): Time again for that “most prestigious of prestigious awards, the Tax Offender of the Year.” Beyond a mere cheat, this year’s winner was once more taker of “Bozo-like action or actions.” And also as usual, there was a full field to choose from.
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