Voices

In the blogs: Beehive yourself

Philly and Wayfair; better ways to tax the rich; how long to keep records; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

That’s rich

  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): Philadelphia’s new regulation applying Wayfair-like economic nexus to income taxes and the potential criminal activities swirling around the city’s soda tax have definitely drawn the attention of tax practitioners and the public.
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Elmer Fudd with your mansion and your yacht beware: “There Are Better Ways to Tax the Rich Than a Wealth Tax or a 70 Percent Top Rate” examines how taxing the rich is suddenly all the rage among many of the Democratic party’s highest-profile politicians. But there is a better, more politically realistic way to address the problem…
  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Reform disallowed deductions for qualified transportation fringe benefits that businesses provide to employees. Too bad the law did not contain specific language of how this provision should be applied, leaving many employers without guidance as to how to calculate the amount of parking expense that was nondeductible or treated as an increase in UBTI for tax exempt entities. Guidance has finally arrived.

Great ideas

  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): One aspect of the Affordable Care Act that’s been particularly unpopular: the penalty for not purchasing health insurance. But is it good news or bad that reform eliminated the penalty starting with tax year 2019?
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What to remind them tax-wise about owning their own business. Our favorite of the tips: “Set money aside for income taxes.”
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): A look at incorporating all those magnificent new trends you hear about at conferences into the actual everyday workings of your practice.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Should Be Simple Dept.: Your biz clients need advice and you have the knowledge to help. So what’s with the frequent disconnects? How to give clients better insights — and have them stick.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Get’em while the government’s still open: February tax tips include remembering extensions and letting up on the gas of frantic filing.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): “The Twelve Days of Tax Season” returns with its diurnal litanies of clients’ forms, figures and downright excuses. Fun stuff — when you have a second to inhale this early season, take a look.

Beehive yourself

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has proposed slashing the state sales tax rate from 4.85 to 1.75 percent and broadening the sales tax base to include taxing services.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): And here’s a look at how Utah tax law has added to one of life’s biggest headaches: moving, especially out of Utah and especially if soon-to-be-former residents forget to “unregister” to vote in the state.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Among the “anomalies, curiosities and complexities that plague the sales and use tax system in the United States” is the bracket tax concept, used by Maryland and Florida. In these states, rather than simply calculating the taxable amount of a purchase by multiplying the applicable sales tax rate, sales tax rates are based on a table. Note: The system dates to when state-of-the-art cash registers could add and subtract — but not multiply.

Tailspins

  • Mahany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): Bermuda is officially in the cryptocurrency business and if initial reports are any indication, they’re off to a terrible start: According to published reports, two of the island’s blockchain startups are operated by known deadbeats with long records of business failures, indebtedness and scandal.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): What happens when a taxpayer goes into a tailspin following mistakes that the IRS makes in connection with trying to collect taxes? A look at Wrhel v. United States.
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): A frequent question is how long one has to keep records for tax purposes. United States v. Quebe provides the answer for research tax credit: You have to keep records that pre-date the formation of your business by 20 years and then you have to keep these pre-formation records and be able to produce them today, almost 40 years later, to take the research tax credit.