In the blogs: Big ideas for reform

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Summer plans; evaluating clients; succession planning; e-wills; other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Big ideas for reform

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): Who would benefit from a tax cut on partnerships and other pass-throughs, one of the selling points of the proposed new tax plan? New estimates show that such a proposal could add as much as $2 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years, while distributing nearly all the benefits to the highest income households. A look at the analysis … .
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): And while we’re on the subject, “Economic Growth and Cutting the Corporate Tax Rate” looks at the truths and otherwise about whether the proposed break for big, big business will really help Main Street. Bear in mind that despite the naysayers, “The statutory rate is not the only factor that determines a corporation’s tax burden.”

‘Stretch right up and touch the sky’

  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Those lazy hazy crazy days to come mark a good time to plan how to make more next tax season. Build those relationships, learn those new skills and streamline your work processes. It may well be worth the sweat.
  • Turbotax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Wouldn’t it be nice if that memorable summertime getaway didn’t destroy a budget? Fodder for your client e-letter or your own wallet as warmth looms: How to pay for your vacation by the time you take it.
  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): Our favorite opening of the week: “As you plunge into ‘adulting,’ take the time to change your perspective on finances.” The advice is for fresh college grads, the subject a grown-up’s money concerns, and the tips range from credit cards and insurance to making sure a billing address is up to date. (And don’t forget to move back in with your parents.)

Thorny issues

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Good questions to ask yourself if you wish you didn’t have some of your clients, which include the words “like,” “tolerate” and “wish I didn’t have to deal with people like this.”
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Ducks that your client needs to have in a row before registering for a sales tax permit, no matter what state they live in.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): The thorny issue of succession planning in accounting firms hinges on equally thorny questions – with your mortality being People’s Exhibit A. Well, “unless you intend to work as hard as possible until that fateful morning you wake up no longer able or willing to continue, you need to anticipate your departure and make the necessary plan.” Here are some tips to remove a few thorns.
  • Dinesen Tax (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Got an over-reacher in your stable of biz clients? “Want or need?” is a mantra familiar to individual financial planning. How does it apply when the subject is hiring employees?
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/default.aspx): An infographic looks at the three factors influencing success in business valuation firms: part work, part rep.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): Canadian and American deductions for online business owners, including marketing and advertising expenses. Note: “For Canadian business owners, it is suggested to consult a tax professional regarding these expenses. Currently, a business cannot deduct expenses for advertising directed mainly to a Canadian market when they advertise with a foreign broadcaster.”

Oral arguments

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): An IRS senior technician reviewer responds to the matter of a number of questions from OVDP examining agents about taxpayers who report additional income and tax on their amended returns for most of the years in the disclosure period, but report an overpayment on their amended return for at least one of the years at issue.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): Oral arguments kick off this week in a New York State court regarding a false claims complaint in connection with allegations that the government’s purchase of Citigroup stock should have triggered Sec. 382 to apply to limit the bank’s net operating losses. The main issues: Does Citigroup owe the taxes? Should Citigroup know it owes the taxes? And is the qui tam suit based on information “publicly disclosed in the news media and government reports?”
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): A judge’s opinion on what happened (and the tax issues involved, such as alimony and interest) when “a gentleman who is normally an expert witness in trials used TurboTax to prepare his returns.”

Where there’s a will

  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Technology claims another victim as a bill clears both Houses of the Florida legislature authorizing electronic wills and electronic will execution in the Sunset – ah, Sunshine – State.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Again, we look at who should pay for funding highways, and from South Carolina comes good news and bad. The state has increased its state gas tax to pay for badly needed road repairs — but the enactment required the state senate to override the veto of a governor who takes the position that the federal government should pay for the repairs, along with proceeds from the issuance of bonds. “Why is that bad news?”
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): A gain from a deemed sale of assets under IRC Sec. 338(h)(10) recognized by an S corp was nonoperational income, the New Jersey Tax Court recently ruled in Xylem Dewatering Solutions, Inc. v. Director, Division of Taxation.
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