Great Derby bet; fraud and recouping fees; nothing beats education; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Big prizes

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Some Major League clubs have a hard time filling stadiums in recent years — this season’s Cincinnati Reds didn’t help themselves by starting 7-24 — so it’s unsurprising that teams turn to at-the-game “free” giveaways such as bobblehead dolls. It’s the quotation marks around that adjective, however, that has Ohio tax authorities putting a squeeze play on the Reds.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): A look at an Austin, Texas, resident’s recent thunderbolt pick of not only the winner of the Kentucky Derby but the winners of the four races preceding it — turning an $18 wager into $1.2 million. Now entering the field: the IRS.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Our favorite opening of the week (and Biz Tip No. 1!): “Preparers can grow their businesses in a short period of time by filing fraudulent tax returns.” The IRS has a number of remedies in its holster for dealing with noncompliant preparers — but there are open questions as to how broad these remedies are. The recent United States v. Stinson involves one such question, namely what amount of the preparer’s fees can be recouped by the government.

Circular routes

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Billions needed for road repairs, taxes high already, breaks for state residents, the breaks fall short: It’s easy to criticize a revenue plan, more difficult to present a revenue solution. Consider Connecticut’s wrangle over tolls on interstate highways.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): Last month, Kentucky overrode its governor’s veto of a two-year operating budget and a tax reform bill, a move that will result in an estimated tax increase of $400 million. The next day, superseding bills mostly cleaned up the original bills and dropped in “the surprising 11th-hour introduction” of mandatory combined reporting.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): A look at how taxes are mattering in Seattle (a new tax on businesses with $20-million-plus in gross receipts) and New Jersey (where the highest property tax collections per capita have inspired a state-level SALT workaround).
  • Avalara (https://www1.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Different states have different nexus triggers, which can complicate compliance. And the fact that many states are changing the way they define nexus to capture more remote sales tax revenue has compounded confusion — to the point that 94 percent of recent survey respondents had misconceptions around what creates nexus.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): A Canada-based look at taxation of Social Security income for resident and non-resident Americans receiving or qualifying to receive social security income during retirement.

The future is now

  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): A recent Twitter chat touched on a lot of topics that are important to practitioners post-season, including reform’s effect on 2018 revenue and CPE, cyber-theft, and whether the whole prep profession is a commodity.
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): President Trump often says the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provided “rocket fuel” to supercharge the U.S. economy. He’s hardly the first prez to claim such a thing about his own money-oriented plan, but how much does the data support the statement?
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): A little girl spills her ice cream cone in what’s becoming an apocalyptic Internet story, and the question arises of fault and problem. What does this have to do with tax reform? “Tax reform and issues, good and bad, create an ‘isn’t our fault’ narrative. But it is our collective problem.”
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Among lessons learned from Small Business Week is one that veteran professionals don’t always want to admit: Practical experience is not a substitute for formal education.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (https://www.johnrdundon.com): If your client hasn’t filed their 1040, prescribe getting that return in ASAP. If penalties do arrive, here are six elements of a perfect penalty abatement scenario.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): Three recent cases — and one in particular — demonstrate how the full-payment rule of refund can apply to assessable penalties.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.