Facebook dinged in California; New York state of workaround; SEC spoof; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Thorny relationships

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A state roundup looks at how Utah might expand its manufacturing equipment exemption, Pennsylvania clarifies caps for NOL calculations and Maryland enacts a small-business credit.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Big DisLike Dept: A California judge has dealt a blow to Facebook in its ongoing battle with the IRS, ruling that the social media giant does not have a right to move the matter to appeals. Facebook’s case — focusing on allegations that it failed to report and pay taxes on $7 billion in income overseas — will be heard in the U.S. Tax Court.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Favorite opening of the week: “If there’s a hint of the theatric in states’ efforts to enact workarounds to the new $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction, New York is well on its way to fielding a repertoire company. It may not have the most colorful cast of characters — that Falstaffian honor arguably belongs to California for its short-lived ‘golden state coin’ idea — but what it lacks in panache, it makes up in variety.” Blogging well — not to mention informative.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): The latest word on the increasingly thorny relationship between cryptocurrency and taxes.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The IRS gave us the 1023-EZ, “Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” almost four years ago. Unfortunately, records show that starting in the second half of that year the IRS approved a mushrooming number of 1023-EZs through last year — including for organizations with assets up to a quarter mil and those expecting annual gross receipts up to $50,000 are eligible to use 1023-EZ. What wrong with this picture of supposed exemption?

Feedback loops

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Bitcoin has mostly dodged government oversight but regulators wonder whether other widely traded cryptocurrencies need scrutiny. Very nice, but what does this have to do with what appears to be a very real sense of humor on a recent SEC email on fake ICOs?
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): A discussion of a whistleblower case that raises important issues of Tax Court jurisdiction and tax exceptionalism. A case pending in the D.C. Circuit that may upend several Tax Court precedents concerning what constitutes a valid notice of determination concerning a whistleblower award.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at an excellent presentation on restitution in tax crimes: “The Gathering Storm: Grappling with the Impact of Restitution Orders on Civil Tax Litigation.”
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/): Banks are laying the groundwork for transitioning to the current expected credit loss model but many wonder how peers are preparing for CECL and where they are in tackling what’s considered the biggest accounting change in banking history.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Time again for performance feedback sessions. Use the same format year after year after year and your employees and those who are giving them feedback come to dread the entire process. One step in the right direction: more performance conversations throughout the year.

Real value

  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): The tangled but true tale from last season of how a $1,000 deductible contribution to an IRA saved some taxpayers $1,500.
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): “Technically, the IRS can’t take your passport.” A real close look at the word “technically” in this context.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Breathtaking how little they know — or care to know — about safeguarding information. Here’s how to educate tax clients about security threats.
  • Boyum and Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Like so many of your clients, “many business owners who inquire about business valuations have a very limited understanding of what the valuation process entails.” If their idea of expertise is to hand you a couple years of Quickbooks P&Ls and say, “Call me when it’s done,” here’s what to tell them.
  • Smith & Gesteland (https://sgcpa.com/resources/focus-blog/): What to remind them about in this reform-rich year about adjusting withholdings.
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA (http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.r0CH37xg.dpbs): This year delivered a new tax write-off for qualifying businesses: the Sec. 199A deduction that equates to 20 percent of qualified business income, assuming one meets income and salary limitations. But if your client meets these and other requirements, exactly what entities and businesses have QBI?
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): What to know about and how to claim the electric car and vehicle tax credit.
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): If your clients are worried about the estate tax, big changes just kicked in. A look at what’s changing and what’s staying the same.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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