In the blogs: Find the fraud

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Wish you were here; refunds and interest; California and gig drivers; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Find the fraud

Word up

  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): Funny how much critical IT security, even after years, still comes down to what the average employee considers a vaguely memorable catchphrase. The latest on smart use of passwords.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Even during COVID and its accompanying work-from-home stuff, you can still have a robust cybersecurity program with remote cybersecurity services.
  • Tax Pro Center (https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/): Pre-pandemic studies showed that more than 70 percent of people worked remotely at least once per week. The downside of this “tech-driven overhaul” is an inundation of apps, tools and products to help maximize productivity. This becomes a problem when you have too many tools and no consistency within a team. Tools to help.
  • Taxing Subjects (https://www.drakesoftware.com/blog): A written information security plan is more than just a good idea. It’s the law.
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): With the higher number of the externalized IT systems, the task of choosing the right cloud provider has become more difficult than ever. How to select the best provider.

On the side

  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): The gig economy is growing by leaps and bounds — but of course the new opportunities have ignited new ways for companies to exploit workers. Thus California’s passage of a new law that requires employers to classify gig workers as full employees eligible for employer-provided benefits. Those concerns have also led to a preliminary injunction forcing Uber and Lyft to comply, meaning the ride-sharing giants must stop classifying their drivers as independent contractors by Aug. 21. Though the order’s been delayed, both companies had threatened to shut down operations in the state if they were forced to comply. This ride isn’t over.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Another blog on the subject adds that independent contractors don’t benefit from state workplace protections such as minimum wage, workers compensation or overtime, nor from unemployment insurance (although the CARES Act temporarily made them eligible). And, crucially, companies withhold payroll and income taxes for employees but not independent contractors. “This makes sense if you’re a small-business owner like an accountant, lawyer or plumber. Why do you need a minimum wage if your take-home pay is revenue minus business expenses? But is an Uber driver their own small business or an employee of a larger business?”
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Restaurant take-out food taxability by state.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Why did an IRS memo on Daily Fantasy Sports suddenly appear?

Fraud on

  • Mahany Law (https://www.mahanyertl.com/blog/): How a Virginia Beach, Virginia, defense contractor that already receives billions of dollars in taxpayer funds thought it needed PPP money set aside for small businesses. (“Atlantic Diving Supply sounds like a little mom-and-pop operation but it’s not…”)
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Fraud tends to flourish during periods of prosperity. Economic slowdowns and increased fraud detection normally correlate. But in the Tell Us About It Dep’t., the pandemic has upended normal expectations. Companies may need to find new methods of unmasking fraud.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at a “fascinating report” of a tax investigation in process against two prominent billionaires, particularly some divorce proceedings and a past request for amnesty regarding offshore assets.
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): In Yiu v. Commissioner, the Tax Court held that the individual who succeeded in obtaining innocent spouse relief could not get back the money she paid on the liability before receiving relief from the liability. An unsurprising result, anyone who hasn’t previously litigated innocent spouse issues might find an alert to seek relief under other provisions if the taxpayer wants a refund.
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