In the blogs: GILTI as charged

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Open for business; new challenges for small biz; football-related tax tips; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Sing a song of cheer again

  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Yes, the IRS should be fully staffed as we officially start the 2019 season. “Holdover shutdown issues, however, still could cause delays, which many taxpayers and tax professionals already have experienced.” Point is, for all concerned, the IRS is back, “but likely slowly.” As WKRP’s Herb Tarlek used to say, “Okay, fine.”
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): With the shutdown over (for now), the IRS still stares down a huge backlog as the season begins. “Tax season will be normal: The IRS has indicated that it will take quite some time to recover.” Take your time, because after all there is no backup.
  • Mahany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): Here’s something to consider: “IRS Workers May Be Eligible for Double Pay During Government Shutdown.”
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): What to expect from the newly reopened service phone lines.

Small is the new big

  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Reform included many headline-grabbing changes for businesses, but one provision that hasn’t gotten as much coverage is a change to tax accounting rules for small businesses: the cash method of accounting.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): And remember how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was going to make everybody’s life postcard simple? Few small-business owners would have guessed that the opposite would occur. A look at some of the “critical complexities” introduced, starting with entertainment, expensing and depreciation.
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): New to entrepreneurship? Keep an eye out for AI!

GILTI as Charged

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): “Why Some States Want to Tax International Income – and Why They Shouldn’t.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): A recent story out of Philadelphia looks at property owners now being able to dispute their 2019 real estate assessments and delay paying the disputed increase until their appeals are concluded, similar to how some federal income tax disputes are resolved. But in the case of Philly, what happens regarding interest and regarding the big backlog of pending appeals, most generated by the city’s recent re-assessment of properties?
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): A look at a California income tax case that just goes on. And on. And on.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Six retailers from Massachusetts are suing the state to avoid paying millions of dollars in back sales tax, stemming from the state’s pre-Wayfair law that required out-of-state online retailers to collect and pay sales tax. Newegg.com, Blue Nile LLC, U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc., Silver Star Brands Inc., Sweetwater Sound Inc. and Balsam Brands Inc. contend they shouldn’t have to pay retroactive sales tax on any purchases made between October 2017 and the Wayfair decision. The stores supposedly owe $2.9 million.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has also unveiled a plan to “modernize” sales tax in the Bay State, streamlining revenue collection and leveling the playing field for "Main Street’ retailers….”
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): “The Indefensibility of U.S. Fringe Benefit Tax Laws,” especially considering their harm to those of lower income.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In United States v. Bertram, Bertram pled guilty to a crime for failure to pay over trust fund tax, then moved to vacate his conviction; the district court denied the motion and the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court. Interesting points begin with the defendant’s apparent claim of political prosecution.

Seeing red

  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Just in time for another championship game between the Patriots and somebody else come these football tax tips. Did you know that Super Bowl party for your employees is deductible?
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): You worked hard (perhaps) to improve your internal processes for this coming season. Don’t think you must wait until late April to tweak them along the way.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Why audit red flags should be red flags themselves when it comes to client hysteria and specifically how to trip a tax authority’s alarms.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Yes, Code Section 199A does allow taxpayers up to a 20-percent deduction for business income earned through a sole proprietorship or pass-through entity that’s an appropriate trade or business. Unfortunately, for rental real estate activities, it’s not often clear whether the activity constitutes a trade or business.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Advisors report increased client interest in the Section 1202 exclusion of gain on qualified stock because the benefits of the exclusion have become greater. But according to panelists at a recent American Bar Association webinar, the IRS needs to provide more guidance on this complex law.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): What to tell them about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama’s been answering a lot of questions lately, namely about employees facing tax-balance shock, the filing responsibilities of employers and the pluses and pitfalls of changing an entity’s structure due to the new tax laws.
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