Voices

In the blogs: Hard to find, hard to read

History of the poll tax; leaders and bosses; worthless securities; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Hard to find, hard to read

  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): Our favorite opening of the week, from “How to Research Your IRS Account”: “Your IRS account information isn’t readily available or easy to read...”
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): What to remind them this special year about reviewing their tax sitch end of year, including such business moves as whether QBI figures into the deduction picture, M&E changes, and if opening a SEP-IRA or 401(k) plan is worth it.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): What to remind them about dependents and the 2018 return.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): These 10 end-of-year tips on spending a little now to save a lot later on such deductible items as donations, education and retirement funding. And don’t forget to spend that FSA!

Everybody into the poll

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): A wealthy young pro athlete recently traded to the Eagles, a chance encounter on a Philly-bound flight and a tax person who used Philadelphia's wage tax as a welcoming icebreaker. The subject of your profession touches almost everyone, and with the right approach almost everyone is willing to stop, look and listen when you talk about it.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Around this election time, a look at the history of the poll tax in America — generally considered a fee paid for the right to vote — and its roots in controversy that we modern lever-pullers would certainly understand.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Automation is the hot topic these days, and rightly so, as it is transforming the work processes of every industry. This includes accounting — Deloitte estimates that more than 40 percent of basic accounting work will be automated by robotics by 2020. Or think of it like this: “Just like journalism was democratized by blogs, a similar evolution is set to happen in the accounting platform…”
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): At your firm or practice, do you write the checks and grant the permission? Do you set the tone and inspire toward a mission? Do you out fires or plan for the future? Are you a leader or a boss?
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Temper a client’s ill-founded jubilation that every Tax Cuts and Jobs Act change benefits them — starting with net operating losses’ rules.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Though reform brought no direct changes to the transfer pricing requirements, certain international provisions implemented through the TCJA may impact transfer pricing. How your client can determine the correct transfer pricing strategy for their business in the new tax environment.

Sniping

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at some major points from the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s “Quick Facts” on key characteristics for sentencing for tax fraud offenses for fiscal 2017. One note: “The majority of tax fraud offenders had little or no prior criminal history.”
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Code Sec. 6502(a)(1) provides a 10-year collection period to the IRS, measured from the assessment date. In U.S. v. Estate of Albert Chicorel, the IRS sought to collect on an income tax assessment more than 10 years old. The estate sought to bar the collection under the above language. The IRS countered that since it had timely filed a claim in the probate proceedings against the estate, then it had begun a “proceeding” within the above statute within 10 years and thus could complete the collection process outside the 10-year period. Why the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the IRS.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): Can a lawyer’s representation be so bad that it’s a fraud on the Tax Court?
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Tax losses for worthless securities often ignite a challenge from the IRS. There are several elements taxpayers have to establish to secure the benefit of tax losses for worthless securities, and the recent Giunta v. Commissioner provides an opportunity to consider these elements.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Wesley Snipes, who “visited ClubFed for failing to file tax returns in the early 2000s,” is at it again. A chapter-and-verse look at his even deeper troubles today.