In the blogs: Here come da judge

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IRS fraud-detection; restoring the personal exemption; divorce and taxes; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Here come da judge

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at a recent Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse offering, “Seeing Justice Done: The Impact of the Judge on Sentencing.” Key excerpt: “The recent sentencing of Paul Manafort by federal judges in two different district courts has renewed interest in the sentencing practices of individual judges. Countless studies over the years have documented a basic fact: While decisions should be determined by the law and the facts, in reality there is a third very important force at work. This ingredient is the identity of the judge assigned to a given case.”
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): Recent changes in the IRS fraud-detection program may reduce taxpayer burdens while continuing to stop fraudulent refunds, and high time: During the 2018 filing season, the IRS refund fraud programs were plagued with high false positive rates (above 80 percent in some cases) and long processing times, delaying legitimate refunds for about 40 days.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Hee Haw Dept.: The blogger is no fan of using federal tax law to encourage or discourage particular behavior, yet Congress too often puts the benefit in the form of a tax credit, requiring the IRS to become an expert in things such as alternative fuels, higher education, electric vehicles, orphan drugs and dozens of other products and services. Enter news that the Bureau of Land Management plans to pay $1,000, in two installments, directly to anyone who adopts a wild horse or burro.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com/): This blog has featured several posts about the financial disability provision set forth in IRC Sec. 6511(h), which allows a taxpayer to file a refund claim after the normal statute of limitations has expired if the taxpayer missed the deadline because of a disabling condition. Taxpayers have a long string of losses in the decided cases and Rhandall Thorpe et ux. v. Dept. of Treasury et al adds to the list of taxpayer losses.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): The IRS estimates that more than 7.5 million taxpayers don’t file a required return each year (not including taxpayers who don’t receive information statements, such as small-business owners.) Add to that the growing number of taxpayers who still must file returns to continue receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit to pay for their health insurance. In all, there are likely more than 12 million people who must file back tax returns each year. What does it take to get back in good standing with the IRS?
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): One proposal to fix the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Restore the personal exemption.

Out of business

What’s in a letter?

  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Let’s just clear up some myths — and the answer isn’t necessarily short — about LLCs and the rush to make entity changes.
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb): The annual Taxes from A to Z series tackles K, for Kiddie Tax.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): The IRS Dirty Dozen rides again.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): The FASB has issued revised proposed accounting standards update, intending the proposed amendments in the draft ASU to improve the relevance of current income tax disclosure requirements to financial statement users. Comments due by May 31.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): Applicable federal rates for April.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Have you heard some of these comments inside your firm? “Our partners are so busy that they never seem available for questions.” “We have a retreat every year but we should just video it and play it again next year since we always talk about the same issues year after year.” “The managing partner is more focused on clients than on firm initiatives.” How do you enable your partners to be focused on client service, client relationship-building and business development? How do you enhance the communication inside your firm and create a mentoring program that really inspires young people, among other questions? Answer’s one word.

Cuts and bumps

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): With the release of his first biennial budget, Wisconsin’s new governor, Tony Evers, has proposed dozens of miscellaneous tax changes. While the budget offers targeted income tax cuts for certain low- and middle-income taxpayers, these cuts are far outweighed by tax increases elsewhere, such as business taxes and excise taxes.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): Mississippi has enacted legislation to provide a method of apportionment for major medical laboratory service businesses and a process for counties and municipalities to collect debts through an offset of state income tax refunds.
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