In the blogs: Ingot we trust

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Fault in the age of e-filing; the latest scam; barks and breaks; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Complex scenarios

  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): If you’ve got a client who uses or is considering using trusts to manage wealth transfers, keep an eye on state-level tax laws after the Supreme Court ruled on Kaestner. The most important takeaway for grantors, trustees, beneficiaries and administrators is understanding the impact of state tax laws — not only at the creation of the trust but throughout its administrative life.
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): In Interior Glass Systems Inc. v. United States, the court held that a taxpayer against whom the IRS had assessed an IRC 6707A listed transaction penalty could not have the penalty abated on the basis that the pre-litigation assessment and collection of the penalty violated due process. Though the decision breaks no new ground and in some respects the appeal of this issue surprised the blogger “because I thought the law well settled here… I write about this case because the first factor of the three the court uses to analyze whether a violation of due process exists, intrigues me when applied to cases such as the case of Larson v. United States.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at the American Institute of CPAs Auditing Standards Board’s exposure draft, “Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards: Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures.” The ASB intends the project “to enable auditors to appropriately address the increasingly complex scenarios that arise from new accounting standards that include estimates and related disclosures and to enhance the auditor’s focus on factors driving estimation uncertainty and potential management bias.” Comments close Nov. 22.

The bitter Send

  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): Yes, taxpayers who file a return late are subject to penalty “unless it is shown that such failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.” In United States v. Boyle, the Supreme Court adopted a bright-line rule that if a taxpayer relies on a third-party professional to prepare and file the return and the professional does not timely do so, that is not reasonable cause and the taxpayer can be penalized. Except Boyle was adopted well before e-filing of returns. Should it still apply?
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): The IRS is warning taxpayers about a new IRS-impersonation scam spreading nationally via email. The email subject line may vary, but recent examples use the phrase “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” The emails have links that show an IRS.gov-like website with details pretending to be about the taxpayer’s refund, electronic return or tax account.
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): Then come the passwords and the malware. Again we have to say, if these scammers devoted half this effort to an honest day’s work….

Off tracks

  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): As long as people require help with tax filing, tax professionals will be needed. That means steady work in easy times and a positive blizzard at some times of the year. Tips on how to work smart.
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Before one hits the silk from the profession, consider that not all CPA firms are alike. Take the one that posted the want ad (reprinted in this blog) that reads, “If you love taking care of clients in a meaningful way, giving them high-quality deliverables and service, and are tired of tracking every five (or even 15) minutes of your day, then you may be our next great addition!”
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): If effective management had to be boiled down to just one factor, it would be to have good employees. One teensy caveat: An employer and management team cannot get in the way of good employees doing good things, a simple but all too elusive endeavor.

Ingot we trust

  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): The National Dog Day that just passed was the day to reflect on all of the fantastic benefits, responsibilities and fun that come with being a dog owner. And the deductions that generally don’t, with some exceptions.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): The good news for clients: IRS audits are rare these days. The big question: How long does it take to resolve one? Hint: almost never just one day.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama learns something from a question about required minimum distributions when the only asset in the account was a one-kilo gold bar.
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