In the blogs: Kids’ stuff

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The cost of lipstick; making meetings effective; virtual warnings; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Kids’ stuff

  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Do your clients ask about the “Presidential Election Campaign” box on the 1040? The share of filers who check the box to contribute $3 for presidential campaigns has plummeted in recent decades (28 percent in 1976 to 4 percent in 2018). And because so few candidates in recent years take the money, a portion of the accumulated contributions is being used to fund medical research for children. We have some clear opinions of which is a worthier use of the money.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): A look at the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s recommendations to expand and simplify the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable credit praised by some for its role in decreasing poverty and encouraging work but increasingly infamous for improper payments. NTA Olsen suggests decoupling the number of children a worker has from the EITC and redesigning the Child Tax Credit.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Favorite opening of the week: “Kissing up to the IRS, on this National Lipstick Day or any other, won't help with dubious business expense claims. Your work-related expenses must be ordinary and necessary….”

Good touches

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): In this time of rapid growth for accounting firms, the M&A scene creates firms that are getting larger and larger and larger. And what happens to the personal touch for both clients and employees?
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Many businesses — including probably yours and many of your clients’ — struggle to turn abstract strategic planning meeting ideas into concrete, actionable plans. One reason why is simple: ineffective meetings.

Very seriously

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at how the IRS has fired letters to taxpayers with virtual currency transactions who “potentially failed to report income and pay the resulting tax from virtual currency transactions or did not report their transactions properly.” By the end of August, the notice says, more than 10,000 taxpayers will receive the letters…. Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously….” As opposed to what?
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog): Several District of Columbia sales tax changes are on the horizon due to the fiscal 2020 budget. The sales tax on soft drinks will increase, a long-awaited sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products and diapers has been fully funded and certain sales tax exemptions benefitting high-tech companies will be repealed.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): This recap of recent IRS news includes ignition of the nationwide tax forums, the agency’s “Taxes-Security-Together Checklist Series” and the potential addition of a Practitioner Services Division.

New to us

  • Sikich Insights (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): The blog of the country’s 28th largest CPA firm offers varied views on tech and other key aspects of practice management. Among the latest: credentialed scanning to thwart hackers; monthly HR alerts; and a look at a new customer data platform from Salesforce. Welcome.
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Tax tools Tax preparation EITC Cryptocurrencies Tax-related ID theft IRS Salesforce