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In the blogs: Less than 100 days

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Tracking refunds; an extra deadline; the Advocate’s report; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Less than 100 days

  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): There’s a lot in this week’s entry to calm taxpayers, but one note may not calm every preparer: “Can you believe that April 15th is less than 100 days from now!”
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): On Monday, Jan. 27, tax season officially opens for filing. Five minutes later, clients will start calling about their refunds. “Assuming no delays, here are [the blogger’s] best guesses for expected tax refunds based on filing dates and information from the IRS.”
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Your pre-flight checklist for the season.
  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Distractions during busy season not only affect the productivity of your team but also impact employee morale when trying to meet tight deadlines (read, “salty language…”). Tips for handling common interruptions, including planning for them.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): Time’s definitely on their side: What to remind your youngest adult clients about the plusses of investing.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Experts discuss extenders, tax law updates and last-minute tune-up ideas for the looming season.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): The local tax show of a nationwide organization can be a real jump start for a practitioner. A look at the National Association of Tax Professional’s New Jersey chapter event, which the blogger, “with one or two exceptions for snow,” has attended for almost three decades.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): And Just What We Needed Dept.: Seems there a lurking extra tax deadline this spring…,

Side hustles

  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): The IRS is extremely backlogged in processing and resolving most post-filing issues; the agency’s resources provide little help in understanding what’s going on with a given case. What to tell them about monitoring the status of their IRS case.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): The IRS is increasing its enforcement actions for syndicated conservation easement transactions, including more coordinated examinations across IRS divisions, as well as more criminal investigations. The agency believes that these audits and investigations may cover billions of dollars of potentially inflated charitable contribution deductions for qualified conservation easements made through partnerships and LLCs.
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): Blue v. United States Department of Treasury serves as a reminder not only of the ability of the Treasury Department to take a federal refund and send it to a government creditor but of the inability to challenge the offset by suing Treasury.
  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): The SECURE Act’s nearly 30 provisions were intended to encourage adoption of employer-sponsored plans and lifetime income options, alter plan distribution rules and ease administrative requirements. A look at some of the key provisions, such as increased credits for small businesses.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): The SECURE Act stole all of the end-of-year thunder regarding changes in federal taxes. But other changes were enacted — and one was the repeal of Section 4940(e), which previously imposed a 2 percent excise tax on the investment income of private foundations.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Favorite opening of the week: “Side hustles aren’t just for struggling wage slaves.” Seems actor Topher (“That ‘70s Show”) Grace has a side gig doing projects for Disney, so maybe he’ll want to visit the new IRS page dedicated to the gig economy.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at United States v. Lanz, in which the district court entered default judgment against the defendant in an FBAR willful penalty collection suit.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The NTA has submitted to Congress the 2019 Annual Report to Congress and the third edition of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s Purple Book, which presents legislative recommendations designed to strengthen taxpayer rights and improve tax administration for all taxpayers.

Holy tax or fee!

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): The emergence of new digital technologies — and the lifestyle changes that come as a result — have thrown a wrench into the entire sales tax collection process. How could legislation that was designed for a world where the vast majority of shopping activity was completed in stores keep up with the needs of ecommerce and digitally enabled consumers? Easy: It couldn’t.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html): More than 100 borough or municipal governments in Alaska levy local sales tax even though there is no statewide sales tax. Many of these governments have banded together to change that situation for online retailers who aren’t even in Alaska.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): The “tax or fee” issue is getting even more interesting. For example, on which side of the fence does a delivery surcharge to fund pothole repair fall?
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Several of Massachusetts’ largest employers have created a coalition to seek a change to the state’s corporate income apportionment formula. The coalition wants Massachusetts to use “single sales factor” apportionment for all industries as an investment incentive to employers who have significant payroll and property located within the commonwealth. How Bay State lawmakers should consider additional reforms to make its corporate excise tax code more neutral and competitive.
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