Phone-sex workers sue for wages; American sports and betting; 10 states without budgets; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Let’em pay taxes!

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): Tax cuts and the GOP health plan go together like gold and silver. But why can’t the cuts benefit the middle class instead of the wealthy? The Tax Policy Center estimates that both the House bill and the Senate leadership plan would distribute most of their tax cuts to high-income people: households making $200,000 or more would see an average cut of $5,700, households making $50,000 to $75,000 an average cut of $280.
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): A look at the Fresh Start Initiative to help those who owe the IRS, with a special eye to recent changes and additions to the program.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): When any billionaire (Gates, Buffet or, recently on Twitter, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos) asks for advice on how to use a fortune for philanthropy, blogger Paul Caron offers an answer he or she might not expect.

Cautionary tales

Place your bets

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Favorite opening of the week: “Wimbledon, one of the crown jewels of professional tennis, begins today. You know what that means. Bookies across the United Kingdom are taking bets.” Sports betting is legal in Great Britain. How long before it’s more legal in the U.S.?
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Tax implications of side hustles, from Uber to Dogwalker.com.
  • Turbotax Blog (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Summer saving tips, from prioritizing debts and cheaply booking travel to possible deductions for camp.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Estate planning can be complicated – particularly if you or your client screw up the stepped-up basis in the fair market value of the property at the date of the decedent’s death.
  • Liberty Tax Blog (https://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge/): What to tell them about amending a return. (“Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as you might think.”)

Budget neutral

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Does the deduction of state taxes from federal income taxes actually encourage, if not subsidize, some higher state taxes?
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): A look at the 10 states (Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin) that as of July 3 were operating (or malfunctioning) without a 2018 state budget.
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law the Taxpayer Transparency and Fairness Act of 2017, stripping the State Board of Equalization of its role in administering and hearing tax appeals for many California taxes and creating two separate departments to handle the chore.

The truth hurts

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Though it’s now in the past, Monday, July 3, raised the question of when and if to stay open on a single day that separates a weekend and a holiday. What does your practice do?
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/default.aspx): Accuracy, thoroughness, complete knowledge of the tax laws and customs: That all works, of course, but your next accounting client probably also wants paperless, mobile services.
  • Dinesen Tax (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Five steps to look at when a business owner considers hiring employees. (Question one: “Why do you need employees at all?”)
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): There’s nothing wrong, of course, with truth in advertising. Just be careful how you fulfill the accuracy – as one California preparer found, courtesy of the IRS.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.