Voices

In the blogs: Magic wands

Firms’ winter policies; SALT county by county; new forms and a potentially delayed season; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Magic wands

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): In most firms, partner agreements have long gone unreviewed and stale — which is dangerous, given the succession issues in our profession today and the number of boomers retiring. A look at an upcoming conference to discuss best practices and latest trends in how to value your practice, pay out the retiring partners, build your bench and successfully transition clients to the next generation. Also, with Old Man Winter just on deck, advice from several firms on special winter work policies.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Niches are of course key to any thriving tax and accounting firm. But what are the markets you haven’t thought of? A survey of site authors reveals their niches and why they pursued these areas, from multi-level marketers to cannabis.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Favorite opening of the week: “While I agree in spirit with the idea of being ‘proactive,’ it’s really hard to implement in the real world because 1) clients have to be active participants and they usually don’t want to be (they want magic-wand solutions from the accountant instead) and 2) there are many factors outside the control of the accountant.” A look at four factors of success for a small business.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): How are you supposed to start your own business (a full-time job itself) while holding down another job already? A few tips and warnings for your clients (and maybe you, too) when kicking around such a big move.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): This Dozen Looks Like Dragons Dept.: The problem of too many clouds when it comes to online storage. (One timeless note: “The surplus adoption rate of any technology is hazardous...”)

Too much money

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Should the fact that a person paid sales taxes weaken the claim that the person did not pay all of the income, estate, gift or other taxes that they should have paid? Reactions and arguments regarding the recent story the Trump family allegedly committed tax fraud.
  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Time-honored business credo: A company in a strong cash position stands a much better chance of obtaining the financing it needs, attracting outside investors or simply executing its own strategic plans. What’s the optimal amount of cash to keep in reserve? And what, the world wonders, can be wrong with too much cash?
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): A map showing the variation, by state and county, of the amount of SALT deduction taken by taxpayers. The average deduction across the 10 counties with the highest SALT deduction is $15,736, compared with an average of $1,727 for the country overall.

Who’s ‘us?’

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): As 2018 winds down, we’re all looking at tax moves we need to make. Thing is, “we” includes the IRS, which could have some added trouble this year courtesy of the TCJA, and taxpayers could have some trouble from a delayed tax season.
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Our favorite headline of the week: “Straight Teeth, Misaligned Tax Subsidy,” which examines the scattershot placement of flexible savings accounts at work and the inequality of the distribution of the tax benefits.
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): “Gia the Superhero?” A look at how service animals can be deducted as a medical expense, but not just support pets. Turns out an emotional support animal may qualify.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): A look at the new clarification on the deductibility of business M&E.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): A jaundiced and accurate eye examines the IRS draft 2018 forms.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Reform 2.0 passes the House. Now what?

Borders

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): West Virginia joins in with economic nexus thresholds.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Economic nexus is here. And there. And there, and over there in that state, too. Is your client’s business prepared?
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): FBAR and FACTA, meet CRA (the Canadian Revenue Agency) when it comes to foreign income for our friends north of the border.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): “Suspenseful NAFTA renegotiations concluded on Sept. 30 with the formation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Reformers sought to address key developments made since the original agreement went into effect 24 years ago, such as the rise of the digital economy. Modernization in this area includes new guidance on the treatment of digital goods and a prohibition on the assessment of customs duties for cross-border ‘express shipments’ valued below each country’s de minimis threshold. This prohibition does not apply to sales and use taxes imposed by states in the U.S.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com): Tax crimes enthusiasts should check out the 14th Annual University of San Diego School of Law Procopio International Tax Institute, starting Halloween Day. A look at the agenda.