Voices

In the blogs: Major takeaways

Gas prices; GASB and 457s; heads in the cloud; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Major takeaways

  • TaxProf (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): An attempt to break down “the sheer amount of data” about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s effects into five major takeaways.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): As part of the TCJA, the Child Tax Credit was amended to require a Social Security number for all qualifying children for whom the credit is being claimed. The stated purpose for the TCJA amendment was to prevent taxpayers who are not eligible to obtain a work-eligible Social Security number from improperly or fraudulently claiming the Child Tax Credit or the American Opportunity Tax Credit. This requirement raised concerns for some taxpayers — most notably the Amish — some of whom will refrain from obtaining Social Security numbers for their children altogether or for themselves until later in life. The wrangle begins.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): The tax systems of Canada and the United States are a lot alike. Both countries have similar economic systems, share extensive trade ties and legal systems based on British common law. But there are key differences, especially when it comes to income tax.

Tanks a lot

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): If you’re planning a trip this holiday week, don’t forget to figure in the cost of gasoline. And figure. And then go figure as taxes help ignite prices at the pump in Illinois, Ohio, California, South Carolina and elsewhere.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at GASB’s proposed statement that would provide that if a 457 meets the definition of a pension plan in GASB guidance, the appropriate pension standards should be applied to the financial reporting for that plan and for the benefits provided through that plan. Under existing guidance, Section 457 plans are explicitly excluded from the GASB’s pension standards.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): “HIPAA Security Risk Assessment: Going Beyond Regulatory Compliance” looks at how a HIPAA security risk assessment can also provide perspective on applicable clients’ business functions and any shortcomings that can help add value to operations.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): The blogger continues to be amazed at “the slowness with which so many accounting firms are advancing in paperless and movement to the cloud.” Many firms say they’re paperless in that they don’t keep paper files, yet admit that paper still flows around the office. As for the cloud, “they confess that they are ‘somewhat’ in the cloud....” A look at the risks of remaining too long on the ground.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): Two “unremarkable” FBAR willful civil penalty cases: United States v. Schoenfeld, a FBAR collection case in which the court denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment holding; and the United States v. Dadurian, a FBAR collection suit in which the court denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment, noting the differing definitions of “willful” for the FBAR civil penalty but still finding that under any of these definitions, the facts were sufficiently contested to reject summary judgment.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com/): In Blue Lake Rancheria Economic Development Corp. v. Commissioner, the Tax Court determined that only one of the two corporations against which the IRS was pursuing collection owed the tax. A look at the facts and outcome on a case featuring the unique legal issues presented by tribal entities.

Changes upon changes

  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Key tax deadlines for businesses and other employers in the third quarter of 2019.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Senator and Democratic White House hopeful Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has proposed an ambitious financial transactions tax to finance his plan for the federal government to pay off existing college debt and make future public college education free. But the tax raises three important questions….
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, has spoken in favor of making the Tax Code much more progressive. Arguing against a “dynastic economy based on existing wealth,” he promised to introduce a surtax bill later this summer. Van Hollen said his bill would feature two proposals to raise taxes on high-income households.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): What to remind them about a year’s life-changing transitions and taxes.
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): As client demands change slowly, affected by a number of factors such as economic growth, inflation, weather changes and innovation, firms feel compelled to introduce the latest technology in their everyday processes. The question is, how should firms adopt technology? All at once or slowly with time?
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): The June roundup of sales-tax laws — and there’s plenty to know: “Resisting the lure of the beach, lawmakers in many states spent June passing one bill after another. Quite a few impact sales and use tax.”