In the blogs: Manafortitude

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Recovering the EITC; unwrapping sales tax; gambling losses and other natural disasters; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.


  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): Paul Manafort has reached a plea agreement with the special counsel that requires his cooperation with the special counsel — but do President Trump and Manafort have a joint defense agreement? If so, what would it portend for future legal action?
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The IRS might recover Earned Income Tax Credits using its newly discovered post-processing math error authority. Sounds great and certainly timely, but there’s one hitch: Is it constitutional? A look at the due process that the government may be constitutionally required to provide before recovering EITC from those who depend on it to survive.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): In the recent Gartlan v. Comr., the taxpayer asked the Tax Court to create an exception to an 8962 Premium Tax Credit statute based on policy but the Tax Court declined to do so. The case demonstrates yet again the deteriorating state of legislative drafting skills in Congress.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama helps a taxpayer who’s selling his former residence and wants to know if the residence he bought in 1991 and converted to a rental in 2007 still qualifies for the personal residence exclusion of $250,000.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): Is it instructive or just plain fun when the biggies get nabbed? “10 Celebrities Who Were Guilty of Tax Evasion” reminded us that Willy Nelson successfully sued his accounting firm.

Pass the SALT

  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Federal overpayment and underpayment of tax interest rates for Q3 2018.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Even as Reform 2.0 wends forward, fresh skirmishes are breaking out in state capitals like Albany and Trenton to fight the SALT cap.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): How Maine’s update to federal conformity brings corporate tax changes as well, including a bracket revision and a deduction for foreign source income.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): A look at Iowa’s low-income exemption and adjustments to income.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): At a glance, calculating sales tax seems simple: Take the price of a taxable product or service and multiply it by the sales tax rate. Like much in life, of course, it’s rarely that easy in any number of the more than 12,000 tax jurisdictions across the U.S. A closer look at how sales tax works.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made significant progress in improving the cost recovery treatment of business investment by enacting 100 percent bonus depreciation — potentially a driver of future economic growth. But the provision will only be in effect for five years before it begins phasing down. Should permanence for full expensing be on lawmakers’ radar?
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget recently agreed that OMB would review many tax regulations before they are released, a reversal of a long-standing arrangement and a new process that raises fascinating issues for both agencies and taxpayers.

Weeding the winnowing

  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): ‘Tis the Season Dept.: Can your clients claim a natural disaster tax deduction? What about post-reform?
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Can a professional gambler take the foreign earned income exclusion? Place your bets.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Most global businesses across the world have proceeded towards the cloud for info storage (among other functions). Too bad this info can be sensitive in a number of ways … .
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): You have those fire-drill clients that almost always hold you hostage right up until the drop-dead extension deadline. Frustrating. Your team wonders why you put up with these clients. Why do you?
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): You know your long-tenured clients are gold, and you know each other well. So why do some firms rebuild work papers and procedures for recurring-client returns and audits? A look at how to streamline these operations and cut repetitive steps.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Dread those hand-pumping events? Well, to network better, start with sharing (not necessarily money or services).
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): What to tell them when they’re being audited and have no receipts, with a nod to what can and can’t be recreated.
  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): What to remind your biz clients about possibly expanding to a second location (“both congratulations and caution are in order”).
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