In the blogs: Matters of interpretation

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Football, baseball and taxes; audit challenges; trade shows and sales tax; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Matters of interpretation

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at two cases that have sustained FBAR non-willful penalties on a per-account basis rather than per-FBAR basis.
  • Tax, Society & Culture (http://taxpol.blogspot.com/): A nice summary of a tax administrator’s more optimistic view, via the Norwegian Tax Administration.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): Two years ago the U.S. Tax Court decided Borenstein v. Commissioner by applying a technical reading of a statutory rule that produced a gap in its refund jurisdiction. In April the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the Tax Court’s decision in an opinion that includes significant commentary about principles of statutory interpretation.

Real lessons

Be a sport

  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb): A New York Giants fan might have been the biggest winner in the NFL draft, winning 100 years of season tickets as part of the league’s centennial contest. Though possibly the most valuable get of the night even considering the sports talent up for grabs, this jackpot comes at a tax cost.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): How the Washington Nationals and their former star Bryce Harper missed an opportunity — not because Harper left D.C. for the rival Philadelphia Phillies, but because he and the teams he negotiated with whiffed on their chance to send an important message about acting charitably toward their communities.

Brazilian byzantine

  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): Our favorite opening of the week: “They don’t do things by half in Brazil. Soccer, supermodels, carnivals and colossal statuary — all are fields in which Brazil is a true world leader. And then there is tax.” So byzantine is the country’s tax system that recent figures claim it takes Brazilian businesses some 1,958 hours a year to comply with filing and payment obligations. Here’s what’s being done.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Andy Hines, an audit manager from Whitley Pa., discusses how his firm overcomes audit challenges facing accounting firms today. Hint: Audit processes will become more data- and analytic-driven.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Believe it or not, attending a trade show can lead to an obligation to collect sales tax. If a representative from your business attends or participates in a trade show in another state, you could be at risk for establishing a sales tax obligation in that state. There are three essential questions to consider when trade shows are part of your business model.
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