Voices

In the blogs: Midterm fallout

What Amazon may have been offered in return for relocating; firing problem clients; Nexus looms over holiday shopping; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Midterm fallout

  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Election Day’s state results may have attracted less attention than House and Senate races, but they still resulted in shakeups in some state capitols. If history is a guide, the switch from Republican control to divided government or even Democratic control could change the way states respond to budget shortfalls — but not necessarily in the way you think.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): Two-thirds of voting Floridians have approved a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds approval (in each legislative chamber) of all proposed state tax increases. (Florida joins 14 other states that require supermajority approval for tax hikes.) At the same time, Sunshine State voters also gave local sales-tax referenda the green light.
  • Mahany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): Nevada is just one of a handful of states that offer whistleblower awards for unpaid taxes, along with New York and Illinois. Nevada has a long history of paying big awards to whistleblowers who report businesses that don’t file returns, file phony returns or simply won’t pay what they owe. However, it has just one reported tax decision under its whistleblower reward law.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): A peek at what New York, Dallas and Virginia’s Crystal City might have offered the job-creating prize Amazon in terms of the lowest property tax bill.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): Question of the week: When the original signature of the immediate supervisor is missing, the IRS attempts to get around this by using an affidavit of the immediate supervisor. Attempts have been made to defeat the affidavit by calling it hearsay. Unfortunately, the court has not accepted this argument. Does anyone think SEC v Chenery Corp might be the answer?
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): U.S. citizens and residents who live abroad face a number of tax issues, including whether they qualify to exclude their foreign-earned income in computing U.S. income taxes. This exclusion has resulted in a number of tax disputes. Leuenberger v. Commissioner addresses the limitation for taxpayers who maintain a U.S. residence while working abroad.

From fireside

  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Favorite opening of the week: “Sometimes someone walks through your door — someone so special that they make you want to scream in frustration.” How to fire the problem clients.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): What to remind your biz clients about good income and bad.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): The Friday and the Monday loom suddenly this year for a retailing bonanza. But this year is going to be a little different thanks to the recent Supreme Court decision that validated economic nexus laws. How to make sure your business clients are fully prepared for possible economic nexus implications.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Preparing for and recovering from a natural disaster — tax-wise or otherwise — “makes it easy to insulate yourself from the tragedy.” Not so when the wildfires bear down.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): How to give legitimately and most effectively to those caught in the California wildfires.

Significant concerns

  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): This potpourri of tax “stuff” includes new contribution limits for retirement plans for 2019, plus changes in payment methods; job-related moving expenses no longer being deductible; and the strong post-midterm possibility that the GOP tax act will not be made permanent.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at IRS proposed updates to hardship distribution regulations to reflect changes in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the TCJA.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): How NTA efforts are going regarding “significant concern” with the continuing erosion of taxpayers’ right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum. One major challenge to this right and to the independence of Appeals: Appeals’ express desire to include IRS Counsel and Compliance in conferences regardless of whether taxpayers consent.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A recent study and presentation suggest that a robust carbon tax would generate considerable revenue — and reward Americans through direct payments, often called carbon dividends. How to design these dividends considering two, sometimes conflicting, principles.