In the blogs: Mine the gap

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Election day tax choices; 199A decisions; data mining; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

All in the game

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Seems rigged: A closed circuit horse racing simulcasting system was subject to Pennsylvania sales and use tax but royalties paid for intellectual property used in operating video poker machines in a casino resort were exempt.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What to remind your lucky client who bets on sports about taxes and that recent big score.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): Boy if you could only just hit the Powerball. Then your tax troubles would begin.
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): Timely tax analogies can be fun, and, in the wake the World Series, a look at the tax consequences if a fan happens to catch a baseball.

Rainy days

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): An argument against an excise tax on medical devices, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act? First point, why was this tax chosen rather than some other tax, such as one on excess health care industry profits or on health care industry over-billings?
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Election Day 2018 has a bumper crop of voter initiatives on state taxes, ranging from new levies on carbon, payroll, motor fuels, marijuana, soda and tobacco, to new restrictions on various taxes.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Just what is a Rain Tax, how many locales have them, what do they do and why do you always seem to have to pay them on a weekend when you have plans?
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): The marijuana cultivation industry has blossomed. But marijuana cultivators should be aware that they may face certain sales and use tax disadvantages compared with other agricultural operations.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): A new study provides modern-day evidence for what economists have long said: Tariffs are bad, and international trade should be free. The International Monetary Fund paper finds that tariff increases have negative effects on output and productivity that are magnified “when tariffs rise during expansions, for advanced economies, and when tariffs go up.” Doesn’t bode well for protectionist measures the U.S currently pursues.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): A look at recent regulations under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act to implement a pilot program that expands the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and imposes filing requirements on certain transactions in the technology sector.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): California expects to have a remote sales tax policy by the end of the year but is still hammering out details. A recent meeting hinted at what the new policy will look like.


  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): When you started your practice or your biz client opened their doors, any client was a welcome sight. But after a company establishes itself, regularly assessing the customer base becomes a key strategic planning activity. The ABCs of customer assessment.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): You never get a second chance to blow it with a bad first impression. “When a visitor arrives at your office and walks into your lobby, do they think, ‘Wow!’ Or do they wonder, ‘Where is everybody?’ ”
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): With a new, significantly lower and flattened corporate tax rate, reduced personal rates and a 20 percent deduction for income from flow-through entities, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act altered several variables in the equations that executives use to determine the most tax-efficient structures for their businesses. As a result, many leaders are asking how to re-evaluate the choice of entity and what amount of tax advantage warrants such a fundamental change. As usual, there are few simple answers but here’s a quick overview of some of the key criteria.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Section 199A is getting its share of the headlines in the wake of tax reform, but it does seem that few tools exist to help taxpayers make at least half-way intelligent decisions regarding the pass-through deductions. Enter the new Choice of Entity Calculator to help tax pros evaluate legal entities a business should consider.

Mine the gap

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Just weeks after the Social Security Administration warned about an OIG-impersonation scheme, alerts have sounded about a new caller-ID “spoofing” that echoes a pattern where thieves pretend to be from government agencies. In this case, the incoming number displayed on caller ID even matches the SSA’s national customer service number.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Before your head gets too far in the cloud data-storage-wise, here are a few essentials to think about in terms of security.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): As the blogger prepares for a panel discussion in an upcoming major conference, the subject of “data mining” came up and how what the IRS uses is beyond picking through W-2s.
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Tax tools Tax preparation State taxes Marijuana industry Tax franchises Data mining IRS