Decision and indecisions in firm leadership; new R&D directives; the looming season; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Robocops

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Sometimes lawmakers take punitive and preventive actions that are beyond just legal and right. They’re also sweet. Take TIGTA’s recent actions against IRS phone scammers: robocalling them to clog their lines!
  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s roundup: “Nukes, Russian Bribery and Whistleblower Awards”; “Another Reason Why Public Corruption is so Dangerous”; and “Cigarette Tax Evasion and Whistleblower Awards.”

On the one hand

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Favorite opening of the week: “Accountants often struggle with making decisions. When they can’t make a decision, then that is a decision.” Some leadership techniques will do anything except impress your team. Don’t shy away from naming and empowering a talented manager for your firm.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): Can’t find my receipts. Family emergency took my time. Dog ate my regular tax preparer … There are a lot of excuses for not filing. “I thought I was getting a refund” is not one of them.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): In conjunction with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, comes Giving Tuesday 2017. What to remind clients about charitable giving and deductions.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): Beginning Dec. 1, certain out-of-state sellers will be required to register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue and collect and remit tax on their Mississippi sales, and the state’s fight to tax remote sales may not be over.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Federal R&D credits can mean big tax savings for your clients who fund research and development. A new IRS directive for the agency’s examiners aims to streamline the approach to determine what QREs can work for businesses with assets topping $10 million.

The art of the artificial

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Communication, document management, info mobility: A look at “Three Ways to Create a Better Client Experience Next Tax Season.”
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): A Deloitte partner recently asked attendees at the Financial Executive International’s annual Current Financial Reporting Issues conference, “How many of you still remember back in 1985, when we started our careers in audit? We were using 12-column yellow paper, eight-column yellow, pens and pencils, drawing straight lines, and checking things off.” We remember not only yellow-lined paper but, regarding high school recreation, the arcade game Pong. And on that topic, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, drones and robotics have transformed and are continuing to change audit and accounting.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Don’t you hate those colleagues who always get their next-season client e-letters out right after Thanksgiving? Here’s how to be one of them, as a well-planned filing season is key to getting ahead.
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/): With all of the headlines about how artificial intelligence or “robots” will steal jobs from CPAs in the coming decades, it’s important to remember that human traits are why your clients trust you. This time of year, do some research to pinpoint advisory services that deepen relationships and engagements with clients throughout the year.

Who pays

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): “At the core of the political debate over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is an intense and sometimes emotional argument over who benefits.” No argument, and the soundest approach remains to examine how a change in tax policy affects a household’s after-tax income.
  • Tax Policy ((http://taxfoundation.org/blog): The more things potentially change, the more they stay the same or only change a little, little bit, such as 2018 tax brackets.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): This synopsis of some of the provisions included in HR 1 (passed 227 to 205) and the Senate's version of the bill begins with the wisest caveat of all in this time of reform madness. “Caution.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Doesn’t it continue to take your breath away when so many of your fellow creatures can’t seem to grasp answers that stare you right in the face. For example, “So Guess Who Pays for the Senate’s Tax Cuts for Corporations and Wealthy Americans?”
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.