Voices

In the blogs: Need a LIFT?

Beyond the politics of reform; unanswered questions about Opportunity Zones; the value of meetings; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Need a LIFT?

  • TaxProf (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): We’ve all heard the ballyhoo about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the state and local tax deduction limit and state-level workarounds of varying levels of creativity. A look at an article that wants to peer beyond political rhetoric “and evaluate the structural features of the tax law that make these proposals a potentially attractive strategy for states to consider.”
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): The TCJA significantly changed the nature of the tax deduction for charitable donations. But will it transform giving itself and the nonprofits that rely on those contributions? Well, some say the TCJA likely will accelerate a growing shift from low- and moderate-income contributors to a relatively small number of mega-donors — which makes many in the nonprofit sector uncomfortable.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris has introduced her LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families Today) the Middle Class Act, the most notable feature of which is a refundable tax credit of up to $6,000 that she claims helps address the inequality exacerbated by the TCJA. Seems the 2020 presidential campaign is under way (was it ever really not?).
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): As the bitter war over a cap on SALT deductions appears to be ending, a reform movement centered on the Earned Income Tax Credit has begun making waves on both the federal and state level. California’s LIFT joins Maryland’s recent repeal of its minimum age requirement, Delaware refundability discussion and New Jersey’s look at increasing the amount of its credit.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): Prof. Scott Schumacher, associate dean of the University of Washington Law School, explains that though President Trump’s taxes continue to be a focus of discussion, the recent news story on the Trumps’ tax strategies of the 1990s signals nothing “of current tax significance.”

Opportunity knocks

  • Tax Foundation (www.taxfoundation.org/blog): A look at the new regulations on the Opportunity Zones program that will allow investors to defer and eliminate capital gains taxes on gains from investments in economically distressed localities. The new rules provide some clarity on how investors can qualify for the tax break, but there are still plenty of unanswered questions and potential issues that could arise during implementation.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): A call for papers for next May’s International Taxpayer Rights Conference in Minneapolis, which will be an exploration of the role of taxpayer rights in the digital age and the implications of the expanding digital environment for transparency, certainty and privacy in tax administration.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at how Pennsylvania recently included a satellite-TV provider’s receipts in sales factor based on subscriber location.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): The nexus wagon welcomes Oklahoma.

Expert advice

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Haste does make waste — and at no agency does it seem to do it with such enthusiasm as at the IRS when mailing unwarranted CP14s.
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Though yes, the IRS need only mail a notice of deficiency to a taxpayer’s last known address assess or record a tax liability for the taxpayer, Sadek v. Commissioner provides an example where information available to the IRS would have shown that the addresses on record were not valid.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): Can attorney fraud resulting in a Tax Court decision be corrected? If so, how?
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Believe it or not, meetings have value. You just have to know where and how to look.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Why one tax expert is sick of being called a “tax expert.” Turns out this comes from shedding ignorance, learning where the potholes are, and learning that drilling into clients’ problems is often akin to peeling an onion.