Implications of Kill Quill; Oscar, Oscar, Oscar; Sec. 199A questions; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Oh, the things they’ll steal!

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes ( The IRS 2018 list of the 12 worst tax scams reads a lot like the lists of more than one previous year. “Sad fact is that tax crooks have found a batch of schemes that seems to work. So they pull them out year after year, especially during tax-filing season.” And while many of these scams appeared on the annual list in years past, the agency notes that scammers often tweak the schemes from year to year.
  • Tax Girl ( In honor of the recent birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, Green Eggs and Ham rewritten as Thefts, Schemes and Scams: “I do not like it, scammed I am … Would you like them on your phone? Would you like them at your home?”
  • Liberty Tax ( In 2017, the IRS received more than 152 million returns. What are the odds of a given return ringing the audit bell? Actually, given e-filing, pretty good. Here are the red flags to pass onto clients.
  • Summing It Up ( In 2004 the credit gods gave us the Payment Card Industry DSS (Data Security Standard) to limit credit card fraud and establish a robust framework for cardholder data controls. Recent and suggested best-practice standards in this area just became required, and it’s essential to understand how they impact your organization and the steps you must take to meet full compliance.

Bit the hook

  • The Income Tax School ( Come Again? Dept: “You’ve likely heard of Bitcoin. Maybe even Ripple or Ethereum. But have you paid much attention?” Have your clients? And if they’ve paid attention, have they remembered to tell you?
  • Taxable Talk ( Some big letters to pay attention to if you or your clients look to join the Coins: “SEC Reportedly Launches Cryptocurrency Probe on ICOs.”
  • Manhany Law ( America has a bunch of new rich kids — not oil kings or railroad magnates, but Bitcoin barons. What’s the IRS take on these folks?
  • SageNext ( The boom of Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies put a spotlight on the blockchain – the technology on which these currencies are based. Although it has been around for more than 10 years, blockchain has just recently became a star. If developed in a proper manner, blockchain technology will be highly secure and disallow fraud, making it particularly attractive for cloud computing. If.

Could be

  • Tax Vox ( The IRS estimates that for 2008 through 2010, taxpayers owed but didn’t pay an average of $458 billion annually in federal taxes — yet the IRS collected only about $50 billion of the annual tax gap through its enforcement efforts. In these yet-again belt-tightening days, could the federal False Claim Act become a tool to help close the gap?
  • Bloomberg BNA (!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): Over the last several decades, taxpayers have attempted to apply Quill’s nexus standard to corporate income taxes. What could be the impact on those corporations if Kill-Quill becomes reality? Survey T/K.
  • Avalara ( As the push to tax internet sales intensifies, the day may soon come when most e-commerce sellers are required to collect and remit in all sales tax states. Could your client accidentally trigger a tax collection obligation? Here’s a far-from-evergreen state-by-state look.

Good old swagger

  • Turbotax ( This year’s swag bag to all Academy Award nominees had a whopping estimated value of close to $100,000. What are the potential tax ramifications of receiving a 12-night stay in Tanzania, a year’s worth of fruit deliveries, a commissioned original painting, and a six-night stay at a Hawaiian resort for free? Your clients may not have an Oscar nomination looming, but gambling, lottery, raffle and sweepstakes winnings are taxable income.
  • H&R Block ( And the winners not only get the bag, but a gold-lined bronze statue worth about a few hundred dollars. So the award itself is worth a small fraction of the swag bag? Tinseltown indeed …
  • Taxjar ( Oscars are all very nice, but which state tax departments will snag one of this year’s Sales Taxies awards for quality communication, information and other categories?

Be reasonable

  • TaxBuzz ( The Sec. 199A deduction of “reasonable compensation” takes on a whole new meaning for S corp shareholders, where the deduction applies only to K-1 pass-through income, not wages paid to the shareholder. The lure of this new 20 percent deduction will tempt more employee/shareholders to ignore the reasonable compensation requirements — especially considering the lack of “bright line definition” on those requirements.
  • Houston Tax Blog ( Norgaard v. United States addresses whether a personal loan made to a closely held corporation can be deducted as a bad debt when the business goes out of business.
  • Wolters Kluwer ( A look at Oregon’s recent passing of a bill that includes IRC conformity and the federal temporary dividends received deduction for income repatriated as deferred foreign income, among other matters.
  • Mauled Again ( A fond look back at Leon G. Wigrizer, first inspector general in the Treasury Department and first inspector general of Philadelphia — and a powerful influence on the blogger.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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