In the blogs: Overly hopeful

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The new budget; the SALT myth; NATP; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Overly hopeful

  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): The annual presidential wish list (a.k.a. the administration’s FY budget) is public. Bottom line, and it's a big one, is the FY 2021 proposals top out at $4.8 trillion. Much of it won’t pass muster or the House, of course, but it still resembles “a kid’s overly hopeful letter to Santa Claus.” One point: More money for the tax man.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): The Democratic presidential candidates have proposed various changes to federal payroll tax rates and the Social Security payroll tax wage base, including levying Social Security payroll taxes on taxpayers with high wages, raising the Social Security payroll tax rate and enacting new payroll taxes to fund new federal programs. A look at the potential effects.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In United States v. DiMartino, the Court of Appeals affirmed a tax protestor conviction for a multi-year failure to pay taxes and for deception and obstruction of the IRS, “conduct inspired by the Sovereign Citizen movement, a loosely affiliated group who ‘follow their own set of laws’ and, accordingly, ‘do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies or regulations’ as legitimate.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): How many articles that promise tips to avoid an IRS audit make an offer that’s “simply too extreme.”
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): A timely look at apps to boost your productivity.
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Does your firm give employees certain goals to hit? Sometimes this makes sense, sometimes not. Goals pushed down from on high tend to land with a thud. Goals should have meaning for the individual and be created by that individual for themselves.

What they don’t know

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at the new e-filing requirements for exempt organizations (“If you filed on paper expect a letter…”).
  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): Twenty tax planning ideas for construction and real estate businesses to focus on this year, including accounting methods for revenue recognition and reform’s changes to the “All Events Test” and the QBI deduction.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The Taxpayer Advocate Service’s local taxpayer advocates hit Washington, D.C., to present the advocate’s 2019 annual report to Congress. Topics to include customer service, IT and funding. Here’s how they interrelate.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html): Americans spend billions on apparel every year, and increasingly they spend it online. Since most states now require many out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax, which states tax sales of clothing and footwear, and where are such sales exempt?
  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): You don’t know what they don’t know: What to remind them about which expenses are deductible. It is a fair bet they aren’t sure about alcoholism.

Unintended consequences

  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): A new study suggests that raising taxes on e-cigarettes could encourage traditional smoking.
  • Bloomberg Tax (https://pro.bloombergtax.com/news-insights/): A landmark tax case watched by Google, Apple, Facebook and other tech giants concerning assets shifted overseas has reached the Supreme Court: Intel-owned Altera Corp. is appealing its loss in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over the validity of IRS regs that force companies to include stock-option compensation among the assets valued for U.S. tax purposes when multinationals shift their intangible assets abroad.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): So is the SALT cap driving away residents of high-tax states? Despite some recent claims that it has, available info still just points to “maybe.”

New to us

  • National Association of Tax Professionals (https://blog.natptax.com/): This new blog aims to be a way for tax professionals and taxpayers to find important info, including industry updates, how-tos and FAQs, membership benefits and upcoming courses and general tax education. Featured this week is the “You make the call” quiz post, a favorite feature of the association’s e-letter. Welcome!
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