In the blogs: Place your bets

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NYS and SALT; no spike in buybacks; RMDs and beneficiaries; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Place your bets

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Remember that scene from the end of “The Sting,” when Doyle Lonnegan gets told (by a scammer) that he made the wrong bet on the horse? Well, maybe more people will soon know Lonnegan’s thrill now that the Supreme Court has ruled that a federal law that has effectively limited sports betting to Nevada is unconstitutional.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): What should taxes in fact pay for? From Wichita, Kan., comes an eye-catching tale of a 0.25 percent addition to sales tax for public safety funding — which the city’s mayor then opposed.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): Gain recognized on the sale of a controlling interest in an Idaho LLC is apportionable business income and subject to tax in Idaho, according to a recent decision from the state tax commission. The commission disagreed with the majority owner that it held its LLC interest as a mere passive investment but permitted the use of an alternative apportionment method for determining the owner’s Idaho tax liability.

Takeaways and workarounds

  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Now that spring is firmly in the air and Tax Day is well behind all of us, it’s time for some clients to set up a tax payment plan. Here’s what to remind them of.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Takeaways on mortgage interest from the GOP tax act include home-equity interest, the definition of home-equity debt and the importance of acquisition and home-equity debt.
  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): States are increasingly striking back at reform’s curtailments of certain deductions and breaks. Latest up: New York’s actual passing of legislation making three major changes to maintain state revenues while giving residents relief from the new federal SALT cap.

Goat check

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Much has been made about stock buybacks since enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Critics of the tax plan say the buybacks are a sign that companies are not using the tax savings to either increase worker wages or to invest in new plants and equipment. Except the buybacks in Q1 are comparable to past years.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Of profits, losses, hobbies, deductions, non-deductions, goats and an Iowa shrimp business. Oh, and brothers-in-law.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Ah, the thrill of a new business! Matched only by the thrill of new and unforeseen obligations! “5 Tax Tips for Starting a New Business.”
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Hosting offers seamless accounting features to businesses. A look at the pros and cons of private and public clouds.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): Where oh where to allocate taxpayer service resources? A recent survey looks to marry IRS service priorities, taxpayer needs and good old “efficiency” concerns.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Can a small-business owner employ their children as independent contractors and deduct seemingly personal expenses as fringe benefits if the children did in fact provide legitimate services for the business? A look at Wax v. Commissioner.

Water breaks

  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): In light of the holiday just passed, a look at motherhood and taxes.
  • Boyum and Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Estate planning usually includes questions on the beneficiary designations associated with retirement account assets. One important factor in naming a beneficiary: how RMD rules can apply. A framework of the options available.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at the upcoming tax holiday for water-saving and energy-saving products (May 26 through 28) in Texas.
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