In the blogs: Pure punishment

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The NTA’s Objectives; tax enforcement spans the globe; post-reform child credits; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Report cards

  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): “A Few Thoughts About The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Fiscal Year 2019 Objectives Report,” including “some extraordinary information, statistics, and discussion about the IRS’s present state, including customer service; and a dozen NTA priority issues for the upcoming fiscal year. Those include implementation of the TCJA, the effectiveness of IRS service channels and the protection of taxpayers facing financial hardship from IRS and private debt collectors.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): As usual, the NTA report has lots to offer, “but here is the snapshot summary of the review of the past filing season: During the 2018 filing season, the IRS processed most returns successfully, but taxpayers needing help from the IRS faced a more challenging experience. The IRS could not answer the majority of the calls it received, especially on its compliance telephone lines.”
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Our favorite opening of the week: “The IRS draft of the new ‘post-card’-sized tax return has been released. The idea of a tax return the size of a postcard is ridiculous.”

Pure punishment

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): In the never-ending fight for truth, justice and the American way (taxes), authorities from five nations have created the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, a.k.a. the J5, from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at an article that reviews cryptocurrency and previous IRS enforcement models, and, more to the point, how these shifted in recent decades as the service migrates from a “purely punitive” system towards one that focuses on customer service, the theory being that a procedurally fair system will increase taxpayer satisfaction and voluntary compliance. Given the IRS’s steady shift to a more holistic tax enforcement approach, the author believes that the IRS is likely to take a broad-based approach to cryptocurrency tax enforcement.
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Taxpayers voluntarily submit information to the IRS. The IRS not only evaluates the substance of this information, but also the taxpayer’s candor in preparing and providing the information. The perception of candor is just as important as the substance in many cases. Guess v. Commissioner shows “how things can go awry” when the IRS perceives that the taxpayer is not being open and genuine.

Love and other tax trends

  • Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Remind them yet again how to tell the IRS from a phishing expedition.
  • Boyum and Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Another favorite opening of the week: “If you have an actual child, you always love them, but even a little more when it’s time to file taxes.” How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expanded the Child Tax Credit.
  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Data points related to cloud solutions include its expected growth and adoption — and its eye-popping spending levels.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): A Canadian perspective on U.S. ITIN renewal 2018. (Get the news before somebody slaps a tariff on it…)
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Another word on nexus and a fine history of Quill.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Do amounts that an employee puts into the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System count towards the retirement savers credit? An interesting look at how state at least handles this.
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