In the blogs: Reach and grasp

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Planning for Tax Day 2019; “Miracle on Ice;” filing protection for exempt organizations; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Reach and grasp

  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What to remind them right now about planning for Tax Day 2019 — including the long reach of tinkering with withholdings and exemptions.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): The 11th Circuit’s opinion in Presley v U.S. Is ostensibly about how the Internal Revenue Service can summon a bank for information relating to deposits from a law firm’s clients, likening the service’s reach to the power of the Soviet hockey team during the “Miracle on Ice” of the 1980 Winter Olympics. The opinion does nicely summarize the statutory framework and Supreme Court guidance that stack the deck heavily in favor of the IRS.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): How the four states that have sued to block the $10,000 SALT cap — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland may be erroneously propping their argument on one huge document: the Constitution.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): The American Bar Association has revealed that a staff member diverted about $1.3 million from the organization over eight years. The theft was made public via the company’s annual tax form, a 990. What filing protection do exempt organizations have?

Tech mates

  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): “Scientific advancements in the recent years have made it possible for mankind to imagine an arena of potential for the future. Technology and automation have sewn themselves into our lives and made it impossible to survive without [them].” Unfortunately, such sewn advancements as professional and recreational web surfing let all of us unwittingly deposit troves of personal data all across the net. What can be done these days to self-protect privacy?
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Considering an accounting system upgrade? If so, the rub: Much of today’s software is engineered so well that it will perform adequately for years, but new and better features debut all the time — and your competitors might have them before you do. Three keys for when to upgrade accounting software.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): What’s more secure: the cloud or your desktop?

Dramatis personae

  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): What to remind them about a W-9.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Does drama have a place in client and firm relationships? Depends, and remember: Sometimes the most powerful drama is silence.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Reform’s Sec. 965 requires U.S. shareholders to pay a transition tax on certain foreign earnings as if those earnings had been repatriated. Here’s a decision tree to help clients understand if they have to file a return or extension.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The NTA recently returned from vacation to read a press release from a newly formed organization consisting of private debt collection agencies working IRS accounts. “Nina Olsen [sic] has consistently made false and misleading claims about the IRS and its Private Debt Collection Program to advance her own political agenda,” the organization’s spokesperson asserted. True or false?
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Taxpayers voluntarily submit information to the IRS, which then not only evaluates the substance of this information but also the taxpayer’s candor in preparing and providing the information. The perception of candor can be just as important as the substance in many cases. Guess v. Commissioner exemplifies how things can go awry when the IRS perceives that the taxpayer is not being open and genuine in providing information.
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