The Halloween tax; death during dishonor; define ‘gambler’; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Timely advice

  • TurboTax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Filing’s still more than half a year — and another heap of holidays — away, but here’s what to tell them about fall energy-efficient home improvements that can save money at tax time.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): A look at the reporting implications of capital versus operating leases, and taxpayers who do not quite fully understand how to report them for business-use assets, particularly automobiles.
  • Focus (https://sgcpa.com/resources/focus-blog/): What to remind them about boosting 401(k) contributions between now and year’s end.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): That time o’year again? ’Tis the season for employees to elect workplace benefits, many of which provide nice tax savings. What to pass on to them about health care in particular.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): A Canadian look at strategizing American education credits and financial aids for taxation.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): The R&D credit can be a powerful tax saver for business. Here’s what to tell them about the proper documentation to justify the research claims.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): Guest blogger Prof. Bryan Camp shares some of his views on the government’s loss in Chamber of Commerce v IRS, the challenge to the Treasury’s anti-inversion regs, and why the court’s approach may be out of sync with traditional views of the Anti-Injunction Act.
  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s collection: “Whistleblower Retaliation in Numbers” (statistics), “States Cave to Ocwen!” and “Compliance Officers, Lawyers and Accountants as Whistleblowers.”
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): October sales tax due dates, by state.
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA (http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.dpbs): Various tax deadlines for this month also include the “Halloween tax.” Oct. 31 is the filing deadline for federal and state payroll returns and sales tax returns for most states for 3Q17. “This is why Halloween is such a scary evening, not because of ghosts, goblins and sugar-hyped children dressed as your worst nightmare,” though those are good reasons, too.

Reform and function

  • A Taxing Matter (http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/): The president, his still-shadowed returns and how he would benefit from many items in his proposed reform.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Plan for reform or scribblings on a cocktail napkin? Discuss.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): What are two other words for “catchy,” “vote-getting,” “job-creating”’ and “rare?” Tax reform, of course, all the rage of all the rage right now in Washington. The next big words will no doubt be “framework” and, at long last, “details.”

Tech it out

  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/default.aspx): Three ways CPAs can leverage technology for meaningful practice growth, starting with addressing the roadblock concern that tech generates any ROI — a “worry that keeps partners and some firms stuck using outdated solutions.” Step 1: ascertaining which everyday challenges that tech can handle.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Many firms have started down the paperless road with varying levels of success. How firms may not be fully realizing all of the benefits — or recognizing all the dangers (think “Equifax”) of being paperless.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/: “Just Checking In,” “Touching base” or “Checking on Status” are all well and good as subject lines of follow-up e-mails to some folks, but not to prospective clients. Tips on how to re-reach out to these key people without looking like you’re reaching out.

Deep questions

  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Budgeting and break-even analysis can be key to an entrepreneurship. What about if the entrepreneurs mow lawns, plow snow or have some other seasonal business?
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.blogspot.com/): Those convicted of such crimes as securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, and tax shenanigans must often repay society with jail time and restitution. But what if the convicted individual dies before he or she can begin to make good?
  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): The time limits for filing amended returns can present a number of difficult questions. This is particularly true when tax attributes, such as foreign tax credits and net operating loss deductions, are carried back to prior years – raising the question as to whether the amended tax returns for each year are timely filed.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): What is a mezzanine loan (a.k.a., a junior lien or second lien) and how can it help a business bridge the huge, often inevitable precipice between where it is and where it wants to be on a whole new level?
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Can a full-time tunnel bridge agent also be a professional gambler? The court’s opinion opens with the differences between being a professional gambler and an amateur gambler, and “if you are unaware of the differences in the tax treatment, this opinion is must-reading. Unfortunately, the opinion gets the definition of a professional gambler only half-right.”
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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