The importance of PTO; never-ending collections; Bitcoins and AI; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

R.I.P. myRA

  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Even as studies of Americans saving poorly for retirement continue to proliferate like age spots, Uncle Sam pulls the plug on a program to encourage lower-income earners to sock away for their golden years. Like many of us, maybe myRA never did live up to expectations — but for poor people it was a leg up for changing a mindset.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): A saddened look at the e-mail myRA participants received (go Roth!), plus a question of whether the plan suffered from lack of participation or too much political spite.
  • Focus (https://sgcpa.com/resources/focus-blog/): As transition benefits packages continue to evaporate like puddles on hot days, to more and more employees PTO is one BFD.
  • TurboTax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What’s good for the client is likely good for the preparer, too: “Tips for Paying Off Summer Credit Card Debt.”

… v. Commissioner

  • Houston Tax Attorney (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): The U.S. Tax Court recently issued another opinion involving an LLC owned by a self-directed IRA, in Block Developers LLC v. Commissioner. The case, involving a profitable S corp that manufactured and distributed retaining wall blocks that were patented by the company owner, highlights how taxpayers with a similar arrangement may be able avoid the same IRS trouble.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): Vigon v. Commissioner has come to teach us about when Collection Due Process just won’t end.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Funny how often you can run into this in complex tax situations: The Treasury declined to allow a deduction because conversion of a trust from a non-grantor trust to a grantor trust was deemed not a transfer of property held by the trust for income tax purposes. “Although I have not researched the issue,” the blogger notes, “I am not aware of any clear authority on this issue, one way or the other, so taxpayers will have to make their own judgment call.”
  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s collection: “Investigation and Alert: Guardian Pharmacy Services”; “Well Known REIT Broker Hit for Unethical Practices”; and “OCWEN Pays $56 Million to Settle With Investors and Faces Foreclosure Disparity Upkeep Suit.”

Tech tock

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): In the beginning there was Money, then came Technology. They begat a child they named Blockchain, who grew up and begat Bitcoin. Now Bitcoin wants to beget Bitcoin Cash, “and here’s where things get tricky” for taxpayers.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Rotate the Earned Income Credit Please Hal Dept: How far will the artificial intelligence phenom started by H&R Block and IBM Watson go in the industry? “Who’s to say companies like Turbo Tax won’t leverage the technology to completely eradicate the need for a tax preparer? According to a report by Big Four firm PwC, AI tools could potentially replace the basic capabilities on first- and second-year tax associates.” Maybe, but here are some prep chores AI can’t handle …
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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