Voices

In the blogs: Rough estimates

The problem with pyramids; costs of Medicare for All; advising on education costs; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Questionable matters

  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): The IRS has a new payment option in the private debt-collection program (preauthorized direct debit). But will it lead to abuse?
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Using taxes to try to shape people's actions is hardly new (a British monarch tried it almost four centuries ago with a beard tax). More recently, governments focused on sin taxes that typically are applied to things that aren't healthy. So how’s it going in Philly with soda tax enforcement? More people do drink soda than wear beards….
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html): If you hire a detective to conduct surveillance, locate a missing person, or trail a spouse suspected of infidelity, are those services subject to sales tax? Depends on the state and the nature of the sale.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): When Texans step into the voting booth on Nov. 5, they’ll have the option to prohibit an individual income tax through a constitutional amendment. A look at the “more robust barrier” inherent in the proposal.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): The Financial Accounting Standards Board has finalized a one-year delay in the effective date of ASU 842, “Leases for non-public business entities.” But many companies still face significant lease accounting challenges.

It runs downhill

  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Employers and employees in service industries that involve tipping need to comply with unique tax rules. Here’s a guide for your clients.
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): When it comes to managing an accounting firm, one of the many things CPAs have focused on is leverage, and the well-managed upside-down pyramid (partners work and work until they’re full and then they push down to managers who work and work until they’re full and then they push down to the staff). Where this top-heavy, inefficient culture came from.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): What to tell clients who are long-time employees or new hires about the taxing aspects of stock options.
  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): Owners of senior living centers are challenged by rapidly rising property taxes on their facilities — and appealing these taxes involves a process that often comes with a hefty price tag for consultants.

Rough estimates

  • Bloomberg Tax (https://pro.bloombergtax.com/news-insights/): The House Ways and Means Committee is slated to mark up a bill aligning taxation of e-cigarettes and other vaping products with that of traditional cigarettes. The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the bill would generate nearly $10 billion over 10 years.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): How infuriating that often loving an idea also means loving to pay for it. In a new report, the Urban Institute estimates that a full-blown Medicare for All plan would increase federal government health care spending $32 trillion over the next decade.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at a recent paper that contests “the pervasive notion that democratic governance and good tax policy conflict — and the potential role of taxation in promoting a flourishing democratic community.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): When it comes time for Congress or a state legislature to consider enacting a mileage-based road fee, a variety of arguments blossom on both sides. How advocates must also pay attention to collateral and technical issues, with a recent example from Washington State.

’Tis the season