Voices

In the blogs: School for scandal

Another one in the books; bias in the TCJA; talking basis; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

School for scandal

  • Boyum Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): In its 2018 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reported that owners and executives accounted for only 19 percent of all fraud cases yet caused a median loss of $850,000, compared with a median of $100,000 for rank-and-file employees. Why executive thieves get away with more.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): The blogger’s take on the college admission scandal (“The civil tax consequences could be significant for all of the culpable actors and the less culpable may not be able to avoid those...”)
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com/): What does a court do when the statute requires exhaustion of administrative remedies before a grant of attorney’s fees and the administrative agency (here the IRS) guides people to perform an impossible act in order to seek to exhaust administrative remedies? That was the issue facing the bankruptcy court in Langston v. Internal Revenue Service.

Day of daze

  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Tax Day saw not only taxpayers’ scrambling but also state budget officers scrambling to figure out what their revenues will look like this year — especially in the wake of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Tax Policy Center’s State and Local Finance Initiative reviewed actual and forecasted personal income tax revenues for the first eight months of fiscal year 2019 in 23 states; preliminary analysis finds that while median revenues grew 1.2 percent, actual collections are down in nine states compared to the same period last year.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): The number of hours you expect your team members to work throughout the year must be clearly communicated. A look at an Alaska firm’s “rather creative” and very reasonable schedule.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): There are some things more important than taxes on April 15: Too many folks in the southern U.S. are dealing with the loss of family and friends after a deadly weather system moved across that region over the weekend.

Unpleasant essentials

  • TaxProf (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at three aspects of the TCJA that reflect implicit bias and facilitate the marginalization of women as a result of policy that fails to consider underlying demographic data with respect to the equitable distribution of tax expenditures.
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): A week’s roundup of payroll issues includes a House bill that would permanently extend the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, a congressional plan for federal paid family leave funded by HSAs, a 10 percent spike in reports of business ID theft, and presentation of a draft of the 2020 W-4 that would implement changes required by the Tax Code overhaul.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Our favorite opening of the week: “Like colonoscopies, which also are disliked by everyone, taxes are a necessity. Unpleasant, yet essential.” So it’s disappointing when anti-tax groups propose anti-tax proposals — in this case involving repair of infrastructure — that are far worse than tax increases.

The default is in our stars

  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): This second installment in the series on digital transformation looks at the key ingredients to make the perfect “digital transformation recipe.”
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): What your client can do after defaulting on an IRS payment plan.
  • Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Five myths about refunds and how to check on refund status.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): If there’s one issue that tax pros have trouble explaining to clients, it’s basis. If you’re an investor in a business, you can only take losses up to the amount of your basis. Sounds simple, right?

Spanning the globe

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Do people worldwide generally support paying more taxes for more government services? Survey says….
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): Some countries, such as the U.K., have embraced advances in technology to improve the accuracy and breadth of their tax withholding systems. In this country, expanding pay-as-you-earn tax collection could bring benefits to those who receive dividends and pay capital gains.
  • Tax, Society & Culture (http://taxpol.blogspot.com/): Under what circumstances should we expect corporate entities to evade tax? Guest blogger Gaute Solheim of the Norwegian Tax Administration posits that it is most likely when they are small, owner-operator gigs and much less likely when they are giant multinationals.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): While only of direct interest to a few taxpayers and assorted linebackers, a recently issued revenue procedure addressing National Football League draft picks and player contracts does make interesting reading — starting with the idea that player contracts and draft picks are property.