Potential state-by-state effects of the tax reform bill; filing for the dead; the real power of IRS notices; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Sounds like a plan

  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): What the 2018 brackets, standard deductions and more look like under reform, “a deeper dive on some of the specific numbers that affect individual taxpayers.”
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): A succinct outline of the bill’s changes for both individuals and businesses.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Pass-through taxation has been one of the most contentious and confusing parts of the debate surrounding the Republican tax bill. Note that rather than setting a specific tax rate as the House suggested, the conference committee members opted for the deduction proposed by the Senate. But the upper chamber's original 23 percent deduction for pass-through income was reduced to 20 percent.
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): The bill’s impact on jobs and incomes by state. Overall initial findings: “The plan would significantly lower marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, which would lead to a 1.7 percent increase in GDP over the long term [and] 1.5 percent higher wages.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Favorite headline of the week: “Ha Ha Ha or Ho Ho Ho?” The president called the plan a gift to the American taxpayer. Will it turn out to be our yearned-for new toy or just another pair of socks — or worse?
  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): Well, turns out “The TCJA Would Cut Taxes By an Average of $1,600 in 2018, with Most Benefits Going to Those Making $300,000-Plus.”
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): As earthquakes go, reform is pretty high on the Richter Scale — and one (relatively) little-covered shakeup involves changing the threshold of the estate tax. Only affects a few taxpayers? Maybe.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): A look at a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article on the impact of the bill on higher education, including taxes on large endowments and $1 million compensation (in) and taxes on tuition remission and logo licensing and private activity bond restrictions (out).
  • A Taxing Matter (http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/): The quickly agreed-upon final bill, its vote and the lack of score from the Congressional Budget Office or analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): So will taxpayers in fact be able to file on a postcard? Maybe, but Lines 3, 10, 11 and 12 of the point have “no basis in practical reality.”

Tax talkin’

  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): What to tell them about filing for a deceased taxpayer.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): The likely substantial drop in the number of individuals who itemize deductions means the end of 2017 might be a good — and last — time to give big.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): What to know about stock basis.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): Ditto nexus, “one of the hardest aspects of sales tax management … especially frustrating for software companies because tax laws haven’t adapted to how the industry creates, sells or delivers products and services to customers.”
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): A taxpayer wants to know if signing an 8332, giving an ex-spouse permission to claim a couple’s child, means giving up the ability to claim anything for that child on a return.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Does sales tax nexus in a state mean one must also pay income tax in that state?
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): For resident and nonresident aliens who wish to leave the U.S., the concept of the “sailing permit” can be one of the most important items of business that must be resolved before departing. A look at sailing permits and the resulting green light regarding tax obligations.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): How come some practices hit the moon with ROI and others fizzle? This guest blog by Postcardmania looks at what differentiates successful direct mail prep campaigns from those that flounder.

Letters of the law

  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): The Tax Court of New Jersey recently ruled that a foreign corporation’s foreign source income that is not taxable for U.S. federal income tax purposes is also not subject to New Jersey’s corporate business tax for that income — an example of how courts will not let state agencies use regulatory authority to over-reach beyond statutes.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Happy holidays, and this time of year try to remember maybe you get the time off but scammers impersonating the IRS don’t. Here’s how to protect yourself.
  • Manhany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): Selling away is one of the oldest tricks used by dirty stockbrokers and financial advisers. In the typical selling away scenario, the broker solicits a customer to purchase securities not held or offered by his or her employer. These activities almost always violate securities regulations and FINRA exchange rules. Also, how a Vegas craps table probably offers more chance of riches than Bitcoin.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): For all the huffing and puffing in front of taxpayers’ straw houses, is the IRS bound by its letters and notices? A look at Hawver v. Commissioner, a tale of one taxpayer’s five figures of tax due, an amended return and ensuing exchange of paper broadsides.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look back at a retiring (under a serious cloud) circuit court judge’s nevertheless interesting cases and opinions.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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