Voices

In the blogs: Spatter up

The day-off debate; SECURE’s flaw; IRS appeals mean a long wait; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Spatter up

  • Intuit Proconnect (https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/): Why forensic accounting’s a fine fit for many tax pros: Think “financial spatter analytics.”
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): The pluses of adding holidays — namely, Friday, July 5, this year. An informal survey reveals that most firms are closing. Several are assuming most people will take a PTO day. To the blogger, this means someone must be in the office for calls and visitors. Some have very creative ways of handling “bonus” days and a few are very generous, allowing two extra days off or more. One firm closes for the entire week because “it is our slowest week of the year.” BTW, Dec. 23 is a Monday this year.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Controlled foreign corporation rules around the world.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Generally inheritances are tax-free, but a traditional IRA is one of very few cases in which a beneficiary who inherits one will automatically end up with taxable income due to having to make required minimum distributions. While inherited Roth IRAs will also result in mandatory RMDs, they do not have tax consequences since the contributions were made with after-tax money. Enter the stretch IRA.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): We’ve all seen or heard ads urging us to donate our car to charity. But donating a vehicle may not result in a big tax deduction — or any deduction at all.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A look at how, in United States v. Patterson, the court ordered suppression of statements made in one of three communicative encounters with IRS Criminal Investigation agents. Here’s why.

Security alerts

  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): A 78-page bill on electronic and remote notarization and witnessing of documents has been approved by the governor of Florida. Here is some info to get up to speed.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): Nevada joins the nexus party come October.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Congress seems about ready to pass a package of about 28 retirement and pension plan changes the House calls the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act. “This bill demonstrates bipartisanship, generally good policy and a willingness to finance its tax cuts with some offsetting tax increases, features that have been in short supply in Congress,” the blogger notes. Too bad it also only modestly enhances retirement security.

First come, first wait

  • The Income Tax School (https://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): The wrap-up of recent news includes last season by the numbers, the tax break on that big gift for Morehouse grads, and how the IRS estimates that more than a quarter of Earned Income Tax Credit payments were improper, among other entries.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama examines the Taxpayer First Act.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): In 2018, IRS data shows that 94,832 taxpayers used IRS appeals to get a second opinion at the IRS. One reason many tax pros and taxpayers may opt out of going to IRS appeals is because they want their disputes to end sooner rather than later. A GAO study showed that taxpayers wait a long time to get into IRS appeals — and when they arrive, the process does not go quickly.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): A look at IRS-issued rules and guidance on charitable contributions as a workaround to the new limits on state and local taxes. That background moan is New York, New Jersey, California and other high-tax states.