Fairness at last for vets; troublesome forms; ‘non-employee withholding;’ and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

TCJA understatements

  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com): Regarding the now-well-traveled road of how reform will hit states with high taxes comes this infographic that provides a glimpse at the impact for various clients, before and after the tax changes are applied.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): “How Will the New Tax Law Affect the Preparer Industry?” This blogger sees a “a mixed bag … those of us who deal with average folks will likely be hurt, while the firms that deal mainly with businesses will likely benefit.” Discuss.
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): Our favorite opening of the week: “It would be an understatement to say that practitioners are eagerly awaiting guidance regarding the 2017 tax act.” And our favorite follow-up sentence of the week: “The Treasury provides that most guidance will not involve the issuance of regulations, which especially makes sense considering the requirement that two regulations be removed for every one new regulation issued. This may result in the IRS issuing guidance a bit faster than normal.” Let’s hope so.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): A look at tax extenders that wormed their way into the recent bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Does Verizon offer the paragon of what most corporations will do with their tax-cut windfalls — i.e., strengthen the balance sheet and largely blow off the workers? Also, how to get rid of pesky geese by not paying your property taxes.

Do the right thing

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): You know what went into the work but they don’t. “Why not try some things that will surprise and delight your clients. They can’t tell if their tax return is technically correct — that’s what they hire you for. They trust that you are competent. They don’t expect much more.” What have you done to make your client say, ‘Wow!’?
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): It’s the start of a new tax season. Is your marketing plan in place and ready to go? Do you know how you’re going to get new clients this year? Eight ideas to help get clients through your door, starting with paying attention to business news and new business in your area.
  • Liberty Tax (https://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge/): How Liberty joins the growing army in the prep industry to correct the very wrong — and long-standing — taxation of disability severance payments of combat-injured veterans. And the new Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act guarantees that these severance payments won’t ever be taxed again.
  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): “There is so much bad policy in the massive two-year budget agreement being debated by Congress that it is hard to know where to begin.” Nevertheless blogger Howard Gleckman starts with why on earth lawmakers would restore more than 30 special interest tax subsidies for 2017.

Useful items

  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): At long last again, “The Twelve Days of Tax Season” (one Closing Statement for the purchase of a home, two W-2 forms, three mortgage statements, et al.). We like “8 useless items.”
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Nothing Much, Just Got Married Dept.: What to remind them about life’s changes as tax season blasts off.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): What your biz clients need to know about the WOTC.
  • Turbotax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Tax forms for those who hate forms with a special place in their hearts, namely the self-employed.
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): What to remind them about filling out W-4s — especially after the passage of tax reform. “This year, for some taxpayers, the new tax reform law is like a life event and updating a W-4 is the best way to prepare for the law’s impact and avoid surprises.” Funny how much clients and preparers can have in common.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): How MIA W-2s are definitely PITAs. How to recognize and address the problem of absent-minded employers.

Quill do

  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): This SALT roundup touches on the Supreme Court’s review of Quill’s presence, states’ moves to preserve SALT deductions for high-income taxpayers and Pennsylvania penalties for non-participants of amnesty, among others.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): New Hampshire’s license plates declare in bold green letters “Live free or die.” Maybe that should read “tax-free,” given residents’ usual stand on the issue. In the coming months, that fight is likely to intensify as the nexus/Quill question heats up.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): In a virtual field that changes constantly, a state-by-state guide on charging sales tax for digital products and some good guidelines on what constitutes the latter in the first place.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Communications with an attorney are generally protected from disclosure. But what about client names? And what power does the IRS have to force an attorney to disclose the names of his clients? U.S. v. Servin examines these questions.
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): Connecting the dots on cryptocurrency and the IRS, including history and key tax implications.
  • Manhany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): When a real-life story of the U.S. subsidiary of Rabobank pleading guilty to criminal goings-on sounds like a spy novel. Also, when a Houston petroleum exploration and production company strikes oil offshore of Angola and still has no reason to celebrate.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Hunting down cryptocurrency abuse is just one job for IRS enforcers, and the Criminal Investigation division’s annual report provides a good overview of what these “T-for-Treasury men” accomplished in fiscal year 2017.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): Perhaps propelled by the costs of providing health care to FTs, the gig economy is in full swing. This look at a recent presentation on taxing the gig economy includes a suggestion that Congress create a “non-employee withholding” regime that would allow online platform companies such as Uber to withhold taxes for their workers without being classified as employers.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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