Reform and expats; R&D to OSs; a new blog aboard; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Foreign intrigue

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com): With the United States v. Hom decision, we must again file an FBAR for foreign online gambling sites. One must also possibly consider filing an FBAR for $10,000 or more in a non-U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. The rub? Most of these entities don’t broadcast their addresses.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A recent article examines the rise of cryptocurrencies for tax avoidance and evasion.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): A lot’s been written, spoken, Tweeted and belched about how reform will affect many different groups of people. What about expatriates? Many are asking how taxation of foreign income will change. While many items did change, others were left intact.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Another look at how the feds will now ban $50K-plus tax bums from travelling overseas.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Supply-side or trickle-down economics have been tried and have failed, this entry maintains, though of course “technically, they do work. They work for a small group of oligarchs.” What’s likely to happen to most of the promised jobs.

Surprise!

  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): If your biz clients don’t know about federal and state research and development credits, you’re going to appear like a genius indeed if you can help them qualify. The ABCs of R&D.
  • Smith & Gesteland (https://sgcpa.com/resources/focus-blog/): “Big data” is yet another tech term we’ve all had to translate into English and think about somehow incorporating into our careers. Don’t assume that this high-tech concept applies only to large corporations. Any size company (including your practice) might be able to devise BD strategies all their own.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Our favorite opening of the week: “Here’s a familiar scenario: You’ve finally gotten into a groove working on your computer or mobile device, and surprise!” The four reasons for staying up to speed with operating system updates include, among other excellent points, the relaxing lack of surprises.

The fun in refund

  • Turbotax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What to remind them about the latest plusses of filing early.
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA (http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.dpbs): Client got a big refund on the way? Here are some things for them to ponder as they await the check, starting with the zero interest charged to the government for the loan.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): If you take all of the steps to prepare and remit a tax return to the IRS except for placing it in the mail, is this sufficient to avoid a failure to timely file penalty? How the U.S. Tax Court recently addressed this in Plato v. Commissioner.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): A personal look at how plans to blow that big refund can change overnight — or with one sports injury. We hope the blogger’s daughter is doing well.
  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): The Trump administration continues to tout the idea that Americans will be able to fill out their individual income tax returns on a post card (a.k.a., “a single, little beautiful sheet of paper”). This blogger declines to speak to its beauty, “but the tax year 2018 Form 1040 won’t make it on a single page.”
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): A handy checklist about what to remind them about all that’s needed to file.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Congrats to “wonderfully eccentric, 40-year accounting veteran” blogger Robert Flach and “his down-to-earth approach” that just landed his blog in the top 25 of accounting reads with the Accounting Degree Review. Hats off!

States of the union

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Use tax “notice & report” laws have now been in effect for months in Colorado, Louisiana and Vermont. The first deadlines for retailer land now. Here’s a rundown of each state’s law, and how sellers who fit the criteria can comply.
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): According to the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, recent changes to international tax provisions for U.S. corporate taxpayers as part of federal reform would raise some $94 million of additional business income tax revenue for the state — even as the governor reminds one of the most outspoken critics of the many aspects of the TCJA.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): How Hawaii continues this year to try to join the ranks of states imposing a general excise tax on businesses that do not have a physical presence in the state.
  • Tax Foundation (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): Legislation introduced in Washington State correctly diagnoses the problem with the state’s business tax structure, but the proposed remedy could use some work, according to this blogger. Seems a decades-old musty tax structure yields vastly different rates not only across different industries, but even within them.

New to us

  • SageNext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): This tax and accounting app-hosting firm offers a number of excellent insights into the omnipresent cloud. This week: “Things to Keep In Mind Before Converting Existing Company Files to QuickBooks 2018.” Welcome!
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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