Unchanged step-up; arguing PAL; this side of Paradise; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

The more things change

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): Who would benefit if Congress keeps the property tax deduction?
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): More details of and commentary on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as finally revealed. Can we be among the first to call it TCJA? Blogger Robert Flach just goes with “the fleshing out of the cocktail napkin scribblings.”
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): One Hand Giveth Dept.: Among the many ways to analyze the TCJA, “one of the most important considerations is its effect on Americans’ take-home pay.” The devil’s not only in the details but also in the context.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): The reform question on everyone’s mind, when you get right down to it: “Is It Even Possible, and What Would It Look Like If It Is?”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Amid all the big tax news, “below most radars tax law administration continues.” One recent example: A man working for Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia was able to access the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of foster children under the care and supervision of his employer. He then sold that information to a group of tax return preparers who used it to generate dependency exemption deductions on returns.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Twenty reform sound bytes to fill the air over the holidays. Beats some carols we could mention.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): The “pleasant surprise” of the basis step-up at death remaining unaltered in the face of repeal of the estate tax.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): And remember, many of these points that do survive will take effect for tax years after 2017.

Where there’s a Quill

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Any clients who applied for the Multistate Tax Commission’s sales tax amnesty are probably wondering what happens next. This post will help.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): South Dakota recently petitioned the Supreme Court to take up a case it hopes will cause the court to reconsider its decision in Quill. The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board has also submitted a brief for amicus curiae to the court urging it to take on South Dakota’s case.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): The passive activity loss rules can limit the ability to deduct losses from passive activities, such as rental losses. The real estate professional and activity grouping rules can allow taxpayers to avoid having their losses limited by the PAL rules and the IRS, in AOD 2017-007, IRB 2017-42, noted its formal disagreement with the court’s interpretation of these rules in Stanley v. United States.
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): According to the Maryland Tax Court, an intangible holding company with no business income from Maryland had nexus with the state and was subject to Maryland’s corporate income tax on interest income it received from its parent corporation in the state.
  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s roundup: “Tax Whistleblowers & Cyprus, Seychelles, Saint Vincent”; “Paul Manafort, Law Firm Appleby Hack and New Whistleblower Opportunities”; “Teaching Physicians and Medicare Fraud”; and “Looking for PG&E Whistleblowers – Napa Wildfires.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): P time: The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has struck again, disclosing a cache of new documents disclosing offshore activity of the rich and famous. This batch is the Paradise Papers, distinguishing it from the old cache dubbed the Panama Papers.

Filing systems

  • Boyum & Barenscheer (http://www.boybarcpa.com/blog): Your business clients, staunch walls of ancient castles, and enterprise risk management.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Every now and then it’s good to take a breath and look back. With technology’s speed of light, the good old days of tax seasons can suddenly mean just five years ago.
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/): Business valuations can be a hot value add for your practice, but which credential is best to pre-validate your work? A look at an upcoming webinar and some opinions from Jim Alerding, an inductee to the AICPA Business Valuation Hall of Fame.
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): What to remind them about withholdings — and, more important, optimal tweaking of such.
  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature or the IRS: “Tips for Claiming a Casualty Loss Tax Deduction” in the wake of California wildfires and a record hurricane season.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Don’t be pushy: The IRS has not announced the start date of the 2018 filing season, despite wild rumors, while it continues to update its programming and processing systems.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Again, some words are flying around that we’ve rarely seen connected to filing season, such as “C’est la legislative process;” “Slow your rolls!”; and “Jumping the tax filing gun.”
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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