In the blogs: The virtues of virtual

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CARES examined; IRS challenges; the months ahead; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

The virtues of virtual

  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): A key first step for clients: File that 2019 return and, if a refund’s coming, have it come via direct deposit. This will ensure that the IRS has the most current tax filing and direct deposit information on your client when it comes time to determine individual stimulus check amounts.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): This is a summary of the stimulus and a clear rundown of all the numbers including limits, phaseouts and dates, and a couple good questions. Our favorite: “Can I game the system?”
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): CARES is “a significant amount of federal support.” Not to mention potentially grossly inadequate.
  • National Association of Tax Professionals (https://blog.natptax.com/): How the CARES Act changes unemployment insurance eligibility.
  • Tax Warrior Chronicles (https://www.taxwarriors.com/blog): A look at the temporary provisions affecting two types of taxpayers: those who wish to preserve depressed retirement assets and those who need emergency liquidity from their retirement assets.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): More details on each of the five provisions.
  • Taxjar (https://blog.taxjar.com): The updated latest on states’ announced sales tax relief.
  • The Income Tax School (https://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/: The recent crisis has expedited change, forcing everyone to figure out how to transition from a physical work environment to a virtual one. Tax prep is no different. Some advantages to having a virtual tax business.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): How the Taxpayer Advocate Service runs in our days of virtual environments.

Service advisories

  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/blog/): “Welcome to the Internal Revenue Service. Live telephone service is not available at this time. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible.” When? And what to do now?
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): Guest blogger and tax attorney Bob Rubin identifies guidance urgently needed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, specifically how the service has to be ready to process FFCRA “accelerated payment requests” within two weeks while short-staffed and working remotely. Step One: Dampen client expectations based upon press reports on the speed at which the service can act.
  • TaxMama (https://taxmama.com): The IRS will begin temporarily accepting images of signatures (scanned or photographed) and digital signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability. A look at the details.

Old is new again

  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (https://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com): Some people sure aren’t on lockdown: Coronavirus relief checks still are weeks away from arriving in our bank accounts or snail mail boxes but crooks are already trying to trick us out of the money. (“COVID-19 is a new bait, but the scam scenarios are out of the standard con artist playbook.”)
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (https://ritakeller.com/blog/): In a different kind of cares, a CPA the blogger has admired for years recently tweeted, “I’ve spent 2 days personally calling every biz client, explaining the new bill as best as I can, preparing them for what will be needed. Also explaining I don’t have ALL of the answers yet, but we’ll work to get them. These have been hard times, but the best conversations.”
  • Mauled Again (https://mauledagain.blogspot.com: One of the arguments put forth by the anti-government-spending folks is that it is bad morally, socially and politically to collect taxes from one group and to disburse the receipts to another group. These folks like to brand the first group as “makers” and the second group as “takers.” Yet when the takers are their friends and allies in the movement to feudalize America, not a peep is heard from them. Has this terrifying month changed the outlook of those who, perceiving themselves to be oppressed “makers” exploited for the benefit of the “takers,” rallied in defense of more than substantial tax cuts for the wealthy and for large corporations because they were delighted to get a few dollars of tax relief?
  • Liberty (https://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge/): Six credits and deductions for seniors and retirees, especially post-reform.
  • Intuit Proconnect (https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/): What to remind them about the QBI deduction, a “centerpiece provision” of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Coming attractions

  • Bloomberg Tax (https://pro.bloombergtax.com/news-insights/): In a scene sure to be repeated in statehouse after statehouse in the months ahead, Michigan, wary of falling tax revenue, is taking a tough line on spending. Meanwhile, New York formalized its tax filing deadline extensions and Wisconsin eased due dates for small businesses. Here’s the latest on shifting state tax guidelines, deadlines and policy to deal with the pandemic.
  • Mahany Law (https://www.mahanyertl.com/blog/): A New Orleans restaurant is suing its insurance carrier to force it to pay claims for losses incurred as the result of quarantine measures.
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