In the blogs: Ultra-frivolous

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Making them pay; immigrants and filing; 12 days; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.


  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): A look at a recent Tax Court opinion on imposing the frivolous return penalty and how it provides yet another example of how friendly the Tax Court is to petitioners.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): The U.S. tax system does a very poor job of taxing the ultra-wealthy, a fact well known in the legal academic literature. The article here argues that fixing this problem requires ending deferral by replacing the realization-based nature of the existing income tax with some approach for current-assessment, such as a wealth tax or mark-to-market-style reform.

Pens and pencils

  • Canopy (https://www.canopytax.com/blog): Favorite (and most timely) opening of the week: “Getting late-paying clients to shape up can be tricky.” Some strategies for getting clients to pay on time or — the Holy Grail of cash flow in a prep firm — even early. Start by examining your own payment policy.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): Blockchain technology promises to reshape almost all industries. Real estate, despite having been a pen-and-pencil business, will also change.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): Addressing questions immigrants might have about filing U.S. taxes.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): Consumersadvocate.org has completed their 2020 research and recommendations on the best DIY prep software (hint: the winner has an ampersand in the name…). Take a look at what you might be up against with a growing number of clients.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Hand the most disorganized clients this personal income tax checklist “provided to help you gather your thoughts and documents.”
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Bringing a new employee on board is always exciting, probably much more so than reading your employee handbook. But the latter is indispensable, and here’s what should be in it.

Across our land

  • Tax Warrior Chronicles (https://www.taxwarriors.com/blog): New Jersey’s making another attempt to circumvent the $10,000 SALT cap. The state’s previous program intended to convert SALT deductions into charitable deductions; this one attempts to convert individual SALT deductions into fully deductible business taxes.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): California legislation would infringe on free trade and impose requirements that discriminate against “a small but very important portion of the California tax preparation community,” the California registered tax preparer. The new requirements would apply to CRTPs while exempting a much larger portion of the prep community that includes CPA, EAs and attorneys.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): In-house testimony on Kansas tax modernization (“A Framework for Stable, Fair, Pro-growth Reform”).
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): There’s news on the mileage-based road fee front: The Washington State Transportation Commission has released its Road Usage Charge Assessment Final Report. Almost eight years in the making and addressing “the feasibility of transitioning from the gas tax to a road user assessment system of paying for transportation.”
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): Some 26 million people were expected to wager about $6.8 billion on the latest Super Bowl (if you do so today, pick the Chiefs). Bets were expected in gambling establishments, online sites and assorted living rooms. And with that kind of money switching hands, you can also bet the IRS was watching.

At last

  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): What you’ve waited a year for! “The Twelve Days of Tax Season!”
  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Important tax and compliance deadlines for February, including a review of pros and cons of S corp election and reminding partnerships of the March 15 filing deadline.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html): A roundup of recent legislative and policy changes that can affect sales tax compliance.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): Every year the IRS publishes a list of areas where the IRS will not issue a private letter ruling. Items on the list can provide a warning to taxpayers that the IRS may not agree with the conclusion that would be sought in the “no rule” area. This year’s additions to the list.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): February sales tax due dates, in order of state.

Balancing acts

  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): Under the 2019 Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief, the tax on fringe benefits implemented by reform was retroactively repealed. Not only does this mean the tax is no longer imposed, but not-for-profits can claim refunds of previously paid amounts related to this tax.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed for public comment amendments to modernize, simplify and enhance certain financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K. The amendments could eliminate duplicative disclosures and modernize and enhance MD&A disclosures for the benefit of investors while simplifying compliance efforts for companies.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): When conducting a quality of earnings analysis as part of a due diligence process, a company’s balance sheet may seem like a secondary consideration when compared to income, expenses and normalized EBITDA. But it’s key to consider the significance of the balance sheet when measuring a company’s annual earnings.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): The latest on what may be the biggest tax heist of all time.
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