A not-so-final frontier; summertime tax planning; small biz and reform’s impact; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Workaround runaround

  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey and New York recently enacted laws to designate funds to solicit private contributions to support public services, such as health care and education. The states will permit their residents to credit nearly all their contributions to these funds against their state tax liabilities. Enter the IRS and its “substance-over-form principles.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Attempts by states to avoid the $10,000 limitation on the SALT deduction with the option of making payments to state-controlled charities? Noble and, sadly, obvious.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): When it comes to states’ workarounds, “words like ‘circumvent,’ ‘despite’ and ‘mindful’ [in the recent IRS notice] pretty much tell us how this is going to turn out.”
  • Bloomberg BNA (h https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): The net workaround ground? Maybe pass-throughs in Connecticut and New York.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Political plot lovers might also feel vindicated by recent home-buying activity in Florida, a red state with no income tax.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Never mind SALT, can you deduct cash put into the collection plate at church?
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): These are the voyages of the IRS. It’s five-year strategic plan: to empower taxpayers to meet obligations, to seek out and protect the integrity of the tax system, to boldly go where the service has never gone before.

Hot times

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): The summer’s flashback Friday commences with pointers on followup emails.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Those days of soda and pretzels and reform: Summer can be a great time to catch up on tax moves to save before year’s end. Ten tax moves before the swelter sets in.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Before they get too comfy and burned in that beach chair, here are five good reasons clients should start planning now.
  • Avalara (https://www1.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): How about Samoas? To keep from tumbling over a massive fiscal cliff, Louisiana lawmakers temporarily increased the state’s sales tax by 1 percent starting April 1, 2016. They also temporarily eliminated certain sales tax exceptions and exemptions (like the one for Girl Scout Cookies). The plunge was temporarily averted, but these changes expire on July 1.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Hop to It Dept.: Beer drinkers annually make a $5.3 billion excise tax payment to state and federal governments, according to the Beer Institute — which adds that taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than the labor and raw materials combined. As summer begins, the Tax Foundation takes a look at taxes on beer nationwide.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): The five states that don’t have a sales tax and what that can mean for nexus envy.

All the biz

  • Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): Good and Bad News Dept.: According to a survey by the National Association of the Self Employed, more than four out of five small-business owners feel as though they don’t understand how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will impact their business. A few helpful talking points.
  • Houston Tax Blog (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): In Phillips v. Commissioner, the court concluded that a judgment against the owner of an S corporation for guaranteeing the business debts does not increase the owner’s tax basis in the S corporation — “one area where a little advance planning can go a long way to avoiding a tax dispute.”
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.ZdsBOsrA.dpbs): If a client owns or is buying a residence or second home, here’s what to remind them about reform’s limitations on itemized deductions.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): The blogger’s years-long project is here: a book/treatise on Florida homestead law, which aims to fill a void of no comprehensive one-stop reference sources out there that cover all aspects of homestead law. “I’ve endeavored to make the book accessible to those who need an introduction to an area, to answer quick questions, or to assist with a detailed analysis. While of interest to those in Florida, it should also be of interest to those outside of Florida who have occasional need to deal with Florida homestead issues for themselves or their clients.” Congrats!
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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