The filing/administration gap; tinkering with reform; OIC’s many plusses; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Your brief breather

  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): May’s tax and compliance deadlines, along with pointers on what practices should do this month (in addition to taking a breather).
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com): What to tell them about what tax records to keep.
  • Smith & Gesteland (https://sgcpa.com/resources/focus-blog/): Excellent pointers to pass on to biz clients on a multilayer approach to manage costs of health benefits.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): “Technology enables us to do so many things more quickly” — such as complain about how it’s used by other generations in the workplace — but it also allows us to use a lot of time we should be working on personal endeavors or to intrude on people’s personal time inappropriately. Striking the balance and still having time for Facebook.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (https://www.johnrdundon.com): Part 2 of the defenses for navigating the shoals of IRS penalty abatement.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Good points on helping your clients realize (or remember) how risk discovery and mitigation can help stop future headaches.

Marvelous modern age

  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): How in Larson v. United States the Second Circuit held that to pursue the refund suit for a Section 6707 penalty Larson, a convicted tax shelter promoter, had to prepay the $67,661,349 penalty assessed. “Needless to say, the tax shelter was of the BullShit genre.” As an aside, we thank a tax world that lets us print this word as long as we use two capital letters.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): In Spottiswood v U.S., a district court in California held that a taxpayer who attempted to e-file his return a few days before the filing deadline but who incorrectly entered his child’s Social Security number was responsible for a late filing penalty. “The case,” adds the blogger, “is the latest in what I am certain to be a growing number of cases attempting to apply a 20th century approach to tax administration to the realities of 21st century tax return filing.”
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): Takeaways from the recent court decision on a Florida attorney’s extraordinary attorney fees for ordinary administrative work in an estate.

Our great land

  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): Post-reform, a look at the new “Tax Fairness for Workers Act,” which aims to allow workers an above-the-line deduction for union dues and expenses and to allow a miscellaneous itemized deduction for workers for all unreimbursed expenses incurred in the trade or business of being an employee. More to come?
  • H&R Block (https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/): From the first ballyhooed pick to Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft, many of the picks get signing bonuses. After they put away those fancy new “No. 1” jerseys, however, many also find out they’re been selected by the IRS, too, at least in terms of taxes on their bonuses.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): OICs can do more than pull a taxpayer out of a deep hole. They can also save IRS resources.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): It’s been floated that as many as a third of all Earned Income Tax Credit claims are erroneous and it’s pretty much an accepted truth that the refundable portion of the EITC is one of the main sources of tax fraud. Individuals applying for the EITC on self-filed returns simply enter numbers on their tax form and include a Form EIC. If an EITC applicant uses a paid tax professional to prepare their tax return, the government requires, under threat of a $500 penalty, that the paid preparer undertake excessive due diligence in verifying the applicant’s qualification. What’s wrong with this picture?
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): The Bureau of Economic Analysis says first quarter real GDP rose 2.3 percent, slightly slower than real GDP growth in the final quarter of 2017. GDP in this year’s first quarter, however, grew 2.9 percent over Q1 of 2017. Given these and other numbers, can we say anything about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with this data?
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): May’s sales tax due dates, state by state.
  • Dinesen Tax Times (http://dinesentax.com/blog): Iowa’s taxation of married couples has quirks that can throw a taxpayer or tax preparer for a loop: three different potential filing statuses for a married couple, for instance, and most deduction items are allocated pro rata between spouses who file separately. Typical of some tax laws across our great land, “this results in situations where ‘common sense’ would say one thing but Iowa’s tax law says something else.”
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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