Voices

In the blogs: Youth movements

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Fraud and execs; IRS tries to net non-filers; marketing media; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Youth movements

  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Favorite opening of the week: “I wouldn’t blame you if you missed Revenue Procedure 2018-40. First, it deals with accounting method changes and filing Form 3115, ‘Application for Change in Accounting Method.’ When was the last time you filled out one of those?…Second, the procedure deals with something only you as the tax preparer understand, but it’s way easier to show off your tax knowledge to clients when you discuss the Opportunity Zone investment or the QBI deduction.”
  • Canopy (https://www.canopytax.com/blog): Traditionally, younger generations are not the target market for most tax firms. Because their tax situations are generally not as complex, taxpayers younger than 35 are usually not seeking out the services of tax professionals. Enter millennials, who may encounter a surprising amount of tax-related complexities that previous generations did not have to deal with. That’s why millennial clients can be a tax resolution gold mine.
  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): If you have an occasion to investigate occupational fraud, be aware of what kind of big roadblock an executive or a member of upper management can put up.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Five tips for selecting the best technology partner for your sales and use tax-advising practice.
  • Liberty Tax (http://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): How to know when it’s time to bring in a tax attorney.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): Life insurance contracts may be sold for many reasons and previously the IRS had adopted the position that an owner’s basis in a life insurance policy was the total premiums paid, less the portion of premiums paid attributable to mortality, expense or other insurance coverage. Reform modified Code §1016(a) — retroactive to 2009 — to specifically provide that the above basis reduction for mortality, expense, or other reason charges under the insurance contract doesn’t happen.

Running numbers

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): An analysis of the economic, revenue and distributional effects of repealing step-up in basis, a cornerstone of some of the top Democratic presidential candidates’ tax policies.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): In 2016, the net cost of non-filing to the United States Treasury was measured at $37.5 billion. The IRS has a new initiative to, as the agency euphemistically puts it, “re-engage in bringing many past non-filers back into the tax system.”
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): In the late 1960s, when Stanley Surrey introduced the concept of tax expenditures and the federal government began producing tax expenditure budgets, personal tax expenditures in the form of deductions equaled roughly 1.2 percent of GDP and personal tax expenditures in the form of credits were virtually nonexistent. Today, major tax expenditures in the form of personal credits equal roughly 1.27 percent of GDP, while major deduction expenditures have fallen to about 0.62 percent. A look at what the last half-century has wrought.
  • Tax Warrior Chronicles (https://www.taxwarriors.com/blog): Even with one Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax season under our belts, partnership taxation continues to be complex. A look at the most recent additional changes, starting with new info on the K-1.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Post-reform, odds are all donations are down.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): So how difficult is it to release tax returns, even if you can’t just go to TurboTax?

Job security

  • National Taxpayer Advocate (https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/about/nta-blog): The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is now recruiting volunteers. TAP is a “federal advisory committee made up of citizens that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS customer service and customer satisfaction.” May be a volunteer gig, but it sure sounds like job security.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): In the world of marketing there are three types of media: owned, paid and earned. Owned takes time and assets to create. Paid takes money. earned (a.k.a. PR) takes a little creativity and some outreach. All three are important pieces to a solid communications plan. Tips that will help you seek and seize PR.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): What to tell them about the age-old question of how many ages to keep old tax returns.
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): It’s not just Social Security Administration scams making the rounds. Tax scam emails are flying fast and furious — even this blogger has gotten a few. Who knew she was a non-resident alien?
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): “What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Better Deal from Appeals”: Some of the most important designated orders are the ones that deal with common situations and fairly unremarkable facts but raise arguments that rarely make it into published opinions. Orienter v. C.I.R. is a perfect example.

Some points

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): Location location location: A look at how various states tax retirement, pension and Social Security income. And are there other taxes clients need to consider when planning for retirement?
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/index.html): For years lawmakers in Kansas have been trying to change the way food is taxed. Will 2020 be the year they succeed? A house bill seeks to lower the sales and use tax rate on food and food ingredients, “at some point.”
  • Tax News And Views (https://www.eidebailly.com/taxblog): NOL fixes and partnership audit rules highlight the Iowa Department of Revenue’s legislative agenda.
  • Sikich (https://www.sikich.com/insights/): What to tell them about final audit determination letters, the U.S. Department of Education’s final response to an institution’s annual student financial aid compliance audit.
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