When snow removal is taxable, and other highlights of some of our favorite tax-related blogs from the past week.

Don’t Have a Plow, Man

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): As our polar prepares to crank up its vortexing again, the question becomes: Where and how is snow removal taxable?
  • Roth & Co. (http://rothcpa.com/blog-index/): Rates one way, deductions another, reform following its own calendar: If all ends-of-year are big when it comes to tax planning, 2016 is huge as a president-elect’s hands.
  • Turbotax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Deductions to remind them of, from home and hearth to property taxes and doctors’ appointments.
  • Taxing Subjects (http://taxingsubjects.com/thebuzz): And don’t forget to remind them about health care-related exemptions. A look at the criteria to qualify to use the 8965.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Say one thing for Trump and the GOP’s incoming tax policies, according to blogger Dundon: They’ll “keep tax accounts and bookkeepers gainfully employed well into the foreseeable future.” Is such imminent demand for tax pros good for the U.S. though?
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): How a big part of the shiny new 21st Century Cures Act exempts qualified small-employer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) from group health plan requirements – eliminating severe IRS penalties on businesses for reimbursing individuals for buying their insurance ($100 a day per affected employee). Beginning Jan. 1, companies with fewer than 50 FTEs can reimburse employees for purchasing individual health insurance as if it were directly paying the premiums on a group health policy.
  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): Year-end strategies to whittle that pesky AGI.

Innocent misunderstandings

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): A look at Sen. Marco Rubio’s “Economic Mobility for Productive Livelihoods and Expanding Opportunity (EMPLEO) Act” aimed at raising after-tax pay for low-wage families. Also, how repealing the ACA would cut taxes for high-income households and for others not so much, plus “Navigating the Confusing Language of International Tax Reform.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): Doings from the recent “National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Institute on Tax Controversy” conference, including expected continuing IRS and Department of Justice activity against offshore service providers, the influx of information about offshore accounts from many sources, and how users of bitcoin have “ranges of understanding with respect to tax compliance ‘from innocent misunderstanding of what the filing obligations are to tax evasion.’”
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): A look at the recent opinion in Bobo v. Commissioner, a tale of cash, keys the Form 1099-Misc.
  • IRS Tax Trouble (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): Taxpayers often regret agreeing to IRS audit adjustments. Can said taxpayers change their minds? Sandoval Lua v. United States brought before the court a case where the taxpayer did change his mind but “failed to act in a way that would preserve his right to change his mind.”
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.blogspot.com/): When reckless indifference stumbles into willful behavior for the purposes of FBAR reporting, a la a husband and wife with Swiss accounts from camera sales. Turns out, of course, that the same statute that imposes the willful penalty does not provide a definition of willfulness.

Do diligence

  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): How to do due diligence on your own due diligence regarding the EITC, from written policies of procedures to recognizing the most common errors.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Bursting Bubble Dept.: Philly’s Sweetened Beverage Tax will add 1.5 cents per ounce to the cost of most sugary and diet beverages in the City of Brotherly Love starting in January, long planned and despite a recent lawsuit attempting to block the levy.
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): FBAR due dates for 2016 reports. “FBAR will now be due on the same day as tax returns with an automatic extension for six months. There is no need to file a separate extension with FINCEN for the FBAR.” Basically, this means the FBAR is now effectively due on Oct. 15.
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): Just which of either side is telling the whole truth about border adjustment, “a significant base broadener in the House GOP’s Blueprint [tax plan]?” Like much about this election year, who knows?
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): How our president-elect’s ongoing practice of keeping tax returns a little closer to the vest than his predecessors may inspire legislation about future candidates’ scorecards with the IRS.

Savage breast

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Recommendations and referrals can fall on their faces if you don’t have a good Web site to make a good first impression.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): What music do you plan to put on while slogging through the days and nights of the coming season? A look at some recent experiments that pitted Mozart against AC/DC as subjects tried to successfully complete a game of “Operation.” (What’s this blogger do? “In the weeks leading up to a new tax season … I play loud music from Billy Joel concerts and albums of Maynard Ferguson …”).
Jeff Stimpson

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