What a tax overhaul might look like; owing $.00 to the IRS; tax season security and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Looking at the Blueprint

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): How will the new faces in Washington find that ideal middle ground between historically broad ranges of tax and the face of unprecedented long-term fiscal challenges? With great difficulty, according to new estimates.
  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): The House Ways and Means Committee tax reform blueprint contains a number of important provisions that promote growth. Foremost among them: immediate expensing (first-year write-off) of capital investment outlays. A model analysis of how expensing does more to raise GDP, wages and employment than any other feature of the Blueprint.
  • Tax Analysts (http://www.taxanalysts.org/tax-analysts-blog): President Trump favors the House’s destination-based cash flow tax, at least according to some news reports. (Other outlets report that he finds it too complicated.) How the difference between a border tax and a border-adjustable cash flow tax (not to mention Twitter) fog clarity about “what the president is actually advocating.”
  • A Taxing Matter (http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/): How the Trump administration is trying to grab the helm of the Voice of America network.

Learning the hard way

  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s collection: “Whistleblower Awards, CFPB & Loan Officer Compensation”; “American Advisors Group Fraud Post”; “Tenet Exec INDICTED”; “Big Pharma Wants Your Hearts, Minds and Wallets”; and “Anatomy of a Force Placed Insurance Scheme (California).”
  • AGtax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): Timely (indeed) advice on protecting your tax authority login IDs and passwords. Among the tips: Avoid using a public network to access official sites.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): What’s truly scary about the newest scams involving swiping not just somebody’s Social Security number (and subsequent refund) but the W-2. Knowledge is your best shield; “sadly,” notes blogger James Edward Maule, “some people end up afraid because they neglected to let themselves learn.”

Decisions, decisions

  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): When is an apparent nothing a real big something? A look at the Tax Court’s “very fractured vote” in Dees v. Commissioner that an IRS notice that a taxpayer owes $.00 is a valid notice of deficiency, conferring jurisdiction on the Court.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.blogspot.com/): A Tax Court decision holds that the 30 percent penalty under Code Sec. 6662A(c) is not excessive under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. (And since we didn’t remember, either, that’s the one that says, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”)
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In Kentera v. United States, the Court dismisses the complaint filed by a couple seeking review of the FBAR non-willful penalties asserted by the IRS pursuant to an audit after they withdrew from OVDI. Some marriages…
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): A look at transfer pricing methods for intangible property, including a summary of different methods to compare intercompany transactions of intangible property to uncontrolled transactions.

Different year, new questions

  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Hark, the herald preparer sings: Time again for “The Twelve Days of Tax Season” (“... my client gave to me – a closing statement for the purchase of a home ... ”)
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): The biggest client questions so far this season (can you spell A-C-A?).
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): A practical look at some of the new credit hurdles for both taxpayers and tax pros.
  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): Digging into deferred compensation (and deferred taxes) plans, those darlings of pro athletes and CEOs but that most of us simple folks know as pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs.
  • Dinesen Tax (http://dinesentax.com/blog): College kids, parents, one making tax moves without informing the other and the AOC can often add up to a big lesson in needing a pro preparer, as this latest entry in the “DIY Disasters” shows.

Growing complexity

  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): Your client’s probably confused already if they’re trying to run an e-commerce business. Here are at least some clear plusses and minuses you can pass on about the various types of business entities e-commerce firms can take.
  • Sageworks (https://www.sageworks.com/blog/default.aspx): A recent PwC survey of family-owned businesses notes something interesting about the future of American businesses and the advisors who work with them: waning interest in passing the ownership baton to other family members. One potential cause is the growing complexity of business in general.
  • John R. Dundon II EA (http://johnrdundon.com/): Should you keep a spreadsheet on the differences between the Schedule M-2 AAA and retained earnings from year to year?
Jeff Stimpson

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