ACA penalties; helping with OICs; tax policy under an anti-policy president; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

  • The Income Tax School ( “Does this tax season seem a bit crazier than most?” Now that we’ve dispensed with the obvious, a look at the hottest issues to communicate with and to clients this particular season.
  • H&R Block ( A look at how and why same-sex couples can file joint returns at both the federal and state levels.
  • ClientWhys ( This season disarray is spelled A-C-A, at least in terms of any penalty for not being covered.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro ( Blogger Robert Flach breaks his seasonal writing hiatus to discuss the ACA’s shared responsibility penalty. Seems the executive order of the resident of the White House (Flach uses a word other than “resident”) has made “silent” a viable choice on returns regarding health-care coverage.
  • Taxable Talk ( Suppose you get real lucky and win ten grand in an online casino that may or (most likely) may not be based in the U.S. How do you find the physical address to file a FBAR?
  • Taxjar ( A guide for creators of an online marketplace where multiple sellers can list and sell items. What are the options to collect sales tax?

What they don’t know

  • Turbotax ( Who can argue with this logic? “They’re cute, loving, playful, attention-craving, and they can’t wait for you to get home. They also poop, pee, whine, ignore your commands and break stuff.” No matter how much they’re like children, you can’t generally claim pets as a deduction.
  • Tax Girl ( Remember: Not only do you not know what your clients know — most of the time during filing season they don’t know they don’t know it, either. What to remind them about W-2s.
  • Backtaxeshelp ( A surprising number of your frightened clients might not even know about offers in compromise. What does it take these days to get one from the IRS?
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog ( And a podcast and transcript on the above topic.
  • TaxMama ( To Have and Withhold Dept.: Ask the tough financial questions before you pop the big question with that special someone.
  • Dinesen Tax ( The intangible asset, as defined by Pub. 535.
  • Procedurally Taxing ( Guest blogger Prof. Marjorie Kornhauser discusses her tax literacy program, designed to help practitioners called upon to speak to audiences “whose lives do not revolve around tax.” Could help alleviate the rows and rows of blank expressions.

Strictly theories

  • Tax Vox ( Yes, investors do respond to changes in capital gains tax rates, a new paper observes, but less than one might think.
  • Tax Policy ( What might happen across the borders if the border adjustment component of the House GOP Blueprint does produce the anticipated one-time bump of some 20 percent in the value of the U.S. dollar.
  • Tax Analysts ( Just what shape will “Tax Policy Under an Anti-Policy President” take? A look at the Tax Council Policy Institute’s recent symposium on various approaches to business taxation, paying particular attention to the “Better Way” House GOP blueprint for tax reform.
  • Mauled Again ( The governor of Pennsylvania has proposed that towns in that state relying on the state police for all policing in the town pay a $25 per-person tax for those services. You’ve got on one side the small towns that disbanded their own police forces to save money and say they can’t afford to pay for the state police; on the other side residents of towns with their own police forces who pay both local taxes to finance their police departments and state taxes to finance state police. Both sides cry tax robbery.

Can’t beat it

  • Bloomberg BNA (!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): March 15 is the new filing deadline for pass-through entities (partnerships, limited liability companies classified as partnerships and S corporations) with Maine-source income to file returns to report tax withholding on the income of their nonresident owners. While Maine joins several states in conforming to federal law by moving its filing deadline up one month, in other areas the Pine Tree State is not so cooperative.
  • Roth & Co. ( One of our favorite headlines of the week: “What Congress breaks, Congress must fix.” That’s the message sent by a Sixth Circuit appeals court in its decision involving a taxpayer who set up an interest-charge DISC that was to be owned by Roth IRAs, combining two congressionally approved tax savings vehicles to create a tax shelter the IRS deemed a little “too powerful.”
  • Due Diligence ( In this week’s collection: “Military, Private Security & Private Military Contractor Whistleblowers” and “Venezuela Public Corruption and Fraud: More Whistleblowers Needed.”
  • IRS Tax Trouble ( A look at how the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the IC-DISC Roth IRA tax strategy in Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Commissioner.
    Rubin on Tax ( Tax Court proceedings are under way regarding Michael Jackson’s estate. The fiduciaries filed an estate tax return showing a value of $7 million. The IRS issued a notice of deficiency claiming a value of $1.32 billion, and demanded additional estate taxes of $505.1 million and $196.9 million in penalties and interest. Gonna be a thriller indeed.
Jeff Stimpson

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