The future of the estate tax; taxes and weight loss; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Average federal refund by state

  • M&A ( How successful could the new president be in repealing estate taxes? Potentially very, given that the idea fits in well with Republicans’ tax plan and that the party controls Capitol Hill.
  • Tax Girl ( A “nifty” infographic from Couponbox looks at average federal refunds by state. The largest refunds go to taxpayers in Texas and Washington, D.C., the smallest to taxpayers in Maine and Vermont.
  • Backtaxeshelp ( Fat Chance Dept.: “In the U.S. alone it has been reported that 38 percent of all adults are obese, and 40 percent of adult women are obese.” Add to that almost one in every five teens and the good chance of future, well, growth, and you have the debate over whether it’s time to use taxes to fight obesity.

Season’s greetings

  • Sageworks ( Author and CA Steve Pipe, founder of Accountants Changing the World, discusses how consulting and advisory services are some of the greatest services accountants can provide — not just in terms of your profits but also improvement in the lives of your clients.
  • The Income Tax School ( Build it and they won’t necessarily come. “How to Succeed as an Enrolled Agent” looks at ways to leverage the certification to gain clients.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro ( “One month down – one and a half to go!” Blogger Robert Flach writes down what many preparers are thinking about right now, updating his season status with a comparison to where he stood last year this time. And good news! Only three “red files.”
  • AG Tax ( For a new perspective from up north, “2017 Canada Tax Brackets, Basic Amounts & Contribution Limits.”
  • Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney Blog ( A look at the revised IRS user fee schedule for installment agreements. Final regs increase the existing user fees (except for low-income taxpayers) and create two new types of online installment agreements, each subject to a separate fee.

Gig deal

  • Intuit Proconnect ( The gig economy of some 4 million American workers (expected to double by 2020) poses many challenges and opportunities – not to mention chances to grow your practice advising the on-demand worker viewed as self-employed by the IRS.
  • Liberty Tax ( A FAQ addressing one of the credit-connected important letters inside the PATH Act, starting with E, I, T and C.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes ( Oh By the Way Dept.: Wouldn’t it be nice if clients understood how massive life changes affect taxes before they spring the news on you? What to tell them about filling out or amending that W-4?


Jeff Stimpson

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