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In the blogs: Easing the confusion

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New M&E regs; candidates and public transit; ID PINs?; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Easing the confusion

  • Bloomberg Tax (https://pro.bloombergtax.com/news-insights/): As investments poured into private equity funds over the past two decades, an unexpected compliance problem mushroomed along with the size of the portfolios: Companies worldwide began tripping over strict U.S. auditor-independence rules that limit the types of services auditors can provide to their clients. The SEC now looks to “ease the confusion.”
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): Still confused about the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Join the club (just don’t try to expense membership). A look at the new IRS additional guidance and proposed regs on the business M&E deduction.
  • National Association of Tax Professionals (https://blog.natptax.com/): This week’s “You Make the Call” looks at a tricky scenario of when to take RMDs given the new age requirements.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In United States v. Ott, a district court sustains the IRS assertion of willful FBAR penalties. A point of interest is that the IRS asserted fraud penalties under Section 6663 for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): The IRS has new resources for taxpayers steering among the rocks and shoals of the gig economy, including webinars and a dedicated webpage.

Potholes

  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): So, what do federal taxes have to do with public transit? Candidates have weighed in, but no one’s said what they’d do about the dwindling federal Highway Trust Fund, a key part of how we fund our national transportation infrastructure, including public transit programs.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Ah, March. Longer days, warmer weather, the kiss of spring. And only about six weeks before returns are due. Thirty-one days are none too many for these smart tax moves.
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Three major accounting tech challenges coming this year, and ideas to overcome them.

Getting PINned

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): If your client has foreign financial accounts and $10,000 aggregate in those account(s) at any time during 2019, they must file the FBAR. The IRS and FINCEN now allege that foreign online poker accounts are “casino” accounts that must be reported as foreign financial accounts. Your client should consider filing an FBAR if they have $10,000 or more in a non-U.S. cryptocurrency exchange. The problem: Most of these entities don’t broadcast their addresses.
  • Intuit ProConnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Additional considerations on clients and their potential extensions — including when and how you should bring the subject up initially.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Identity theft and refund fraud remain major headaches this season. Should your client have an Identity Protection PIN?
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): The South Carolina House has unanimously approved business license tax reform, the latest step in a tax regime that’s been slowly evolving (or devolving since 1895. While there’s nothing terribly unusual about a state or locality imposing some sort of annual tax or fee on business entities, South Carolina’s model is unique — and potentially bad news for the state’s businesses.
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