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Voices

In the blogs: In with the new

Pre-season checklist; whether carbon taxes; best Twitter bets; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

In with the new

  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Our favorite opening of the week: “Champagne will flow, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ will be sung, resolutions will be made (and soon forgot, and never brought to mind), and, in a handful of states, taxes will change.”
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): January’s tax and compliance deadlines.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Lower brackets or sloppier and costlier withholding? Does the looming season promise more good news than bad? Refunds and underpayments are but one piece of a person’s financial situation, though for many people who are accustomed to banking on a refund of a certain size, March and April surely will bring bad news. Even if your client’s refund remains the same, the stock market, selective inflation ignited by tariffs, and escalating health care costs “will continue to combine to make people’s financial situation miserable.” Happy 2019!
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): With so much focus on the new tax law and getting ready for filing season, it’s easy to neglect other ducks your practice should have in a row this time of year. Double-checking “these mundane-yet-utterly-important items” for your prep business, insurance to marketing materials to IRS accounts.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com): The government shutdown and the recent closure of the Tax Court provides an opportunity for taxpayers who would otherwise have missed the jurisdictional deadline for filing a Tax Court petition. A reminder of the Tax Court precedent regarding the impact of the closure of the Tax Court clerk’s office on the timeliness of filing a petition (and other documents?) is worth a visit.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): In the wake of Wayfair, more states will likely require marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of their third-party sellers. What will this mean for businesses that sell through multiple channels? Good chance we’ll find out in 2019.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): The devil’s in the details when it comes to marriage, the IRS idea of a full year, and matrimony.

Local news

  • Tax Vox (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): Economists on both sides of the aisle love carbon taxes, which they claim would create market incentives for people to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels and encourage development of new clean technology. So how come many voters (“and, hence, many politicians”) think that’s a lot of sludge?
  • Bloomberg BNA (https://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=tax&type=blogpost&page=1): A look at Colorado’s recent expansion of its child care expense tax credit, as well as similar credits and moves in Idaho, California and Michigan.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): A look at Canada’s Working Income Tax Benefit or Canada Workers Credit, a refundable credit that benefits more than 1.4 million low-income Canadians.

Tweet nothings

  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): A look at a recent article on making the move from compliance work to becoming a consulting firm — along with the observation, “I have found that so many CPAs are performing consulting services just as if they were part of the compliance engagement, leaving money on the table.”
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): Indispensable Twitter feeds for tax pros, including the AICPA, the IRS, and Forbes writers and contributors of tax interest.

Bad decisions

  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): “While not completely clear,” a recent Claims Court case held on summary judgment that a taxpayer who had checked “No” to the foreign account question on her income tax return and who knew she had a foreign account was subject to the willfulness penalty for failing to report the account on an FBAR, regardless of actual knowledge of the FBAR filing requirement.
  • Mahany Law (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): Most of those who are accused of tax evasion are otherwise rational people who made a bad choice or decision, or who sometimes were simply too aggressive in their positions with absolutely no intent to break the law. But now meet Gregory Foland, poster child of tax defiance.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In Kimble v. United States, the Court of Federal Claims “drank the government’s Kool-Aid on FBAR willful penalties.”