The IRS and Equifax; R&D credit for startups; pass-through problems; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Telling tax tales

  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Our favorite headline of the week: “Dead Men Tell No Tales, Even When They’re Supposed To.” How one practitioner, even with the authorization of the executor and after filing all the paperwork, discovered a late individual’s transcript had been locked by the IRS (along with about 64 million other returns of deceased individuals) as “a security measure.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): In Klein v. Commissioner, the Tax Court has held that restitution assessments under Sec. 6201(a)(4) don’t permit tax interest and additions — and the reasons are disturbing.
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): Guess which headline information company the IRS recently awarded a multi-million-dollar fraud-prevention contract. Hint: The company name begins with E and ends with X and it was in the headlines due to a massive data breach.
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): About a year ago IRS Appeals was instituting procedures that limited the opportunity for face-to-face meetings, procedures practitioners strongly opposed. How Appeals recently — what’s the new term in political analysis? — walked back the idea.

Accounting games

  • Tax Vox (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org): Cutting corporate taxes is supposed to draw jobs back to the U.S. and boost worker wages, but will either really happen? Evidence backed by “the accounting game” of transfer pricing suggests otherwise.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/blog/): The Nexus Committee of the Multistate Tax Commission has decided to consider extending the application period for the online marketplace seller voluntary disclosure initiative, a limited-time tax amnesty program set to close Oct. 17.
  • Bloomberg BNA (http://www.bna.com/news/#!topic=istax&type=isblogpost): New York has clarified combined reporting requirements for alien corporations, and “combined reporting requirements can be a tangled web for many unitary business groups, specifically those with non-U.S. affiliates or those with U.S. affiliates that generate most of their income overseas.”
  • IRS Problem Solver Blog (http://www.getirshelp.com/irsblog/): Why bankruptcy attorneys often claim you can’t discharge IRS taxes. (“The long answer? Bankruptcy cannot always discharge IRS taxes. There are specific rules to qualify for such a discharge. Most bankruptcy attorneys either don’t understand the rules or just don’t want to deal with them ... .”)
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): One of the nuggets of proposed reform is the special tax rate for flow-through entities. Is it a good idea? Along with a glance back at just how (comparatively) comprehensive the handling of reform was in 1986.
  • A Taxing Matter (http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/): Why paying taxes is in fact extremely patriotic.

‘Authentic’ leadership

  • Tax Policy (http://taxfoundation.org/blog): Only 16 states levy a capital stock tax, a tax on the net worth of a business. Is yours one of them?
  • TurboTax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Pay attention, class, because today’s lesson is “5 Tax Breaks for Teachers on World Teachers’ Day.” Remember, just because they can grade others doesn’t mean they know all the ABCs of deductions.
  • Liberty Tax Blog (https://www.libertytax.com/tax-lounge): What to remind your single-parent clients about credits and deductions.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): Startups and small businesses usually need all the help they can get. One thing they could do better is take advantage of R&D; it’s estimated that more than 70 percent of eligible small businesses and start-up companies failed to claim start-up R&D tax credits and small-business R&D tax credits they had coming for the 2016 tax year. Here’s how to help.
  • TaxBuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Your small-business clients probably complain that the tax tangle is too hard for them to figure out (even if they don’t complain they’re coming to you, which proves the point). Here are four ways to help them save income taxes.

Hard a-portal

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/: What’s an “authentic leader” for your firm or practice — and, more to the point, are you that person?
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Accounting, budgeting, tax planning, financial planning: a cornucopia of services to your clients and a multi-level profit center for you if you know how to cross-sell.
  • Tax Musings of a Burbank CPA (http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.dpbs): Portals have long promised to solve and streamline a lot of your client-communication headaches. A look at how and why to use them.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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