Deduction alternatives; Net sales and gambling; the death of Medicare tax; a phony Social Security number; other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Tick, tock, tax

  • Tax Analysts (http://www.taxanalysts.org/tax-analysts-blog): The clock is ticking on reform and the GOP’s path to accomplishment looks more twisty than ever.
  • Backtaxeshelp (http://www.backtaxeshelp.com/tax-blog/): So how will the evaporating middle class actually do under the proposed tax plan? Blogger Kent Livingston examines one of the main rallying cries of our campaign trail recently passed.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): An argument for ending of the EITC, the ACTC, the Advance Premium Credit, the various education tax benefits and other similar “tax expenditures” -- benefits that should be removed from the Tax Code and distributed in other ways. Plus a few sensible alternative deductions.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): Tax questions raised by the frequent travel – and subsequent security concerns – of President Trump. The president’s latest explanation, like most, are on Twitter.
  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): Millennials are getting older, gaining more responsibility in your firm and among your clientele. And one thing they won’t tolerate after a lifetime of technology at their fingertips: delays.

Ugly beasts

  • M&A (http://taxaid.com/blog/): Careful what you don’t write down: The Tax Court has held that, where a partner omits a partnership item from his individual tax return, and the partnership itself was subject to a TEFRA audit, the court has jurisdiction to determine that partner’s resulting negligence penalty.
  • Due Diligence (http://www.mahanyertl.com/mahanyertl/): In this week’s collection: “First NBC Bank Closed by Regulators – Important Info for Customers & Whistleblowers” and “OCWEN – The Ugly Beast is Still Alive.”
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): An Internet sales tax may be just a click away. What that might mean for online sellers (hint: “hugely unfair burden …”).
  • Turbotax (http://Blog.turbotax.intuit.com): Come to Papa Dept.: A look at the taxing of gambling winnings, in honor of Derby weekend.
  • Musings of a Burbank CPA (http://briantstonercpa.com/blog/#sthash.OkfGp9NM.dpbs): Hobbies vs. businesses. Or, paying taxes vs. hoping nobody notices.
  • H&R Block (http://blogs.hrblock.com/): What to tell them about starting a business (“Run!”), from getting feedback on the business idea to financing and biz entities.

Frontiers

  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies may seem as if they are light years away, but the reality is that they are very much part of today’s business marketplace – and something tax and accounting professionals ought to know about.
  • Tax Girl (http://blogs.forbes.com/kellyphillipserb): California pushes the final frontier of taxation, where the state government has introduced a proposal that would make it the first state to tax commercial space transportation companies, defined as a taxpayer which generates more than 50 percent of its gross receipts from the provision of space transportation activity in a taxable (non-light) year.
  • The Income Tax School (http://www.theincometaxschool.com/blog/): In business we spend a lot of time looking up and looking down – when just looking around might be the most critical: “Why Peer Groups Are Important in Business.” Case in point: “As a CEO, nobody really gets what you’re dealing with better than another CEO.”

Crazily complicated

  • Procedurally Taxing (http://www.procedurallytaxing.com/): The recent IRS updated guidance relating to the processing of the estate tax liens after June of 2016 kind of boils down to a familiar theme: Give the IRS all the monies. The new provisions appear to force prepayment of tax, or at least handing over the funds, in exchange for the discharge of the lien in a broader range of situations.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com): “Tax Changes in the Republican Bill to Replace Obamacare” notes that while most attention on the bill relates to coverage and subsidy changes, the proposal does contain significant tax relief. The blogger has fingers crossed especially for elimination of the 3.8 percent Medicare tax on investment income: “The whole statutory scheme was crazily complicated for such a small tax.”
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama helps a couple whose friend, working for them for two years, knowingly gave them a false Social Security number. Who’s on the hook here?

International intrigue

  • IRS Tax Trouble (http://www.irstaxtrouble.com/category/tax-blog/): How Sotiropoulos v. Commissioner spells out how the tax assessment and collection process in most foreign countries is markedly different than the process in the U.S. – and the challenges these differences can present to U.S. citizens living in foreign countries.
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): A British and U.S. lawyer and U.S. permanent resident remains on the hook for allegedly enabling offshore evasion for U.S. taxpayers after the court chucks his motion to dismiss the indictment.
  • AG Tax (http://agtax.ca/tax-tips-and-articles): A look at deductible medical expenses for having a baby in Canada. Good deal, eh? Now if the government can just find a way to grant a credit for sleep.
Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

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