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Voices

In the blogs: What the 4?

The tax cost of generosity; firm of the future; R&D smackdown; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

What the 4?

  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): The IRS did do away with two versions of 1040 (one of which we really could have used in late March) and shortened (a bit) the lone document we now use to file our annual tax returns. A look at how the agency went the other way with the W-4.
  • TaxMama (http://taxmama.com): Mama gathers opinions on the new draft W-4.
  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): Despite hobbling by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the partial government shutdown, the IRS managed to close the 2018 season on a high with its much-awaited integrated business modernization plan. A look at this “ambitious six-year roadmap” that forms a strategic framework to underpin the requirements of the agency to upgrade, tweak and modernize its technology infrastructure.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro (http://wanderingtaxpro.blogspot.com/): Among familiar “technical corrections” recommended to the “hastily written” GOP tax act, this blogger has some changes he believes should be enacted…
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): The blogger recently went on e-Services and downloaded a Wage & Income transcript for a client — and was surprised to see that the payor information was no longer redacted. There was the payor’s name in full (along with the address and EIN). “Congratulations to the IRS on reversing their short-sighted policy of redacting this information.”
  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): “The 2017 Tax Legislation: A Failure From Every Direction” sort of says it all as a title. The blogger, a longtime critic of the TCJA (“because it is terrible for most Americans”) examines a Congressional Research Service report that concludes the 2017 legislation had little measurable effect on the overall U.S. economy in 2018” and that “the tax cuts didn’t come remotely close to paying for themselves by turbocharging the economy as President Trump repeatedly promised.”

The warming sun

  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): What to tell them about summer-home renovations and taxes.
  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): Weddings galore, the NBA playoffs and, each year, the first week of June marks an important date for taxpayers, when the IRS issues millions of balance-due notices for 4/15 filers. This year it’s expected that around 4 to 5 million taxpayers will have a balance owed that they can’t pay. What should they do?
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): Applicable federal rates for June.
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/: Lives (and credit scores) changed during the 2019 commencement at Morehouse College when self-made billionaire Robert Smith announced that he was paying the student debt for the entire class. Shortly afterward, those students, potential donors and tax geeks began to wonder whether there would be any tax consequences from the windfall. Wouldn’t it be better for graduates and potential donors if the tax questions were settled? Congress may be working on some solutions.

10 years out

  • Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders (http://ritakeller.com/blog/): There are some people who might be surprised by your actions/decisions (as a boss) but they pick their battles and don’t make a fuss about trivial matters. Then you have some people who tend to make a fuss about everything. They delight in the trivial and demand more information about almost every decision. As a boss, you are the one who mentors, coaches and teaches people how to advance in their careers. Are you doing a great job?
  • Intuit Proconnect (https://proconnect.intuit.com/taxprocenter/): “Tax Pros for Reel: How Do You Think the Tax and Accounting Profession Will Look Different in 10 Years?” Raise your hand if your office still has a pad of legal-size paper.
  • Summing It Up (http://blog.freedmaxick.com/summing-it-up): April 15 is usually a happy day for tax practitioners and taxpayers alike. April 15, 2019, was not a happy day for Siemer Milling Co. and their tax advisors after Siemer Milling Company v. Commissioner was decided. This case focused on seven projects the company claimed the R&D tax credit on in 2011 and 2012.

Documoments

  • Wolters Kluwer (http://news.cchgroup.com/): A look at the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board staff guidance document, “Rule 3526(b) Communications with Audit Committees Concerning Independence” and companion document “Overview of Staff Guidance of Audit Committee Communications Related to Independence.”
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development has released a 44-page “programme of work” outlining the process by which the more than 130 member countries in the OECD’s Inclusive Framework will come to an agreement on how to tax multinational businesses in the digital age. While tax pros pore over the technical discussion of such things as residual profit splits and global minimum tax, by far the most important element of this work plan is found in Chapter IV, “Economic Analysis and Impact Assessment.”
  • Procedurally Taxing (http://procedurallytaxing.com/) The Supreme Court recently decided a case, Smith v. Berryhill, where it repeated the rule that agencies are not entitled to Chevron deference as to their views on judicial review.