In the blogs: Unresolved issues

Accounting

Taxpayer defined; W-4 2.0; cryptocurrency and FBAR; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Unresolved issues

  • IRS Mind (https://www.irsmind.com/): In 2018, the IRS questioned the accuracy of about 6 million returns, most often using a CP2000 — under-reporter — matching notice. About 3 million CP2000 notices were sent in 2018. In second place is the IRS mail audit, about 750,000 of which were conducted in 2018. A look at the issues with both.
  • Procedurally Taxing (https://procedurallytaxing.com): A recap of Nina Olson’s unresolved issues, including taxpayer rights.
  • Tax Vox (https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox): “In the world of tax policy and administration, Nina was an outsized figure. She was passionate, blunt and relentless on behalf of those issues that moved her, especially the agency’s persistent underfunding and what she saw as the IRS’s often-shabby treatment of low-income taxpayers.” A look back and forward at the Taxpayer Advocate Service.
  • Avalara (https://www.avalara.com/us/en/blog.html): M&A activity continues to gain traction and excise tax professionals at the acquiring company face concerns that are rarely dealt with during dealmaking.

Word play

  • Mauled Again (http://mauledagain.blogspot.com/): The Red Bluff (California) Daily News offers an incorrect definition of “taxpayer.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes (http://federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.com/): Comments and input now welcome on the 2019 editions of the Tax Procedure Book.
  • Rubin on Tax (http://rubinontax.floridatax.com/): A federal court has ruled in favor of the Mayo Clinic and held that in determining whether an organization meets the definition of an educational organization under Code 170, the primary function test imposed by regulation is invalid.
  • Tax Foundation (https://taxfoundation.org/blog): Formal comments on the initiation of a Section 301 investigation of France’s digital services tax address the structure of the DST, how that structure interacts with domestic and foreign firms, how the tax could undermine current multilateral negotiations on international tax, and the costs of potentially escalating the current trade war.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes (http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/): A look at what George Carlin once called “the seemingly endless saga” of the evolving W-4.

Constants

  • Sagenext (https://www.thesagenext.com/blog): “Change is the only constant,” unless you count accounting’s future in the cloud.
  • Intuit Proconnect (http://taxprocenter.proconnect.intuit.com/): Discussion about moving from a desktop to a cloud workflow is no longer focused on what the cloud is as much as what it can do to speed your firm’s productivity. Think space, accessibility and cost, just to start.
  • Turbotax (https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/): What to remind them — and boy sometimes a reminder is needed — on the tax-saving importance of dependents.
  • Taxbuzz (https://www.taxbuzz.com/blog): Marketing tips for impactful digital client experiences from a recent Twitter chat covering SEO and inbound marketing, negative tactics, effective posts and cyberthreats.
  • Taxjar (http://blog.taxjar.com/): August’s sales tax due dates, by state.
  • Tax Girl (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/): Remember all the times the IRS reminded your clients to do a payroll checkup? To make sure that the hundredth time’s the charm, the agency has launched its new withholding estimator.

Answer time

  • Boyum & Barenscheer (https://myboyum.com/blog/): How ASC 606 provides different guidance about revenue recognition because it explains things differently about completion of contracts. Instead of thinking about revenue recognition based on being able to estimate the contract value and duration, it considers it in terms of “performance obligations” and how they transfer control.
  • TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/): Sec. 1411 imposes a 3.8 percent surtax on investment income of high earners that mirrors Medicare taxes on earned income. The enactment of the net investment income tax highlights gaps in the employment tax rules for pass-through entities. How can businesses be structured to allow active high-income owner-employees of pass-throughs to avoid all three of the 3.8 percent Medicare taxes?
  • Taxable Talk (http://www.taxabletalk.com/): Should your clients be reporting cryptocurrency held in foreign cryptocurrency exchanges on the FBAR? The American Institute of CPAs’ Virtual Currency Task Force asked this question to FINCEN and was surprised at the answer.

Jeff Stimpson

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

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