In the blogs: Hot debates


The breaks on COBRA and unemployment; are you a good leader?; Boomer on the workplace of the future; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

Start spreadin’ the news

  • TaxMama ( From the basic unlicensed tax preparer to Enrolled Agents and CPAs, tax pros are stressed and ready to jump down the throats of their clients (we recall a recent ballistic event in Houston). There are good reasons for this trend, as lawmakers labor (often after preparers have filed a return) to help people who lost much during the pandemic. This podcast looks at the big complaints this year and how to help clients help you make your job easier.
  • Tax Warriors ( One of the more ballyhooed of the American Rescue Plan Act’s details has become the Free COBRA Mandate for Businesses. Here’s the latest on what you need to know — and what a lot of your clients might consider a real windfall.
  • Bloomberg Tax ( The richest New York City residents could soon face the highest combined state and city tax rates in America.
  • Sovos (ht Taxpayers worried about complying with the new Massachusetts “Advance Payment” requirement, applicable to sales/use and room occupancy tax taking effect on April 1, should note a temporary safe harbor.

Hot debates

  • Tax Vox ( Academic and government economists recently estimated that the top 1 percent of Americans hide more than 20 percent of their income from the IRS and that with more enforcement resources the agency could close the income tax gap and collect another $175 billion of taxes annually. True, but it still wouldn’t be easy without some fundamental legal changes.
  • Procedurally Taxing ( Sleeth v. Commissioner “continues the run of unsuccessful taxpayer appeals of innocent spouse cases following the major structural changes to the law in 1998.” Nonetheless, another taxpayer is trying to break the string by appealing the Tax Court decision in Jones v. Commissioner. A discussion of both cases.
  • TaxProf Blog ( The rise of highly digitalized businesses has strained the traditional income tax rules on nexus and profit allocation. In response, market countries have started imposing a new tax, called the digital services tax, on certain digital business models — which has ignited heated debate across the globe.
  • Federal Tax Crimes ( A recent interview with Sarah Paul, currently of Everhsheds Sutherland and formerly an assistant U.S. attorney who was significantly involved in investigations and prosecutions related to offshore accounts, reveals what has and hasn’t changed since the Panama Papers.

Just askin’

  • National Association of Tax Professionals ( Smack in the middle of already delayed season, the ARP made the first $10,200 of unemployment income non-taxable per taxpayer. In light of this change, is unemployment income subject to the Kiddie Tax?
  • Tax Pro Center ( How (and when) refunds will appear for taxpayers who filed before that unemployment break began.
  • Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders ( How do you know if you’re a good leader? Especially if you’re a partner and, in some ways, feedback has ceased?
  • Current Federal Tax Developments ( How the Employee Retention Credit and majority shareholders are turning into a real “Area 51” for tax advisors.

Now’s a good time

  • Wolters Kluwer ( The last year certainly changed the standard operating procedures at most accounting firms. How can they be ready for a future that includes more flexibility around working from home, schedules and locations? A recent talk with Jim Boomer.
  • Turbotax ( Support your local taxman, too! While most states also extended deadlines to match that of the federal Tax Day, some sure haven’t.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate ( Remind them that the IRS can ban a taxpayer from claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the credit for other dependents for two years (and more) if it determines that the taxpayer improperly claimed the credit “due to reckless or intentional disregard of rules and regulations.”
  • Taxjar ( What construction clients need to know about paying sales tax when purchasing materials and supplies in various jurisdictions.
  • Financial Cents Accounting Blog ( Effective firm management starts with juggling and designating projects (especially given that a recent study cited here shows that 80 percent of global knowledge workers feel overworked and are close to quitting). Here are some best practices.
  • Taxable Talk ( The pressure is only intensifying to report cryptocurrency gains and losses. A federal court in Massachusetts recently added its PSI to the scene.

New to us

  • The Tax Times ( The blog of law firm Marini & Associates addresses varied tax news of legal interest. Most recent: A look at federal orders concerning the above hot topic of cryptocurrency disclosure. Welcome!

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