In the blogs: That’s a big 1040


Fun and Gamestop; SECURE and taxable inheritances; over-communication; and other highlights from our favorite tax bloggers.

That’s a big 1040

  • TaxPro Center ( February 2021 tax and compliance deadlines.
  • Don’t Mess with Taxes ( Size does matter. The bigger-is-better trend started in just the second year of tax reform, which was what prompted the overhaul of the 1040. Form 1040 has gone from 24 lines in its 2019 incarnation to 38 numbered lines for filing 2020 taxes. This year’s also has some notable additions, a couple of which were created in connection with last year’s relief legislation.
  • National Taxpayer Advocate ( This first in a series addresses this year’s season and its key issues and challenges. Up first: temporary absences from a family’s home; competing tax claims for the same child; the effect of reduced earned income; and (everyone’s favorite) IRS correspondence.
  • Palm Beach Accounting and Financial Services ( What else to remind them about what’s different this tax year.
  • Tax Vox ( Better targeting of stimulus relief can begin with 2020 information returns the IRS already is receiving to focus assistance on those who suffered the most financially from the pandemic.
  • The Wandering Tax Pro ( “The 12 Days of Tax Season” (“Joy to the world!…I’ll soon be flush with cash!”) kick off with a closing statement for the purchase of a home, two Economic Impact Payment notices and three mortgage statements without, of course, any analysis of how much of the mortgage interest reported represents interest on acquisition debt.
  • Bloomberg Tax ( Favorite headline of the week: “GameStop Takes Everyone on a Wild Ride, Except Its Accountants.”
  • Federal Tax Crimes ( In United States v. Smukler, a non-tax case, the court wrestled with the criminal statutory element that the defendant acted “willfully” in a “a mélange of campaign finance violations.”

As day follows night

  • Rubin on Tax ( Right now for U.S. persons, a foreign account holding virtual currency is not a reportable account for purposes of having to file an FBAR. In a recent announcement, FinCEN advised that it intends to amend the FBAR regulations to include those accounts and “in today’s environment, this is about as surprising as the sun coming up this morning.”
  • TaxProf Blog ( A look at Copley v. United States, which involved a question at the intersection of tax law and bankruptcy law: Can a debtor invoke bankruptcy exemption rules to shield an anticipated income tax refund from offset by the IRS?
  • Current Federal Tax Developments ( The American Institute of CPAs has sent a comment letter to the IRS regarding how to deal with the issue of claiming the 2020 version of the employee retention credit when payroll costs have been reported on a Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application.

Secret agents

  • Sikich ( Internet of Things (a.k.a. IoT) devices have seen security problems rise alongside growing popularity. The convenience of conference room control panels in the office or even smart light bulbs that you can control from your phone is great, but proper planning and setup are key. Here’s why and how.
  • Tax Warriors ( The tax impact of the SECURE Act’s 10-year limited stretch can be a keep-you-up-at-night concern for individuals who have amassed substantial qualified retirement accounts — and who unwittingly risk passing down a massive income tax liability to their heirs.
  • Taxing Subjects ( What to remind them (and yourself) about coronavirus-related distributions.
  • Strategic Advisor ( The most important skill of a strategic advisor isn’t what you think it is.
  • Turbotax ( What to remind them about checking refund status.
  • AICPA ( There’s a big overlooked way leaders can relieve stress on staff these days.

Now in 4D!

  • Financial Cents Accounting Blog ( With the many hacks and tips shared by entrepreneurs, businesspersons and professionals (not to mention the tipsters and hacks), you may have difficulty determining which time management method works best. A look at the 4Ds of time management.
  • The Income Tax School ( And You Never Call Dept.: With a delayed start to tax season, now is a great time to rethink your current client experience. Understand who your clients are, be realistic about expectations and deadlines — and over-communicate.
  • National Association of Tax Professionals ( In this week’s You Make the Call: Your client received both the first and second EIPs based on their 2019 return where they filed single and claimed their dependent child. In 2020, the child is no longer a dependent on their return. This means that the client is not entitled to either the $500 from the first EIP or the $600 from the second EIP related to their child. Will the IRS require the client to repay these amounts?

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