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Talking Tax

Talking Tax, from Bloomberg Tax, is a weekly discussion of the most pressing issues facing tax and accounting professionals. Each week the podcast features discussions with lawmakers, federal regulators, lawyers, and journalists. From the courts to Capitol Hill to the IRS, Talking Tax has it covered.

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Fine Tuning an Estate Plan After Death (Part 1)

Marc Bekerman joins Andrea L. Ben-Yosef in a two-part podcast about post-mortem estate planning. Marc is a solo practitioner in Long Island, New York, and an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School where he formerly served as the Associate Director of its Graduate Tax Program. Marc is also a member of the Estates Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board for Bloomberg BNA. It may be surprising to know that the death of a person does not end the ability to refine their estate plan. Marc discusses how estate planners can still take actions after a person’s death to maximize the benefit to the beneficiaries. Part 1 covers estate tax considerations, such as whether to elect alternate valuation of assets and where and when to deduct administration expenses. Part 2 will cover income tax planning opportunities.


9 Jan 2019

Rank #1

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Buying Online? ‘Wayfair’ Tax Is Straining E-Commerce

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 South Dakota v. Wayfair decision upended a 26-year precedent that limited a state’s authority to tax goods being sold across state lines. A year later, states have amended their laws to target remote sellers and online sales platforms like Amazon.com Inc. Bloomberg Tax reporter Ryan Prete spoke with Diane Yetter, founder of the Sales Tax Institute and president of consulting firm Yetter Tax, to discuss the ruling’s legacy so far and possible future legal issues. She said legal challenges could begin with differing interpretations of the laws, and go as far as class-action lawsuits against sellers for not collecting the taxes appropriately.  Listen and subscribe to Talking Tax from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via Stitcher | Via Overcast | Via Spotify


20 Jun 2019

Rank #2

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Tax Writers Begin to Chart Course in New Congress

Congressional steering committees have tapped lawmakers to join the tax-writing panels in the House and Senate, and those new additions are starting to set priorities.Bloomberg Tax’s Lydia O’Neal and Kaustuv Basu join host Amanda Iacone to discuss the news in Congress while negotiations to end the partial government shutdown have stalled.New Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has announced his intent to look into what authority he has to access President Donald Trump’s tax returns, though it is unclear whether he wants to release them or counter efforts by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.).Neal’s committee added new members, including six members of the Progressive Caucus who could shift the panel’s agenda leftward.Host: Amanda Iacone.Producer: Nicholas Anzalotta-Kynoch.


15 Jan 2019

Rank #3

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Hill Roundtable- Episode 56- Federal Tax Priorities for the Coming Year

Congress now has a host of smaller tax issues to contend with after passing legislation overhauling many aspects of the Internal Revenue Code.The Republican-led House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees are looking at ways to make corrections to, and address issues omitted from, the new tax law (Pub. L. No. 115-97). Tax writers will consider overhauling the Internal Revenue Service, streamlining tax-favored savings accounts for education and retirement, and passing legislation to extend some expired tax breaks.These goals will face headwinds now that tax isn't the No. 1 agenda item in Congress. Politics, negotiations over funding the government, and competing policy priorities could all waylay the tax writers' plans.Reporters Kaustuv Basu, Allyson Versprille, and Laura Davison spoke with Talking Tax host Matthew Beddingfield on Jan. 22 about what’s next for lawmakers in 2018.


22 Jan 2018

Rank #4

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Talking Tax- Episode 61- Tax Cases at the Supreme Court

It's not every day the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to take on a tax case.The Supreme Court on March 21 decided a major tax case dealing with the obstruction of an IRS investigation when it ruled in Marinello v. United States that the Internal Revenue Service can only convict a taxpayer on obstruction charges when it can prove the taxpayer was aware of a pending tax-related proceeding, such as an investigation or audit, or that the taxpayer could "reasonably foresee that such a proceeding would commence."Another significant tax case, Wisconsin Central Ltd v. United States, currently being reviewed by the high court, involves the taxation of stock given to employees by a railroad company. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 16.Bloomberg Tax's Carolina Vargas talked to practitioners to discuss the cases and their significance.


23 Mar 2018

Rank #5

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U.S. Treasury Tax Policy: A Talk With David Kautter

David Kautter, assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, discussed international digital tax issues, regulations stemming from the 2017 tax law, and more in an exclusive interview at the Bloomberg Tax Leadership Forum Nov. 19.Background reading:  The Treasury Department is planning to issue regulations restricting how hedge fund managers can claim a valuable tax break by early next year. IRS Office Carrying Out 2017 Tax Law No Longer Exists: Kautter


21 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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CAQ’s Fornelli on Audit Oversight, Trends, U.K. Debate

The Center for Audit Quality is working on a quality indicator framework that could be used to compare accounting firms' performance. Setting quality metrics has long been discussed but until recently hadn't gained traction in the U.S. audit market. The center plans to issue its tool in early 2019. Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the Center for Audit Quality, spoke with Bloomberg Tax’s Amanda Iacone about why audit quality indicators are getting so much attention lately. She also discussed how camaraderie and diversity among the members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board could lead to better audit oversight, and the role U.S. regulators play in the ongoing audit debate in the UK.


12 Dec 2018

Rank #7

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IRS Top Attorney Names Priorities Post-2017 Tax Law

Michael Desmond became the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel earlier this year as the agency was well into implementing the complex 2017 tax code overhaul.In a wide-ranging conversation with senior editor Colleen Murphy June 27 at the Bloomberg Tax Leadership Forum in New York, Desmond expressed encouragement at the hiring of “energized attorneys” to implement the law.He recommended that companies pay attention to interrelationships among various provisions, especially in the international arena. He talked about non-tax overhaul priorities, too—including strengthening partnership audits and figuring out long-term streamlining of controversies over syndicated conservation easements.Listen to their conversation—plus a bit of Q&A with the forum audience—on a special episode of Talking Tax.


27 Jun 2019

Rank #8

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The View From a Global Tax Chief: EY’s Kate Barton

Kate Barton has been navigating unprecedented change in tax systems around the planet since becoming EY’s global vice chair for tax and legal services in early 2018.Trade wars and Brexit are roiling markets and expectations, and countries are scrambling for their share of corporate revenue while trying to transform their tax regimes for the digital-commerce age.The OECD aims for consensus by 2020 in its project on tax system modernization, but as Barton points out, “these are in fact guidelines, and then 140 countries have to read these and then legislate their own country legislation.” Interesting, she says, especially “in a world right now where we seem to be a little more nationalistic.”Talking Tax host Amanda Iacone talked with Barton about all of that and more, including EY’s legal managed services business and diversity.


31 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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The Over/Under: Sports Betting in 2019

In the third and final episode of The Over/Under, Richard Auxier of the Tax Policy Center gives Bloomberg Tax’s Ryan Prete a 2019 outlook. Next, Ryan discusses a newly released federal sports betting framework.Ryan then takes a look at betting totals from 2018 and gets a 2019 sports betting prediction from Ted Leonsis, owner of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.Host: Ryan Prete.Producer: Nicholas Anzalotta-Kynoch.


11 Jan 2019

Rank #10

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SALT Cap Workarounds: States Try Pass-Through Taxes

When Congress put a $10,000 cap on the amount of state and local taxes individuals can deduct from their federal income taxes, high-tax states tried to fight for their residents in a couple of different ways.One way—charitable funds that earned people state tax credits for donations—got shot down by the IRS.But states have tried another kind of workaround. Because the deduction cap applies only to individuals, not to businesses, some states have instituted new taxes on pass-through businesses, like LLCs and partnerships. These entities normally don’t pay taxes. Instead, their individual owners pay tax on the business income.Bloomberg Tax team lead Jeff Harrington explored the state workarounds with Cannon-Marie Green, the managing editor overseeing Bloomberg Tax’s editorial coverage of state corporate income tax and pass-throughs.Listen and subscribe to Talking Tax from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via Stitcher | Via Overcast | Via Spotify


11 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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How Are States Taxing the Income Called GILTI?

The federal tax on a category of income called GILTI—global intangible low-taxed income—has state-level implications for multinational businesses.Congress created GILTI to stop companies from shifting profits abroad through intangible assets—royalties, patents, and the like. When a company’s total overseas income has been taxed abroad at less than a certain rate, the U.S. applies a tax.In the U.S., state governments often conform their own tax laws to the federal tax code. But with GILTI, states are all over the map. For most states it means a very modest increase in their corporate tax base, but for companies it can mean dealing with multiple approaches and calculations. And there’s talk of legal challenges.Talking Tax host Siri Bulusu talked about GILTI with Bruce Fort, counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission, who has an eagle’s-eye view of what the states are doing. They spoke at the American Bar Association tax section’s fall meeting in San Francisco.


17 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Partnership Audit Regulations: Where Do We Stand Now? (Part I)

Kate Kraus joins Andrea L. Ben-Yosef to talk about the partnership audit regulations. Kate recently joined Allen Matkins as a tax partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. There have been several rounds of proposed, temporary, and final regulations, with the most recent ones issued in August. Kate discusses some key issues to take into account under the new guidance, such as what happens if the partnership representative leaves, taking favorable adjustments into account, and other issues that tax practitioners are dealing with.


27 Nov 2018

Rank #13

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How Pandemic Vacations Can Turn Into Tax Nightmares

Many people are now working and living away from their usual homes or offices, either by choice or otherwise, as they wait out the spread of the coronavirus.In which jurisdiction do these people pay taxes?On this episode of Talking Tax, reporters Isabel Gottlieb and Siri Bulusu look at why this is a huge headache not just for taxpayers but also for their employers, who may have to start withholding in states they've never withheld in before. They also talk about the even more complicated issue of people who are working remotely from another country.


14 May 2020

Rank #14

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The Tax Decade: How the 2010s Led to Where We Are Now

Talking Tax embarks on the 2020s with a lively conversation about how tax policy evolved through the 2010s.Bloomberg Tax law analyst Mary Gillmarten, a veteran of government and private-practice work, reviews the decade’s major developments—especially how the U.S. and other countries started tackling globalization and the digitalized economy. And she has thoughts about implications for our future.


9 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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Converting to a C Corporation: Things to Think About

Some of the biggest investment funds—Ares Management Corp., KKR & Co. Inc., and others—converted from partnerships to C corporations after Congress slashed the corporate tax rate in the 2017 tax law. But conversions aren’t for everyone, not by a long shot.Jeremy Swan, managing principal at CohnReznick in New York, talks about the pros and cons, the questions that businesses should ask themselves, and the political uncertainties right now that signal the wisdom of a “wait and see” approach to further conversions.


6 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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The OECD and Taxes for the Digital Economy: a Primer

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is going into 2020 with some of its most complex work ever: shepherding efforts for a global rewrite of corporate taxation systems in the digital economy.Host Siri Bulusu spoke with Bloomberg Tax reporter Isabel Gottlieb about issues the OECD is facing and implications for countries and companies.


19 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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Retirement Plan Provisions That Could Finally Make Their Way Through Congress

Michael Hadley and Adam McMahon of Davis & Harman join Andrea L. Ben-Yosef to talk about the key provisions in the Family Savings Act, how it was influenced by RESA, and its prospects for enactment after the mid-term elections. With the Congress racing to stop a government shutdown, does Congress have the attention span to focus on bipartisan retirement plan reforms?For more information, see their Daily Tax Report Insight: Are We on the Verge of the Next Big Pension Bill? A Review of the House-Passed Family Savings Act.


7 Dec 2018

Rank #18

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What Are the Opportunities in Opportunity Funds?

Opportunity zones and opportunity funds were created by the 2017 tax act to encourage business investment in low-income communities. They have attracted a lot of interest because of the tax incentives, including exclusion and deferral of capital gains. IRS released proposed regulations on October 19 that gave practitioners some answers. Bradley T. Borden, a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, and Alan S. Lederman, a shareholder at the Florida law firm of Gunster, join Bloomberg Tax’s Andrea L. Ben-Yosef in describing these opportunity zones and funds, how practitioners can take comfort in going forward with many of these transactions, what the IRS still needs to address. They also examine how these proposed regulations may influence a taxpayer’s decision to use qualified opportunity funds as a way to replace real estate that is sold on a tax-deferred basis, instead of using a Section 1031 like-kind exchange.For more information, see the article in the Bloomberg Tax Real Estate Journal, Rolling Real Estate Gain into a Qualified Opportunity Fund: Comparison with §1031, by Alan S. Lederman and and Bradley T. Borden (Sept. 5, 2018). Link: https://www.bloomberglaw.com/product/tax/document/XDPG43TG000000.


29 Oct 2018

Rank #19

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How the IRS is Using AI and Big Data

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are terms that are in the news. Tax practitioners should be aware that the IRS is using these methods to mine for information, and that could impact whether and how their clients are audited. Carina Federico of Crowell Moring, Michelle Schwerin of Capes Sokol, and Travis Thompson of Sideman & Bancroft join Bloomberg Tax’s Andrea L. Ben-Yosef to talk about where IRS is getting its data, how the use of AI will impact enforcement, and what practitioners should be doing now.Host: Andrea Ben-Yosef


9 Nov 2018

Rank #20