Week in Insights: When the Help You Need Is Just a Click Away – Bloomberg Tax

By Kelly Phillips Erb
My front-loading washing machine broke this week. We just replaced it a little over two years ago, so we weren’t anxious to rush out and buy a new one. Instead, we did what many homeowners and DIYers do: we turned to YouTube.
Within hours, the top was off the washing machine, and my husband and I were loading clothes into it for a test run. We listened for rattles and matched up frames as the laptop rested on the dryer. Was it the drum? The springs? The shocks?
Fortunately, it wasn’t the drum, which would cost the same to repair as buying a new machine. I crossed my fingers, hoping for springs because that appears to be a relatively easy fix. But as it turns out, it’s likely the shocks, which are most inconveniently located under the drum, which can be replaced. With that information, we planned our next step: we called an expert.

This wasn’t the first time we’ve turned to YouTube for direction. Sometimes, we’ve been pretty successful. When our fish tank pump leaked water, I found a video to walk me through a resolution (albeit not before our floor was covered with water). YouTube has helped me figure out how to replace the light in my oven, tackle a broken lawn mower blade issue, and solve a relatively minor plumbing problem that would have, without intervention, become a much bigger and more expensive problem.
YouTube isn’t a panacea. I love using it as a tool to help diagnose a problem. And sometimes, we get a win—saving us time and money. But as with the dishwasher, sometimes we still have to call in the experts.
I think about tax the same way. Earlier this month, I wrote a column that seemed to strike a chord in the profession. The gist was that if you hold yourself out as knowledgeable in a particular area, you have a duty of competence.
The corollary to that is, of course, that no one can know everything about tax. You can’t be equally competent in all sections of the Tax Code, related regulations, and case law. It’s simply too much. But you can surround yourself with resources and people who know those things.
And every now and again, when you rub up against something that you can’t make sense of— after you’ve put in the work to diagnose the problem—that’s when those resources and people are most valuable.
That’s where we come in. From just getting started to taking a deeper dive, we have the resources you need at Bloomberg Tax. And when you need to call in the experts, we offer great commentary and insightful analysis on federal, state, and international tax issues.
The Exchange… It’s where great ideas intersect.
Kelly Phillips Erb
In 2021, Google announced that all YouTube creators would be subject to tax withholding on their worldwide earnings if they didn’t submit their tax info to the company. What was the tax withholding rate?
Answer at the bottom.
The Supreme Court is set to review an FBAR ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit later this year. Matthew D. Lee of Fox Rothschild gives an overview of the case, United States v. Bittner, as well as a look at an earlier FBAR case with a contrary ruling from another federal appeals court.
A growing number of companies are moving, or are considering moving, to the metaverse to create an immersive digital experience for users. But there are some high-level tax aspects to consider when doing business in this virtual environment, say Baker McKenzie’s Roger van de Berg and Henrik Stipdonk.
Employers looking to adopt a qualified retirement plan have a host of decisions to make, but taking the time to understand compliance responsibilities will help employers have a smoother plan implementation process and avoid unnecessary costs, say RSM’s Joni L. Andrioff, Christy Fillingame, and Lauren Sanchez.
The IRS has been refining its payroll tax targets and methodologies, including an intensive initiative to educate its agents on how to focus their audits. Stout’s Jerome M. Schwartzman and Joel Wukelic share how companies may deal with contractors to prevent a payroll tax audit.

A new bill proposes significant changes to the goods and services tax treatment of the gig and sharing economy in New Zealand. Eugen Trombitas of PwC NZ looks at the details and some practical issues to note.
Rob van der Woude, Chief Tax Officer at Fonoa, discusses the merits of tax automation technology and recommends its widespread adoption by indirect tax professionals.
After its dramatic rise, the crypto market has been marked in 2022 by drastically falling prices. Morag Ofili of Harbottle & Lewis consider what UK crypto investors can do to minimize their losses.
Takato Masuda of Nishimura & Asahi provides an insight into a recent report on the views of the Japanese business sector on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development global minimum tax rules (Pillar Two) and the controlled foreign corporation regime.
Some politicians and commentators have attacked the decision to increase IRS funding by spreading misleading claims that are wrong about the facts, says former IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti.
Nathan Boidman of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP explains why he believes that pre-existing withholding taxes should not continue to apply where new taxing rights under Pillar One arise.
Elon Musk’s donation of 5 million Tesla shares worth $5.7 billion will do a lot of good. But it’s also worth noting that Musk may have saved up to $4.6 billion in taxes, says DonateStock’s Steve Latham.
The renewable fuel standard hurts American refiners, consumers, businesses, and governments that purchase fuel, and its harmful effects continue to worsen, says Christopher Brooks, a professor at East Stroudsburg University.
Practitioners who know the differences between International Financial Reporting Standards and US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles will be better equipped to help with preparing or reviewing the income tax provision, says Crowe’s Chris Kobylewski in this edition of “A Closer Look.”
With King Charles III set to inherit assets from the queen, folks are talking about taxes. Do ordinary taxpayers have to pay tax on assets they inherit? Like many tax questions, it depends. In the UK and the US, there are taxes that apply to estates of certain sizes. And in the US, where you live can further complicate the discussion. This week, I took a look at what you need to know about estate and inheritance taxes.
Don Griswold thought he’d retire after a rollicking corporate tax career that hit its apex at a little company in Omaha, Neb.—then he discovered that the real excitement is on the people’s side, and he now works with an even bigger smile on his face. Family always comes first for Griswold, and with a dozen members of his immediate family within a few miles of each other, there’s always a party in the backyard.
Connect with Griswold on LinkedIn and look for his new column beginning soon.
At The Exchange, we welcome responses from our readers and encourage diversity and civil discussion. We are especially interested in responses that add to the conversation, or introduce a different point of view. If you have a response to one of our published Insights, we’d love to hear from you.

Ernst & Young faces numerous challenges as it tries to gain ground in the competitive advisory market while maintaining its place in the audit industry as its leaders push ahead with a planned breakup of the $40 billion revenue firm.
On this episode of Talking Tax, Bloomberg Tax’s Amanda Iacone speaks with Jim Peterson, a former in-house attorney for Arthur Andersen, about what EY’s breakup means to the accounting industry and the risks that firm leaders face as they try to decouple the global business.
It’s been a busy week in tax news from state capitals to Washington. Here are some stories you might have missed from our Bloomberg Tax news team.
*Note: Your Bloomberg Tax login will be required to access Tax News.
Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe. This week’s focus is on Diane L. Yetter, president of Yetter Tax, a sales tax consulting and tax technology firm, and founder of the Sales Tax Institute.
Dale Kennedy has been named the director of accounting at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C., the law firm announced.
Carrie Small, CPA, MST, has joined Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz as a tax principal within the insurance practice, the accounting and advisory firm announced.
Philipp Klinker will join Baker McKenzie as a partner on the tax team in the Frankfurt, Germany office on Oct. 1, the firm announced.
Sarah Wellings has rejoined Sullivan & Worcester as counsel to the REIT practice group in the Boston office, according to the firm.
Riana Linsky has been promoted to an equity principal at Dark Horse CPAs, the firm announced.
If you are changing jobs or being promoted, let us know. You can email your submission to TaxMoves@bloombergindustry.com for consideration.
Tax Foundation, which bills itself as the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, will host its annual “Tax Prom” starting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
The National Association of Tax Professionals will be hosting workshops to help tax preparers get ready for a busy tax season in more than 70 locations throughout the country for in-person attendance. Virtual options are also available.
The National Association of Tax Professionals also will be offering a series of tax forums throughout the country. The three in-person locations include Orlando (Sept. 19-20), Atlantic City (Sept. 29–30), and Las Vegas (Oct. 19–20).
If you’re hosting an industry-wide event, let us know. You can email your submission to TaxEvents@bloombergindustry.com for consideration.
Bloomberg Tax Insights is hosting its monthly virtual Lunch & Learn series with “What Tax Pros Need to Know About Retirement” on Sept. 21 from noon to 1 p.m. EDT.
We’ve recruited a top financial adviser who can help you prepare for your post-professional life. Matthew Grieb is a certified financial planner with Raymond James in the Washington, D.C., area. His practice focuses on sophisticated wealth management planning for business owners creating generational wealth, as well as for high-income specialty professions.
What’s so great about being a tax professional? We want to hear your story. We’re soliciting short essays of no more than 200 words about the best parts of being a tax professional. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 30.
It’s 24%—the standard backup withholding rate. The rate dropped from 28% in 2018.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Kelly Phillips Erb in Washington at kerb@bloombergindustry.com
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