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E@lert is baaaack (with apologies Independence Day), if only temporarily, so hang tight. While most of us are focused on the upcoming filing season (aren't we?), here is a friendly reminder that Christmas is in 19 days. Else, tomorrow is the 78th anniversary of the Day that will Live in Infamy and yesterday was the 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition.

For those of us who are armchair athletes, here is a harrowing tale on Mount Everest; the odds on the Big 10 Championship (go Buckeyes!); and what you need to know about the #2020olympics. On a more practical level, here is how to fix your dysfunctional relationship with your phone and how to make a great cup (or four) of hot chocolate (the E@lerts prefer theirs with a mix of milk and cream or half-and-half and a splash of amaretto, though some believe this excessive).

Otherwise, we offer a slew of tax-related items, pulled especially for America's Tax Experts®:
  • Keith Fogg, whom E@lert had the pleasure of meeting IRL this week, writes in Procedurally Taxing on IRS collections and, particularly, misclassifying CDP requests. We also appreciate that Keith conceded, "Since TIGTA's job involves identifying problems, it misclassifying CDP requests.
  • IRS explains factors affecting amount and timing of refunds, and updates §199A rental FAQs (numbers 48, 50, 52, 54, and 57 — and please note the final sentence on the page, which NAEA past president Frank Degen, EA, USTCP, among others, will appreciate).
  • Kelly Phillips Erb, of Forbes (and NAEA NatCon19), unpacks a recent settlement between USDoJ and Liberty Tax, which if approved by the court, would resolve a complaint filed with the US District Court in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • A federal judge denied a Washington state resident's petition to quash an IRS summons related to bitcoin holdings. While the judge ordered IRS to narrow the scope of its summons, he also ordered IRS to narrow the scope of its Bitstamp summons and rejected two common bitcoin arguments.
  • Said IRS never: We should each know this, but a friendly reminder, IRS *never* demands payment in gift cards.
  • The Irrelevant Investor suggests business books are better than books about business (E@lert is not convinced, but the ar more

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