REM Cycle Review: Amazon divorce and a GILTI proposal

Ahhhh, Friday. The work week is almost over, the weekend is almost upon us, and it’s time to lean back in your chair and relax with another edition of the REM Cycle Review, the only weekly tax roundup written on an Apple MacIntosh. (The last part of this statement is not true.) We’ve got tax news that might have slipped under your radar this week, as well as this week’s staff video picks. Let’s dive in!

When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos couldn’t re-Kindle Fire into his marriage, the entire world took note—including tax professionals. One thing Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos may not have Primed themselves for is the new divorce rules under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)... [Fox Business]

There is no average taxpayer anymore—not that there was an average taxpayer to begin with. But now that the TCJA has turned filing requirements upside down, New Yorkers will find their requirements even more complex, as NYS has decoupled its tax policies from the new federal laws. [Rochester Democrat & Chronicle]

A GILTI proposal. The American Institute of CPAs has requested that the IRS and Department of the Treasury change proposed regulations to the Global Intangible Low Tax Income provision in the TCJA. [Tax Pro Today]

Cryptocurrency markets plunge 11% in a single day. As of this writing, the biggest losers are Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Tron, and Cardano. So…not a super-great day to be a crypto investor. [Ethereum World News]

This week we’re watching…

The REM Cycle editorial staff recommends one professional development video and one funny or thought-provoking video each week.

Craig Wortmann shares five elements to running a high-impact business meeting.

Did Pepsi really run a commercial promising drinkers a military aircraft? Uhhh…

The REM Cycle Review is a weekly compilation of newsworthy articles pertaining to taxation, accounting, and life in general. Got a hot tip? Email us at

WAKE UP WITH REM: Tax evasion for fun and profit

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Some of the big news of the past week has involved tax evasion, both potential and proven. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Trump’s taxes and you: Five questions answered. Last week, the New York Times’s report on their special investigation into the Trump family’s wealth and possible tax avoidance was largely buried by the ongoing Kavanaugh investigation. This week, pundits were able to catch their collective breath and dive into the Times report. [The Hill]

Can I write off employee gifts as a tax deduction? Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the answer is, “probably not…but…maybe?” The central issue here is the value of the gift. If the gift is valued over a certain (surprisingly small) amount, it qualifies as income for the employee. [Influencive]


Filing taxes on cryptocurrency is still a tricky prospect. The IRS considers virtual currency to be property, treated similarly to stocks. Easy-peasy, right? Think again. Because cryptocurrency is unregulated and standards vary, investors will have to filter their transaction history and differentiate between taxable and non-taxable transactions and activities to determine how much tax is actually due. [CryptoGlobe]


What would Snooki and JWoww say? On Friday, “The Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was sentenced to eight months in federal prison for tax evasion. His brother Marc was sentenced to two years in prison for his part in the plot. Together, the brothers conspired with their accountant, Gregg Marks, to avoid paying between $550,000 to $1,500,000 in taxes. We hope there will be hair gel in the prison commissary. [Variety]

The Wake-Up Call is The REM Cycle’s biweekly compilation of newsworthy articles pertaining to taxation, accounting, and life in general. Got a hot tip? Email us at

Wake up with REM: Spring fling edition

Spring has sprung, the vernal equinox has been and gone, and everyone you know is sleep-deprived thanks to Daylight Saving Time. If you're looking for a break from tax season, we’ve got just the blog post for you. (Hint: it begins right below this paragraph.)

State sales tax is being collected by Amazon—but cities haven’t seen a dime. Amazon now collects sales tax in every state that has one. Why aren’t local governments receiving any of the revenue? [New York Times]

How will tax reform affect carried interest and private equity? This is the $64,000 question that only the newly enacted IRC Section 1061 can answer. []

How the new tax law creates a “perfect storm” for Roth IRA conversions. Word to the wise: while it’s true that contributing annually to your Roth IRA is generally a good idea, doing so does not guarantee that you will get to meet George Clooney. Yes, we were disappointed, too. []


Raise a glass! Raich Ende Malter counts several distilleries as clients, so we would be remiss for not mentioning that March 27 of each year is International Whisk(e)y Day. The parenthetical “e” is a tip of the hat to the difference in spelling for Irish and American whiskeys and their Scottish, Canadian, and Japanese (Japanese whisky is apparently a thing) counterparts, which drop the “e.” Not to be confused with World Whisky Day or National Bourbon Day. Remember this at your next pub trivia night.

“Spring clean” your finances with these seven tips. Most people start their spring cleaning right around now. We de-clutter, wash the curtains, replace air filters, pack up our winter clothes and bring out the short-sleeved shirts. But what about neatening up your finances? []

California considers lower taxes on pot to help new legal industry compete with black market. Good news for Seth Rogen! [Los Angeles Times]

VIDEO: Daylight Saving Time Explained. [YouTube]

EGG MYTH BUSTED! Balancing an egg on the equinox explained. Take that, Humpty Dumpty. [YouTube]

ICYMI: At last! A self-driving potato. [YouTube]

The Wake-Up Call is The REM Cycle’s biweekly compilation of newsworthy articles pertaining to taxation, accounting, and life in general. Got a hot tip? Email us at

Wake-Up Call


Posted by REM CYCLE Staff

The Wake-Up Call is The REM Cycle’s biweekly compilation of newsworthy articles pertaining to taxation, accounting, and life in general. Got a hot tip? Email us at

Planning a trip to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville? Maybe you’re an Elvis Presley fan, off to pay homage at Graceland in Memphis. Either way, be cautious when booking that sweet, cheap apartment for the weekend—Tennessee is the latest state to make Airbnb  guests and hosts responsible for local sales and occupancy taxes. [Airbnb to collect and remit state, local sales taxes—The Advocate and Democrat]

The IRS is finally getting serious about collecting taxes on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium. How should newly-minted (sorry...we couldn’t help it) Bitcoin billionaires account for the incredible gains in the last few months? [How to file your income taxes on bitcoin in 2018—The Verge]

Taxpayers in NFL host cities, counties, and states pay an increasingly high price to host the league's biggest game. Is it worth it? Depends who’s playing... [What The Super Bowl Costs You In Taxes—]

And in case you missed it: Stephen Colbert goes undercover as an H&R Block tax pro [YouTube]

That's it for this week. Check back with us next week!