Bloomberg Tax
March 26, 2023, 3:00 PM

Week in Insights: Practice Makes Progress, Not Perfection

Melanie Cohen
Melanie Cohen

A few months ago, I was chatting with a friend about one of my favorite topics—beverages, of course—and she shared a recipe she found for homemade chai. Besides being infused with humor, this video tutorial had something else that struck me: The only measurements for the ingredients were “some.”

As someone whose livelihood depends on rules (I’m an editor, after all), I struggled to follow the video without measurements. A lot of trial and error ensued to make sure the tea wasn’t too watery, that it had the right amount of spice for my heat-loving tastebuds, and that it wasn’t too sweet. Trying to get the recipe “just right” made me reflect on whether it’s ever appropriate to obsess over perfection. After all, isn’t the journey as important as the destination?

Fast forward to now, and I still can’t say I’ve perfected anything. But I’ve made some progress—starting by measuring the amount of tea I use per cup of water.

A customer holds a plastic bag containing chai as another drinks chai from a glass at a roadside stall in Mumbai on Sept. 25, 2015.
Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The same could be said for our professional roles—no one knows that more than our audience of tax and accounting practitioners, who are in the thick of a very busy tax season. We all have times where we feel overwhelmed in the unknown, and we know progress isn’t linear. But quite often, a little bit of persistence can go a long way.

At Bloomberg Tax, we aim to be a constant source of helpful commentary and insightful analysis on federal, state, and international tax issues. We provide a few ingredients, and you keep putting them together and getting a little better each time.

The Exchange—It’s where great ideas intersect.

—Melanie Cohen

Quick Trivia

What year did the British Parliament pass the Tea Act?
Answer at the bottom.

Corporate Insights

Transfer pricing audits by the IRS can take years to resolve and consume tremendous resources. Mayer Brown’s Jenny Austin, Jason Osborn, and May Chow explain how preparation, patience, and perseverance can help a company survive the audit process and be well-positioned to seek a resolution.

Keeping up with every factor that influences taxes puts pressure on human resources departments and tax professionals. They need to be agile, primed for audits, and knowledgeable of the latest legislation, says Paycom’s Craig Boelte.

Vishing, the phone-based version of email phishing, can trick clients into divulging sensitive information that scammers use for financial gain. John Wilson of Fortra explains how tax professionals can detect and avoid such scams to protect themselves and their clients.

Federal Insights

Allen & Overy LLP’s Sam Kamyans looks at the Inflation Reduction Act’s flexibility and complexity, which present a series of decision trees to project sponsors and financing parties, enabling creative financing opportunities.

The IRS has the internet and knows how to use it. So the next time you have a hot take and post it on a blog or social media, remember that a future IRS examiner may be reading it, says Joe Kristan of Eide Bailly.

Attorney Holland King looks at how a recent case, Moore v. Commissioner, shows that taxpayers must prove they’re entitled to research and development credits.

Global Insights

A regulation recently enacted by the Brazilian Revenue Service provides some detail on the option for taxpayers to apply the new transfer pricing rules this year rather than in 2024. Phelippe Toledo Pires de Oliveira of the Office of the Attorney General for the National Treasury explains the rules and why taxpayers may decide not to adopt them this year.

Horacio Sanchez Pangrazio and Andrés Vera of Vouga Abogados discuss how exchange of information is being implemented in Paraguay and what taxpayers should expect as a result.

Mist surrounds a tea plantation in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India, on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.
Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Jane Mackay of Crowe reviews the most important measures outlined by the chancellor in the UK budget and considers whether they are enough to address the needs of the economy.

A Closer Look

Passthrough entity tax regimes are generally good for PTE owners. But like so many state tax issues, the devil is in the details, and PTEs have to dig in to determine whether using a state’s PTE tax regime is worth the effort, Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Shail Shah and Nikki Dobay say in this edition of “A Closer Look.”


Ensuring a stable population isn’t about throwing “baby bonuses” at the problem and attempting to coerce a population into having more children. If there is truly bipartisan support for providing for families that are providing for children, we have an existing, proven system that works, writes Andrew Leahey.

Save the Date

Learn how to find and develop the talents of your employees by joining Bloomberg Tax and Bloomberg Law Insights and Commentary teams on March 29 from noon to 1 p.m. ET for “How to Develop Hidden Talent in Your Organization,” part of our free virtual Lunch & Learn series. Nimesh Patel, the chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Don Smith, the chief talent and inclusion officer at Crowell & Moring, will provide strategies that they’ve found to be successful.

You can join us for this free virtual event, no registration required, by signing on here at noon on March 29 or by calling +1 309 205 3325 and entering the meeting ID: 910 3161 5650.

Career Moves

Naomi Barrett has been named the director of global diversity, equity, and inclusion at EisnerAmper.

Cesar Reynoso has been named leader of MGO’s public company practice.

Katie Gerber has joined Lewis Roca as a partner and member of the business transactions practice group in Denver.

Berger Singerman has added Michel Debolt as partner in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Carlos Julca as of counsel in Miami to the business, finance, and tax team.

Len Nesbitt has joined McCarthy Tétrault as a partner in the national tax group in Toronto.

Ann Batlle has rejoined Morgan Lewis as a partner with the nonprofits team in Washington, D.C.

If you are changing jobs or being promoted, let us know. You can email your submission to for consideration.


This week’s Spotlight is on Julie Wann, a member of Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel’s corporate, tax, and estates and trusts groups in San Jose, Calif. Wann advises clients in estate and tax planning, wealth transfer, and estate and trust administration.

News Roundup

It’s been another 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.

  • Lawmakers in about a dozen states are considering bills to eliminate the sales tax on menstrual products, which already has been repealed or doesn’t exist in a majority of states.
  • The IRS’ strategic plan for spending its $80 billion in multiyear funds is “pretty much done,” a top agency official said. The plan needs to undergo vetting, and then Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will make a determination about when to release it.
  • As EY leaders rethink dividing the firm’s $11.3 billion global tax practice, time is running short to alter a significant piece of the planned restructuring ahead of partner votes targeted for May.
  • The Biden administration is preparing to release next week a swath of requirements to claim electric vehicle tax credits worth up to $7,500.

Talking Tax

In this episode of the Talking Tax podcast, Georgetown Law professor Dorothy Brown argues the case for why Treasury and the IRS should make race a factor in tax policy. Brown, author of the 2021 book “Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans—and How We Can Fix it,” sits down with Bloomberg Tax editor Yuri Nagano.

A store assistant fills a bag of tea for a customer as boxes sit ready for export at a tea store in Siliguri, West Bengal, India, on Dec. 8. 2015.
Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Our Wish List

What’s on our Bloomberg Tax Insights wish list right now? With the approach of April and Earth Day, we’re looking for some articles on green initiatives, including sustainability reporting, electric vehicle credits, renewable energy incentives, and carbon taxes, among other environmental tax topics. We’re also seeking cannabis pieces with a tax and accounting focus.

Our Insights articles—which are 1,000 words or fewer—are written by tax professionals offering expert analysis on current tax practice and policy issues, tax trends and topics, and tax and accounting firm practice and management. If you have an interesting, never-published article for publication, we’d love to hear about it. You can contact our Insights team at

Our Team

We talk about tax a lot. But there’s much more that you might hear us talking about if you popped into one of our Teams meetings. Here’s a quick look at what some of us are watching, reading, and listening to this week:


  • Melanie Cohen (Senior Content Editor, Insights and Commentary, Bloomberg Tax): “Jagged Little Pill,” the jukebox musical inspired by Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album. It’s on tour in D.C. right now.
  • Andrew Leahey (Columnist, Insights and Commentary, Bloomberg Tax): Just wrapped up Netflix’s survival reality show “Outlast.” Still recommend it but now, having seen the ending, I would do so with a bit more trepidation. The ending isn’t what you expect, and I’ll leave it at that.
  • Yuri Nagano (West Coast Editor, Bloomberg Tax): “Navalny,” because the story about Russia’s opposition leader won the latest Oscar for documentary feature film.


  • Jessie Kamens (Editor-at-Large, Insights and Commentary, Bloomberg Law): I’ve started dipping into our colleague Seth Stern’s new book, “Speaking Yiddish to Chickens.” It’s about Holocaust survivors who settle in Vineland, N.J., as chicken farmers and represent a rare rural Jewish settlement in the US at the time. It resonates with me because my husband’s father, who is Jewish, grew up on a chicken farm in Monticello, N.Y.
  • David Jolly (Senior Content Editor, Bloomberg Tax): I’ve been reading “Freedom” by Sebastian Junger (he of “Perfect Storm,” and “Restrepo” fame). It’s a meditation on the idea of liberty, but also a curious travelogue; he and several friends spend a year walking railroad lines on the East Coast, camping along the way. It reminds me of nothing so much as “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” though it’s much shorter and more accessible.
  • Katharine Butler (Acquisitions Manager, Insights and Commentary, Bloomberg Tax): I was away on holiday, so I read a thriller—"The Last Thing He Told Me"—by Laura Dave. Apparently, it spent 65 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, but somehow I hadn’t heard of it before!
  • Amanda Iacone (Senior Reporter, Bloomberg Tax): I finally dared to read Tara Westover’s memoir “Educated,” which I thought was about “preppers,” but it is really a coming of age story. She escapes the shadow of her father’s paranoia to discover the power and freedom an education offers.


  • Rebecca Baker (Editor-at-Large, Insights and Commentary, Bloomberg Tax): Janet Jackson’s “Control” and “Rhythm Nation” albums. Great music to get you moving.

Quick Trivia Answer

The British Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773 to govern the tea trade that took place between Britain and its American colonies. It was met with opposition, ultimately resulting in the Boston Tea Party.


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To contact the reporter on this story: Melanie Cohen at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Baker at

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