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The IRS recently released a Memo regarding a Change in Policy on Initial Taxpayer Contact in Examination Cases. Effective immediately, all initial contacts must be made my mail , instead of telephone, using the appropriate initial contact letters. In the memo, the IRS recognized that although making initial contact by phone to schedule an appointment during examination operations has been a long-standing policy, they are ultimately changing their practice in response to the continuing threat of phone scams, phishing and identity theft. Employees will use the appropriate contact letters listed in the Internal Revenue Manual to notify...
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The IRS will conduct its annual Memorial Day systems maintenance outage beginning Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. EDT and ending on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 6:00 a.m. EDT. E-Services’ Transcript Delivery System, TIN Matching and e-file Application will not be available during this period.
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) is offering a two-day Gear Up 1040 Individual Tax Seminar November 10-11, 2016 at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, CT. This industry-leading course attracts thousands of tax preparers each year who receive a comprehensive manual that alone is worth the price of registration. Gear Up's speakers are experts in their fields as hands-on practitioners and recognized authorities. This comprehensive course covers key tax issues for completing complicated individual returns. All topics include coverage of new legislation and extenders, revenue rulings and procedures, as well as case law to help the...
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Free Tax Guide Focuses on Tax Benefits for Members of the Military May is National Military Appreciation Month, and the Internal Revenue Service wants members of the military and their families to know about the many tax benefits available to them. Each year, the IRS publishes Publication 3 , Armed Forces Tax Guide, a free booklet packed with valuable information and tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law. This year’s edition is posted on IRS.gov. Available tax benefits include: Combat pay is partly or fully tax-free. Reservists whose reserve-related duties take them...
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The IRS has issued a series of automatic changes in accounting methods and accounting periods affecting a broad number of industries. In Revenue Procedure 2016-29, released on May 5, the IRS provided an updated, consolidated list of the types of changes in methods of accounting for which taxpayers can get automatic consent. Under the list of automatic changes, the agency addressed a number of areas including gross income under tax code Section 61, trade or business expenses under Section 162 and research and development expenditures under Section 174. In the area of depreciation or amortization, the list included accounting for: ...
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If you purchased 2016 health care coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace , you may have chosen to have advance payments of the premium tax credit paid to your insurance company to lower your monthly premiums. If this is the case, it’s important to let your Marketplace know about significant life events, known as changes in circumstances . These changes – such as those to your income or family size – may affect your premium tax credit. Reporting the changes will help you avoid getting too much or too little advance payment of the premium tax credit. Getting too little could mean missing out on premium assistance to reduce your monthly premiums....
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) today called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make sweeping improvements to its outdated technology and use this new technology to facilitate more efficient and productive personal contact with taxpayers. The comments were delivered by NSA Executive Vice President John Ams, at a Public Forum on Taxpayer and Stakeholder Needs and Preferences held by the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate. Ams and other panelists offered testimony in response to the Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report, which identified future needs such as making its operations more agile and efficient, strengthening cyber defense to prevent...
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Let’s start with what doesn’t work: clients late for meetings, phone tag, and e-mail hell. If your primary communications methods are: meetings, phone calls, and e-mail, you’re losing out on a lot of money and a saner life. 21st century clients want all the same things 20th century clients wanted, just in new ways. They still want great service at reasonable prices with insightful financial and business advice. They just want all of that provided differently. Communications preferences of 20th century clients Having an accountant was viewed as a sign of affluence. Meetings are at least an annual event. “When you have something...
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Registration deadline is June 1, 2016 Registration for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) exam to obtain ACAT Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor, Accredited Tax Preparer and Accredited Tax Advisor credentials is now open and the Spring/Summer exam testing window is June 10-July 30, 2016. The registration deadline is June 1, 2016. Accredited Tax Preparers (ATP) and Accredited Business Accountant/Advisors (ABA) are exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) and automatically qualify...
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Now that the enrollment renewal cycle has finished, the IRS will begin their annual clean-up for the following starting next week: Those who have SSNs ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3 and did not renew. Those who did not renew during the 2016 cycle will be moved to inactive status. (5,000+) Those who did not renew during the 2013 and 2016 cycles will be moved to terminated status. (2,000+) Letters will be sent to all advising them of this action. Anyone in inactive status can still submit a late renewal for approval. Anyone in terminated status must re-take the SEE to apply for re-enrollment. If an EA disagrees and...
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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will hold a public forum on taxpayer service on Tuesday, May 17, at 10:00 AM at the IRS Headquarters Building in Washington, DC. Building on initiatives already implemented, the IRS for the past two years has been developing a “Future State” plan that envisions how it will operate in five years and beyond. It is continuing to develop a path for how it gets from its “Current State” to the “Future State,” including refinements to the vision along the way. A central component of the plan is the creation of online taxpayer accounts as a convenient but non-exclusive channel through which taxpayers will be able to obtain...
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The Internal Revenue Service would like to remind tax-exempt organizations that many have a filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns in mid-May. With the May 16 filing deadline facing many tax-exempt organizations, the IRS cautions these groups not to include Social Security numbers (SSNs) or other unneeded personal information on their Forms 990 , and consider taking advantage of the speed and convenience of electronic filing. Form 990-series information returns and notices are due on the 15th day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making May 15 the...
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The Final Tangible Property Repair Regulations are in full effect, yet many taxpayers are not in compliance or are missing opportunities to take full advantage of these new rules. The Tangible Property Regulations allow several new elections that reduce tax and simplify compliance. Knowing when an expenditure can be immediately deducted as a repair and maintenance expense versus capitalized and depreciated can greatly accelerate the timing of deductions. Also several new planning opportunities under the recently enacted PATH Act allow for significant tax savings including: Opportunities under the PATH Act: Bonus Deprecation and 179 Expensing ...
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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will hold a public forum on taxpayer service on Tuesday, May 17, at 10:00 AM at the IRS Headquarters Building in Washington, DC. Members of the public and the media may attend by following the procedures described below. Building on initiatives already implemented, the IRS for the past two years has been developing a “Future State” plan that envisions how it will operate in five years and beyond. It is continuing to develop a path for how it gets from its “Current State” to the “Future State,” including refinements to the vision along the way. A central component of the plan is the creation of online taxpayer accounts...
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The National Society of Accountants' (NSA) series of four webinars to help accounting and tax professionals prepare for and pass the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam begins this month. One of the speakers for this NSA webinar series, John O. Everett, CPA, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Accounting at Virginia Commonwealth University, also teaches NSA’s intensive three-day live EA Exam Review Course (in Tampa this August) and is the author of NSA’s acclaimed EA Review Self-Study Course. Each of these webinars cover 10 of the most-tested topics in each part of the EA exam: EA Part 1: Individuals on May 18, 2016 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT EA Part 2: Businesses...
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Tax and accounting professionals are always looking for ways to grow their firms. So the National Society of Accountants (NSA) has launched a series of three free webinars designed to do just that. The webinars will show how to focus on key “levers” in accounting practices that will provide a strong payoff in revenue compared to the amount of effort needed to make them happen. The lineup of webinars includes: The Key to Generating Post Tax Season Revenue Tuesday, June 14, 2016; 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT Double Your Fees Thursday, July 7, 2016; 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT Client Obedience Training Tuesday, July 19, 2016; 2:00-3:00 p.m....
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) 71st Annual Convention and Expo will be held August 17-20, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa, FL. The meeting theme is “AMP IT UP,” and it will draw accountants and tax professionals from across North America. Courses at the convention offer continuing professional education (CPE) and networking opportunities that will help attendees ramp up their marketing, customer service, and growth strategies; reduce risk; save time and money; and amp up profits and the value of their businesses. Two full days of top-notch CPE featuring the industry's best thought leaders and influencers include SSARS 21, accounting,...
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) is offering an intensive NSA Enrolled Agent (EA) Exam Review Course & Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) Review Course/Exam August 15-17, 2016, at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Tampa, FL, immediately before the NSA Annual Convention and Expo at that same location. This live review course is designed to give tax professionals the best opportunity to pass the EA exam on the first try, the 3-day course provides in-depth review of all the key components of the exam. Enrolled Agents are authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS and tax professionals who hold the EA credential can command higher fees. They must...
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If you contribute to a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or an IRA, you may be able to claim the Saver’s Credit. This credit can help you save for retirement and reduce the tax you owe. Here are some key facts that you should know about this important tax credit: Formal Name. The formal name of the Saver’s Credit is the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit. The Saver’s Credit is in addition to other tax savings you get if you set aside money for retirement. For example, you may also be able to deduct your contributions to a traditional IRA. Maximum Credit. The Saver’s Credit is worth up to $4,000 if you are married and file a joint...
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The National Taxpayer Advocate Wants to Hear from You: Olson to Hold Public Forum on Taxpayer Service Needs in Baltimore on May 13 National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson and Sen. Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, will hold a public forum to discuss what taxpayers want and need from the IRS to comply with their tax obligations. Sen. Cardin is also the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The public forum will be held on Friday, May 13, at 10:30 am at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore. Members of the public and the media are invited to attend. Building on initiatives...
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