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The House Ways and Means Committee this afternoon released a bill that would provide tax relief to those impacted by the recent hurricanes.  It is expected the bill will receive consideration in the House and Senate in the very near future. Enactment of the “ Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017” would provide the following targeted actions to help American families and communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria: Deduction for Personal Casualty Losses: With respect to uncompensated losses arising in the disaster area, eliminates the current law requirements that personal casualty losses must exceed 10 ...
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Brian L. Thompson, CPA, of Bailey & Thompson Tax & Accounting in Little Rock, AR was elected President of the National Society of Accountants (NSA) at its recent 72nd Annual Convention in Reno, NV. He will serve in the position for one year. Thompson has more than 20 years of experience as an accountant and served as NSA First Vice President last year, NSA Second Vice President the year before that, four years as NSA Secretary-Treasurer, NSA State Director in Arkansas, and Chair of the NSA Budget Committee. He has also served as President of the Arkansas Society of Accountants. He holds the credential of Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Thompson ...
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The IRS today released Announcement 2017-13  which provides relief to victims of Hurricane Irma, which caused damage to Florida and several other areas.  It permits easier access to victims’ funds held in workplace retirement plans and in IRAs, for the period beginning September 4, 2017, and ending January 31, 2018.  The relief provided in the announcement is in addition to the relief already provided by the IRS pursuant to News Release IR-2017-150. The full announcement has been reattached below. Relief for Victims of Hurricane Irma Announcement 2017-13 Purpose This announcement provides relief to taxpayers who have been adversely affected by Hurricane ...
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The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to avoid a new phishing scheme that impersonates the IRS and the FBI as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage. The scam email uses the emblems of both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It tries to entice users to select a “here” link to download a fake FBI questionnaire. Instead, the link downloads a certain type of malware called ransomware that prevents users from accessing data stored on their device unless they pay money to the scammers. “This is a new twist on an old scheme,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People should stay vigilant against email scams that try ...
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The Financial Accounting Standards Board on August 3 issued a proposed Accounting Standard Update (ASU) intended to clarify and improve the scope and the accounting guidance for contributions received and made, primarily by not-for-profits. FASB requested comments on the proposed ASU by November 1, 2017. According to FASB, the proposed ASU is intended to help organizations decide if transactions should be accounted for as a contribution or an exchange. Organizations would accomplish this by using clarifying guidance to evaluate whether a resource provider is receiving value in return for the resources transferred.  The proposed ASU also helps organizations ...
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The IRS has issued regulations updating the due dates and time extensions for filing certain tax returns and information returns to reflect recent laws. The changes are set out in final and temporary regulations (T.D. 9821) issued July 18 and will bring those dates into agreement with requirements in Section 2006 of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 and Section 201 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. The final and temporary rules: Amend Treasury regulations to account for the due dates for the income tax returns of C corporations specified by Section 2006(a) of the Surface Transportation ...
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A House panel on June 29 approved a bill calling for an additional $149 million cut to the IRS budget. The proposal would also limit the agency's oversight of conservation easements, tax-exempt organizations, and estate taxes. The bill protects "the rights and privacy of taxpayers" and "ensures that the IRS is using its funds appropriately," Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said at the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee markup. The subcommittee approved the bill by a voice vote. The full appropriations panel is expected to take up the legislation when Congress returns from its July ...
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The IRS is now accepting renewal applications for the ITINs set to expire at the end of 2017. The agency urges taxpayers affected by changes to the ITIN program to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible to avoid the rush. In the second year of the renewal program, the IRS has made changes to make the process smoother for taxpayers. The renewal process for 2018 is beginning now, more than three months earlier than last year. "This is an important program, and the IRS is opening the renewal process several months earlier to help taxpayers and make the process smoother," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We encourage taxpayers affected ...
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The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to beware of phishing emails purporting to be from a tax software education provider and seeking extensive amounts of sensitive preparer data. The email’s origin is unknown but likely issued by cybercriminals who could be operating from the U.S. or abroad. The email is unusual for the amount of sensitive preparer data that it seeks. This preparer information will enable the thieves to steal client data and file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS reminds all tax professionals that legitimate businesses and organizations never ask for usernames, passwords or sensitive data via email. ...
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Thirty students have earned scholarships from the National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation. Together, they will receive $37,950 in scholarship awards. The Foundation has provided more than $1 million since 1969 to deserving undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in accounting, helping to develop more qualified young accountants. The scholarships range from $500 - $3,000. Recipients were selected on the basis of an overall outstanding academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, stated goals and aspirations, and financial ...
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The IRS has announced it will begin issuing new and renewal PTINS at no cost beginning today. The change follows the suspension of the PTIN program as a result of the June 1 court decision in Steele v. United States , where the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled the IRS can require tax return preparers to obtain and use a preparer tax identification number, but that it does not have the authority to make them pay for it. Furthermore, the Court ordered the IRS to provide tax professionals “with a full refund of all PTIN fees paid.” IRS officials noted that the PTIN is now used for a number of purposes in addition to the submission ...
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If it seems there is a new tax scam every week, that is because there is. This week's scam is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. The IRS says this scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details. In the latest twist, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that ...
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PTIN Litigation

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On June 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. In accordance with this order, PTIN registration and renewal is currently suspended.   The IRS, working with the Department of Justice, is considering how to proceed. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted at  www.irs.gov/taxpros
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The Administration's budget proposal released on Tuesday, May 22, includes two provisions that may affect NSA members. In the section of the budget proposal related to reducing improper payments, there is a proposal to increase oversight of paid tax return preparers as well as a proposal to provide more flexible authority for the IRS to address correctable errors. According to the budget documents, the preparer oversight provision is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by $439 million during the ten year budget window, whereas correctable error authority is expected to reduce the budget deficit by $655 over the same timeframe. NSA Executive ...
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Over 66 million people in the United States are currently receiving Social Security or SSI benefits, yet the Social Security system is one of the most complicated retirement plans in the world. Unfortunately, most clients on their own do not know how to maximize Social Security benefits, and Social Security Administration employees are prohibited from providing advice to clients. Worse yet, beginning to receive Social Security retirement benefits early and then going back to work can subject the worker to a reduction in benefits, and an unnecessarily high AGI level on Form 1040 can cause up to 85% of the Social Security retirement benefits received to be taxed ...
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There are various factors that may lead to an IRS audit (e.g., 1099 matching, high Discriminant Inventory Function (DIF) score, whistleblower, etc.). The easy answer to avoiding an IRS audit is to report all items on the return properly and file all forms timely.  Review all Forms 1099 that you receive to make sure the bank or other reporting party accurately reflects your income.   That said, this alone may not be enough.  Depending on the size of the business or the individual’s AGI, the IRS may end up auditing the taxpayer simply to ensure that everything matches up as reported.  Over the last few years, there has been a decrease in IRS enforcement, generally; ...
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) announced dates for its series of four webinars to help accounting and tax professionals prepare for and pass the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam. The webinar series is useful for accounting professionals who are beginning their studies or just need a refresher before they take the exam. Four webinars are offered in the series covering the three parts of the EA exam – take the complete series or any of the three parts. Part 1: Individuals – Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2-4 pm EDT Part 2: Businesses (two webinars cover Part 2) – June 8, 2017; 1-3 pm EDT & June 14, 2017; 1-3 pm EDT Part 3: Representation, ...
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In recognition of National Small Business Week -- April 30 to May 6 -- the National Society of Accountants (NSA) is highlighting IRS products to help small business owners and self-employed individuals understand and meet their tax obligations. Some of these tools focus on an emerging area of business activity -- the sharing economy – also referred to as the on-demand, gig or access economy. People involved in the sharing economy engage in activities such as renting a spare bedroom, providing car rides or offering a number of other goods or services. Because there are tax implications for companies providing the services and individuals performing the services, ...
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IRS Sees Millions of Tax Returns Last Days of Tax Filing Season The IRS today announced that the agency has received 135.6 million returns this year following a late surge of filings last week. During the week ending April 21, the IRS received more than 17 million tax returns. The vast majority, 13.6 million returns, were filed through IRS e-file.  Looking at the entire tax filing season, the IRS has received 135.6 million tax returns through April 21. With the influx of returns last week, the number of filings is now close to the number of returns from last year’s filing season. With the mid-April filings, the number of refunds issued this year ...
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Registration deadline is May 30, 2017 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 Summer exam testing window is June 1-July 15, 2017. The registration deadline is May 30, 2017. 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 for the IRS ...
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