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Tips from the IRS The Internal Revenue Service today announced that the summer 2015 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin is available on IRS.gov. The Statistics of Income (SOI) Division produces this online Bulletin quarterly. Articles provide the most recent data available from various tax and information returns filed by U.S. taxpayers. This issue features articles on the following topics: High-Income Tax Returns for 2012. For 2012, there were more than 5 million individual income tax returns with an income of $200,000 or more, accounting for almost 4 percent of all returns for the year. The total number of returns with incomes...
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Every year when tax season rolls around, tax professionals find themselves explaining the core features of charitable donations just a little too late. While charitable giving is an excellent way of giving back while also reducing taxes owed, many clients have a poor grasp of the rules governing this practice. This makes the slow season an ideal time to review these rules and help clients make smart decisions about charitable donations. Here are 7 things we should be sharing with clients. 1. Double Check Non-Profit Status Everyone likes a gift, but a gift only counts as tax deductible if it’s given to an organization that qualifies as a charity...
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For years, marketers have used SMS to reach customers and increase engagement. However, there are certain industries – accounting included – that don’t maximize this technology’s potential. Have you used SMS marketing before, or are you among the majority that look the other way? It’s time to learn about the efficacy of SMS and some of the specific ways accountants can utilize it before, during, and after tax season. A Primer in SMS Marketing The first thing you need to know about SMS marketing is that it’s exponentially more powerful than other traditional forms of virtual communication. Whereas emails are only read 22 percent of the...
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For businesses that depend on large, expensive equipment to be competitive in their industries, there’s often a question regarding whether it’s better to buy or lease equipment. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t understand the financial impact of buying and leasing and don’t make very savvy choices. As an accountant or financial advisor for such clients, it’s important that you steer them in the right direction – or at least lay out the facts. Advantages of Buying Companies that are financially able to buy their own equipment are afforded a number of benefits. Here are a few of those: Control. Practically speaking, the ultimate...
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ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 10, 2015 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) has announced the latest programs in its series of ConnectED Webinars, which are approved for continuing professional education (CPE) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) and California Tax Education Council (CTEC). The following webinars for tax and accounting professionals are scheduled to be held in Fall 2015: September 1, 2015 Successfully Negotiating Offers in Compromise The Internal Revenue Service totally revised its system of offers in compromise....
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Small businesses across America have access to some of the best tax break opportunities in the country. It’s part of the capitalist mindset that seeks to reward entrepreneurial pursuits. However, most business owners are so focused on their businesses that they have little time to think about applying for, or claiming, tax credits that are their due. As their accountant or financial advisor, it’s critical that you guide them in the right direction. Don’t Forget These Tax Credits While this is by no means an exhaustive list of frequently forgotten tax credits, it does contain a handful of the top ones. Next time you meet with your clients,...
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Many business owners took a couple of accounting classes as part of obtaining their bachelor’s degree, but very few believed they’d actually need the knowledge they learned in those courses. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Accounting is seen by small business owners (SBOs) as a necessary evil. And often, it’s more of an afterthought than anything else. This is a dangerous stance to take, though. Accounting isn’t just for your clarity, it’s required by the IRS and other regulatory firms. 7 Reasons You Need to Take Accounting Seriously As a business owner, you absolutely must reconsider your accounting processes. Here are a few reasons why...
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Legislation needed to improve IRS service ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 6, 2015 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) has sent a letter to all Members of Congress urging them to enact legislation to support the “ Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights ,” which NSA issued on June 16, 2015. NSA has sent the Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights to all of its members and affiliated state organizations and has also started an online petition to allow all practitioners to sign and show their support. The letter, signed by NSA President Marilyn M. Niwao, J.D., CPA, ATA, CGMA, and NSA Executive Vice President John Ams, says in part, “Tax practitioners see a tax system...
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Tips from the IRS Sunday, July 26th, is the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Internal Revenue Service is marking the occasion by spotlighting a number of tax benefits and services that can help taxpayers with disabilities. ABLE Accounts This new program was passed by Congress in December. Under the law, states can offer specially designed, tax-favored ABLE accounts to people with disabilities who became disabled before age 26. Recognizing the special financial burdens faced by families raising children with disabilities, ABLE accounts are designed to enable people with disabilities and their families to save...
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Gaining a client is always good. Adding a client from a new industry is even better. It allows you to increase your experience, and develop inroads into a new network of professionals. As is the case with most good things, finding clients in new industries requires more work. Because you don’t have connections, you generally have to convince businesses that they need your services. This is especially true when it comes to dental practices. Though most people don’t like the act of going to the dentist, we all appreciate them. They help us to get the smile we dream of , and they make nagging pains go away. As such, they get lots of business. Patients are...
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One of the greatest benefits of an NSA membership is our continuing commitment to protect and enhance the practice rights of tax and accounting professionals. This week, our Executive Committee visited Capitol Hill to meet with political leaders on your behalf. If you'd like to help make a difference and haven't already signed our Tax Practitioner Bill of Rights petition, please take a moment to do so here ! (From L to R) Alfred Giovetti, Steven J. Hanson, John G. Ams, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, Marilyn M. Niwao, Kathy R. Hettick, Brian Thompson (From L to R) Marilyn M. Niwao, Arkansas Senator John Boozman, Brian...
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If you, your spouse or a dependent are heading off to college in the fall, some of your costs may save you money at tax time. You may be able to claim a tax credit on your federal tax return. Here are some key IRS tips that you should know about e-tax credits: American Opportunity Tax Credit. The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year for an eligible student. You may claim this credit only for the first four years of higher education. Forty percent of the AOTC is refundable. That means if you are eligible, you can get up to $1,000 of the credit as a refund, even if you do not owe any taxes. Lifetime Learning Credit. The...
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I have taken and passed all three parts and filed form 23! Thank you John and Bill for teaching an outstanding EA Exam Course. I couldn't have done it without you! Pass the EA Exam the First Time! Time is running out to register for the BEST live EA Review Course anywhere! NSA Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course August 7-9, 2015 Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington - Minneapolis South Register Download a Registration Form Pass the IRS Special Enrollment Exam the first time with NSA’s Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course in Minneapolis, August 7-9, 2015. The 24-hour course is a comprehensive and intensive— and we mean intensive...
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Tips from the IRS In most cases, gains from sales are taxable. But did you know that if you sell your home, you may not have to pay taxes? Here are ten facts to keep in mind if you sell your home this year. Exclusion of Gain. You may be able to exclude part or all of the gain from the sale of your home. This rule may apply if you meet the eligibility test. Parts of the test involve your ownership and use of the home. You must have owned and used it as your main home for at least two out of the five years before the date of sale. Exceptions May Apply. There are exceptions to the ownership, use and other rules. One...
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Hi, Everyone, Time is running out to register for the best live EA Review Course anywhere! The NSA Enrolled Agent Exam Review Course, August 7-9 in Minneapolis. I am honored to present this course once again along with my colleague Bill Duncan. We always have great success with these sessions because we want our candidates to learn the tax law, and not just memorize it and that is what differentiates our course from the others. Attendees get access to a private online community where Bill and I provide useful information leading up to our course and long afterward. We will post tips, practice questions, and perhaps some additional diagrams that...
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Open the IRS CD-ROM and Prioritize. I know. You purchased a review course to avoid opening the CD-ROM package of IRS Study Materials. And most review courses promise that you won’t need to open the package. But if you did not purchase a review course you must open the package, and even if you did purchase such a course there is still much to be gained by examining these IRS materials. For one thing, many of the answers are word- for-word from these publications, and your memory can surprise and delight you at times. Not all of these materials are created equally, and some publications (such as Publication 17 , Your Federal Income Tax ) provide enough...
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Stephen A. Whitlock has been named as the Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility effective August 3, 2015. Steve previously served as the Director, Whistleblower Office where, as the first to hold this role, he oversaw development of the program, set policy and provided oversight for Service action on information provided by whistleblowers. Prior to that, Steve held the position of Deputy Director, Office of Professional Responsibility where he oversaw the conduct of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, actuaries and appraisers who practice before the IRS under Treasury Circular 230. Steve also served as the...
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by John Everett, CPA, Ph.D. Know the Cardinal Rule of Studying - There are absolutely no shortcuts to passing the SEE. You must have an organized approach. Plan to study at least 50 hours for each part of the exam, at a pace of at least 10 to 15 hours per week.Take plenty of notes (in your own words) that provide shorthand references to the tax law for the more important provisions. Leave time to take a practice exam at least two weeks prior to the exam to highlight weak spots. Past exams are available at www.irs.gov, although these are in the old format. Still, they’ll give you a feel for the types of questions (and time pressure)...
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Tips from the IRS Miscellaneous deductions can cut taxes. These may include certain expenses you paid for in your work if you are an employee. You must itemize deductions when you file to claim these costs. So if you usually claim the standard deduction, think about itemizing instead. You might pay less tax if you itemize. Here are some IRS tax tips you should know that may help you reduce your taxes: Deductions Subject to the Limit. You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their sum is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These include expenses such as: Unreimbursed employee expenses. Job search costs for...
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Everybody has to pay taxes, but in today’s economy, it doesn’t hurt anyone more than small businesses. They pay thousands of dollars in taxes every year, but thanks to tax deductions, these companies don’t need to pay more than necessary. It’s important that you recognize and utilize the tax deductions available to you as a business. There’s no sense paying more than you have to during tax season. Though tax deductions will vary by business, here are some of the most common tax deductions you can utilize. 1. Auto Expenses There are certain tax deductions available to companies that use automobiles for business purposes. If your business owns its own...
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