TaxEalert: New Tax Planning Brochures to Inspire Year-Round Client Contact, AICPA Makes Recommendations to IRS on Guidance Priorities, Tax Software Comparison on the Tax Power Hour and More! 


    AICPA
     
    Wondering what’s happening on Capitol Hill with taxes? Check out the AICPA’s Tax Legislation and Policy website!
           
      AICPA
    June 7, 2013
    Tax Section News
     
      Exclusive Tax Section member communications  
     
    In This Issue
        TOP NEWS  
    What is the AICPA Recommending to the IRS for Regulatory Priorities?
    Surprise! Final Regulations for FATCA Withholding
    Switzerland Proposes Bill Allowing Banks to Resolve U.S. Tax Evasion Cases
    Should States Create State Tax Tribunals?
    Other Tax News from the Journal of Accountancy
    TOOLS & RESOURCES
    New Tax Planning Brochures to Inspire Clients to Contact You Year-Round
    Alert Your Clients about Possible Late Filing Penalty Relief!
    Make Sure Your Practice is Aligned with Standards with the AICPA's Free Tax Practice Quality Control Guide
    Refresh your Tax, Estate & Retirement Skills
    Calling all Exempt Organization Experts
      UPCOMING EVENTS
    AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference
    The 2013 Conference on Doing Business in Brazil
    Washington Tax Brief
    2013 Tax Planning With the New Tax Law – Avoiding Unintended Consequences (Rebroadcast)
    Updates on the “Repair” Regulations
    Should You Trust a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary?
    Impact of the New 3.8 Percent Tax on Net Investment Income on Individuals and Pass-through Entities
    Tax Reform: Thoughts, Predictions & Overall Analysis
     

    TAX POWER HOUR

    Discounted CPE option available for the Tax Power Hour

    Scheduled Topics:

      6/20: Tax Software Comparison
      7/18: Paperless Office Workflows
      8/15: Staff Training Tips & Guidelines
    Contact us

    taxsection@aicpa.org

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    Upcoming Events
     
    Washington Tax Brief
    June 13, 12:30pm – 1:30pm ET
    Registration Options:
    - Discounted CPE (1 hour)
    - Free (without CPE)

     

    2013 Tax Planning With the New Tax Law – Avoiding Unintended Consequences
    June 17, 3pm – 4pm ET (Rebroadcast)

     

    Registration Option:
    - Rebroadcast with Discounted CPE (1 hour)

     

    SAVE THE DATE! Tax Related Identity Theft 2-Part Webinar Series
    Registration links coming soon.

    Part 1:  Avoiding Being Part of the Problem
    July 2, 1pm – 2pm ET

    Part 2:  Repairing a Stolen Identity
    July 17, 3pm – 4pm ET

     

    AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference
    June 20 - 21, 2013
    Washington, DC

    • Virtual Conference also available
    • Tax Section members save an additional $50
     

    AICPA Federal Real Estate Tax Conference
    June 20 - 21, 2013
    Washington, DC

    • Tax Section members save an additional $100

    Should You Trust a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary?
    July 10, 1pm - 2pm ET
    August 8 (Rebroadcast)

    Registration Options:
    - Discounted CPE (1 hour)
    Rebroadcast (1 hour)
    - Free (without CPE)

     

    SAVE THE DATE! Implementing the New Tax Practice Quality Control Guide
    Registration links coming soon.
    July 16, 1pm - 2pm ET

     

    Impact of the New 3.8 Percent Tax on Net Investment Income on Individuals and Pass-through Entities
    July 17, 1pm - 2 pm ET
    August 6 (Rebroadcast)

    Registration Options:
    - Discounted CPE (1 hour)
    Rebroadcast (1 hour)
    - Free (without CPE)

     

    The 2013 Conference on Doing Business in Brazil
    July 18 -19, 2013
    Orlando, FL

     

    Tax Reform: Thoughts, Predictions and Overall Analysis
    July 24, 1pm - 2pm ET

    Registration Options:
    - Discounted CPE (1 hour)
    - Free (without CPE)

       

     

    Next Tax Power Hour
     


    Tax Software Comparison

    June 20 from 1pm – 2pm ET

    Coming up next month, we will examine tax software, which is the heart of every tax practice.  Are you happy with yours?  Are you considering changing?  Every year, the AICPA’s Journal of Accountancy publishes an article with the features and benefits of the major tax software programs.  We want to take it a step further and talk to users of those programs to learn what they like about their software.  The Tax Power Hour is also available free (without CPE) for Tax Section members!

     

     
     
     
    Top News
     
    What is the AICPA Recommending to the IRS for Regulatory Priorities?

    On May 24th, the AICPA made recommendations that the IRS and Treasury pursue tax simplification in the IRS’s 2013 - 2014 Guidance Priority List (Notice 2013-22).  Treasury and the IRS annually use this list to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance.  The AICPA recommended a focus on solutions that include:

    • Using the simplest approach to accomplish a policy goal
    • Providing safe harbor alternatives
    • Offering clear and consistent definitions
    • Using horizontal drafting (a rule placed in one tax code section should apply in all other code sections) to the greatest extent possible
    • Building on existing business and industry standard recordkeeping practices
    • Providing  a balance between simple general rules and more complex detailed rules
    • Matching a rule’s complexity to the sophistication of the targeted taxpayers.
    Surprise! Final Regulations for FATCA Withholding

    Earlier this year, the IRS issued final regulations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The new regulations (under IRC code sections 1471-1474) require withholding agents to withhold 30% on withholdable payments made after December 31, 2013, to a foreign financial institution (FFI) or non-financial foreign entity (NFFE), unless the FFI or NFFE meets certain reporting requirements. The new withholding requirement is “all or nothing” unless the documentation requirements are satisfied.

    The vast majority of taxpayers affected by the new regulations are U.S. payors who do business with FFIs and NFFEs. If an NFFE fails to provide to the U.S payor the information required by the IRS concerning any substantial U.S. owners (generally a U.S. person that owns directly or indirectly more than 10 % of the NFFE), the 30% withholding is mandatory.

    The time to act is now! Complying with and implementing the new requirements of FACTA will be a time-consuming, expensive, and demanding process for U.S. payors of all sizes.

    Switzerland Proposes Bill Allowing Banks to Resolve U.S. Tax Evasion Cases

    As reported by the AICPA Journal of Accountancy, the Swiss government introduced a bill into Parliament that would allow banks to divulge data to U.S. authorities to identify Americans who are using Swiss banks to avoid U.S. taxation, circumventing the Swiss’ own bank secrecy law.  The bill is designed to forestall “further criminal investigations or charges concerning banking institutions,” according to the Swiss government’s announcement of the bill.  The Swiss parliament will consider the bill over the summer.

    Should States Create State Tax Tribunals?

    In 2013, eight states (Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas) are considering proposed legislation to create a state tax tribunal.  State tax tribunals provide a means to resolve state tax appeal controversies prior to litigation, but in a forum outside the dominion and control of the state tax authority.  The AICPA generally supports the creation of state tax tribunals and is working with the state CPA societies on this issue. 

    The current status of state tax tribunals and pending legislation can be viewed in the summary matrix chart (developed by the AICPA State and Local Tax Technical Resource Panel).  For more information on the AICPA position and resources on the issue, see the AICPA State Tax Tribunals Webpage.  If CPAs want to become involved in this issue in their state, they should contact their state CPA society.

    Other Tax News from the Journal of Accountancy
    • TIGTA criticizes the IRS on conference overspending (06/04/13)
    • Taxpayer can contest trust fund penalty where son tossed Letter 1153 into basement (05/31/13)
    • Supreme Court declines to hear Historic Boardwalk rehabilitation credit case (05/30/13)
    • Supreme Court resolves circuit split on creditability of U.K. tax (05/22/13)
    AICPA TOOLS & RESOURCES
     
    New Tax Planning Brochures to Inspire Clients to Contact You Year-Round

    You are getting the news first!  Visit the Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit today to download the Tax Planning Brochures for 2013.  Professionally designed and easy to read, these vivid brochures are an excellent resource to use in your communications and reach out to clients to encourage them to contact you now and throughout the year (AICPA member log-in required).  There are two brochures to choose from – one focused on businesses and the other on individuals.

    • What You Do Today Shapes Your Future Finances and Taxes: Top 10 Reasons to Start Tax Planning (Individuals): Overview of key tax law changes such as the 3.8% investment tax and other issues clients may not have considered that will affect their bottom line.
    • What You Do Today Shapes Your Profits Tomorrow:  Top 10 Reasons to Start Tax Planning (Small Business):  Highlights major tax issues that owners need to plan for with their CPA.
    Alert Your Clients about Possible Late Filing Penalty Relief!

    Did you have clients who filed late tax returns due to the late release of the 31 IRS tax forms in 2013?  While the IRS has granted special relief this year to some taxpayers who missed the deadline due to this issue, automatic assessments will still be sent out to taxpayers.  A written request for relief that specifies the reason and references Notice 2013-24 (which also includes a list of the delayed forms) will need to be submitted to the IRS.  To help educate your clients who may still get a penalty notice (and prevent a panicked call to you!), the AICPA has developed language to include in your client communications: 

    If you receive a late payment penalty notice from the IRS, please contact us immediately – you may be eligible for a waiver.  This year, the IRS has granted special relief from the penalty to some taxpayers because the late passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act caused a delay in the release of 31 tax forms, including commonly filed tax forms, such as the Education Credit (Form 8863) and the Depreciation and Amortization (Form 4562) forms.

    If you filed one of these forms and still receive a letter from the IRS assessing a penalty for filing after the April 15 deadline, let us know -- a waiver from the penalty is available by submitting a written request for relief.  There is no reason to panic whenever you receive a communication from the IRS.  In many cases, the issue can be resolved easily. No matter what the situation is, be sure to contact us so we can put your mind at ease and offer the help you need.
    Make Sure Your Practice is Aligned with Standards with the AICPA's Free Tax Practice Quality Control Guide

    Looking for free tools to help your practice?  Use the AICPA's comprehensive Tax Practice Quality Control Guide to review policies and procedures to ensure you are meeting all applicable laws and standards. The guide covers staff responsibilities, client engagements, and more!  Then join us next month for a webcast that will walk you through implementation of this guide into your practice.

    Refresh your Tax, Estate & Retirement Skills

    The AICPA PFP Division is offering a live review class on June 26 - 28 at the AICPA headquarters in Durham, NC for CPAs who want to prepare for the Summer 2013 Personal Financial Specialist Exam.  The live course will also help professionals refresh their financial planning skills, learn more about financial planning, or add it to their service offerings.  The class will cover all topics in the personal financial planning process, including professional responsibilities, income tax, estate, retirement, investments and insurance planning.  Self-study in-depth education and exam review courses are also available.

    Calling all Exempt Organization Experts

    During the AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference (June 19 – 21, 2013), the Tax Section is hosting the extremely popular Palm Read. The Palm Read is a 30-minute session meant to help anyone who wants a better understanding of what their exempt organization’s 990 return means. It is a great opportunity for exempt organizations to get an “impressionistic reading” of their already filed 990 returns.

    We are hoping to provide this free service again, but we need your help! We need volunteers to offer their time to participate in the Palm Read. If you are an exempt organization expert attending the conference and you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melissa Labant at mlabant@aicpa.org.

    UPCOMING EVENTS
     
    AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference

    June 20 - 21, 2013, Washington, DC (Virtual Conference also available)

    The 2013 AICPA Not-For-Profit Industry Conference brings together the industry’s top experts and thought leaders to offer their perspectives on the most crucial issues facing not-for-profits. You will learn how to deal with new regulatory issues affecting tax, compliance, accounting, auditing and governance. In addition, new financial management and leadership strategies, collaboration and fundraising ideas will be discussed. Tax Section members save an additional $50.

    The 2013 Conference on Doing Business in Brazil

    July 18 - 19, 2013, Orlando, FL

    Is your firm or client currently doing business in Brazil? Are you considering expanding your current business operations into Brazil?  It is essential to have a keen understanding of the latest legal, regulatory, tax, accounting, economic and cultural issues that you or your clients will encounter.  Our speakers at this conference will give you the information you need to help your firm and your clients understand business operations and international business rules in this ever expanding country and to stay ahead of the learning curve and the competition!

    taxpowerhour

    Washington Tax Brief
    June 13, 12:30pm - 1:30pm ET

    One of the biggest challenges facing tax practitioners is keeping up with changes in tax law. The AICPA Tax Team focuses a significant amount of their time on doing exactly that for you. The Washington Tax Brief is a webinar series offered by the AICPA Tax Section to help keep you informed of what is going on in Washington that may affect you, your practice or your clients. We will update you on proposed tax law changes and fundamental tax reform initiatives, changes to IRS regulations and other guidance, OPR and PRO initiatives and priorities, current AICPA tax related advocacy initiatives and more!

    Tax Section members have the option of attending this event free, without CPE.

    2013 Tax Planning With the New Tax Law – Avoiding Unintended Consequences (Rebroadcast)

    June 17, 3pm - 4pm ET

    The American Relief Act of 2012 was enacted in January 2013 and included many changes to individual income taxes for 2013. Our speakers, Donald Zidik and Karl Fava, will walk you through the key individual tax changes and discuss ideas of how to plan for and minimize individuals’ taxes. The key topics to be discussed include:

    • The individual tax brackets, including the new top rate of 39.6%
    • The 20% capital gains and dividend tax rates
    • The return of the personal exemption phase-out and itemized deduction limitation
    • The 3.8% net investment income tax
    • The 0.9% additional Medicare tax
    • The extension and expiration of prior tax provisions, including the AMT exemption and payroll tax holiday.
    • Tax Section members can opt to attend this webinar free without CPE.
    Updates on the “Repair” Regulations

    June 26, 1pm - 2pm ET (Rebroadcast July 25)

    Need to know the latest developments on the "Repair" Regulations?  This session will cover the Temporary Regulations previously issued by the IRS that will take effect for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, and their potential impact on taxpayers.  Our panelists will discuss many related topics, including:

    • What types of taxpayers are affected
    • High level overview of the temporary regulations
    • Technical amendments made to the temporary regulations
    • Method change rules
    • Recent updated IRS directive
    • Possible changes in the much anticipated Final Regs. to be issued later in 2013
    • Recent industry guidance.

    Tax Section members have the option of attending this event free without CPE

    Should You Trust a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary?

    July 10, 1pm - 2pm ET (Rebroadcast August 8)

    When is it a good idea to name a trust as an individual retirement (IRA) account beneficiary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of naming a spouse, an adult child, or a grandchild as the beneficiary? This webinar will answer these questions and more! You will learn how the use of IRAs and trusts can be used together and their impact on clients’ estate taxes.

    Tax Section members have the option of attending this event free without CPE.

    Impact of the New 3.8 Percent Tax on Net Investment Income on Individuals and Pass-through Entities

    July 17, 1pm – 2pm ET (Rebroadcast August 6)

    How does the new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income affect your individual and pass-through clients?  Our presenters will walk through how to handle the new tax, including discussing the following issues:

    • Which taxpayers are subject to the tax
    • How the new tax is calculated
    • What types of income are subject to the tax
    • What amounts are deductible for purposes of computing net investment income
    • Impact of the new tax on a taxpayer's grouping elections under section 469
    • Impact of the new tax on dispositions of interests in S corporations and partnerships.

    Tax Section members have the option of attending this event free, without CPE.

    Tax Reform: Thoughts, Predictions & Overall Analysis

    July 24, 1pm - 2pm ET

    What is new in tax reform in Washington?  Our webinar, offered by the AICPA Tax Section, offers you insights on Congress's latest tax reform efforts.  A panel of AICPA's thought leaders on tax reform will share their thoughts, predictions and analysis of the likelihood for sound tax policy and effective tax administration in the near future.

    Tax Section members have the option of attending this event free, without CPE
      Coming Up on the Tax Power Hour
      taxpowerhour

      June 20: Tax Software Comparison (1 hour discounted CPE):  Coming up next month, we will examine tax software, which is the heart of every tax practice.  Are you happy with yours or are you considering changing?  Every year, the AICPA’s Journal of Accountancy publishes an article with the features and benefits of the major tax software programs.  We want to take it a step further and talk to users of those programs to learn what they like about their software.  Also available free (without CPE) for Tax Section members!

      July 18: Paperless Office Workflows (1 hour discounted CPE):  Should you scan first or scan last?  That is the age-old question when it comes to paperless office workflows.  This month, we have a tax practitioner who operates a "paperless" practice to walk us through office workflows.  We will walk through the entire cycle from document receipt to the conversion of paper documents into electronic records to the creation of electronic workpapers.  We will also hear how to manage a paperless return preparation and review cycle, along with electronic delivery of tax returns.  If you are a paperless firm and want to compare your process to other firms, this installment of the Tax Power Hour will help you become a "less paper" firm.  Also available free (without CPE) for Tax Section members!

      August 15: Staff Training Tips & Guidelines (1 hour discounted CPE):  People are the biggest asset in CPA firms.  What is your process for training staff - from orientation to annual busy season training to long-term advancement and staff development?  We will walk through the issues and offer some strategies to help you develop a defined staff training and development program.  Not only will we discuss firm roles and expectations, but also accountabilities and motivational programs you may want to consider putting in place so your staff are not just maintaining skills, but thriving and growing along with your firm.  Also available free (without CPE) for Tax Section members!

      The Tax Power Hour is our the monthly Tax Section webcast that focuses on strategies to help tax practitioners save time, reduce stress and run an efficient practice through practical discussions on topics such as Practice Management, Business Development, Leveraging Technology and more.  Speakers are tax practitioners and other experts sharing their advice and best practices to help make you more profitable.

      If you missed a previous Tax Power Hour, you can listen again anytime.  Archives are available for one year after each event.

       
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