Tax Season Resources for CPAs  




 

We have created this page to serve as your one-stop shop for the resources, updates, and news you need as tax practitioners during filing season. Bookmark this page and check back often for updates on anything that affects tax season operations and the preparation and filing of returns. 


Jump to section: Key Busy Season Resources | Top Tax Issues for 2016 | IRS Practice and Procedures | Practice Management | Client Communications | Related Resources | News and Updates


This symbol identifies tools and resources available exclusively for AICPA Tax Section, PCPS, or PFP members. When accessing premium member-only content, you will be prompted to enter your user ID and password to validate your membership. Not a member? Learn more about these premium resources and other benefits of section membership.

Key Busy Season Resources

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Annual Compliance Kit
Comprehensive toolkit to help practitioners comply with tax laws; contains engagement letters, organizers, checklists, and practice guides.

 

 

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Short Videos on Key Busy Season Issues



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Tax Return Routing Sheet 
Fillable PDF template that practitioners can use to document the workflow of a tax return.
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Analysis of a Tax Return for Personal Financial Planning
Checklist developed by the PFP section that will help tax practitioners find financial planning opportunities.

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S Corporation Shareholder Basis Schedule
Template used to keep track of S corporation shareholder basis
   

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Sec. 7216 Guidance and Sample Consent Forms

Sec. 7216 prohibits tax preparers from disclosing or using tax return information; use these resources to comply.
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Tax Extensions FAQs for Clients

Handout to educate clients about the implications of extending their tax return and why it may be beneficial to do so.

 

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Busy Season Fun Calendar
Provides a channel for showing staff that their efforts are appreciated and will keep them motivated; developed by PCPS.

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Top Tax Issues for 2016

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Changes to Tax Return Due Dates
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Identity Theft
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Tax Reform

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Affordable Care Act (ACA)


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IRS Practice and Procedure

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IRS Hotlines Quick Reference Chart [PDF]
Shows key phone numbers to contact the IRS.
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Contacting the IRS FAQS 
Contains answers to common questions, from what information to include on all written correspondence, to best practices on how to interact with agents.
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Using IRS E-Services 
Learn about the Transcript Delivery System and other e-Services products, and effectively use these tools in your practice.
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IRS Notice Guidance and Resources
Contains resources to help you effectively address IRS issues. (Certain resources are locked for Tax Section members.)
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IRS First-Time Penalty Abatement
Contains guidance and best practices regarding penalty abatement. (Certain resources are locked for Tax Section members.)
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Using the IRS Online Payment Agreement (OPA) Tool 
Gain insight into the OPA tool that allows your client (or you as an authorized representative) to apply for certain types of payment agreements.

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Practice Management

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1040 Tax Returns Status Dashboard
Practitioners can compare their 1040 status reports with year-over-year comparisons of key data points as reported by users of XCM's workflow solution.
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Tax Podcast: Billing and Collection 
Learn why some firms are moving away from billable hours and timesheets.
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Tax Podcast: Technology 
Discusses how to use technology effectively in your tax practice while increasing firm efficiencies and improving client engagement.
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Tax Podcast: Workflow 
Improve your tax return workflow with these tips.
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How Workflow Technology Can Transform Your Practice [PDF]
Answers key questions about workflow and technology; developed by PCPS. 
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Client Evaluation Tool [Excel]
Provides guidance about how to rank a firm's clients based on several criteria; developed by PCPS.
 
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Service Proposal Worksheet [Excel]
Helps practitioners determine how to price a variety of services in advance and set up payment terms.
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Client Communications

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Client Communication Tracker [Excel]
Sample document that a practitioner may use to track each client's correspondence.
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Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit
Offers resources to position CPAs as the premier provider of tax services.
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Social Media ToolKit
Contains relevant resources for CPAs and their firm to have a successful social media presence. (Certain resources are open to everyone.)

     
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Related Resources

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Resources on Sec. 2704 Valuation Regulations
News, podcasts, and other guidance on the proposed valuation regulations.

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How to Win the Upcoming Tax Season: CPE Courses to Help You Succeed
This comprehensive list of AICPA tax resources geared towards tax season will help you stay on top of your game this tax season. 
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CPAs Guide to Financial and Estate Planning 
Comprehensive publication that provides guidance to CPAs who advise clients in estate, tax, retirement, investment, and risk matters. 

     

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Personal Financial Report Card [Excel]
Represents a starting point that can be used to summarize a client's financial situation; developed by the PFP section.
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Technical Learning Library 
Podcasts, videos, webcast recordings, and presentation materials regarding personal financial planning matters.
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Broadridge Advisor Resources 
Communicate clearly with clients about tax planning and other financial planning topics by using this tool.
       

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News and Updates

Taxpayers affected by winter storm get more time to file business return extensions, Journal of Accountancy, Mar. 15, 2017
The IRS announced that it would grant “eligible taxpayers” who are affected by this week’s winter storm on the East Coast extra time to file their requests for filing extensions.

Security Summit Alert: Tax Professionals Warned of New Scam to “Unlock” Their Tax Software Account, IR-2017-39, Feb. 17, 2017
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam impersonating software providers.

Failure to report health coverage will not cause tax return rejection, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 16, 2017
The IRS issued guidance on how it will treat individual income tax returns that do not indicate whether the taxpayers had health insurance coverage.

IRS alerts practitioners of e-Services account suspensions, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 7, 2017
The IRS notified tax practitioners who did not re-register their e-Services accounts that their accounts are no longer active.

Tax practitioners' information will soon be available at IRS website, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 2, 2017
The IRS announced that it will soon post online the registration information of practitioners who have preparer tax identification numbers, and the information will be available without charge to the public.

Driver's license information now required on some state e-filed returns, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 1, 2017
Tax return preparers are discovering that some state income tax returns for 2016 require information from a taxpayer’s driver’s license or state-issued identification card information before the returns can be e-filed.

New form 990-EZ has help icons to aid exempt organizations in filing, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 31, 2017
The IRS announces new Form 990-EZ with help icons to assist organizations with accurate filing.

IRS amends form instructions for AMT depreciation changes, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 25, 2017
The IRS announced that it has updated various 2016 form instructions to reflect changes to AMT adjustments made by the PATH Act.

Inflation adjustments for 2017 issued for employer-provided vehicles, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 9, 2017
The IRS released its annual notice containing the 2017 inflation-adjusted amounts for the maximum vehicle values to determine the amount that is included in employees’ income for personal use of an employer-provided vehicle.

Guidance issued on de minimis safe harbor for information returns/payee statements, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 4, 2017
The IRS issued a notice that provides the requirements for a payee to make an election to not have the safe harbor for de minimis errors on information returns below certain amounts apply to a payer.

Getting in shape for tax season, Journal of Accountancy, January 1, 2017
New due diligence requirements and individual and business provisions promise a workout for completing 2016 returns.

Eligibility rule waiver extended for taxpayers adopting repair regs., The Tax Adviser, Dec. 21, 2016
The IRS extended for one year its waiver of the eligibility rule that generally prevents taxpayers from using the automatic accounting method change procedures to change the treatment of the same item more than once within a five-year period.

FinCEN grants permanent automatic extensions for FBARs, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 19, 2016

Starting this year, FBARs have a new, April 15 due date, with extensions to Oct. 15.

Congress enacts law allowing HRAs under the Affordable Care Act, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 13, 2016

The Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which among other things, permits certain employers to offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to employees without running afoul of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's market reform provisions.

Find more news and updates at The Tax Adviser

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