03-08-2013 Tax E-Alert: IRS Now Processing All Forms, Impact Sequester on IRS and Tax Payments, Additional Time for Sandy Related Disaster Loss Claims, Useful Tax Season Apps and More 


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    Our latest Washington Update video addresses busy season concerns.
           
      AICPA
    March 8, 2013
    Tax Section News
     
      Exclusive Tax Section member communications  
     
    In This Issue
        TOP NEWS  
    IRS Now Accepting All 2012 Tax Forms
    Election Deadline Postponed for Hurricane Sandy Losses
    2013 Depreciation Limits for Automobiles Now Available
    IRS Avoids Shutdown During Filing Season but Sequester to Reduce Service, Some Tax Payments
    AICPA Support for Due Dates Simplification Continues
    New Automatic Consent to Change Method of Accounting (for Plant Production)
    What Clients Are Asking About
    Other Tax News from the Journal of Accountancy
      TOOLS & RESOURCES
    Top 12 Tax Resources for the 2013 Filing Season
    Interactive Tax Checklists Now Offers Short and Mini Versions of the Checklists!
    AICPA Launches Identity Theft Resource Page
    A Walk-Through of the Fiscal Cliff’s Impact on the 2013 Filing Season
    Download the AlertRocket App for Journal of Accountancy News Updates
    IRS Compiles List of Resources for Exempt Organization Practitioners
    Tips for Making Tax Season Better!
      UPCOMING EVENTS
    Tax Training Week at the Bellagio in Las Vegas
    Advanced Estate Planning Conference
    Advanced Tax Quarterly Webcast: Understanding the New Complexities of Multi-State Taxation
    Webinar Archives Available On Demand (Without CPE)
    TAX POWER HOUR

    Coming Up on the Tax Power Hour: Managing Extensions (March) and Tax Season Debrief (April)
    Contact us

    taxsection@aicpa.org

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    Upcoming Events
     
    Advanced Tax Quarterly Webcast: Understanding the New Complexities of Multi-State Taxation
    March 20, 2013
    1pm – 2pm ET
    Registration Options:
     - Discounted CPE (1 hour)

    AICPA Tax Planning, Compliance and Controversy Conference For Businesses and Individuals

    May 15 - 17, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV

    • $75 Early-bird discount if you register by 3/31/13
    • Tax Section members save an additional $100
    AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual

    May 20 - 21, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV

    • $75 Early-bird discount if you register by 4/5/13
    • Tax Section members save an additional $100
       
    Next Tax Power Hour
     

    Managing Extensions
    March 21 from 1pm - 2pm ET
    Free, No CPE Available

    In just a few weeks it will be time to start planning for filing extensions. So, our discussion this month will be dedicated to all aspects of the extension process. With the increased compression of filing season due to the delay of forms by IRS, you may be filing more extensions this year than usual. We will review IRS guidance on signature requirements for e-filing extensions and walk through a few other best practices for preparing and filing extensions. We will also cover batch e-filing, extensions with payments due, e-filing extensions with electronic payments and prioritizing client work immediately after filing season.

     
     
     
    Top News
     
    IRS Now Accepting All 2012 Tax Forms
    On Monday, the IRS announced that it finished updating its processing systems and is now accepting all returns that include the 29 forms that were previously delayed by the late passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, P.L. 112-240. A complete list of these forms is available in this Journal of Accountancy article.

     

    In a Feb. 15 letter, the AICPA raised concerns about the impact of the IRS’ delay in releasing certain tax forms on taxpayers and CPAs. These delays have created one of the most challenging and compressed filing seasons we have seen in some time.

    Election Deadline Postponed for Hurricane Sandy Losses

    The IRS postponed the deadline until Oct. 15 to make an election under §165(i) to deduct losses attributable to Hurricane Sandy sustained in federally declared disaster areas. Those disaster areas are: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia. Affected taxpayers should include a reference to Notice 2013-21 with their return, amended return, or refund claim on which they are making a postponed §165(i) election.

    As a reminder, the AICPA has a comprehensive Casualty Loss Practice Guide that addresses the issues (including an in-depth discussion of valuation) that need to be considered for taxpayers claiming a casualty loss.

    2013 Depreciation Limits for Automobiles Now Available

    IRS released Rev. Proc. 2013-21 announcing the annual inflation adjustments to depreciation limits for passenger automobiles and light trucks for 2013.  Other guidance includes:

    • Information on applying the 50% additional first-year depreciation allowance that was extended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) through the end of 2013;
    • Leased value tables that are necessary for determining how much must be included in an individual’s income on a vehicle leased in 2013; and
    • Tables reflecting the annual inflation adjustments, the additional first-year allowance and the leased value tables.
    See also 2013 automobile depreciation limits released from the Journal of Accountancy.

     

    IRS Avoids Shutdown During Filing Season but Sequester to Reduce Service, Some Tax Payments

    Like other government agencies, the IRS is impacted by the federal budget sequester.  Acting Commissioner Steven Miller recently stated that any furloughs of employees will not begin until “sometime in the summer, after the filing season ends.”  He further stated that they would likely last five to seven days.  For the remainder of the fiscal year, the IRS will address the budget sequester and cut spending by:  (1) continuing a hiring freeze; (2) reducing funding for grants and other expenditures; and (3) cutting costs for travel, training, facilities, and supplies.

    In a subsequent announcement, the IRS indicated that the budget cuts will affect taxpayer services, enforcement, operations support, and business systems modernization. Also, certain tax-related payments such as the small business health credit will be reduced.

    AICPA Support for Due Date Simplification Continues

    Taxpayers and preparers have long struggled with problems created when Schedules K-1 arrive late, sometimes within days of (before or after) the extended due date of many returns and up to a month after the extended due date of business returns.  This inefficient timeline makes it difficult, if not impossible, to file a timely, accurate tax return. 

    To address this problem, the Tax Return Due Date Simplification and Modernization  Act of 2013 was recently introduced by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) (H.R. 901) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Jon Tester (D-MT) (S. 420).  The AICPA initiated this bill as it would alleviate the problems for taxpayers and their return preparers associated with the untimely receipt of Schedules K-1. To learn which forms and dates would be affected, read our summary of the bill.

    New Automatic Consent to Change Method of Accounting (for Plant Production)
    On Feb. 15, the IRS announced Rev. Proc. 2013-20 to remove blackberry, papaya and raspberry plants from the list of plants that have a
    pre-productive period in excess of two years. Taxpayers are generally required to capitalize the costs of producing plants that have a
    pre-productive period in excess of two years, unless an election is made to not apply section 263A. This new guidance provides procedures for taxpayers who grow these plants to obtain an automatic consent under section 446(e) to change their method of accounting to elect not to apply section 263A
    What Clients Are Asking About
    In a recent CPA Letter Daily poll, readers were asked, “What aspect of the new tax law (American Taxpayer Relief Act) are your clients asking about the most?” The answer: the tax rate on capitals gain was the most common issue indicated by respondents, followed by the new, higher tax bracket and the limit on itemized deductions and exemptions. AMT was the issue clients asked about the least.
    Other Tax News from the Journal of Accountancy
      • Acting commissioner outlines IRS plans for sequestration (02/28/13)  
    • Stockpiled delayed returns to be accepted on Sunday, online filing to start next week (02/28/13)
    • IRS appeals decision striking down tax return preparer registration program (02/25/13)
    AICPA TOOLS & RESOURCES
     
    Top 12 Tax Resources for the 2013 Filing Season
    Take a minute to read this now-annual blog so you are aware of what the AICPA has to offer for filing season and beyond.
    Interactive Tax Checklists Now Offers Short and Mini Versions of the Checklists!

    taxpowerhourWe heard your feedback!  Many members have expressed the need for short and mini checklists, and we listened.  The Interactive Tax Checklist group is pleased to announce the release of short and mini versions for 1040, 1120, 1102S and 1065 checklists.

    Please visit the Tax Checklist page for additional Information on the Interactive Tax Checklists and to access these new versions.

    AICPA Launches Identity Theft Resource Page

    Theft of a person’s identity to falsely claim a tax refund is on the rise and it affects thousands of taxpayers who cannot receive their refund until the IRS can determine what happened. Visit the AICPA’s ID Theft Tools web page, which offers a convenient source of articles and tips for practitioners and taxpayers to combat identity theft. Also included are IRS resources and an update of recent regulatory and legislative news, including AICPA advocacy, on this issue.

    A Walk-Through of the Fiscal Cliff's Impact on the 2013 Filing Season

    Need help talking to your clients about the impact of the new tax law their returns? This new PowerPoint presentation entitled Breaking Down the Fiscal Cliff reviews all the major provisions from the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Use it for a client lunch-and-learn or perhaps for a presentation for your local chamber. Set yourself apart as a practitioner available to succinctly explain the Fiscal cliff’s impact to current and prospective clients.

    Download the AlertRocket App for Journal of Accountancy News Updates
    AlertRocket is a Smartphone app that is an optimized version of the Journal of Accountancy.  This app allows you to get breaking accounting and tax news to your phone as it is published.
    IRS Compiles List of Resources for Exempt Organization Practitioners

    The IRS developed an organized list of resources for Exempt Organization practitioners.  The list includes links to newsletters, charities and non-profit organizations, upcoming events and other IRS websites.

    Tips for Making Tax Season Better!

    Last month’s Tax Power Hour was chock full of ideas to help you avoid burn out and stay balance, happy and motivated.  If you missed it, you can listen again anytime. 

    What do YOU do to get through tax season?  Chocolate, lucky socks, a golf green in the office… Whatever your rituals are to make your tax season a little bit easier, we would like to hear from you!  Send us a quick email and we may post it in our next e-Alert and share it with your fellow Tax Section members!

    UPCOMING EVENTS
     
    Tax Training Week at the Bellagio in Las Vegas

    This year, when you register for the AICPA Tax Planning, Compliance and Controversy Conference together with the AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual you save 10% automatically at checkout when purchased online. 

    AICPA Tax Planning, Compliance and Controversy Conference...For Businesses and Individuals, May 15 – 17, 2013

    AICPA Conference on Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual, May 20 - 21, 2013

    AICPA Advanced Estate Planning Conference
    July 15-17, 2013
    Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, MD
    taxpowerhour

    Advanced Tax Quarterly Webcast: Understanding the New Complexities of Multi-State Taxation
    March 20, 1-2pm ET

    Don't let the complexities of multi-state taxation overwhelm you! Join AICPA and host Dominque Molina as we offer this lively online session that discusses the ongoing complexities of multi-state taxation and conformity issues that affect millions in the wake of federal law changes. Scheduled topics are designed to help you:

    • Discuss conformity issues as it pertains to recent and upcoming federal tax law changes.
    • Develop knowledge of multistate tax compliance.
    • Address nexus complications as it pertains to ongoing debates over online sales.
    Webinar Archives Available On Demand During Tax Season

    Individual Tax Update: Top Ten Things to Know for Filing 2012 Returns
    Speakers: Jonathan Horan and Annette Nellen
    Originally Aired: 1/15/13

    Health Care Reform: Help Your Clients and Organizations Tackle the Issues
    Speakers: Karen Field and John Sobraske
    Originally Aired: 11/26/12

    Compliance and Planning Issues with the 3.8% Medicare Surtax
    Speakers: Bob Keebler, David Kirk and Adrienne Mikolashek
    Originally Aired: 1/17/13

    Coming Up on the Tax Power Hour: Managing Extensions (March) and Tax Season Debrief (April)
    taxpowerhour

    In just a few weeks, it will be time to start planning for filing extensions. So, our discussion this month will be dedicated to all aspects of the extension process. With the increased compression of filing season due to the delay of forms by IRS, you may be filing more extensions this year than usual. We will review IRS guidance on signature requirements for e-filing extensions and walk through a few other best practices for preparing and filing extensions. We will also cover batch e-filing, extensions with payments due, e-filing extensions with electronic payments and prioritizing client work immediately after filing season.

    Then on April 25, we will take a look back at filing season. In our annual Tax Season Debrief, we will be joined by two practitioners who will look back over their busy season and answer the question: How did it go? We’ve extended our “hour” to 90 minutes so we can cover both technical aspects (e.g., How did you handle Congress’ last-minute tax law change and the IRS delay in starting filing season?) and administrative perspectives (e.g., Did you have any significant or unusual processing issues?).

    The Debrief will help you look back and break down your performance so you can consider changes you may want to implement today and other issues to consider later this year as you start planning process for next year.

    The Tax Power Hour is our monthly webcast for Tax Section members only, 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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