May 2017 Tax Section News

May 25, 2017

Partnership Tax Audit Considerations; IRS Authorizations Guidance
       
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Featured Story

Partnership Tax Audits: The New Rules

The new partnership audit regime under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, P.L. 114-74 ("BBA"), will generally take effect for tax years beginning in 2018. The BBA, as amended by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, repeals both the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 and Electing Large Partnership audit regimes that currently govern partnership administrative procedures. It replaces them with a new set of audit rules that radically changes the assessment and collection of partnership audit tax adjustments. Yet despite the major changes contained in the BBA—or perhaps in light of them—there are still many unanswered questions about its implementation.
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News & Headlines
IRS Hires Private Debt Collection Services: How to Represent Your Clients, The recent announcement that the IRS is turning over certain cases to third-party debt collectors has sent some shockwaves through our profession. The reality is that a taxpayer has the right to request that their account be returned to the IRS for collection, and this may be beneficial for many taxpayers.
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Conservation Easement Disclosure Date Extended, In Notice 2017-29, the IRS extended the disclosure requirements under Notice 2017-10 for participants in certain transactions dealing with syndicated conservation easements from June 21, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2017 and clarified that a donee described in Sec. 170(c) would not be considered a material advisor under Sec. 6111.
IRS Field Audit FAQs, Did you know that the IRS is no longer initiating audits by telephone (and is only initiating audits via mail)? Receiving a notification letter of an IRS audit can be intimidating. Help your clients be prepared by finding answers to commonly asked questions, from "Why am I being selected for an audit?" to "How long does an audit take?" at irs.gov.
Tax Principles for the Digital Age, The factors guiding tax reform efforts today are different from those that influenced the debate in 1986, the last time the Internal Revenue Code received a major overhaul. This article discusses those factors, and how the internet has changed traditional views of tax rules, administration, and compliance. It also presents a set of modernized tax principles that can help to ensure administrability, fairness, and economic efficiency.
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Issue Spotlight
Issues to Consider When Establishing a Tax Home Overseas, As the world has become a smaller place, more and more businesses have developed international operations. There are numerous tax consequences associated with employees moving oversees and the results of such a relocation may not always produce a desired outcome (for the employer or employee). Learn how you can help international clients.
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Practice Management
Staff Performance Evaluations, Are my contributions adding value to the CPA firm? To my career? These are important questions for CPA firm staff, and the answer to these questions can be indicative of how well positioned the CPA firm is for future success.
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Tools & Resources
Levels of Confidence for Tax Return Positions, This chart, which describes the different levels of confidence, the types of penalties to be assessed, and any disclosure opportunities inherent in a tax return position, was developed by Tracey Fielman, Heidi Ridgeway, Norma Schrock, and fellow members of the AICPA's Tax Practice Responsibilities Committee. It's available exclusively to Tax Section members. 
IRS Authorizations Quick Reference Guide, Do you have clients who need a hand dealing with the IRS? This guide, developed by Marshall Hunt, Donna Sauter, Larry Wolfe, and fellow members of the AICPA's Tax Practice and Procedures Committee, provides a summary of the various types of IRS authorizations, how and when each should be used, how to complete the forms, how to withdraw an authorization, and best practices/tips.
FBAR Organizer, The original due date for the 2016 FinCEN Form 114 was changed to April 18, 2017 and has automatically been extended to Oct. 16, 2017. To assist with gathering the necessary information to complete this filing accurately, AICPA Tax Section members can access this tool. This aid and other useful resources on international issues can be found on our International Taxation page. 
Podcast: Cybersecurity and Ransomware - Protecting Yourself from Attack, Recent ransomware attacks have rocked the globe, causing concern and costing millions of dollars. In this podcast from the AICPA PFP Division, financial technology expert Joel Bruckenstein interviews cybersecurity expert Brian Edelman about the nature of ransomware, who is vulnerable to attack, how to protect yourself, and much more. 
Navigate the AICPA Website to Maximize Tax Section Benefits
Free Web Tour, Multiple Dates, 3pm ET, This hands-on tour of our website is an opportunity for all Tax Section members (and prospective members) to learn how to get the most out of their membership. Join us as we guide you through our valuable resources, provide tips on how to access them easily, show you how you can suggest new resources, and discuss volunteer opportunities available in the AICPA Tax Division. Plan to attend this one-hour web tour to maximize your Tax Section membership.
Upcoming Tax Events
 
Disasters and Taxes: Understanding Tax Relief for Disaster Victims
June 20, 1-2:45pm ET, 2 CPE Credits
 
Washington Tax Brief (Free webcast for everyone)
June 21, 1-2pm ET, No CPE Credit Offered
 
Fundamentals of Expatriate Taxation for Clients Who Live and Do Business Abroad (Rebroadcast)
June 27, 1-2:45pm ET, 2 CPE Credits
 
Tax Practice Quarterly: Trends in Tax Technology (Free for Tax Section members)
July 20, 1-2:45pm ET, 2 CPE Credits
 
May 2017
Visit the Tax Section
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Tax Reform: Are You Ready?, AICPA senior leadership, Ed Karl, VP - Tax Policy and Advocacy and Melissa Labant, Director - Tax Policy and Advocacy walk us through current activity within Congress and the latest tax reform proposals.
 
 
Member Connection

We have dedicated volunteers who serve on Tax Division committees and technical resource panels (TRPs), as well as on working groups, task forces, and special projects. Our volunteers are an invaluable resource as they work to set policy and provide guidance on tax issues to ensure our members remain the premier providers of tax services. Consider joining this prestigious group.

Apply for a committee or TRP via Volunteer Central. Or, email us at taxsection@aicpa.org about your expertise and interests, and we'll help you get involved.

Blog of the Month

Don't Let Clients' Retirement Fall into This Trap, Self-directed IRAs and self-directed 401ks are increasingly popular. But a great deal can go wrong. If you have clients in one of these situations, they could lose substantial amounts, if not all, of their retirement income. Here's how you can help. Learn more.

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Tax Practice Corner
More R&D Tax Help, "Can I use the R&D credit?" Many taxpayers ask this when they find out about the Sec. 41 credit for increasing research expenses (the R&D credit), one of the Sec. 38 general business credits. The R&D credit has been around since the 1980s, but it was only recently made permanent.Read more.
Featured Event
Interested in Business Valuation for Estate and Gift Tax?, The 2017 AICPA National Business Valuation School, in Denver, June 19-23, can help CPAs broaden their skills and increase their confidence in assessing and maximizing the value of a client's business for estate and gift tax purposes. During five intensive days, CPAs will learn the relevant new theories, applications, best practice methods, and hot-button controversies. This is an intermediate course on business valuation.Register now.
Resource Proposals
Do you have a great idea for a new resource or tool? Our team would love to hear from you about ways that we can help you and your practice become the premier providers of tax services. Please complete this proposal and we will get in touch with you within five business days to respond to your request or ask for additional information.
Featured Product
Tax Nano Learning Library, Take advantage of exclusive, unlimited online access to our Tax Nano Learning Library. Free for Tax Section members, these 10-minute CPE modules on tax and practice management topics provide an excellent way to get quick answers to key questions. Check back often as this new learning library will be continuously updated. Learn more.
PFP Resource for Tax Section Members

Podcast: American Health Act, In this podcast, Ted Sarenski discusses how the American Health Care Act, passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, will impact your clients. As of the timing of this recording, the Senate has not voted, and revisions to the law may occur; however, understanding the current AHCA provisions will help you guide your clients during the tax planning process.

Social Media Resources for CPAs Offering Tax, Retirement, and Estate Planning, From tax, retirement, estate planning and more, you probably already provide the financial services consumers are seeking. Use these ready-to-go social media posts and graphics for helping clients and prospects understand your services as a CPA financial planner.