Tax Season Resources for CPAs

The 2019 tax season has its challenges. New legislation, cybersecurity concerns, tax technology enhancements, due diligence requirements and workload compression are just a few of the issues you’re up against. Use this collection of AICPA resources to set yourself up for a smoother filing season.

This page is provided by the Tax Section, Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Section and Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS). Learn more about the benefits of membership in the Tax Section, PFP Section and PCPS.

Review your tax software, Feb. 25, 2019
AICPA Tax Section members report that some tax return preparation software may not be fully updated to reflect new provisions from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), such as the Sec. 199A qualified business income (QBI) deduction. Carefully review your software calculations to determine if overrides are needed.

When to use Sec. 199A proposed or final regulations for 2018 returns, Feb. 25, 2019
For tax year 2018, taxpayers may choose to apply either the older proposed Sec. 199A regulations or the new final regulations, but they must generally do so on an all-or-nothing basis. Therefore, both sets of regulations may need to be evaluated for returns being prepared for 2018. Review this guidance and chart to help you decide. The information is compliments of RSM.

Double check the partnership representative on client returns, Feb. 22, 2019
The centralized partnership audit procedures became effective for partnerships with tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. This means that for 2018 calendar-year partnerships, a partnership representative must be named on Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. Ensure that your tax software is not defaulting to rolling forward the tax matters partner if that person is not the named partnership representative. Read more about the role of the partnership representative.

IRS releases draft 2019 Form 8995, Qualified Business Income Deduction Simplified Computation, Feb. 13, 2019
The IRS posted a draft of a form that affected taxpayers will submit with their 2019 tax returns showing how they computed their qualified business income (QBI) deduction under Sec. 199A. The draft form contains the same computation found in the instructions to Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, with the difference being the form will be submitted to the IRS for 2019 tax returns. Note that taxpayers do not file a separate QBI deduction form for 2018 returns. Read more.

IRS issues new forms to make/revoke partnership audit “push out” election, Feb. 6, 2019
The IRS issued new forms to make and revoke the election to “push out” partnership adjustments to their partners under the centralized partnership audit regime. See Form 8988, Election for Alternative to Payment of the Imputed Underpayment, and Form 8989, Request to Revoke the Election for Alternative to Payment of the Imputed Underpayment.

New Form 1065 instructions for partner’s capital account, Dec. 20, 2018
The 2018 Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, instructions include a new reporting requirement. Partnerships that do not report tax basis capital accounts must provide the amount of negative tax basis capital for any partner (at the beginning or end of the tax year) on Line 20 of Schedule K-1. See the Form 1065 instructions for more information.

New basis schedule requirement for S corporation losses, Dec. 15, 2018
Check the box in Part II, Schedule E, Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for taxpayers reporting S corporation losses on 2018 returns, and also attach a stock and debt basis computation with the return. S corporation losses being claimed in excess of basis has been a campaign of the IRS for several years. In response, the AICPA submitted a comment letter. For assistance, see our S Corporation Shareholder Basis Schedule (an exclusive Tax Section member tool). 

Home office deduction (Form 8829) changes in the calculation of mortgage interest and real estate taxes, Dec. 10, 2018
The 2018 instructions to Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home, provide a different method for calculating the allocation of home mortgage interest and real estate taxes. The changes relate to whether the taxpayer has a net profit on Schedule C, is itemizing deductions, and/or is limited to a $10,000/$5,000 deduction of state and local tax.

New address for filing estate and gift tax returns
The mailing address for filing paper returns of Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, as well as other related forms are changing. Confirm the mailing address for these forms to avoid delays in processing.

Annual Tax Compliance Kit (Open to Tax Section)
Comprehensive toolkit to help you effectively prepare returns this tax season — contains engagement letters, organizers, checklists and practice guides.

Tax Technology Resource Center (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)
Information and tools to help you embrace technology to run a more efficient tax practice; contains tips on tax software solutions, IRS online tools, cybersecurity and tax practice management to help you this tax season.

Tax Section Webcast Archives (Open to Tax Section)
Listen to previously-recorded webcasts (no CPE is available) on key topics impacting tax season, such as the new rules of Sec. 199A, changes in accounting methods for small business taxpayers and other tax law changes.

Tax Return Due Dates (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)

Guidance and tools to help you comply with tax return and payment due dates and maximize workflow productivity.

Initial Business Return Filing Checklist (Open to Tax Section)
Checklist to help your business clients effectively file a first-year return.

S Corporation Shareholder Basis Schedule (Open to Tax Section)
Keep track of S corporation shareholder basis with this template.

Reasonable Compensation for Closely-Held Businesses Guide (Open to Tax Section)
Presents factors to consider when helping clients assess a reasonable salary for key employees/shareholders.

Sec. 7216 Guidance and Sample Consent Forms (Open to everyone)
Sec. 7216 prohibits tax preparers from disclosing or using tax return information. Use these resources to comply.

Tax Extensions FAQs for Clients (Open to AICPA)
Educate your clients about the implications of extending their tax return and why it may be beneficial to do so.

Personal Finance Scorecard (Open to AICPA)
Discover client needs and new ways to add value with this scoring tool.

Busy Season Fun Calendar (Open to AICPA)
Keep staff motivated and show them their efforts are appreciated; developed by PCPS.

Tax Reform and Tax Law Changes

For more, visit the Tax Reform Resource Center.

Tax Technology and Cybersecurity

For more, visit the Tax Technology Resource Center.

Planning & Tax Advisory Services

For more, visit the hub for Planning & Tax Advisory Services.

State Tax Nexus

Disaster Relief

For more, visit the hub for Casualty Loss and Disaster Relief.

Tax Podcast: Billing and Collection (Open to Tax Section)
Learn why some firms are moving away from billable hours and timesheets.

Tax Podcast: Workflow (Open to Tax Section)
Improve your tax return workflow with these tips.

Flexible Work Arrangements Guide (Open to PCPS)
Embrace a flexible work environment this tax season and improve the work/life integration within your practice. This guide will give you models to adapt to your practice.

Internship Program Quick Start Guide (Open to everyone)
Manage your workload better by leveraging interns. Use this guide to craft an intern program and smooth out your tax season, while providing an opportunity to learn.

Client Evaluation Tool (Open to PCPS)
Provides guidance about how to rank a firm's clients based on several criteria.

Service Proposal Worksheet (Open to Tax Section)
Helps you determine how to price a variety of client services and set up payment terms.

Client Termination Letter and Checklist (Open to Tax Section)
Don’t let bad-fit clients make tax season harder than it already is. Start your busy season off right with clients you look forward to serving.

Adding Virtual Client Meetings to Your Practice (Open to Tax Section)
Learn how to leverage today’s technology to meet with your clients virtually.

Client Communications

  • Client Communication Tracker (Open to Tax Section)
    Sample document that you can use to track each client's correspondence.
  • Tax Practitioner’s Marketing Toolkit (Open to AICPA)
    Stay on top of your brand and marketing even during tax season with these easy-to-execute tools.
  • Social Media Toolkit (Open to everyone with some content locked to PCPS)
    Contains relevant resources for CPAs and their firms to have a successful social media presence.
  • Broadridge Advisor (Open to PFP Section)
    Over 3,000 client-friendly articles, presentations and calculators on topics like tax, retirement, estate, risk management and investment planning.

IRS Tax Forms and Publications (Open to everyone)
Access IRS tax forms/instructions and publications you need for completing your clients’ returns.

IRS Draft Tax Forms (Open to everyone)
Use this index to see the latest draft IRS tax forms.

IRS Hotlines Quick Reference Chart (Open to Tax Section)
Shows key phone numbers to contact the IRS.

Contacting the IRS FAQS (Open to Tax Section)
Contains answers to common questions when working with the IRS, from what information to include on all written correspondence, to best practices on how to interact with agents.

Using IRS E-Services (Open to Tax Section)
Learn about the Transcript Delivery System and other e-Services products, and effectively use these tools in your practice.

IRS Notice Guidance and Resources (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)
Contains resources to help you effectively address IRS issues.

IRS First-Time Penalty Abatement (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)
Contains guidance and best practices regarding penalty abatement.

Federal Taxpayer Penalties Quick Reference Chart (Open to Tax Section)
Summarizes common federal taxpayer penalties that the IRS may assess.

Federal Tax Return Preparer Penalties Quick Reference Chart (Open to Tax Section)
Details the various penalties assessed against tax preparers including how the amounts are calculated, abatement opportunities and tips.

Levels of Confidence for Tax Return Positions (Open to Tax Section)
Understand the relationship between levels of confidence, disclosure and potential penalties for preparers and taxpayers.

IRS Collection Guidance and Resources (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)
Contains resources to help you advise your clients on IRS collection enforcement and payment plan options.

Using the IRS Online Payment Agreement (OPA) Tool (Open to Tax Section)
Gain insight into the OPA tool that allows your client (or you as an authorized representative) to apply for certain types of payment agreements.

IRS Authorizations Quick Reference Guide (Open to Tax Section)
Provides a summary of the various types of IRS authorizations and best practices.

Opportunities beckon in new qualified opportunity zones, The Tax Adviser, March 6, 2019
With their prospects for deferral or even exclusion of gains from certain investments in them, the newly created qualified opportunity zones offer an intriguing tax planning option for investors and a potential boon for distressed communities.

Guidance proposed on FDII and GILTI deductions, The Tax Adviser, March 5, 2019
The IRS issued guidance on determining the amount of the deduction for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) under Sec. 250.

Court upholds IRS PTIN fees, The Tax Adviser, March 4, 2019
The IRS has authority to charge a user fee for preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) a federal appeals court held, paving the way for the agency to reinstate the charges for obtaining and renewing a PTIN.

IRS finalizes centralized partnership audit regulations, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 22, 2019
The IRS issued final regulations on the centralized partnership audit regime, which generally assesses tax at the partnership level.

Taxpayers will file QBI deduction computation with IRS next year, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 15, 2019
The IRS posted a draft of a form that affected taxpayers will submit with their 2019 tax returns showing how they computed their qualified business income (QBI) deduction under Sec. 199A.

Bonus depreciation safe-harbor rules for vehicles issued, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 13, 2019
The IRS issued a safe-harbor procedure that taxpayers may follow for determining the deduction for depreciating passenger vehicles when they are eligible for 100% bonus depreciation but are also subject to the Sec. 280F limits on deductions for luxury automobiles.

Identity protection PIN program expands, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 8, 2019
The IRS announced that it is expanding its identity protection personal identification number (IP PIN) program to taxpayers in seven additional states.

IRS issues updates on post-shutdown activities, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 30, 2019
The IRS posted guidance for the public explaining how it will be operating now that the shutdown has ended, to catch up on its backlog in audits, collections, tax return processing, and Tax Court cases.

Government shutdown ends in time for tax season, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 28, 2019
The partial shutdown of the federal government ended just in time to allow the full IRS workforce to return to work for the start of tax season.

Paid preparer’s checklist expands to include head-of-household, other tax credit questions, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 22, 2019
Practitioners should be aware of changes to the due-diligence requirements for returns that claim the earned income tax credit, the American opportunity tax credit, and/or the child tax credit.

Qualified business income deduction regs. and other guidance issued, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 19, 2019
The package includes final regulations, guidance on how to calculate W-2 wages, a safe-harbor rule for rental real estate businesses, and new proposed rules on the treatment of previously suspended losses.

Some individual taxpayers get relief from underpayment penalty, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 17, 2019
The relief applies to individuals whose tax withheld and estimated tax payments equal at least 85% of the tax shown on their 2018 tax return.

Final regulations govern Sec. 965 transition tax, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 16, 2019
The IRS finalized proposed regulations issued last August on the new transition tax, which generally taxes the accumulated post-1986 deferred foreign income of a corporation.

Half of IRS employees to be recalled during tax season, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 15, 2019
The IRS issued an updated contingency plan outlining how it will function during tax season.

IRS announces Free File launch, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 11, 2019
The IRS announced that its Free File program, which provides free electronic filing options to moderate-income taxpayers, opened Jan. 11 and will operate through Oct. 15.

IRS sets start date for tax season, will issue refunds during government shutdown, The Tax Adviser, Jan. 7, 2019
The IRS announced that tax season will start in late January and that it will issue refunds to taxpayers despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Sec. 199A: Questions and answers, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 20, 2018
Jeff Bilsky, CPA, senior practice leader for BDO’s national partnership taxation group, sat down recently for a question-and-answer session on guidance that has been issued on the Sec. 199A qualified business income deduction.

Government shutdown would halt many IRS operations, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 19, 2018
A partial government shutdown at midnight on Friday would affect the IRS, which has not been fully funded for fiscal year 2019.

2019 standard mileage rates announced, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 14, 2018
The IRS released guidance on the standard mileage rate for business, medical and certain moving expenses incurred in 2019.

IRS explains disallowance of qualified transportation fringe benefits for parking, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 11, 2018
The IRS issued guidance outlining how to determine the amount of parking expense that is nondeductible under Sec. 274(a)(4) when employers provide parking for their employees.

Accounting method change procedures for book-tax conformity rule, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 30, 2018
The IRS announced procedures for taxpayers to change their accounting method to comply with the amendment of Sec. 451(b) enacted by the tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

IRS issues guidance on withholding for 2019, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 27, 2018
The IRS issued a notice providing interim guidance for the 2019 calendar year on income tax withholding from wages and retirement and annuity distributions.

Inflation adjustments and tax tables issued for 2019, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 15, 2018
The IRS issued the 2019 annual inflation adjustments for many tax provisions as well as the 2019 tax rate tables for individuals and estates and trusts.

Social Security wage base set for 2019, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 6, 2018
The Social Security Administration said that the amount of wages subject to the old age, survivors and disability insurance (OASDI) tax for 2019 will be $132,900, increased from 2018’s maximum of $128,400.

Tax preparer due diligence rules are finalized, The Tax Adviser, Nov. 6, 2018
The IRS issued final regulations on the penalty that applies to tax return preparers who fail to exercise due diligence in preparing returns for taxpayers who are claiming head-of-household filing status, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, the additional child tax credit or the American opportunity tax credit.

Reviewed February 27, 2019