Tax Season Resources for CPAs

Set yourself up for a smoother filing season by tapping into the wealth of AICPA resources.

This page is provided by the Tax Section, Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Section and Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS).

IRS issues 2020 standard mileage rates, Dec. 31, 2019
The IRS issued the standard mileage rates for 2020 for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes, as well as other deduction amounts (Notice 2020-05).

IRS issues final regulations and FAQs for qualified opportunity zones, Dec. 19, 2019
The final regulations on investments in qualified opportunity zones provide clarifications on the provisions stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Treasury Department also released FAQs highlighting the differences between the proposed and final regulations.

Latest draft Form 1040, related schedules and instructions, Dec. 3, 2019
Additional draft forms and instructions have been posted by the IRS.

Final regulations issued for gift and estate tax exclusion amounts, Nov. 22, 2019
Final regulations have been issued to confirm that individuals who use the increased gift and estate exclusion amounts in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely impacted after 2025 when the exclusion amount is scheduled to be reduced to pre-2018 levels.

Additional Sec. 199A IRS FAQs posted on, Nov. 20, 2019
The IRS posted additional FAQs to provide additional guidance about the Sec. 199A deduction. The new FAQs relate to rental real estate activities, patrons and cooperatives as well as adjustments to qualified business income.

IRS updates per-diem guidance for business travelers, Nov. 14, 2019
Revenue Procedure 2019-48 updates the rules for using per diem rates to document the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home. Deducting actual allowable expenses is still available but remember to remind clients to maintain adequate records.

IRS issues tax year 2020 annual inflation adjustments, Nov. 6, 2019
Revenue Procedure 2019-44 provides the 2020 annual inflation adjustments, including the tax rate schedules for 2020.

Drafts for 2019 Forms 1065 and 1120-S and Schedules K-1, Sept. 30, 2019
The IRS recently released drafts for Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, and its Schedule K-1, Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc., as well as for Form 1120-S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, and its Schedule K-1, Shareholder’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. The goal of the changes is to improve the quality of information being reported to both the IRS and recipients of Schedules K-1.

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.

Filing Season Quick Guide – Tax Year 2019 (Open to everyone)
Handy reference for tax tables, common thresholds, standard amounts, limitations and other 2019 amounts.

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.

Partnership Audit and Adjustment Rules (Open to everyone with some content locked to Tax Section)
Guidance and FAQs to help you understand the new centralized partnership audit regime along with a template letter to help you communicate the changes to your clients.

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 with some content locked to Tax Section and PFP Section)
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.

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.

Tax and Financial Planning Services

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

State Tax Nexus

Partnership Audits

For more, visit the hub for Partnership Audit and Adjustments Rules.

Disaster Relief

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

Tax Planner’s Field Guide (Open to Tax Section and PFP Section)
Handy year-round guide with important tax compliance dates and monthly planning ideas and action steps.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Information Security Plan (Open to Tax Section)
Use this template to help you comply with the safeguards rule contained in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Document Retention FAQs for Tax Practitioners (Open to AICPA)
Provide guidelines for tax practitioners to consider when preparing a written document retention policy for their firm.

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

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

Federal Taxpayer Penalties Guide (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.

2020 tax filing season preview, Journal of Accountancy, Jan. 1, 2020
As CPAs prepare for the 2020 filing season, there are some issues for individuals and business entities to consider.

Qualified opportunity zone regs. finalized, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 20, 2019
The IRS issued final regulations providing guidance on tax-favored investments in qualified opportunity zones (QOZs).

Year-end government spending bill contains many tax provisions, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 19, 2019
The consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress makes many changes to retirement plan rules, repeals health care taxes, extends expired tax provisions, provides tax relief for disaster victims and makes other changes.

5th Circuit invalidates health care law’s individual mandate, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 19, 2019
The Fifth Circuit held that the “individual mandate” under Sec. 5000A, which imposes a “shared responsibility payment” on taxpayers who do not obtain health insurance that provides at least minimum essential coverage, is unconstitutional now that the payment amount has been reduced to zero.

Proposed regs. would govern Sec. 162(m) executive compensation limits, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 17, 2019
The IRS issued proposed regulations on the Sec. 162(m) $1 million limit on executive compensation paid by certain publicly held corporations.

Final regs. issued on foreign tax credits, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 17, 2019
The IRS officially released final regulations providing guidance on determining foreign tax credits. The regulations include changes necessitated by the law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Guidance issued on payments to charitable organizations, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 16, 2019
The IRS issued additional rules on the treatment of deductions for charitable contributions in lieu of state and local taxes, an area in which it has already issued final regulations and other guidance.

Partnership capital reporting requirements postponed until 2020, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 10, 2019
The IRS is postponing the requirement to report partners’ shares of partnership capital on the tax-basis method for 2019 (for partnership tax years beginning in calendar 2019) until 2020 (for partnership tax years that begin on or after Jan. 1, 2020).

For the latest news, see the AICPA’s The Tax Adviser.

Reviewed Jan. 2, 2020