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NAEA recently announced two new member benefits, and we are still awfully excited by them:
Hundreds of people have participated in the Verifyle Pro demonstrations. For those of you who missed the live webinars, you can view this on-demand webinar to get up to speed. Further, we are looking for a member who has used the product for a while and who would be comfortable co-leading a use case webinar with our Verifyle partners. If this is you, send us an email.
- Verifyle Pro™: A secure, easy to use online document sharing, storage, and messaging service that provides private and secure e-mail, cloud file sharing, and encryption.
- Wolters Kluwer TaxAware Center: An online 24/7/365 research portal, spanning state and federal tax news and information.
Finally, we are hearing a drumbeat requesting similar webinars for the TaxAware Center, and are working on providing a demonstration webinar. Hang tight!
Tax Season Survey – We Want to Hear From You
Every year, NAEA checks the pulse of the industry ahead of tax season by asking America’s Tax Experts® their views on factors impacting the profession. This is your chance to shape the media’s story. You can access the survey here.
2020-2021 Affiliate Council Election
The following members were elected to two-year terms to begin May 2020:
Bernadette Antonelli, EA, was elected by the members of the council to the office of Affiliate Council Chair for the term of one year to begin May 2020.
- Jeff Augenstein, EA
Michael Lawrence, EA
- Bill Nemeth, EA
Council members Michael Carlisle, EA, and Melissa Longmuir, EA, will continue in their current terms and Linda Sandige, EA, will conclude her service on the council in May 2020.
Congratulations to newly elected (or re-elected) leaders.
NAEA Advocacy in Action—Unpacked One Plank at a Time
Two weeks ago, NAEA sent IRS a white paper entitled Creating a Taxpayer-focused IRS with recommendations for improving the agency. In last week’s issue, we highlighted needed budget reforms. The second plank of NAEA’s white paper urges IRS to create a dedicated training division, some are calling “IRS University.” (E@lert is pushing for Delta House, though we suspect this a non-starter.) Seriously though, the main objectives of this new division would be to increase competency and create a culture of taxpayer (and, of course, practitioner) service. Specifically, we recommend the new division:
NAEA was instrumental in having this emphasis on improving training included in the Taxpayer First Act. We anticipate working closely with the IRS in helping them reorganize and implement world-class training practices.
- streamline the IRS education process, ensuring that tax law and administrative policies be taught consistently throughout the country while guaranteeing that experienced personnel will not have to be taken offline to train new employees.
- research state-of-the-art tax administration techniques at the state, local, and international levels and incorporate these approaches into education materials and the Internal Revenue Manual.
- focus IRS training on early and fair resolution of tax disputes.
And we do not mean either closing time at the local watering hole or the semi-annual sale at Neiman Marcus, which would never be so downmarket as to call a sale a sale.
Today is the last day an EA with an SSN terminating in 4, 5, or 6 may renew timely.
IRS devotes an entire webpage to the renewal process and details. E@lert (and others at NAEA’s headquarters) has helped too many members to mention renew late, and every single one would report the process is stressful and much more difficult that completing timely.
Several state items of interest:
- Bloomberg reports “As many as a dozen states are considering an non-aggression pact to halt the kind of tax-incentive bidding wars that permitted Amazon.com Inc. to squeeze nearly $600 million in subsidies out of Virginia for its second world headquarters.
Also of note, a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 5674, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2020) would limit the authority of states to tax certain income of employees for performance of employment in other states. Of note, the legislation would create a standardized 30-day threshold for taxation by other states. E@lert suggests in an election year, this is not going anywhere, but similar bills have been introduced in the past (2017, for instance).
- The California Labor and Workforce Agency has developed FAQs to explain employee/independent contractor status in the wake of a recently-passed law (AB5). Oh, and the FTB has its own gig economy webpage, too.
- New Jersey’s governor signed into law legislation that establishes an elective pass-through entity (PTE) alternative income tax, which allows pass-through entities to report and pay tax at the entity level. Deloitte unpacks the new election, and what it means for Garden State taxpayers.
In TD 9892, IRS provides final regulations (or. actually, finalizes 2017 temporary regulations updating due dates and available extensions of time to tile certain tax returns and information returns. The regulations affect those who file Form W-2 (excluding Form W-2G, Form W-3, Form 990, Form 1099-MISC, Form 1041, and so forth).
In a news release (which we know is not authority), IRS provides information related to the recent repeal of the so-called “parking lot tax” on tax-exempt organizations.
In Notice 2020-6, IRS provides relief to financial institutions expected to provide RMD statements to IRA owners by January 31, 2020. The notice clarifies if an RMD statement is provided for 2020 to an IRA owner who will turn age 70 ½ in 2020, IRS will not consider the statement to be incorrect—but only if the financial institution notifies the IRA owner by April 15, 2020, that no RMD is due in 2020.
| || EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK|
E@lert spent MLK weekend in Miami doing a little recon in anticipation of Super Bowl LIV. We did not find the stadium, which does not really matter as we do not have tickets (though StubHub would gladly sell you nosebleed tickets at $5K each). Probably more important is what to serve while you are at home. Good Housekeeping suggests 25 “super easy” Super Bowl appetizers, while the Food Network opens with bacon-cheeseburger garbage bread, which will come in handy while watching the Martha Stewart/Snoop Dog Tostitos commercial. And speaking of avocados, the Wall Street Journal warns us “avocado hand” is back with a vengeance (and “avocado hand” is, well, stabbing yourself with a knife while making guacamole).
Otherwise, we offer a finger-lickin’ good bucket full of tax-related items, pulled especially for America’s Tax Experts®:
- Americans are losing millions to Social Security scams. Talk with your clients about this. Perhaps show them this clip, highlighting a Utah couple who lost $150K to scammers.
- The Tax Policy Center has a nifty piece on tax expenditures, which at $1.4 trillion (yes, with a “t”), are a rather big deal. The animated videos are fun, too.
- Matt Levine at Bloomberg is one of E@lert’s favorite finance writers, and he writes about a fabulous tax credit Ponzi scheme, opening with “…I really cannot resist the elegance and financial-engineering purity of the DC Solar Ponzi scheme.” He then goes on to assert it was not a simple Ponzi scheme as much as it was simply tax fraud.
- Microsoft lost a battle with IRS and has been forced to hand over documents the Service has been pursuing for years.
- Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told CNBC (at Davos, of course) the administration has commenced work on what it has been calling “tax cut 2.0” and what others call an additional round of tax cuts.
- IRS in late December made changes to the Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) program. Changes for 2020 include a change to the list of document types CAAs are authorized to authenticate and submit with ITIN applications.
- We have become a bit fascinated by e-gaming, and proving the adage “there’s a tax angle to everything,” here is an interesting blog post on the tax consequences of e-gaming.
- Congratulations to VSEA, which we omitted from our Tax Break listing of states that have secured EA Week proclamations. The Virginia Society, however, has a permanent legislative “fix” and enjoys the fruits of its state legislative day (or “fly-in” day) efforts.
“I have learned the value of hard work by working hard.”
— Margaret Mead (1901-1978), American cultural anthropologise
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NAEA E@lert | Volume 2: Issue 6
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