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New eBook: Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions

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Get your "pass-thru" questions answered in the new instant download.

By Stephen L. Nelson

Congress just passed the biggest tax bill in 30 years, and you’re probably already getting calls from clients in small business owners and real estate about how the new “Sec. 199A” or “Pass-Thru” deduction works.

“Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions” e-book monograph by Stephen L. Nelson, CPA, at Evergreen Small Business Tax & Accounting, gets you immediately fluent with the new tax law, so you can confidently and comfortably talk with clients. And it outlines the urgent actions some of your clients need to take even before it's too late.

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Eliminate Tax Season Excuses

Older man with finger on lips and other hand out in "shush" gestureOr, 10 things not to say.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Tax season is a busy time and preparers sometimes neglect to get something outside of tax prep done. Needless to say, clients don't want to hear it. And your firm may miss some valuable opportunities.

MORE ON TAX SEASON: 10 Questions Every Reviewer Should Be Able to Answer | 16 Qualities of a Good Tax Season Client | 5 Ways Thorough Beats Sloppy In Tax Season | Here’s Your New Tax Season Marketing Plan

Here are a bunch of phony reasons why some things don't get done...
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Tax Pros Gain Slight Ground in E-Filings

The IRS remains in beast mode with its processing rate.

Chart of IRS filing statistics for the week ending Feb. 9, 2018
^ IRS filing statistics for the week ending Feb. 9, 2018

By Beth Bellor

Two weeks into the filing season, tax professionals have picked up a few percentage points over self-preparers.

MORE ON TAX SEASON: Tax Pros Turning in Only 39% of E-Filings | Beware the EZ Way Out  | IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals | Can the IRS Improve Its Phone Service? | When Clients Face ‘Unreal’ IRS Audits | IRS Warns about Private Debt Collectors for Tax Season 2018 | Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems
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Comparison to 2017 remains a challenge because this year's Jan. 29 season opener lops a full six days off the same reporting periods.

The IRS had received 30.9 million individual income tax returns as of Feb. 9, down 3.8 percent from the same period last year, when there had been six more filing days. It has processed 30 million returns this year, down 4.5 percent.

The IRS has processed 97.2 percent of returns received in 2018. READ MORE →

Tax Pros Turning in Only 39% of E-Filings

You know the flip side ... self-preparers are creeping toward the two-thirds mark.

By Beth Bellor

Tax season is upon us and the filings are pouring in, according to CPA Trendlines research.

MORE ON TAXES: Can the IRS Improve Its Phone Service? | When Clients Face ‘Unreal’ IRS Audits | IRS Warns about Private Debt Collectors for Tax Season 2018 | Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems

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An initial glance at statistics for the week ending Feb. 2 shows data points down considerably from the same week in 2017, occasionally by double digits.

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Beware the EZ Way Out

Get a read on the busy season. Join the survey; get the results
Benchmark your busy season. Join the survey; get the results.

IRS mulls new 1023-EZ rules for 501(c)(3)'s.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

It’s safe to say that CPA firms tend to love IRS Form 1023-EZ, the simplified form for application for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Introduced in 2014, the form was EZ on the nascent, smallish not-for-profit and on the CPA trying to help them get started.

MORE TAX SEASON:  IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals | Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems  |  2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29  |  2018 Tax Season: The Race to Be Ready   |  The IRS Tip 10 List for Choosing a Tax Pro   |  New eBook: Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions  |  Bowman Webinar: Inside the IRS Financial Analysis Handbook  |  Average Fees Set for 7% Increases

Browse more at CPA Trendlines’ taxtrendlines.com

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This easier version of Form 1023 was a good and necessary idea. The IRS was way backed up on approvals of the original application. Approval was taking an average of 315 days. To the delight of do-gooders, wanna-be do-gooders, and outright frauds, virtually all 1023-EZs are approved in short order. Approvals were and still are passed down in just a couple of weeks.

Trouble is, a lot of those expedited approvals were for organizations that didn’t qualify for 501(c)(3) status.

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Facial Recognition Could Replace Boarding Passes Within 4 Years

Illustration of how biometrics would workKeep your passport in your pocket.

By Rick Richardson

Goodbye, passport; so long, boarding pass. And get ready for this – your means of entry at airports could soon just be your face.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: GM Plans a Car with No Steering Wheel in 2019 | FCC OKs First Wireless Distant Charger | Bitcoin Mining Uses More Electricity per Year Than Ireland | The Biggest Thing Since Double Entry Was Invented [VIDEO] | 4 Steps for Crafting an Effective Password | Deloitte Develops Audit Technology for Smaller Firms | Blockchain Defined [VIDEO]
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Dan Tanciar, a deputy executive director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, said that biometrics for international travelers, which allow passengers to board a flight or clear passport control via a photo, are right around the corner.
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IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals

Get a read on the busy season. Join the survey; get the results
Benchmark your busy season. Join the survey; get the results.

Unintended consequences: Pushing low-end taxpayer-clients to tax professionals.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

Online accounts at the IRS are a good idea, but maybe not as good as the IRS would like to think – certainly not as good as a qualified tax preparer.

The Taxpayer Advocacy Service has long called for online accounts. In 2016 they became a reality. Unfortunately, for many, it has been a painful reality.

MORE TAX SEASON:  Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems  |  2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29  |  2018 Tax Season: The Race to Be Ready   |  The IRS Tip 10 List for Choosing a Tax Pro   |  New eBook: Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions  |  Bowman Webinar: Inside the IRS Financial Analysis Handbook  |  Average Fees Set for 7% Increases

Browse more at CPA Trendlines’ taxtrendlines.com

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The migration toward online assistance – ideally automated online assistance – is a product of the severe budget cuts the IRS has suffered. The Service can’t afford personnel to man the phones or keep Taxpayer Assistance Centers open.

But the budget cuts did not mandate a cut in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Taxpayers still have a legal right to quality service, confidentiality and a fair, just tax system.

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Firm Product Management Is the Way to the Future

Provider and customer have to be aligned.

By Jody Padar
From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide

What is your firm’s purpose?

Let’s go back to the idea of innovation, or what I like to describe as the application of innovation and business model transformation.

MORE ON RADICALISM: Josh Zweig’s LiveCA Offers New Thinking from the Ground Up | Why Our Clients Need Us to Be Radical | Introducing the Fifth Radical Tenet: The Business Model | Dear Midsized Firms: Yes, You Can Change | The Four Tenets of Radical Firms: A Brief Review | The Radical CPA: Always Changing
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We’re not just managing change anymore. Change management is becoming obsolete – New Firms know they must be nimbler than just strategizing around any sort of targeted change. Managing change was fine five years ago, but trust me when I say we are beyond that.
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