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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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You’re Already a Consultant

Two businesswomen shaking hands in modern officeChances are you offer clients more than you realize.

By Jody Padar

To me, the most trusted business advisor is the small busi­ness advisor. That’s what my customers see. My firm serves small businesses from the ground up to $10 million. Yes, we look at their numbers, but, practically speaking, one gains a lot when you’re in their financial underwear drawer.

MORE ON RADICALISM: Why Transparency Matters in the ‘New Firm’ | Embrace Disruption | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values | 3 Questions to Ask If You Dare

Most of our conversations are around their questions. It’s a natural extension of the work we already do – financials, taxes, payroll, cash flow and forecasting.
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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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Mazars Recruits Raphy Soussan for Manufacturing & Distribution Practice

Raphy Soussan to Mazars 2018
Soussan

25-year veteran of New York market.

CPA Trendlines

Raphy Soussan has joined the New York accounting office of Mazars USA LLP as a partner in the Manufacturing & Distribution Practice Group, according to RF Resources, which acted as an advisor in the matter.

Prior to joining Mazars USA, Soussan worked at Big Four and mid-size accounting firms, including Anchin Block & Anchin, CBIZ MHM, and Mahoney Cohen, helping clients streamline their operations and achieve their financial objectives. Soussan possesses over 25 years of experience providing auditing, accounting, SEC and GAAP financial reporting including financial planning, tax and business advisory services to a variety of multinational, middle market and start-up companies.

Mazars USA LLP, which traces its roots to 1921, employs more than 20,000 professionals across 86 countries.

71 Places to Find New Clients

Illustration of lead sources

A cornucopia of tech-fueled opportunities for gaining visibility, getting found and attracting business.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

Modern accountants are on board with both the paperless office concept and cloud accounting: embracing them, implementing them, and benefiting from them.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Are You Newsworthy? | Make Newsletters Work for You | How to Schedule Social Media Content | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | More

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But there is a disconnect in most accounting firms in one area, and that’s marketing.

Why are some firms still stuck in the 1970s when it comes to marketing? This drags down the reputation, culture, and perception of the entire firm – and maybe the entire profession.

Here, we've compiled 71 tactics and strategies for professionalizing and systemizing your business development efforts. There are, of course, more. But you won't go wrong picking just a couple from this list and getting to work as seriously on your business as you are at working in your businesas.

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