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  • 11 May 2018 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Summer Exam Testing Window is June 1-July 15, 2018

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 11, 2018 — May 30 is the registration deadline for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) summer exams to obtain ACAT Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA), Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) credentials. The summer exam testing window is June 1-July 15, 2018.

    ABA and ATP credential holders are exempt from the IRS Annual Filing Season Program course and exam requirements and do not have to take an Annual Federal Tax Refresher Course or test to earn a Record of Completion.

    ACAT credentials provide evidence to clients and other colleagues that designated accounting and tax professionals have achieved a high level of knowledge and skills and abilities needed to effectively serve their clients. According to the NSA Income & Fees Survey Report, ACAT credential holders’ collect fees higher than unlicensed preparers.

    Earning the ABA Credential

    To become an ABA, candidates must pass the Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy and have three years of related work experience, up to two of which may be satisfied through college credit. In Minnesota and Iowa, achieving the ABA designation meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy. The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy is a two-part 200-question exam that tests the technical proficiency of candidates in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics.

    Earning the ATP Credential

    The ATP is a leading national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns and ethics. To become an Accredited Tax Preparer, candidates must pass the 100-question ATP exam.

    Earning the ATA Credential

    The ATA is a premier national tax credential for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans and performing estate tax planning. Their expertise covers tax returns for individuals, business entities, fiduciaries, trusts and estates, as well as tax planning, tax consulting and ethics. To earn the ATA credential, candidates must pass the 100-question ATA examination and have three years of experience in tax preparation, compliance, tax planning and consulting, of which 40 percent must be in tax planning and consulting.  

    Earning the ARA Credential

    The ARA credential recognizes professionals who have a thorough knowledge of topics relevant to retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates, and trusts; and applying knowledge and skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients. To earn the ARA credential, candidates must pass the 100 multiple-choice question exam.

    The ACAT exams can be taken at Castle Test Centers across the United States. For testing details, exam fees and to register, visit www.acatcredentials.org/examdetails. For more information about ACAT, visit www.acatcredentials.org or call 888-289-7763. Full Press release attached.

    Contact: L. Eileen Erickson, APR+M, CAE | 703-400-4401

  • 08 Mar 2018 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    Current deadline of March 15—by which a corporation must make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year—is unfair to taxpayers, tax professionals and the tax system itself, in the absence of proper IRS guidance.

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 8, 2018 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) issued a request to the IRS for a six month extension of the time by which a corporation must make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year. The requested extension, which extends the time from March 15 to September 15, will allow time for the IRS to issue appropriate guidance as well as time for tax preparers to analyze the guidance and provide sound advice to clients.

    In a strongly worded letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Honorable David Kautter, NSA President Brian L. Thompson, CPA, and NSA Executive Director John G. Ams expressed grave concern over the March 15 deadline by which a corporation must make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year.

    “The March deadline is more than three months in advance of the June 30 date by which the IRS plans to issue priority guidance for tax changes that went into effect by the approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” Ams points out. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December of 2017 made substantial changes to the tax law as it relates to pass-through entities, including S corporations, with the introduction of a new Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. What’s missing is proper guidance.”

    According to Ams, Section 199A is complex and confusing. More importantly, he notes that the effective tax rate can vary substantially depending on the definition of various terms.

    “None of the terms used in Section 199A have been defined in any guidance issued by the IRS since the enactment of the provision,” said Ams.

    According to NSA, the updated Priority Guidance Plan, issued on February 7, 2018, lists guidance under Section 199A as a priority and the hope that all priority guidance will be issued by June 30—more than three months after corporations must make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year.

    As co-owner of Bailey & Thompson Tax & Accounting, P.A., Little Rock, Ark., Thompson, a certified public accountant and president of NSA, knows first-hand the challenges facing tax preparers when tax changes are made without the availability of supporting guidance.

    “NSA members as well as tax professionals across the country are being asked by clients to make our own interpretations of Section 199A,” said Thompson. “This is dangerous territory.”

    Thompson is quick to point out that, to date, IRS and Treasury Department personnel have made numerous speeches acknowledging that the scope of Section 199A could change markedly depending on how official pronouncements choose to define some of the terms, which include “qualified business income” (QBI), “qualified property,” and “W-2 wages” properly applicable to QBI. He also notes that Section 199A further limits the deduction depending on whether the business is deemed to be a “specified service trade or business.”

    “Making an election in March when the guidance on which such election may be based will be issued in June is unfair to taxpayers, tax professionals, and the tax system itself,” Thompson said.

    Working on the assumption that the regulations under Section 199A are, in fact, issued by June 30, NSA believes that any entity considering making an S election should be given a six-month extension, until September 15, 2018, to do so.

    “By allowing a six month extension to September 15, 2018, for a corporation to make an election to be treated as an S corporation for the current calendar year would afford time for all affected parties, as well as their tax adviser, to read and understand any such regulations and how they may impact their tax liabilities,” said Ams.


    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS, CONTACT:

    L. Eileen Erickson, APR+M, CAE
    703-400-4401 (cell)
    media@nsacct.org


  • 25 Jan 2018 11:23 PM | Anonymous

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, January 25, 2018 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) expresses its continuing disappointment with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget appropriation under consideration and its belief that the proposed budget is a disservice to the many individual and small business taxpayers for whom NSA members provide tax services.

    “The IRS Division responsible for responding to taxpayer telephone calls estimates that it would be able to respond to only 60 percent of calls during the 2018 filing season, which is the high point of their operations,” said NSA Executive Director John G. Ams. “It’s even more distressing that they estimate that for the entire 2018 fiscal year, less than 40 percent of calls will be answered. This is unacceptable.”

    In a letter to members of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Ams and NSA President Brian L. Thompson, CPA, urge committee members to substantially increase appropriations for the IRS from the proposed level of slightly more than $11 billion in order to provide the agency adequate resources to perform its mission. “The budget recommendation would fund the IRS, in total, below their fiscal year 2008 level,” noted Ams, citing a report from the House Subcommittee on Appropriations.

    The impact of this inadequate funding level will have immediate and profound impacts for all taxpayers, according to Thompson. “Without adequate funding, the IRS will not be able to respond to taxpayers or tax professionals due to a reduction in the number of IRS personnel and the lack of training for either seasonal or full-time employees; and the IRS will not be able to update and modernize outdated technology systems that still prevent some returns from being filed electronically even though e-filing provides a more efficient means of operations.”

    According to Thompson, this funding level also leaves the future uncertain for both the IRS and the taxpaying public. “It’s interesting to note that in the midst of one of the largest tax reform initiatives in more than 30 years, we are seeing budget cuts to the one organization responsible for establishing definitive guidance and regulations, and helping  interpret provisions of the newly-created Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” Thompson noted. “Frankly, we question whether many of the estimated benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can be realized in the absence of this much-needed IRS guidance,” he added.

    In their letter, Ams and Thompson also note the need for additional funding to support the IRS in its efforts to fight identity theft and tax refund fraud, and to ensure its ability to have an adequate number of fully-trained employees on hand to respond to taxpayer calls and provide assistance throughout the year.

    The NSA letter agrees with findings from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2017 Annual Report to Congress that noted, “Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to upgrade its technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and unable to maintain compliance programs that both promote compliance and protect taxpayer rights.”

    “What we need now is for the Committee to reflect upon the full scope of work it has established for the IRS, which is to ‘enforce tax laws, stop and prevent fraud, prepare forms and instructions, process refunds, collect revenue and assist taxpayers in complying with tax obligations’—and then establish a budget that adequately supports those efforts,” Ams said.

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.

    For more information on the impacts of the IRS budget appropriations on the tax paying public and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or to scheudle interviews with NSA leaders, contact Eileen Erickson at 703-400-4401.

  • 02 Sep 2017 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – BRIAN THOMPSON PHOTO ATTACHED AND OTHERS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

    Contact:   Al Rickard
                     703-402-9713
                     arickard@assocvision.com


    Alexandria, VA, September 26, 2017 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) elected a slate of new officers, District Governors, and State Directors at its 72nd Annual Convention in Reno, NV.

    The following officers were installed to the NSA Executive Committee for 2017-2018:

    • President – Brian L. Thompson, CPA, Little Rock, AR
    • First Vice President – Christine Freeland, CPA, ABA, ARA, Chandler, AZ
    • Second Vice President – Joel Grandon, LPA, EA, ARA, Marion, Iowa
    • Secretary-Treasurer – Curtis Lee, ATA, ATP, Raleigh, NC (serving through 2019)

    District Governors elected to new terms in several districts included:

    • District I: Joseph Santoro, CPA, ABA, CVA, Wolfeboro, NH
    • District III: Paul Thompson, EA, ATA, ABA, ARA, Alexandria, VA
    • District V: Robert Thoma, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA, Columbia, IL
    • District VII: Eric Hansen, ATP, Omaha, NE
    • District IX: Susan Robertson, EA, ATA, ABA, LTC, Portland, OR
    • District XI: Dick Isoo Oshima, CPA, Honolulu, HI

    State Directors elected include:

    District II:

    New York: Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lagrangeville, NY

    Pennsylvania: Andrew J. Piernock, Jr., ATP, Philadelphia, PA

    Puerto Rico: Maria T. Maiz-Aguilar, ABA, Hormigueros, PR

    District IV:

    Florida: Robert Huisinga, ATA, ATP, Jacksonville, FL

    Georgia: Rhonda Marshall, EA, Bowdon, GA 

    North Carolina: Margie H. Strider, ATP, ATA, Asheboro, NC

    District VI:

    Alabama: Martha J. Drake, Vinemont, AL

    Mississippi: Pamela Stamps, CPA, Brookhaven, MS

    Tennessee: Gene Damron, CPA, ABA, ATA, ATP, Olive Branch, MS

    District VIII:

    Arkansas: Christopher Clatworthy, CPA, Marvell, AR

    Louisiana: Danette L. Daigle, EA, ARA, Baton Rouge, LA

    New Mexico: Mae S. Yee, CPA, Albuquerque, MN

    Oklahoma: Dean Taylor, EA, Oklahoma City, OK

    Texas: Lloyd H. Thelemann, EA, CSA, Garland, TX

    District X:

    Arizona: Nancy Weinstein, EA, Mesa, AZ  

    California: Roger S. Kent, EA, Los Gatos, CA

    A new state director from Rhode Island is also filling a vacancy. He is Robert J. Iadeluca, EA, PA of Cranston.

    For more information about NSA, visit www.nsacct.org.

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 practitioners who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.


  • 24 Apr 2017 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    Registration deadline is May 30, 2017

    WASHINGTON, DC, April 24, 2017 — Registration for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) exam to obtain ACAT Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor, Accredited Tax Preparer and Accredited Tax Advisor credentials is now open and the Summer exam testing window is June 1-July 15, 2017. The registration deadline is May 30, 2017.

    Accredited Tax Preparers (ATP) and Accredited Business Accountant/Advisors (ABA) are exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) and automatically qualify for the IRS Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.

    ATPs and ABAs who are Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) Record of Completion Holders are included in the IRS public directory of tax return preparers and have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

    Tax and accounting professionals can also register to take the exam to obtain the Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) credential this summer.

    Achieving ACAT accreditation provides a distinction that sets accounting and tax professionals apart and open doors for practice development and career advancement. Earning ACAT credentials provides evidence to clients that accounting and tax professionals have achieved a high level of knowledge and skills and abilities needed to effectively serve their clients.

    According to the NSA Income & Fees Survey Report, ACAT credential holders charge more than unlicensed preparers and equal to Enrolled agents. For example, ACAT credential holders charge an average fee of $258 to prepare an itemized Form 1040, while unlicensed practitioners charge an average fee of $217.

    To become an ABA, candidates must pass the Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy and have three years of related work experience, up to two of which may be satisfied through college credit. In Minnesota and Iowa, achieving the ABA designation meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy.

    The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy is a two-part 200-question exam that tests the technical proficiency of candidates in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics.

    The ATP is a leading national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics. To become an Accredited Tax Preparer, candidates must pass the 100-question ATP exam.

    The ATA is a premier national tax credential for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans and performing estate tax planning. Their expertise covers tax returns for individuals, business entities, fiduciaries, trusts and estates, as well as tax planning, tax consulting and ethics. To become an Accredited Tax Advisor, candidates must pass the 100-question ATA examination and have three years of experience in tax preparation, compliance, tax planning and consulting, of which 40 percent must be in tax planning and consulting.

    The exams can be taken at Castle test centers across the United States. Visit http://www.acatcredentials.org/examdetails for more details, exam fees and to register.

    For more information about ACAT credentials, visit www.acatcredentials.org or call 888-289-7763.

    # # #

  • 22 Nov 2016 3:40 PM | Anonymous

    ALEXANDRIA, VA - November 21, 2016 — As you and your business approach the end of 2016, you have a limited-time opportunity to save additional taxes through a variety of steps. When the year ends, so does the opportunity.

    Businesses seeking to maximize tax benefits through year-end tax planning can consider several strategies, such as use of traditional timing techniques for income and deductions and the role of the tax extenders, as well as strategies targeted specifically to a particular business
     
    As in past years, planning is uncertain because of the expiration of at least some popular but temporary tax breaks. Also added to the mix: the far-reaching Affordable Care Act (ACA) and whatever changes to 2017 the new Congress and Administration may make to the Tax Code.
     
    The National Society of Accountants (NSA) offers this review of tax changes and strategies for businesses, courtesy of CCH (a Wolters Kluwer business).
     
    Tax Law Changes
    You and your business need to consider changes to the tax laws in 2016 when assessing year-end strategies. You can also save by avoiding penalties and knowing how to comply with some new IRS rules and regulations.
     
    PATH Act “extenders.” 
    The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), enacted at the end of 2015, made permanent many business-related provisions, including:
     

    • The 100-percent gain exclusion on qualified small business stock.
    • The reduced five-year recognition period for S corporation built-in gains tax.
    • 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, restaurant property and retail improvements.
    • Charitable deductions for the contribution of food inventory, and others.

     
    Perhaps most significant for small businesses, enhancements starting in 2016 were added to both a permanently extended research credit and Code Sec. 179 expensing deduction.
     
    Five-year Extensions. 
    The PATH Act extended several business-related provisions available for five years (pending more general tax reform). Among these provisions, bonus depreciation and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit have widespread applicability.
    A number of modifications have also been made that:

    • reduce the bonus rate from 50 percent to 40 percent for property placed in service in 2018, and to 30 percent for property placed in service in 2019 (for 2016 and again for 2017, it remains at 50 percent);
    • replaces the bonus allowance for qualified leasehold improvement property with a bonus allowance for additions and improvements to the interior of any nonresidential real property, effective for property placed in service after 2015;
    • allows farmers to claim a 50 percent deduction in place of bonus depreciation on certain trees, vines and plants in the year of planting or grafting rather than the placed-in-service year, effective for planting and grafting after 2015;
    • reduces the $8,000 bump-up in the first year luxury car depreciation cap for passenger automobiles on which bonus depreciation is claimed to $6,400 for passenger automobiles placed in service in 2018 and $4,800 for passenger automobiles placed in service in 2019, and only if the taxpayer does not generally elect out of bonus depreciation; and
    • extends the long-term accounting method relief for bonus depreciation claimed on property placed in service in 2015 through 2019.

     
    Expiring at the end of 2016. 
    A handful of business-related tax breaks did not fare well under the PATH Act, having been extended only through this year. Further extensions remain uncertain.

    Regarding these breaks, your year-end business strategies should include, where appropriate, the acceleration of expenses to maximize: use of film and TV production expense elections; energy-efficient commercial buildings deductions; mine-safety equipment expense elections; and additional depreciation for biofuel plant property.

    Revised repair regulations.
    The IRS final tangible property regulations (aka the “repair regs”) continue to control the accounting for costs to acquire, repair and improve tangible property, impacting virtually all asset-based businesses (with additional “clean-up” expected next year). Qualifying for new safe harbors – a de minimis expensing safe harbor and a remodel-refresh safe harbor – can yield substantial immediate deductions.
     
    Partnership audit rules.
    The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Budget Act) repealed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) unified partnership audit rules and replaces them with streamlined procedures. The Budget Act delayed the effective date of the new audit rules for returns filed for partnership tax years beginning after 2017. Subject to certain exceptions, partnerships may choose to apply the new regime immediately to any partnership tax year beginning after November 2, 2015.
     
    Business use of vehicles.
    Several year-end strategies for both business expense deductions for vehicles and the fringe-benefit use of vehicles by employees involve an awareness of certain rates and dollar caps that change annually. Recent changes to the standard mileage rates and vehicle depreciation limits are critical to these strategies.
     
    Affordable Care Act
    Despite several delays and legislative tweaks, the basic structure of the ACA for businesses remains intact. Being an applicable large employer (ALE) triggers employer-shared responsibility provisions and the employer information-reporting provisions. Small businesses too are affected by the ACA and should take it into account in planning. Some incentives under the ACA, including health reimbursement arrangements and small-business health-care tax credits, can help maximize tax savings for small businesses.
     
    Information reporting under the ACA continues to challenge all businesses.
     
    Revised Deadlines
    The due date for filing partnership and C corporation returns was modified by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015.
     
    Generally applicable to returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015, both Forms 1120-S and 1065 are due on or before the 15th day of the third month following the close of the tax year (March 15 for calendar-year taxpayers). The due date for filing of Form 1120 by C corporations is changed to the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of the tax year (April 15 for calendar-year taxpayers).
     
    These are just some considerations of year-end planning for businesses. For help, find a qualified tax preparer in your area on the NSA website at www.nsacct.org. Click on “Find a Professional” or call 800-966-6679.

    # # #

     NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.


  • 12 Sep 2016 9:27 AM | Anonymous


    Those passing the exam and earning the ATP and ABA credentials will be exempt from the AFTR course and exam

    WASHINGTON, DC, September 12, 2016 — Registration is now open for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) Fall 2016 exams for accountants, tax preparers and students seeking to earn the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) and Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) credentials.

    Achieving ACAT accreditation provides a distinction that sets accounting and tax professionals apart and open doors for practice development and career advancement. Earning ACAT credentials provides evidence to clients that accounting and tax professionals have achieved a high level of knowledge and skills and abilities needed to effectively serve their clients.

    The opportunity to earn ATP and ABA credentials is important because ATPs and ABAs automatically qualify for the IRS Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion and are exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

    Rules about who may represent clients before the IRS changed at the beginning of 2016. ATPs and ABAs who are AFSP Record of Completion Holders now have limited representation rights, meaning they can represent clients whose returns they prepare and sign, before examination, customer service representatives and the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

    The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy (ABA), the Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) exam and the Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) exam can be taken between November 1 – December 15, 2016 at test sites across the United States.

    ACAT credential holders must meet ongoing continuing professional education (CPE) requirements and adhere to a code of ethics.

    The ABA is a high-level credential that tests the technical proficiency of accounting and tax professionals in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics. Emphasis is on a practical approach to public accounting. Achieving the ABA designation in IA and and MN meets state regulatory requirements to practice public accountancy.

    The exam is divided into two parts: Practice 1 and Practice 2. Practice 1 covers financial accounting and financial statement preparation, presentation and reporting. Practice 2 covers the taxation, business law, business accounting and ethics.

    The ABA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), an independent resource recognized as the authority on accreditation standards for professional certification organizations and programs.

    The ATA is a leading national credential for tax practitioners who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.

    The exam tests for sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans, and performing estate tax planning.
    The ATP is also a leading national credential for tax practitioners who have a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics.

    ABA, ATA, and ATP candidates must pass the exams and meet experience requirements to earn the credentials. A blueprint for each exam with more information on topic areas is available at www.acatcredentials.org.

    The exam fee for both Practice 1 and Practice 2 of the ABA exam is $400 or $250 for one Practice of the exam. The ATA and ATP exam fees are $250.

    The National Society of Accountants (NSA) offers preparatory course study guides for both the ABA, ATA, and ATP exams and preview exams, which mirror the topics and question format of the ACAT exams.

    For more information about ACAT credentials and to register, visit www.acatcredentials.org or call 888-289-7763.

    # # #

    The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) is an independent accrediting and monitoring organization affiliated with the National Society of Accountants. ACAT accredits professionals in independent practice who have demonstrated measurable knowledge of the principles, practices, and ethical standards of accounting, taxation, information technology and related financial services. For more information, visit www.acatcredentials.org.
  • 07 Sep 2016 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    Alexandria, VA, September 7, 2016 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) elected a slate of new officers, District Governors, and State Directors at its 71st Annual Convention in Tampa, FL.

    The following officers were installed to the NSA Executive Committee for 2016-2017:

    • President – Alfred Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA, ARA, Catonsville, MD
    • First Vice President – Brian L. Thompson, CPA, Little Rock, AR
    • Second Vice President – Christine Freeland, CPA, ABA, ARA, Chandler, AZ

    District Governors elected to new terms in several districts included:

    • District II: Robert Genovese, ATA, ATP, Howard Beach, NY
    • District IV: Dave Rancourt, EA, ATA, ABA, ARA, Sarasota, FL
    • District VI: Debra J. Cope, CPA, ATA, ATP, Chattanooga, TN
    • District VIII: Marchelle Foshee, CPA, Morrilton, AR
    • District X: Ruth Godfrey, EA, Upland, CA

    State Directors elected include:

    District I:
    New Hampshire: Edda M. Martin, ATP, ARA

    Maine: Marcus E. McAllister, EA

    Massachusetts: Jerome V. Sweeney, II, CPA, ATA, ABA, ATP

    District III:

    Maryland: Ronald H. Grafman, EA

    West Virginia: Kathleen Rogers "Billie" Lovett, CPA

    District V:

    Wisconsin: Margaret Schell, CPA

    Indiana: Steve Haworth, CPA, ATA, ABA, ARA

    Illinois: Raymond Heinen, EA, ARA

    Michigan: Richard L. Petrucha, EA, ABA

    District VI:

    Tennessee: Gene Damron, CPA, ABA, ATA, ATP

    District VII:

    Missouri: Marcia Reed, EA, ABA

    Nebraska: Eric R. Hansen, ATP

    North Dakota: Albert D. Krueger, EA

    Kansas: Sally Levitt, EA, PA, ATA, ABA

    Minnesota: Ellen E. Stebbins, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA

    District IX:

    Alaska: James R. Dailey, EA

    Idaho: W. Brian Haderlie, CPA

    Oregon: Shirly R. Kindig, ABA

    Colorado: Robert D. Kuziak, PA, ATP, ARA

    Montana: Mary A. Lemons, EA, ABA

    Washington: Lawrence C. Walkden, EA, ATA, ABA, ARA

    District X:

    California: Roger Kent, EA

    District XI:

    Hawaii: Eric Matsuda, CPA, ATA, ABA

    For more information about NSA, visit www.nsacct.org.

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 practitioners who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium-size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.


  • 07 Sep 2016 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    Alexandria, VA, September 7, 2016 – Leaders of the National Society of Accountants (NSA) have sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives opposing any resolution to impeach or censure Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen.

    The letter was co-authored by NSA President Al Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA, ARA, and NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. It was sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin.

    “We are concerned that the effort to censure or impeach Commissioner Koskinen will hasten the deterioration of the voluntary compliance system that is the cornerstone of our taxing structure,” NSA leaders wrote. “The lack of respect for the IRS shown by such an effort, especially when coupled with the significant budget cuts enacted over the last several years, is already apparent as evidenced by the numerous taxpayers who ask NSA members why they should pay their taxes when the IRS does not have the ability to audit them.
    “We are also concerned that impeachment or censure will further disrupt the functioning of the IRS, which already suffers from low morale as a result of inadequate budgets and the inability to hire sufficient staff to deal with an ever-increasing work load.”

    Giovetti and Ams concluded the letter by saying, “The effort to impeach or censure Commissioner Koskinen will inevitably take up time the Congress could better spend enacting meaningful tax reform that the taxpaying public, tax professionals, Congress, and the Administration all agree is long overdue.”

    Speaking about the decision to send the letter, Ams said, “The steady erosion of resources within the IRS has had a huge detrimental effect on the ability of taxpayers and their paid tax preparers to complete their tax returns in a timely manner. It is increasingly challenging to obtain IRS responses to questions and provide the guidance we often need to comply with the complex tax code. It’s time to focus on better service from the IRS and not penalize Commissioner Koskinen as he works to improve IRS operations.”

    For more information about NSA, visit www.nsacct.org.

    # # #NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium- size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.


  • 18 May 2016 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    Washington, DC, May 17, 2016 —The National Society of Accountants (NSA) today called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make sweeping improvements to its outdated technology and use this new technology to facilitate more efficient and productive personal contact with taxpayers.

    The comments were delivered by NSA Executive Vice President John Ams, at a Public Forum on Taxpayer and Stakeholder Needs and Preferences held by the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate.

    Ams and other panelists offered testimony in response to the Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report, which identified future needs such as making its operations more agile and efficient, strengthening cyber defense to prevent identity theft and refund fraud, using data analytics, and developing approaches to deter non-compliant taxpayer behavior.

    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has proposed technology that would create taxpayer accounts at the IRS “where they, or their preparers, could log in securely, get all the information about their account, and interact with the IRS as needed.”

    Ams said this would be a “welcome improvement” but stressed that other factors are hindering taxpayer interaction with the IRS and must be addressed, including:

    • Some IRS forms cannot currently be submitted online, which requires that the entire return must be submitted via the regular mail system. 
    • Computer-generated IRS form letters often include a date by which a taxpayer response must be received to forestall the placement of IRS liens. Since the IRS cannot currently receive an email with the information, this means the taxpayer must respond by mail. However, the IRS does not have the capability to quickly open taxpayer mail, with the result that the IRS may place liens on taxpayer assets even if the taxpayer timely replied to the IRS letter.
    • IRS personnel often cannot quickly locate taxpayer forms, records, powers of attorney or other documents when taxpayers or preparers manage to reach an employee, meaning that telephone waiting time of 45 minutes or more is wasted.
    • According to the Commissioner, the IRS operates more than 35 different computer systems, most of which cannot communicate with each other, creating technology-related barriers to the resolution of taxpayer problems.

    NSA President Kathy Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, who leads Hettick Accounting in Enumclaw, Washington, added, “For most taxpayers, interaction is simply having the ability to look on the IRS website for information about tax matters in general. Other taxpayers would like to go online to review the specifics of their account and, if everything is in order, have no need to speak directly with an IRS representative. Still others, however, have specific issues that require personal interaction, either by the taxpayer or their representative, and such interaction would be much more efficient if the technology at the IRS allowed it.”

    Ams recommended that the IRS implement technology upgrades that would allow any taxpayer or tax professional to:

    • Submit a Form 2868 Power of Attorney and have immediate access to a client’s information.
    • Submit an inquiry on any IRS Correspondence similar to what was capable on the EAR system.
    • Submit form 1040X as an e-filed form.
    • Have a chat capability like so many customer service companies to answer procedural questions.
    • Have a secure email system for tax professionals in good standing to communicate with the IRS so that responses to any IRS correspondence can both be submitted and be logged as being timely received.

    “Improved technology is not a replacement for personal contact with IRS personnel,” Ams concluded. “Rather, it is a means to make that contact more efficient and productive. It is a means of having a substantive interaction where both the taxpayer and the IRS representative have access to the same information.”

    Ams also stated that achieving these goals “depends on an adequate IRS budget. NSA is disappointed in the decrease in IRS funding levels since 2010. Although the impact of these budget cuts on the IRS is and has been severe, it has been just as painful for individual and small business taxpayers who have to cope with the tax code that Congress created – a tax code that has seen more than 4,500 changes since it was last overhauled in 1986.”

    He criticized the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee report last year, which declared that the reduced IRS budget it approved was “sufficient for the IRS to perform its core duties.”

    “That statement can only be true if the Committee’s definition of IRS ‘core duties’ does not include such tasks as collecting revenue or responding to taxpayer requests, including answering the telephone when taxpayers call seeking help.”

    For more information about NSA, visit www.nsacct.org.

    # # #NSA and its affiliates represent more than 30,000 members who provide accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial and estate planning, and management services to approximately 19 million individuals and business clients. Most members are sole practitioners or partners in small- to medium- size accounting firms. NSA protects the public by requiring its members to adhere to a strict code of ethics. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.
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