NSA News

  • 06 Apr 2015 4:07 PM | Anonymous
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


    Obamacare Means Extra Steps For Filing Your Tax Return

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 6, 2015 – Filing your tax return this year comes with a new twist: confirmation of your health insurance.

    Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taxpayers filing 2014 tax returns must attest that they had health care insurance since January 1, 2014 for themselves and their dependents. You will have to check a box on your Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 return to indicate you had coverage.

    If you didn’t have health insurance for one or more months during 2014, you may have to pay an additional tax, called the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment. You may also qualify for an exemption from the penalty for being uninsured.

    Some taxpayers who enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (https://www.healthcare.gov/) may qualify for a premium tax credit and must file a tax return to claim the credit.

    “Every year there are more twists and turns of the tax code, and this is a critical one for this year,” says National Society of Accountants (NSA) Executive Vice President John Ams. “It’s important to get it right to avoid penalties.”

    Basic Definitions
    According to the IRS, qualifying health care coverage includes insurance from your employer, policies you buy in the Health Insurance Marketplace (https://www.healthcare.gov/), most government-sponsored plans and coverage you purchase directly from an insurance company.

    Qualifying coverage does not include insurance providing limited benefits, such as coverage only for vision or dental care, workers’ compensation, or insurance covering only a specific disease or condition.

    You had until April 30 to sign up through the Marketplace for 2014 and the deadline for 2015 was February 15, 2015.

    Filing implications
    To verify your insurance coverage, you likely received Form 1095-A if you enrolled in Marketplace insurance.

    (If you were one of the 800,000 filers who received a statement earlier this year that contained an incorrect benchmark premium amount, you do not need to file an amended return. If your form was one of those affected, log into your HealthCare.gov account and download your updated form or call the Marketplace at 800-318-2596.)

    If you acquired insurance outside of the Marketplace, you may have received Forms 1095-B (for employer-sponsored insurance plans) or 1095-C (for private insurance).

    You don’t have to provide proof of coverage to the IRS when you file, but you should show documents that verify your minimum essential coverage to your tax preparer. This documentation includes insurance cards, explanation of benefits statements from your insurer, W-2 or payroll statements reflecting health insurance deductions, records of advance payments of the premium tax credit and other statements indicating that you, or a member of your family, had health-care coverage. Your employer is not required to provide documentation specific to your health care coverage for the 2014 tax year.

    Payments and penalties
    If you and each member of your family lack qualifying health-care coverage and don’t qualify for an exemption, you may need to make an Individual Shared Responsibility Payment when you file your federal return. IRS Publication 5209 - Preparing your 2014 Tax Return- the shared responsibility payment (at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5209.pdf), provides information about how to calculate the payment.

    Generally, fees for the 2014 tax filings were $95 for each adult or 1 percent of a household income, whichever is greater. The penalty will increase in coming years.

    Exemptions
    The government expects that many taxpayers who lack insurance when filing this year will qualify for an exemption.

    Possible reasons for exemptions: inability to afford health insurance; income low enough to mean you don’t need to file a return; you lived abroad for a certain number of days in 2014; you belong to a health-care-sharing ministry; you’re a Native American; or you had a short coverage gap at the beginning of 2014, among other reasons.

    A special hardship exemption applies if you bought insurance through the Marketplace during the initial enrollment period for 2014 but, due to the enrollment process, have a coverage gap at the beginning of 2014.

    If you qualify for an exemption, you apply through the Marketplace or claim the exemption on your tax return. You may need information to support the claim, including documentation to support a hardship, income documents, Social Security information and household information.

    If the Marketplace grants your exemption, you will receive a notice with a unique Exemption Certificate Number (ECN). You enter your ECN on Part I of Form 8965, which must be filed with your return. If you don’t yet have an ECN but have applied for an exemption through the Marketplace, you enter the word “PENDING” in the place of the ECN on the 8965.

    If claiming an exemption on your tax return, you do not need an ECN. See more at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8965.pdf, the IRS instruction booklet for Form 8965.

    The government also has links to exemption fact sheets at http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl10010.aspx

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent 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.


  • 03 Oct 2014 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:   Al Rickard

                     703-402-9713

                     arickard@associationvision.com

    Registration Open for Fall 2014 ACAT

    Tax and Accounting Accreditation Exam

    Those passing the exam and earning the ABA and ATP credentials

    are exempt from the AFTR course and exam

    WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2014 - Registration is now open for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) Fall 2014 exams for accountants, tax preparers and students seeking to earn the Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor (ABA), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) credentials.

    The opportunity to earn some of these credentials takes on added importance this year because ATPs and ABAs are now exempt from the requirement to take an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

    ABAs and ATPs automatically qualify to receive the AFSP-Record of Completion and will be included in a public database of tax return preparers scheduled to launch on the IRS website by January 2015. Beginning in 2016, ABAs and ATPs – as AFSP participants – can also represent clients before the IRS regarding returns they prepared and signed.

    The Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy (ABA), the Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA) exam, Accredited Tax Preparer (ATP) and Accredited Retirement Advisor (ARA) exam can be taken between November 29-December 22, 2014 at PSI test sites across the United States. Students completing the semester-long accounting course at one of the ACAT “Capstone” colleges can take the proctored ABA exam at the end of the course.

    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.

    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 Delaware, Iowa and Minnesota 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.

    The ARA is a national credential that recognizes professionals with expertise in retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning and tax preparation for decedents, estates and trusts, and applying skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients.

    ABA, ATA, ATP and ARA 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 $285 or $200 for one Practice of the exam, plus a $50 registration fee. The ATA, ATP and ARA exam fees are $200 plus a $50 registration fee.

    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.

  • 08 Sep 2014 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact:    
    Al Rickard
    703-402-9713

    arickard@associationvision.com

    National Society of Accountants Upcoming ConnectED CPE Webinars for Tax and Accounting Professionals

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, September 5, 2014 - The National Society of Accountants (NSA) has announced the latest programs in its series of ConnectED Webinars, which are approved for continuing professional education (CPE) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) and California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

    The following tax, practice management and ethics webinars for tax and accounting professionals are scheduled to be held September – November 2014:

    September 18, 2014 - Dealing with the S Corporation K-1 on the 1040

    As presented at the IRS Tax Forums this summer!
    Your client has just dropped off a Schedule K-1 for an S-Corporation. Where do you begin? What questions do you ask, and what do you need to know? In this session, we will show you how to take the K-1 items to the 1040 return; cover the huge issue of the new Net Investment Income Tax, and the always problematic basis issues. We will provide you with important court cases you should be aware of, identify potential hazards, as well as share real-life stories from tax season.

    NASBA CPE: 1 Hour/Taxes

    IRS CE: 1 Hour/Federal Tax Law

    Presented by  Kathy Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, RTRP and Gene Bell, EA, ATA, CFP, RTRP

    September 30, 2014 - Hot Topics in the Federal Tax Controversy: The Latest Developments in Audits, Investigations, and Tax Litigation

    This webinar will provide you with an update regarding the latest developments in the tax controversy area and will focus on current Internal Revenue Service enforcement priorities, including:

    • International tax compliance and the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP)
    • The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
    • Foreign bank account (FBAR) reporting, the new FinCEN 114 reporting form, and new electronic filing requirements
    • Audit rates and trends
    • The Form 1099-K/Small business initiative
    • The Gift Tax Return Compliance initiative

    Attendees will also get an update regarding the efforts of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, including current criminal enforcement priorities and criminal investigation statistics/results.

    NASBA CPE: 2 Hours/Taxes

    IRS CE: 2 Hours/Federal Tax Law Update

    Presented by Matthew Lee, Esq.


    October 2, 2014 - IRS Collection Division Representation

    The IRS has loosened rules for installment agreements, late payment penalties and offers in compromise and has issued many recent announcements that expand taxpayer options under the Fresh Start program which has expanded each year. Get the latest on:

    • More flexible rules for streamlined installment agreements
    • Changes to the offer in compromise program
    • New rules for late payment penalty waivers
    • Fresh Start changes for lien filing and withdrawals
    • Streamlined offer in compromise rules

    NASBA CPE: 2 Hours/Taxes

    IRS CE: 2 Hours/Federal Tax Law Update

    Presented by Robert E. McKenzie, EA, Attorney


    October 9, 2014 - Solve Your Time Problem in Your Practice

    This is not your father's time management session. This is also not a time management class taught by an organizer consultant who brings home less than the average tax and accounting professional. These are tips from high-achieving women and men, many with young children at home, who have multiplied their revenue during the recession without becoming workaholics.

    NASBA CPE: 1 Hour/Personal Development

    Presented by Sandi Leyva


    October 21, 2014 - Business Expenses and the S Corporation

    As presented at the IRS Tax Forums this summer!

    S Corporations continue to be the most popular business entity in the United States today. In this webinar, gain an understanding of business expenses related specifically to the preparation of the S- Corporation tax return.

    NASBA CPE: 1 Hour/Taxes

    IRS CE: 1 Hour/Federal Tax Law

    Presented by Kathy Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, RTRP and Gene Bell, EA, ATA, CFP, RTRP 


    October 30, 2014 - Ethical Dilemmas

    The unique nature of representation engagements lend themselves to difficult ethical issues, well beyond the relative safety of mainstream tax practice. Join a discussion on the ethical dilemmas faced by tax practitioners including: due diligence, conflicting interests, disreputable conduct and more.

    NASBA CPE: 2 Hours/Ethics

    IRS CE: 2 Hours/Ethics

    Presented by Robert E. McKenzie, EA, Attorney


    November 4, 2014 - Consents and Disclosures- Protect Your Client, Protect Yourself and Avoid Penalties

    More new changes effective January 1, 2014 to Code Section 7216! As tax practitioners, you need to know the rules of §7216 and §6713, when and how you can disclose or use taxpayer information. How does the ACA impact disclosure? This webinar provides an overview of the rules and related compliance penalties along with suggested "how-to" for implementation while still managing a trusted relationship with your client. With a proper process in place, these regulations can improve both accounting practices and relationships with our clients.

    NASBA CPE: 1 Hour/Taxes

    IRS CE: 1 Hour/Federal Tax Law

    Presented by Kathy Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, RTRP and Gene Bell, EA, ATA, CFP, RTRP 


    November 13, 2014 - Give Yourself a Raise

    If you haven't given yourself a raise in a while (and you're not alone due to the economy's woes), you may be wondering how to increase your rates while keeping your risk of losing clients low. This webinar delivers the content you need to build your pricing skills so that you can confidently charge and get what you're worth.

    NASBA CPE: 1 Hour/Marketing

    Presented by Sandi Leyva

     

    All upcoming NSA ConnectED webinars are one to two hours and will start at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. One hour webinars are $35 for members and $65 for non-members. Two hour webinars are $65 for members and $95 for non-members. Order four or more live or archived webinars from 2013 and 2014 in one order and receive a 20 percent discount!

    A complete list of webinars can be found at webinars.nsacct.org, including a full lineup of recorded, on-demand CPE webinars that are available for purchase. More information is also available by calling NSA at 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 and maintain an annual continuing education regimen. Learn more at www.nsacct.org.

  • 04 Sep 2014 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


    NSA Elects New Officers and Directors at 2014 Annual Meeting

    Alexandria, VA, September 4, 2014 - The National Society of Accountants (NSA) elected a slate of new officers, District Governors, and State Directors at its 69th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.

    The following officers were installed to the NSA Executive Committee for 2014-2015:

    • President – Marilyn M. Niwao, JD, CPA, ATA, CGMA, Wailuku, HI
    • First Vice President – Kathy R. Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, RTRP, Enumclaw, WA
    • Second Vice President – Alfred Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA, ARA, Catonsville, MD

    Governors for NSA Districts II, IV, VI, VIII, and X were elected to the NSA Board of Governors for two-year terms ending in 2016. Elected to terms as governors were:

    • Robert Genovese, ATA, ATP, RTRP, Howard Beach, NY (District II)
    • Dave Rancourt, EA, ATA, ABA, ARA, Sarasota, FL (District IV)
    • Cynthia Hunt, EA, ATA, Huntsville, AL (District VI)
    • Bradley Crain, CPA, Prescott, AR (District VIII)
    • Christine Freeland, CPA, ABA, ARA, CSA, Chandler, AZ (District X)

    State Directors elected to new terms in several districts included:

    District I

    Marcus McAllister, EA, Jay, ME

    Jerome Sweeney II, CPA, JD, ABA, ATA, ATP, Boston, MA

    Edda Martin, ATP, ARA, Exeter, NH

    Thomas Fuoco, Sr., EA, East Greenwich, RI

    District III

    Ronald Grafman, EA, Germantown, MD

    Kathleen Lovett, CPA, Reedsville, WV

    District V

    Robert Thoma, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA, Columbia, IL

    Frankie Cummings, EA, Greencastle, IN

    Richard Petrucha, EA, ABA, Troy, MI

    Thomas Adler, CPA, ATA, ATP, RTRP, Madison, WI

    District VII

    Allen L. Kockler, EA, RTRP, Nevada, IA
    Sally Levitt, EA, PA, ATA, ABA, Shawnee, KS 

    Lorinda Jean Grady, EA, ABA, Lees Summit, MO

    Ellen E. Stebbins, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA, Blooming Prairie, MN

    Eric R. Hansen, ATP, RTRP, Omaha, NE

    Albert D. Krueger, EA, Harvey, ND

    District IX

    Kathy Hammer, EA, ATA, ABA, ATP, Kenai, AK

    Robert Kuziak, PA, ATP, ARA, Aurora, CO

    W. Brian Haderlie, CPA, Rexburg, ID

    Mary Lemons, EA, ABA, Darby, MT

    Shirly Kindig, ABA, John Day, OR

    Lawrence Walkden, EA, ATA, ABA, RTRP, ARA, Monroe, WA

    Julane M. Wood, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ARA, Cheyenne, WY

    District XI

    Isoo (Dick) Oshima, CPA, Honolulu, HI

    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.

  • 11 Jul 2014 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    NSA Scholarship Foundation Announces 2014 Scholarship Winners

    Alexandria, VA, July 11, 2014 - A total of 33 students have earned scholarships from the National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation. Together, they will receive $34,450 in scholarship awards.
    The Foundation has provided more than $1 million since 1969 to deserving undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in accounting, helping to develop more qualified young accountants.
    The scholarships range from $500 - $2,000. Recipients were selected on the basis of an overall outstanding academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, stated goals and aspirations, and financial need.

    “This support is critical to help ensure that we encourage young people to become accountants and provide a steady stream of new talent into the profession,” explains NSA Scholarship Foundation President Matthew C. Lewis, EA, ATA, Delta, CO.

    The 2014 scholarship recipients are listed below with their universities, the NSA Affiliated Organizations or the named scholarships that provided funding, and the amount of each scholarship:


    Alana Ascanio
    Florida International University
    Florida Society of Accountants: $500

    Emily Babski
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: $500

    Alessandra Baixeras
    University of Miami
    Florida Society of Accountants Peace River Chapter: $500

    Adam Cebulla
    University of Mary
    Montana Society of Public Accountants and the North Dakota Society of Accountants: $1,500

    Rachel Chaney
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    North Carolina Society of Accountants: $1,200

    Tiffany Chen
    University of Portland
    Oregon Association of Independent Accountants: $1,000

    Yvonne Clark
    Eastern Washington University
    Washington Association of Accountants: $1,000

    Travis Cortez
    University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Alaska Society of Independent Accountants: $500

    Mallory Coulombe
    Southern New Hampshire University
    New Hampshire Society of Accountants: $1,000

    Matthew Daddario
    Daemen College
    New York Society of Independent Accountants: $500

    Daniel Dunnigan
    Saint Bonaventure University
    Milton Brown Award: $1,000

    Rebecca Galindo
    University of Southern California
    Steven Desdier Memorial Award: $1,000

    Robert Gilmore
    Southeast Missouri State University
    Missouri Society of Accountants: $1,000

    Katelyn Goettl
    University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    Millard D. Ashley Memorial Award: $1,000

    Anna Hauer
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Wisconsin Association of Accountants: $500

    Jordyn Herzog
    Carroll University
    Wisconsin Association of Accountants: $500

    Meredith Keeton
    Belhaven College
    Ronny Woods Memorial Award: $1,000

    Jessie Levno
    Eastern Washington University
    Stanley H. Stearman Award: $2,000

    Allison Nelson
    University of Wisconsin-Superior
    Wisconsin Association of Accountants: $500

    Eric Nielsen
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Nebraska Society of Independent Accountants: $1,000

    Ashley Ortiz
    Arizona State University
    Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants: $2,000

    Allison Richter
    Drake University
    Accountants Association of Iowa: $1,000

    Kristen Rohrer
    Eastern Illinois University
    Independent Accountants Association of Illinois: $1,750

    Aaron Rosipajla
    University of San Diego
    Public Accountants Society of Colorado: $1,000

    Zoe Scheve
    Iowa State University
    Accountants Association of Iowa: $1,000

    Hannah Sick
    Lock Haven University
    Pennsylvania Society of Tax & Accounting Professionals: $1,000

    Samantha Sgroi
    Lasell College
    Maine Association of Professional Accountants: $1,000

    Jasper Stewart
    University of Arkansas Main Campus
    Arkansas Society of Accountants: $1,000

    Katrina Velasco
    Washington State University
    Washington Association of Accountants: $1,000

    Kendall Williams
    Alabama State University
    Alabama Association of Accountants and Tax Preparers: $1,500

    Zach Williams
    University of South Alabama
    Alabama Association of Accountants and Tax Preparers: $1,500

    Kyle Yasumiishi
    University of Washington-Seattle Campus
    Washington Association of Accountants: $1,000

    Sherman L. Standberry of Georgia State University also received a second-year renewal of the $2,000 Stanley Stearman Award.

    To learn more about the NSA Scholarship Foundation program or to make contributions, visit http://www.nsacct.org/about/nsa-scholarship-foundation

    # # #

    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.

    The National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization formed in response to NSA member commitment to education and the accounting profession. Through its national scholarship program, the Foundation encourages the next generation of accountants by providing financial assistance to college students majoring in accounting. The NSA Scholarship Foundation, a tax-exempt organization, relies on voluntary, tax-deductible contributions received from individuals, businesses and organizations to fund the activities necessary to sustain its programs.
  • 02 Jun 2014 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    NSA has a great program scheduled for its 69th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, August 20-23.  IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen will be the keynote speaker on Thursday morning. In addition, there will be 17 hours of CPE plus a pre-conference EA Exam Review Course beginning on August 18th. Visit www.nsabaltimore2014.org for further information.

  • 28 May 2014 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    National Society of Accountants Announces Upcoming

    Webinars for Tax and Accounting Professionals

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 28, 2014 undefined The National Society of Accountants (NSA) has announced the latest programs in its series of ConnectED Webinars, which are all approved for continuing professional education (CPE) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT) and California Tax Education Council (CTEC).

    The following tax, practice management and ethics webinars for tax and accounting professionals are scheduled for late May and June:

    Why Isn’t Your Website Working
    May 29, 2014 2 pm EST
    Learn a simple yet extremely profitable 5-step formula for improving your website to get more business, close leads faster, and attract a higher quality client.

    (1 hour NASBA CPE- Practice Management)
    Presented by Sandi Smith Leyva

    Audit Reconsideration
    June 3, 2014 2 pm EST
    Sometimes clients fail to respond in a timely way to IRS examination notices. As a result the IRS makes an assessment and issues collection notices. This class will cover the option to seek an audit reconsideration. It will also discuss the taxpayer's options when the IRS denies their request for audit reconsideration.

    (2 hours NASBA CPE- Taxes/ 2 hours IRS CE- Federal Tax Law)
    Presented by Robert E. McKenzie

     

    A Brave New World for U.S. Taxpayers with Foreign Assets: Navigating the New and Enhanced FBAR and FATCA Reporting Requirements
    June 5, 2014 2 pm EST
    This webinar will explore the new FATCA foreign asset reporting rules, provide an update on the existing FBAR reporting regime for foreign bank accounts, address the FATCA information reporting requirements for foreign banks, and discuss the U.S. government's enforcement efforts (both criminal and civil) in this area and the likely direction of future enforcement activity.

    (2 hours NASBA CPE- Taxes/ 2 hours IRS CE- Federal Tax Law Update)
    Presented by Matthew D. Lee

    Penalty Games: Reducing IRS Penalties
    June 10, 2014 2 pm EST
    Each day the IRS asserts millions of dollars in tax penalties against taxpayers. Many of those penalties are subsequently abated because of quality representation by experienced practitioners. This webinar discusses the basics of supporting reduction of IRS tax penalties.

    (2 hours NASBA CPE- Taxes/ 2 hours IRS CE- Federal Tax Law)
    Presented by Robert E. McKenzie

     

    Six Ways to Make More, Work Less, and Serve Clients Better in Your Accounting Practice
    June 26, 2014 2 pm EST
    This webinar will give participants ideas to help you grow their accounting practice, make more money, and improve client service.

    (1 hour NASBA CPE- Practice Management)
    Presented by Sandi Smith Leyva

     

    All upcoming NSA ConnectED webinars are one to two hours and will start at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. One-hour webinars are free to nonmembers and members. Two-hour webinars are $65 for members and $95 for non-members. Order four or more new 2014 webinars or archived 2013 webinars in one order and receive a 20 percent discount!

    A complete list of webinars can be found at webinars.nsacct.org, including a full lineup of recorded, on-demand CPE webinars that are available for purchase. For more information, contact NSA at 800-966-6679 or 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.

  • 26 Feb 2014 3:08 PM | Anonymous
    ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 26, 2014 – Right about now taxpayers are scrambling to find wage statements, receipts for charitable deductions, mortgage statements, and other documents needed to file their taxes.

    Losing important tax documents is easy to do amid the blizzard of paperwork before tax day. The good news: replacing most tax documents is also easy.

    First, you need many documents and bits of information to file your tax return, including:

    • Personal data, such as Social Security Numbers and dates of birth for yourself, your spouse, and dependents; a child-care provider’s tax identification number or Social Security Number; and documentation of any changes to your address and phone number.

    • Employment and income forms and data, such as W-2s, K-1s and 1099 Rs; W2-Gs, 1099-MISCs, 1099-Gs, 1099-SSAs, 1099-INTs, 1099-DIVs, and 1099-Bs; Employer Identification Numbers (EINs); and alimony received and the Social Security Number of the payor. Most taxpayers receive their W-2 forms and most 1099s by January 31. Some 1099s may arrive later; corrected forms may arrive as well.

    • Homeowner/renter forms and data, such as 1098s, 1099-Ss, 1099-As or 1099-Cs; final escrow closing statements, including those for a refinance; proof of property taxes paid; proof of rent paid during the tax year and the landlord’s name, address, and phone number; and lists and receipts for moving expenses.

    • Proof of contributions to individual retirement accounts.

    • Proof of deductible items, such as forms 1098-E and 1098-T; proof of alimony paid, including the amount paid and the name and Social Security Number of the recipient; letters from charities for cash contributions, and a detailed log for non-cash contributions, with the value of items donated, date donated, original purchase price, and date of original purchase; mileage logs and copies of reimbursements from employers; miscellaneous deduction receipts for such items as uniforms, union dues, investment expenses and job-hunting expenses; proof of child-care expenses; and medical expense receipts.

    • Business, farm, and rental information, such as receipts or documentation for business-related expenses, inventory reports and payables and receivables ledgers; receipts for all major purchases, such as machinery, equipment, and furniture; business, farm, or rental income and expenses; and documentation for self-employed health insurance premiums.

    • Proof of taxes paid.

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require tax returns to be filed with all proper documents. File for an extension if you don’t have them, and be sure to send a payment if you think you might owe. Working with a tax preparer can help you get organized.

    Earnings Forms

    Your employer(s) for the tax year can provide copies of many wage statements. Employers are legally required to keep copies of your W-2s and other payroll information for at least four years. If you haven’t received the current year’ in the mail, check your email: some employers electronically send not only notification that your tax forms are in the mail but sometimes attach the forms to an email.

    • If you can’t find your W-2, request another copy from your employer as soon as possible (you may have to pay a fee to get the replacement).

    If you don’t receive your replacement W-2 even after reminding your employer, contact the Internal Revenue Service (800/829-1040). (You can also substitute IRS Form 4852, “Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement,” and refer to your last pay stubs to fill in needed information. File the 4852 close to tax day, April 15 – do not file it early.)

    When you contact the IRS, have on hand your approximate dates of employment and an estimate of what you earned and federal tax you had withheld (much of that information is on your last pay stub), as well as the name, last address, and last phone number of your employer.

    • You should receive a 1099-MISC from any company that paid you at least $600 during the tax year, $10 in the case of royalties or some broker payments. Banks also send 1099s if account holders earn $10 or more of annual interest; many banks permit downloading 1099s from their customer service websites; local branches also often issue copies.

    You still must report 1099-type income to the IRS even if you didn’t receive the form itself.

    • For out-of-business employers, try emailing or s-mailing to the last known address. Also try Googling the employer for a new address.

    Past Returns

    You can request a free transcript of previous years’ tax returns (the current tax year’s as well as your returns for the previous three tax years) from the IRS by mailing Form 4506 or 4506-T, by using the Service’s online “Order a Transcript” system (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Order-a-Transcript) or by phoning the IRS (800/908-9946).
    A return transcript shows most line items from your return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. A tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after filing and such data as marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.
    Transcripts do not contain your state and local tax information.
    Credit Card, Banking Statements

    Receipts can be the trickiest documents to gather before filing, but they’re vital to verifying business and other deductions.

    If you can’t find a receipt for a certain deduction, see if you can use bank and credit card statements to prove the expense; it might be best to ask a tax preparer. Statements should show the name of the recipient (likely your name), as well as the date and amount of the expense.

    Some businesses will issue copies of back receipts. Most banks can also provide copies of past checks if you know the approximate date and the check number. If you paid the expense using a debit card, check your bank to see if they offer a receipt-replacement feature with your card.

    Stock Statements

    Almost all holding companies can provide online records of stock statements and cost-basis calculations (cost basis is an historical analysis and calculation to determine if a taxpayer who sold stock recognized a taxable gain or a loss in the sale).

    If you need a past stock price, Yahoo also has an online research tool at http://biz.yahoo.com/r/.
    Tuition statements

    Schools often allow students to download tax forms such as 1098-Ts or tuition statements. Lenders are the best source for 1098-E Forms or the Student Loan Interest Statement, though if you paid less than $600 in loan interest you might not receive a 1098-E.

    If you need tax-preparation help this coming season, you can 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.


    Al Rickard, CAE
    President
    Association Vision
    4501 Hazelnut Court
    Chantilly, VA 20151
    703-402-9713
    arickard@associationvision.com
    www.associationvision.com
  • 26 Feb 2014 3:07 PM | Anonymous
    ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 26, 2014 – So what does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, mean for your tax situation this year?

    It won’t affect your 2013 tax return, but the National Society of Accountants (NSA) points out that the ACA will soon increase the complexity of tax filing with new rates and regulations that you – and your tax preparer – must know.

    “Now is a great time to begin planning for how you will handle health insurance this year, because we are only weeks away from the Individual Mandate kicking in,” says NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. “If you are not covered by health insurance by March 31 of this year, you may be subject to tax penalties for 2014.”

    Ams urges taxpayers to consult with their tax preparers on the health insurance issue when they meet to go over this year’s tax return.

    Among the key changes to the law:

    • The Individual Mandate begins March 31, 2014, which means that you must obtain minimum essential health coverage for 2014 if you (1) can afford it, (2) get an exemption, or (3) pay a penalty based on your income.

    • The Employer Mandate, which starts in 2015 for larger companies (100 employees or more) and in 2016 for smaller companies (50-99 employees), requires these companies to insure full-time employees or pay a per-employee fee.

    • Advanced Premium Tax Credits are available for low-to-middle income Americans to reduce costs of premiums on health insurance purchased through a state’s health insurance marketplace.

    • Small-business tax credits are available under which businesses may qualify for tax credits of up to 50 percent of their cost of employee premiums.

    Most of the 85 percent of Americans with health insurance and who make less than $250,000 a year will notice few tax and regulation changes.

    New coverage and new taxes

    Individuals must now carry health insurance on themselves and their dependents, including those not covered by any other means such as from an employer or by Medicare, Medicaid or an individually purchased policy. Open enrollment to purchase coverage for 2014 through the Health Insurance Marketplace ends March 31, 2014.

    Among the new taxes and medical-spending restrictions from Obamacare:

    • Individuals with earnings above $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000 will see an increase in the Medicare Part A payroll tax: up 0.9 percent from 1.45 percent.

    • A 3.8 percent tax on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents and gains on the sale of investments for taxpayers who are over the earnings thresholds of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples.

    • Increased taxes on unearned income (3.8 percent) can add taxes to the sales of some homes, but many limitations apply. The 3.8 percent tax also typically doesn't apply to your primary residence nor to homes owned for longer than five years or on profits of less than $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples.
    • The Medicare Part A tax is paid by both employees and employers who earn over a certain amount. This 0.9 percent increase (from 2.9% to 3.8%) is paid by employees. Small businesses making less than $250,000 are exempt, as are employees making less than $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family.

    • Distributions from health flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs) are no longer allowed to reimburse costs of over-the-counter medicines or drugs purchased without a prescription, with some exceptions; FSA contributions are now capped at $2,500; and 10-20 percent penalties are also levied on HSA and MSA spending on non-qualified medical expenses.

    Avoiding a penalty

    You can face escalating extra taxes if you have no health insurance coverage.

    If you have no health insurance, your penalty starts at the greater of 1 percent of your income above the minimum necessary for filing or $95 per uninsured adult in your household; the penalty for uninsured children is half the adult amount. You won’t pay this penalty until you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015.

    This year’s minimums for filing a return are $20,300-$22,700 for couples and $10,150-$11,700 for singles.

    You can avoid a penalty in a few ways. Among them:

    • Buy a policy via the Marketplace Exchange for your state.
    • Hold an insurance policy from any other source that meets the minimum standards of a midrange (bronze-level) plan on the exchanges. These policies include employer-provided health-care or other group policies, such as through an association, as well as policies you buy on your own.
    • If the only coverage you can find costs more than 8 percent of your adjusted gross income.
    • If you must go without coverage for less than three months, such as when changing jobs.
    • If you prove that a hardship caused you to go without coverage – should, for instance, your policy get canceled and you otherwise can’t afford insurance.
    No penalty can exceed the cost of a bronze-level policy on the exchanges.

    Small-business regulations and credits

    Employers with 50 or more employees must offer qualified and affordable health insurance plans for their employees. Employers who fail to do so must pay a $3,000/employee penalty beginning in 2015 for companies with 100 or more full-time workers and in 2016 for companies with 50 to 99 full-time workers.

    The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit helps small businesses and small tax-exempt organizations afford to cover employees. In general, the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half the cost of single coverage for their employees.

    Premium credit

    Two other key tax implications for now and for the future of the ACA are an advanced tax credit and the tax penalty.

    Getting health coverage through the Marketplace may qualify you for the Premium Tax Credit. You may qualify if you:

    • Buy health insurance through the Marketplace
    • Are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan
    • Are within income limits of four times the federal poverty level – for example, $94,200 for a family of four and $45,960 for a single person
    • File a joint return, if married; and cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.

    If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to: (1) have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance to your insurer to lower what you pay out of pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014 or (2) wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

    Though this credit has no effect on your 2013 return, you must file a federal income tax return for any tax year you receive advance credit payments or you plan to claim the premium credit.

    If you need tax-preparation help this coming season, you can 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.


    Al Rickard, CAE
    President
    Association Vision
    4501 Hazelnut Court
    Chantilly, VA 20151
    703-402-9713
    arickard@associationvision.com
    www.associationvision.com
  • 12 Dec 2013 2:13 PM | Anonymous

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    National Society of Accountants survey reports

    on fees to prepare a range of tax returns

     

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, December 12, 2013 -Taxpayers looking to hire a professional to complete their 2013 tax return can expect to pay an average of $261 for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return, according to the National Society of Accountants (NSA).

    “The IRS says it takes an average of four hours just to complete and submit a Form 1040,” says NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. “Add at least another hour if you also have to complete a state return.

    “You have to ask, ‘How much is your time worth?’ Plus I haven’t met many people who enjoy preparing their taxes, so hiring a professional to prepare your tax return can take a very unpleasant task off your plate. That’s worth something.”

    Ams adds that tax preparers make it their business to keep up with tax law changes. “If a professional tax preparer can catch even one deduction or credit you may have missed, that can easily pay for the fee,” he notes.

    Fees for non-itemized returns are also low – the average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions is only $152.

    Fee information was collected in a survey of tax preparers conducted by NSA. The tax and accounting firms surveyed are largely owners, principals, and partners of local “Main Street” companies who have an average of more than 26 years of experience.

    “Members of NSA are highly qualified tax professionals who typically hold multiple credentials that demonstrate their expertise,” Ams adds. “Taxpayers receive personal service from people who live and work in their community and fully understand local and state tax laws in addition to their deep knowledge of the federal tax code.”

    Most of them hold widely respected credentials such as Enrolled Agent, Certified Public Accountant, Accredited Tax Preparer, Accredited Tax Advisor, and others.

    The survey also reported the average fees for preparing other Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms, including:

    • $218 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business)
    • $590 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
    • $806 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
    • $761 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
    • $497 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
    • $667 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
    • $63 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment)
    • $142 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
    • $165 for Schedule E (rental)
    • $196 for Schedule F (farm)

    Fees vary by region, firm size, population, and economic strength of an area. The average tax preparation fee for an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return in each U.S. census district are as follows:

    • New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) – $251
    • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) – $274
    • South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) – $270
    • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) – $294
    • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) – $242
    • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) – $238
    • West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) – $208
    • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) – $245
    • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) – $303

    Nearly 90 percent of accounting firms offer prospective clients a free consultation, which can be worth well over $100 based on the hourly fees of most tax preparers.

    Sixty percent of accounting firms do not require payment until returns are completed and clients are satisfied. Others may require a portion of the fee upfront or payments throughout the tax return process.

    All fees assume a taxpayer has gathered and organized all necessary information. Taxpayers should also make sure they provide information on time to avoid additional fees. Some will charge an average fee of $44 to file an extension, an average fee of $78 to expedite a return, and an average fee of $85 if information is not provided by 15 days in advance of a filing deadline.

    For more information and to use an online search directory to identify a qualified tax preparer in your area, visit www.nsacct.org and click on “Find a Professional” or call 800-966-6679.

    # # #
    

    NSA and its affiliates represent 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:

    Contact:   Al Rickard,

                   703-402-9713

                    arickard@associationvision.com

©2017, Virginia Society of Tax & Accounting Professionals, formerly The Accountants Society of Virginia, 
is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

PO Box 3363 | Warrenton, VA 20188 | Phone: (800) 927-2731 | Fax: (888) 403-0920 | asv@virginia-accountants.org

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