NSA News

  • 20 Nov 2013 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, November 20, 2013 - John G. Ams, J.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Society of Accountants (NSA), has been appointed Chair of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Subgroup of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) beginning in January 2014.

    IRSAC is an advisory body designed to focus on broad policy matters and reviews existing tax policy and/or recommends policies with respect to emerging tax administration issues.

    IRSAC suggests operational improvements, offers constructive observations regarding current or proposed IRS policies, programs, and procedures, and advises the IRS Commissioner with respect to issues having a substantive effect on federal tax administration. The OPR Subgroup is one of four IRSAC subgroups and focuses specifically on IRS rules, regulations and administrative procedures affecting tax professionals.

    “I am deeply honored to be named to chair the OPR subgroup and look forward to providing the IRS with timely, practical and effective recommendations for implementing policies that relate to maintaining high ethical and professional standards,” Ams said.

    Ams has been a member of IRSAC since 2012 and is also a member of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association, where he serves on the Standards of Tax Practice Committee.

    “We are extremely pleased to have John Ams chair the OPR subgroup and continue to represent tax professionals and the taxpaying public as the IRS deals with the current budget environment and the rules under which tax professionals may practice,” said Steven J. Hanson, President of NSA. “Both NSA members and the IRS receive a unique benefit from his expertise and knowledge of best practices and professional standards.”

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

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent more than 10,000 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.

  • 16 Sep 2013 5:03 PM | Anonymous

    ALEXANDRIA, VA., September 16, 2013 – Arranging to transfer ownership of your accounting practice is one of the most complex business decisions you’ll ever face.

    A recent survey by the National Society of Accountants (http://www.nsacct.org/) revealed that less than a third (28%) of firms have a succession plan. Practitioners should think about succession planning as early as possible and draw up a plan to transition client relationships to an internal successor or an outside firm.

    One of the best ways to transmit one's legacy after retiring is to sell to the team members, partners, and partners-to-be. In this scenario, understanding how addressing the needs of both sides of the firmundefinedthe “family” inside and the family member who is exitingundefinedis crucial in making the future of the firm more successful. Successful succession means creating a more attractive and profitable environment for everyone, not just the retiring or exiting professionals. With “firm as family” in mind, everyone has a better chance of finding ways to bridge the needs and wants of both sides, improving the chances of a win for allundefinedincluding the clients.

    Mark Fowler, in his succession article “Both Sides Now” in the National Society of Accountants magazine Main Street Practitioner of May-June 2013, (http://mainstreetpractitioner.nsacct.org/Vizion5/viewer.aspx?issueID=9&pageID=12), sees the key stages of succession planning as:

    1.       Recruiting, developing, mentoring and grooming the right team members.
    2.       Constantly developing services that existing and future clients need and appreciate.
    3.       Developing a formal sales and business development program to help ensure the continuity of the business.
    4.       Shifting more and more from a practice mindset to a firm perspective.

    Whether a partner/owner is retiring, the firm is downsizing, or the business is being sold, merged, or allied with another firm, ownership transfer is going to occur. There are a number of buyers to consider:

    1. The firm itself: The company can purchase the shares of the exiting owner.
    2. The other partners and partners-to-be: These individuals can purchase ownership shares.
    3. The external strategic buyer: This buyer is looking for locations, talent, niches, and technology to enhance their business.
    4. The external revenue-oriented buyer: The singular focus of this buyer may be adding revenue. This type of sale often means rapid cost-cutting and very short transition periods.  

    No matter who the buyer is, new owners have their own goals and objectives, which could include enhanced profitability, an expanded client base and additional services, more appreciative clients and higher quality team members, and increased value out of the firm. The succession plan should include ways team members can accept and embrace these objectives.

    Among other succession tips from NSA:

    • Train individual talent and other team members in all areas of client history and general information, unique client characteristics and needs, and skills and technical information that will be required.
    • Develop a working relationship between clients and team members undefined not just those with direct responsibilities to clients, but support personnel as well.
    • Transfer in an orderly way any administrative duties the exiting professional, partner, manager, principal, or other key team members may have.
    • Develop a much more robust administrative platform to begin to handle more duties that were handled by exiting partners or other revenue-generating professionals. It’s not unusual to shift personnel from office manager position to firm administrator or from firm administrator to COO in order to more effectively handle the needs of the whole firm.
    • Enhance the sales and marketing skills of all team members, including creating  a business development process within the firm to help assure continued growth, new clients, and expanded revenue bases for existing clients.

           # # #
  • 12 Sep 2013 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    Alexandria, VA, September 12, 2013 – Accounting professionals who have made strong contributions to the accounting profession were honored at the recent National Society of Accountants (NSA) 68th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN. Several NSA Affiliated State Organizations (ASOs) were also presented with major awards.

    Accountant of the Year – This award was presented to Dave Rancourt, EA, ABA, ATA, ARA, CSA, CEP of Sarasota, FL for outstanding achievement and service to NSA, the accounting and tax profession, the state society, and the community.

    Rancourt has been an active member of NSA for nearly 25 years, currently serving as Vice Chair of Federal Taxation Committee 2012-13 and recently appointed to ACAT Board. Rancourt is a past Florida State Director.

    Distinguished Service Award – This award was presented to Paul J. Cannataro, CPA, CFP, MST of Drexel Hill, PA in recognition of his significant and exemplary contributions for the betterment of NSA and its membership as well as the accounting profession. The award recognizes continuous service, loyalty, and dedication to NSA. Cannataro is chair of NSA’s Federal Taxation Committee where he has provided services with RTRP legal issues, IRS Closing of Practitioner E-Services, Fiscal Cliff challenges, Circular 230 revisions while attending numerous IRS meetings on Capitol Hill.

    Affiliated State Organization (ASO) of the Year – This special award goes to co-winners – the California Society of Accounting & Tax Professionals (CSATP) and the California Society of Tax Consultants (CSTC). CSATP and CSTC recently merged to meet the needs of their CA members. The ASO of the Year award honors the overall achievements of CSATP and CSTC and their work in promoting and implementing NSA programs, including membership recruitment, member services, seminar and education sponsorship, legislative activity, and financial stability.

    Best Series of Articles Award – This award was presented to Eric Ewald, Executive Director of Minnesota Association of Public Accountants, in recognition of his significant and exemplary series of articles in the NSA’s newsletter, which helps keep membership informed about what is happening locally and nationally.

    Keith Billings Memorial Award – This award was presented to two outstanding ASO publications, including The Montana Society of Public Accountants Newsletter, published by the Montana Society of Public Accountants (fewer than 300 members), and The Oregon Association of Independent Accountants, published by the Oregon Association of Independent Accountants (300 or more members). They are judged according to the importance of topics, coverage of activities, timeliness of articles, format, and overall appearance.

    Best ASO Website – This award, which recognizes outstanding Affiliated State Organization websites, was presented to ASOs in two categories. For Division I (fewer than 300 members), the award went to the New Mexico Society of Public Accountants. Its website is provides information about their upcoming education opportunities, a link to financial calculators with 20 to 25 different calculation choices.

    For Division II (more than 350 members), the award went to the Independent Accountants Association of Illinois. This website is very user friendly and provides not only information about upcoming education opportunities, scholarship applications and newsletters but also information on the NSA annual convention.

    Myron D. Schreibman Award – This award went to the Missouri Society of Accountants for their stellar public relations program, which kept their members informed while expanding the share of voice and reach of NSA locally and nationally. Most noted are reprints of various sources including a Forbes magazine article with the headline “Phil Michelson Wins Historic British Open and Incurs 61% Tax Rate” and an internet report “Smishing: A Serious Identity Theft Scheme.”

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

    # # #
  • 11 Sep 2013 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    Alexandria, VA, September 11, 2013 - The National Society of Accountants (NSA) elected a slate of new officers, District Governors, and State Directors at its 68th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

    The following officers were installed to the NSA Executive Committee for 2013-2014:

    • President – Steven J. Hanson, CPA, EA, Cokato, MN
    • First Vice President – Marilyn M. Niwao, CPA, ATA, JD, Wailuku, HI
    • Second Vice President – Kathy R. Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP, RTRP, Enumclaw, WA
    • Secretary-Treasurer – Brian L. Thompson, CPA, Little Rock, AR

    Governors for NSA Districts II, IV, VI, VIII, and X were elected to the NSA Board of Governors for two-year terms ending in 2015. Elected to terms as governors were:

    • Milton “Sandy” Martin, Jr., ATP, ARA, RTRP (District I), Exeter, NH
    • William R. Silzer, ABA, ATP (District III), Sterling, VA (Second Term)
    • Jim Weickgenant, EA, ATA, (District V), Baraboo, WI
    • Joel Grandon, LPA, EA, (District VII), Marion, IA
    • Bernadette Koppy, EA, ABA, ATA, (District IX), Fairbanks, AK

    State Directors stood for election and re-election in Districts II, IV, VI, VIII, and X.

    Elected to first terms as State Directors were:

    Re-elected for second and additional terms as State Directors were:

    • Sharron M. Cirillo, LPA, ABA, ATP (DE – District II)
    • James Alfred Johnson (NY – District II)
    • Joseph J. Mesquita, PA, ATA, ATP (NJ – District II)
    • Warren Hilson, LPA (AL – District VI)
    • Curtis Banks Lee, Jr., ATA, ATP (NC – District IV)
    • Pamela C. Stamps, CPA  (MS – District VI)
    • Debra J. Cope, CPA, ATA, ATP  (TN – District VI)
    • Mae Yee, CPA (NM – District VIII)
    • Joanne Elsen , CPA (AZ – District X) 
    • Morris Miyabara, EA, ATA (CA – District X)

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

    # # #

    NSA and its affiliates represent 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.

  • 06 Aug 2013 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 5, 2013 – The National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation is seeking donations for its annual Scholarship Foundation Auction, to be held August 23-24 during the NSA 68th Annual Meeting, August 21-24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    The Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships, grants, awards and loans to deserving students who have indicated a firm intention to pursue accounting studies. This year, the Foundation was able to contribute $35,700 to 41 deserving candidates.

    The auction will help fund future scholarships. To maximize Scholarship auction proceeds, the Foundation seeks top-quality donations to offer in the auction. Popular items in past years included:

    • Local foods: steaks, hams, pork chops, lobsters, crabs, jams, fruit, wine
    • Complimentary registrations to education events
    • Handmade crafts or gift baskets
    • Jewelry, artwork, sculptures, furniture, or home décor
    • Quilts and throws
    • Travel
    • Software programs, tax research, practice management tools 

    The NSA Foundation will provide appropriate recognition to donors and donor organizations. To donate an item, contact Allison Ingram at (703) 549-6400 ext.1319 or aingram@nsacct.org. Donors are asked to provide item descriptions and photos of their items by August 12, 2013. Items must arrive at the Annual Meeting site by August 20, 2013.

    # # #

  • 20 Jun 2013 9:55 AM | Anonymous

    Alexandria, VA, June 20, 2013 undefined A total of 39 students are gaining a boost to their college educations in accounting by earning scholarships from the National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation. Together, they will receive $32,700 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. These 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.

    “Many accounting students need money like this to help them achieve their educational goals, and we are pleased to do our part to help them,” explains NSA Scholarship Foundation President Martha A. Bell, EA, ABA, ATA, ARA, “We look forward to seeing them join the profession in the future.”

    The 2013 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:

    Elizabeth C. Anderson
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
    Washington Association of Accountants: $500            

    Anna R. Baines 
    Liberty University, Lynchburg VA
    Montana Society of Public Accountants: $500

    Rachel M. Baker
    Southwestern College, Winfield, KS
    Oklahoma Society of Accountants: $500

    Ellyn M. Bruckerhoff
    Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
    Steven Desdier Memorial Award: $1,000                              

    Brenda M. Canosa
    Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
    New York Society of Independent Accountants: $750                               

    Allison C. Carroll
    Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ      
    Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants Merit Scholarship: $2,000              

    Nicole K. Cartier
    Babson College, Babson Park, MA           
    Maine Association of Professional Accountants: $500               

    Amy J. Coogler
    University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL   
    Alabama Association of Accountants:  $1,000

    Michaela M. Diamond
    University of Denver, Denver, CO
    Public Accountants Society of Colorado: $1,000

    Shelby L. Diehl
    University of Nebraska – Omaha, Omaha, NE    
    Nebraska Society of Independent Accountants: $1,000       

    Annola L. Duke
    Rasmussen College: Bismarck, Bismarck, ND       
    North Dakota Society of Accountants: $1,000

    Taylor M. Erickson
    University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
    North Dakota Society of Accountants: $1,000

    Margaret E. Freeland
    Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI   
    Washington Association of Accountants: $1,000

    Vivica A. Futrell
    University of Illinois: Springfield, Springfield, IL  
    Independent Accountants Association of Illinois: $500

    Kiley A. Greene
    Carthage College, Kenosha, WI 
    Independent Accountants Association of Illinois: $700               

    Madelyn G. Himmelwright
    Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR
    Alaska Society of Independent Accountants: $500               

    Matthew J. Halowell
    University of Maryland, College Park, MD            

    Hunter N. Hoyer
    University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO            
    Missouri Society of Accountants: $1,000               

    James T. Huet
    University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    Milton Brown Award: $1,000                              

    Riley W. Kinser
    Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR   
    Oregon Association of Independent Accountants: $500               

    Kevin P. Krautscheid
    Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA|
    Oregon Association of Independent Accountants: $500               

    Katarina A. Krouse
    Concordia University, Portland, OR
    Nevada Society of Independent Accountants: $500                        

    Stephen M. Kucera
    Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS               
    Ronny Woods Memorial Award: $1,000             

    Katelyn A. Leal 
    University of South Florida, Tampa, FL   
    Florida Society of Accountants: $500               

    Geoffrey A. Lemay
    Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL  
    Independent Accountants Association of Illinois: $500                  

    Jason D. Moseley
    Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR            
    Ronny Woods Memorial Award – AR: $1,000               

    Allison D. Nelson
    University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior, WI 
    Millard Ashley Memorial Award: $1,000

    Ashley M. Ortiz
    Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ      
    Arizona Society of Practicing Accountants: $1,000           

    Matthew R. Ozturk
    Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, OK
    Oklahoma Society of Accountants: $1,500               

    Jasmine S. Pettaway
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
    Florida Society of Accountants: $500

    Taylor A. Robinson
    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR
    Arkansas Society of Accountants: $1,250               

    Meryl H. Saunders
    University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
    New Jersey Association of Public Accts: $1,000  

    Cameron J. Scotese
    Rutgers, State University of New Jersey – Camden, Camden, NJ
    New Jersey Association of Public Accountants: $1,000   

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

    Sherman L. Standberry
    Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
    Stanley Stearman Award: $2,000

    Florencio E. Vera
    Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL
    Independent Accountants Association of Illinois: $500   

    Ashlynne E. Watts
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
    Florida Society of Accountants: $500

    Katrina N. Woods
    Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI
    Wisconsin Association of Accountants: $500       

    Andy Z. Yau
    Bentley University, Waltham, MA
    Massachusetts Association of Accountants: $500

    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 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 Foundation also administers an Educational Grant Program which provides grant funding for the development or enhancement of educational programs, surveys, research and other education activities for those currently in the profession. 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.

  • 01 Mar 2013 5:06 PM | Anonymous

    Special Alert
    IRS Getting Set to Accept More Form 1040 Forms

    As NSAlert readers are aware, the IRS was forced to delay acceptance and processing for the tax forms listed below until the first week in March. The IRS computer programming will be completed over the weekend and has informed software developers and transmitters that they can begin sending in their stockpiled return inventory beginning at 7 AM ET on Sunday, March 3.  The IRS plan is to adhere to the following timeline:


     (1) When returns processing is operational at 7:00 AM, ET on Sunday, transmitters should only send their stockpiled inventory, evenly spread throughout the day on Sunday, This will allow the Modernized e-File team to quickly review reject trends to ensure the schemas and business rules work as intended.  Transmitters are requested NOT TO ENABLE ONLINE FILING for the forms until the IRS officially announces the processing of these forms targeted for the first week of March.

    (2) Barring any problems, the IRS will issue a QuickAlert to transmitters early in the week of March 3 announcing the official opening. At that time, transmitters will be allowed to enable online filing for these forms.

    TY 2012 Tax Forms Scheduled for Startup

    • Form 3800 General Business Credit 

    • Form 4136 Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels 

    • Form 5074 Allocation of Individual Income Tax to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 

    • Form 5471 Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations 

    • Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits 

    • Form 5735 American Samoa Economic Development Credit  

    • Form 5884 Work Opportunity Credit 

    • Form 6478 Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel 

    • Form 6765 Credit for Increasing Research Activities 

    • Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit 

    • Form 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations 

    • Form 8820 Orphan Drug Credit 

    • Form 8834 Qualified Plug-in Electric and Electric Vehicle Credit 

    • Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses 

    • Form 8844 Empowerment Zone and Renewal Community Employment Credit 

    • Form 8845 Indian Employment Credit 

    • Form 8859 District of Columbia First-Time Homebuyer Credit 

    • Form 8864 Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit 

    • Form 8874 New Markets Credits 

    • Form 8900 Qualified Railroad Track Maintenance Credit 

    • Form 8903 Domestic Production Activities Deduction 

    • Form 8908 Energy Efficient Home Credit 

    • Form 8909 Energy Efficient Appliance Credit 

    • Form 8910 Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit 

    • Form 8911 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit 

    • Form 8912 Credit to Holders of Tax Credit Bonds 

    • Form 8923 Mine Rescue Team Training Credit 

    • Form 8932 Credit for Employer Differential Wage Payments 

    • Form 8936 Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit


    IRS and Sequestration – Any Impact on Filing Season?

    Although the sequester due to begin at midnight tonight is on the minds of everyone inside the Washington Beltway, we are also mindful that it is also a matter of concern for NSA members who are busy preparing tax returns.  With filing season barely underway (see the article above about the availability of forms this coming week) what will be the effect of the sequester on the IRS and return preparers?


    Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller sent an email to all IRS employees today and said IRS employees will “continue to deliver for the nation’s taxpayers” in his memo.  That is why the IRS will wait until after tax filing season before furloughing its workers, Miller said.


    “Despite our current and planned efforts to cut expenses, the reality is that our greatest expense, by far, is employee pay,” Miller wrote.  For that reason, if sequestration occurs, IRS employees should expect to be furloughed for five to seven days, or no more than one day per pay period, before the end of the fiscal year, according to Miller.


    Casual “Merchants” Likely to Get IRS Underreporting Notices 

    Small business taxpayers whose gross receipts, as reported by credit card companies and third-party networks, appear to exceed the income stated on their tax returns may soon be receiving notices from the IRS inquiring about the discrepancy. Specifically included in this category are individuals who sell items on Ebay and other online auction sites as well as food cart operators, mom-and-pop shops, or swap meet participants.


    In various forums and meetings, IRS officials have said the agency would begin sending “soft letters” of inquiry to taxpayers whose Form(s) 1099-K, Merchant Card and Third Party Network Payments, show an unusually high portion of receipts from credit card payments and other reportable transactions but whose tax returns do not show commensurate levels of income. The letters would ask these taxpayers to provide additional information about the apparent over- or underreporting of their gross credit card and other receipts, the IRS said. 


    The letters are an outgrowth of a provision in the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008, which required reporting of income from merchant payment cards beginning in 2011undefined including credit, debit, and certain electronic transactionsundefinedto provide the IRS a tool to help increase voluntary compliance and improve collections. 


    The IRS has acknowledged it is aware that the amounts reported by various third-parties, such as PayPal, may not match a merchant's monthly reported income for legitimate reasons, including accounting discrepancies such as the use of an accrual system or a difference between parties calendar year versus fiscal year accounting systems.  Furthermore, discrepancies can arise because Form 1099-K is a report of gross receipts and does not take into account a refund of a merchant's cost of goods, or other deductions from gross income. 


    The IRS plans to begin with the soft letters and to request taxpayers to amend their returns if they agree with IRS's assessment of underreporting. 


    New Financial Statement Revenue Reporting Rules to Be Effective in 2017

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board decided February 20 to make new accounting rules on revenue recognition for annual periods effective on January 1, 2017.  FASB also decided not to allow early adoption of the planned accounting standard, which it hopes to issue in final form no later than June 30. 


    Virtually every sizeable commercial enterprise in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and many thousands of companies elsewhere around the world would have to apply the new revenue recognition rules.  The principles underlying FASB’s approach to the rulesundefinedwhich should provide consistent treatment for computer-based commerce as well as construction projectsundefinedare based on a company recognizing revenue from a contract with a customer when a contractual obligation is performed. Discussion at FASB, as well as background materials made available at the February 20 meeting, outlined a methodology containing five steps: 

    • identify the contract with a customer; 

    • identify the contract's separate performance obligations; 

    • determine the transaction price; 

    • allocate the transaction price to specific performance obligations in the contract; and 

    • recognize revenue when or as the entity fulfills its performance obligation.


    5IRS Issues 2013 Deduction Limits For Passenger Vehicle Depreciation 

    The IRS on February 25 released the 2013 depreciation deduction limits under tax code Section 280F(a) for owners of passenger cars, trucks, and vans. 


    Revenue Procedure 2013-21 provides the deduction limitations for owners of passenger automobilesundefinedincluding trucks and vansundefinedfirst placed in service during calendar year 2013. The guidance also includes the amount to be included in income by lessees of passenger automobiles first leased during calendar year 2013. 


    Rev. Proc. 2013-21 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-12 on March 18.  A copy is also available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-13-21.pdf


    FASB to Release Going Concern Standard in April 

    FASB has finalized its decision to require management to provide disclosures in the footnotes to the financial statements when existing events or conditions signal “that it is more likely than not that the entity may be unable to meet its obligations within a reasonable period of time from the financial statement date,” according to a staff update on the going concern project.  The going concern assessment would no longer be the duty of the auditor. 


    FASB Chair Leslie Seidman suggested that the proposed standard would represent an improvement in financial reporting by having management make “an early presentation at a sooner point in time” that there may exist “potential doubt” about the ability of the enterprise to continue to operate and cover its obligations.


    According to an update written by the FASB staff, at each reporting period, management would gauge the entity's potential inability to continue as a going concern and the need for related disclosures. “In doing so, management would consider the likelihood of an entity's potential inability to meet its obligations as they become due for a reasonable period of time,” staff accountants wrote.  A company’s management would assert in the financial statements that there is “substantial doubt” about the firm's ability to continue operating as a going concern when the likelihood of its inability to meet its obligations within a reasonable period of time reaches “probable,” according to the update.

     “The assessment would not consider the mitigating effect of management plans that are outside the ordinary course of business,” FASB's staff continued in the update. “Because the assessment is inherently judgmental,” the board aims that the term “more likely than not” should be viewed as an approximate benchmark for initiating disclosures “and not as a bright-line threshold,” the staff wrote. 


    FASB plans for the standard released in April to list “example indicators” to aid management's assessment of the need for the disclosures about going concern.

  • 13 Feb 2013 9:39 AM | Anonymous


    Contact:   Al Rickard


    Tax Return Preparation Fee Averages $246


    National Society of Accountants survey finds

    average cost for an itemized return is reasonable


    ALEXANDRIA, VA, January 24, 2013 undefined The last-minute tax law changes have finally passed. Nobody fell off the fiscal cliff.

    Now what?

    For millions of taxpayers, it means digging through records and deciding how to complete their ever-more-complicated tax returns.

    Many will decide that hiring a professional tax return preparer is a good idea – someone who deals with tax laws for a living and is up-to-speed on the latest changes.

    Fortunately, the National Society of Accountants (NSA) reports that hiring a tax return preparer is still an affordable option, costing an average of $246 to prepare an itemized Form 1040 with Schedule A and a state tax return. If a professional tax preparer can catch even one more deduction or credit that a taxpayer may have missed, that can easily pay for the tax return preparation fee.

    “I think most people would say this is worth the money,” says NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. “Especially when you think about how long it will take you to do the return. Just reading the instructions can take hours, let alone filling it out. Let a professional take the hassle out of it.”

    Rates for non-itemized returns are also low – the average cost to prepare a Form 1040 and state return without itemized deductions is only $143.

    Fee information was collected in a biennial 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:

    • $205 for a Form 1040 Schedule C (business)
    • $556 for a Form 1065 (partnership)
    • $759 for a Form 1120 (corporation)
    • $717 for a Form 1120S (S corporation)
    • $468 for a Form 1041 (fiduciary)
    • $628 for a Form 990 (tax exempt)
    • $59 for a Form 940 (Federal unemployment)
    • $134 for Schedule D (gains and losses)
    • $155 for Schedule E (rental)
    • $185 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) – $237
    • Middle Atlantic (NJ, NY, PA) – $258
    • South Atlantic (DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) – $253
    • East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN) – $279
    • West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) – $226
    • East North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) – $225
    • West North Central (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD) – $196
    • Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY) – $233
    • Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA) – $288

    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 $41 to file an extension, an average fee of $73 to expedite a return, and an average fee of $80 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.

  • 02 Feb 2013 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    IRS Reopens PTIN System 

    After a two week review, the IRS has concluded that the recent Loving v. Commissioner court ruling does not affect the requirement for paid tax return preparers to have and use a PTIN.  Consequently, the PTIN system is now reopened for processing renewals and new applications.

    Please note the alert that is located on the login screen if you go to the IRS website to renew or acquire a PTIN:

    ALERT:  The PTIN system is being updated to reflect current requirements.  Until those updates can be completed, a screen titled Continuing Education (CE) Completion may appear during PTIN renewal.  Please check either one of the boxes on that screen.  This information is NOT being collected, but you must check a box to advance to the next screen.  We apologize for any inconvenience.
    The IRS will make a formal announcement about the PTIN system availability on Monday, as well as update the information on the IRS website.  The PTIN helpline is also tentatively planned to reopen on Monday.
    We also have numerous paper renewals and applications in inventory that we will begin processing expeditiously on Monday.
    Please note:  The link to the newly reopened PTIN  system is: http://rpr.irs.gov.  This web address link is not currently listed on IRS.gov.
    NSA will provide any updated information as it becomes available.
  • 22 Jan 2013 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    The IRS, in a court case, has been found not to have the authority to license tax preparers, essentially throwing out the RTRP regulatory system that the IRS has already begun to implement. The IRS rules requiring all paid tax return preparers to pass a competency test and meet continuing education requirements are all part of the regulatory scheme the court found invalid.

    The IRS today issued a statement saying in part that, “In accordance with this order, tax return preparers covered by this program arenot currently required to register with the IRS, to complete competency testing or secure continuing education. The ruling does notaffect the regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, or enrolled actuaries.”

    The statement is available at the following URL on IRS.gov:

    Things You Should Know
    So, where do we go from here?

    NSA participated in a conference call this afternoon with Carol Campbell, Director of the IRS Return Preparer Office. On this call, Ms.Campbell and other IRS personnel made the following statements:
    1) The IRS has stopped scheduling tests, so after today, you cannot schedule the exam.
    2) The online PTIN system is currently unavailable.
    3) Continuing Education is no longer required for current RTRPs and RTRP candidates, but can be completed voluntarily.
    4) The IRS will issue guidance to CE providers shortly.

    Of course, we will continue to closely monitor this ongoing situation and will keep you informed of any developments. 
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