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As 2013 comes to a close, AAA-CPA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the AAA-CPA Weekly Update a look at the most accessed articles of the year. Our regular publication will resume next Wednesday, Jan. 8.




Americans blocked from dodging taxes in Caymans, Costa Rica
CBS MoneyWatch
From Dec. 4: Starting in January, Americans will no longer be able to use the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica as tropical tax havens. New agreements with the countries, announced by the Department of the Treasury, are designed to enforce the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
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IRS to get stricter on preparer penalties
Accounting Today
From Sept. 25: In response to a recent government report, the Internal Revenue Service will be improving its procedure for determining and enforcing penalties on paid tax preparers. The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was requested by the IRS Oversight Board to determine how effective the IRS is in using the existing requirements and penalty regime that applies to unenrolled paid tax return preparers.
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Estate planning remains a moving target under the new tax law
The New York Times
From May 1: With the federal tax on estates now kicking in at $5.25 million — or $10.5 million for a couple — it may seem that only the very wealthy need to worry about paying the tax. But that doesn't mean that everyone else can forget about an estate plan.
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Americans turn in passports as new tax law hits
CNNMoney
From Sept. 11: The number of Americans choosing to give up their citizenship has spiked dramatically this year as the government works to implement a new disclosure law aimed at stamping out tax evasion. Some of the rush may be caused by Americans hoping to avoid the new disclosure requirements. Others living abroad say they are giving up their U.S. passport because they are tired of dealing with overly complicated tax filings.
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How some high-income people avoid paying federal income tax
Forbes
From Sept. 11: Most of the 43 percent of Americans who the Tax Policy Center projects will pay no federal income tax this year make very little money. Some are middle-income households that qualify for enough tax preferences to zero out their tax bills. But more than 70,000 households with income over $200,000 will pay no federal income tax in 2013. How will they do that?
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Expiration of hotel room-tax rate in New York City causes confusion
The New York Times
New York City can be an expensive place for out-of-towners seeking a bed for the night. But those visitors have unknowingly paid thousands of dollars more in hotel taxes than they should have because of confusion caused by City Hall.

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US businesses alarmed by Senate plan on corporate taxes
The Washington Post
For years, American businesses have been clamoring for Congress to wipe out a profusion of special-interest tax breaks and use the proceeds to lower the 35 percent tax on corporate profits, now the highest in the developed world. The Senate's chief tax writer rolled out a series of proposals to do just that.

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End of mortgage-fix break could mean big tax bills
CNNMoney
A tax break for struggling mortgage borrowers ends Jan. 1 and that could mean big tax bills — and financial hits for their neighbors. Say a family is behind on their mortgage and the bank cuts them a deal, maybe reducing the loan principal or forgiving the mortgage balance after a "short sale" in which the seller owes more than the final price. Under traditional Internal Revenue Service rules, the amount of that debt forgiveness would be taxable income.

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4th largest tax prep business in the country shut down by feds
Forbes
From Nov. 13: Instant Tax Service, the fourth-largest tax preparation business in the United States, has been ordered by a federal court judge to shut down its operations. U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black found that ITS had a culture of "fraud and deception."
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Higher tax rates give top US earners year-end headaches
Bloomberg
From Nov. 13: The higher tax rates passed by Congress this year have some top U.S. earners seeking last-minute strategies to lower their tax bite as year-end calculations turn up unpleasant surprises. "There are many, many high-income taxpayers now who are finding themselves facing tax rates in excess of 50 percent," said Suzanne Shier, a tax strategist and director of wealth planning at Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp.
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Lawsuits over higher taxes? They're no joke
Forbes
From Nov. 27: In many lawsuits, plaintiffs claim the defendant caused them to pay higher taxes. It makes sense, since taxes have an impact on just about everything. Even so, whether a plaintiff can actually collect damages for adverse tax consequences varies widely.
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New Jersey, 2 other states tax health savings accounts
Asbury Park Press via USA Today
From Nov. 20: New Jersey is living up to a reputation for overtaxing its residents by grabbing a share of money set aside in increasingly popular health savings accounts. The Garden State is one of only three states that tax worker contributions into health savings accounts, which are exempt from federal taxes. HSAs nationwide have racked up $18.1 billion in assets since being launched in 2004, according to Devenir, an investment service firm.
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Health care law presents new opportunities for CPAs
by Annette Nellen, Esq., CPA
From Feb. 27: Becoming an expert on the numerous and complex provisions of the 2010 health care legislation that affect your individual and business clients can increase business and may be essential to a successful practice.
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CALENDAR
Jan. 7
12th Annual Northern New Jersey Working Together Conference

Jan. 14
AAA-CPA Luncheon in Conjunction With the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

Jan. 24
Southwest Regional Education Conference

Jan. 29
From Start-Up to Exit: What Every Professional Needs to Know

Feb. 13
PA/DE Valley Chapter Breakfast Meeting

May 2
Northeast Regional Education Conference

July 2
AAA-CPA Annual Meeting and Education Conference

Nov. 4
AAA-CPA Fall Meeting and Education Conference


 



The AAA-CPA Weekly Update

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Katina Smallwood, Content Editor, 469.420.2675   
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