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NAEA's Technology Improvement Program
In the first of an ongoing series, we would like to inform members of our technology improvement program, or TIP. The board approved as part of this year's association budget investments in NAEA's member database, learning platform, and website. The new technology will improve efficiency and the overall member experience.
The first place changes will be evident is in the Leadership Summit registration. Those who register for any part of the Leadership Summit (details below), will do so exclusively through an email invitation, which will be sent by the middle of next week, and not through the website. You will be presented with a user ID/password ONLY for Leadership Summit registration and this change is part of our ongoing technology improvement program. If you are not attending the Leadership Summit, you need to do nothing with that user ID/password.
Follow the Leader(s)
The May Leadership Summit is May 11-15, 2020, and includes the annual board/officer installation and the May board meeting. Registration opens soon for the installation dinner and for the following:
As noted above, all members will be receiving in the next couple of business days an email inviting them to participate in the Leadership Summit (whether at Fly-In Day, APEX, or as a board member). Be on the lookout for the email as we will not be registering participants through NAEA's website.
- May 11-12: NAEA's 12th Annual Fly-In Day — Those interested in a crash course in in-person advocacy plus a day taking the EA message to Congress will need to apply once registration opens.
- May 12: NAEA PAC Congressional Club Breakfast — The invitation-only breakfast with a member of Congress is reserved for 2019 Congressional Club-level PAC donors. Congressional Club-level donors should be on the lookout for an invitation.
- May 13-14: Affiliate Presidents Exchange — APEX is a semiannual event for state affiliate leaders to gather and learn from each other and from NAEA staff.
Need Advice on the New Form W-4? NAEA Has You Covered
You have read article after article, and then, heaven help you, the instructions (in vain). While the online Member Community (née WebBoard) is the go-to place for just about any tax question under the sun, what if that itch still needs scratched? Then tune in Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. ET to NAEA's webinar, Form W-4: What you need to talk to your clients about during tax season, led by Jason Dinesen, EA.
If you are not able to watch live, fret not. The recorded version (which, btw, is how E@lert completed our own CY19 CE requirements) will be available on demand.
Security Begins with You
OK, security actually begins with "s," but that is not the point. Your PTIN is sensitive information and to be protected. IRS reminds us one way to do this is to verify the number of returns filed using our EFINs. On e-Services:
After the last step, you will see the number of returns filed by return type. IRS updates the information weekly.
- Select your name
- In the left banner, select "Applications"
- In the left banner, select "e-file Application"
- Select your name again
- Select EFIN status.
IRS Seeks New Appeals Chief, Fills New Fraud Role
IRS is seeking a new appeals chief, a position paying up to $192K. The posting is here, in case you are interested. The former head of appeals retired on December 31, 2020. The position is open until April 1, 2020. Else, IRS selected Damon Rowe as the agency's director of the newly-created Fraud Enforcement Office, in the SB/SE operating division. According to the agency's presser, among his duties will be "a continued focus on unscrupulous activities of taxpayers and professional enablers that undermine our federal tax laws." The position appears to serve as a bridge between criminal (CID) and civil (SB/SE) compliance activities.
A few items you may have missed:
- The House Small Business Committee earlier this week held a hearing on Wayfair and its effect on small businesses. Money quote, "I know very few small businesses in compliance. Some are still unaware and when I discuss it, they look at me like I'm crazy [while] ... others are trying to comply and failing miserably."
- The Oregon Department of Revenue posted two corporate activity tax (CAT) draft temporary administrative rules. The draft temporary rules aim to provide guidance on employee definition and define "single-family residential construction." Deloitte further unpacks and provides links to the draft temporary rules.
- The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) just announced it experienced a delay in printing and mailing some notices — some 290,000 of them, of which only 17,000 could have a financial impact on taxpayers. Evidently FTB is notifying affected taxpayers…by mail. What could possibly go wrong with that?
FTB also issued FTP 3713 (Summary of Account Payments) to business entities beginning late January. This is not a bill, and entities do not need to call FTB.
IRS this week released Notice 2020-13, which provides adjustments to the limitation on housing expenses under §911. The adjustments are made on the basis of geographic differences in housing costs relative to housing costs in the United States.
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Since we last spoke, Pi Day (3/14) is nearly upon us, which means Talk Like a Pirate Day (it is a thing, we promise) is six months away. And, speaking of time, Sunday begins daylight savings, so do not forget to spring forward (as if you needed to shorten the filing season). Else, we learned why Monopoly is such a dreadful game and the inimitable (though often spoofed) James Lipton passed away at the age of 93.
For music this week, we offer our new favorite country tune, plus this classic Dolly, and for those of you who cannot get enough tax, we offer this Simply Tax podcast, focused on the TCJA (because we cannot get enough of it).
Otherwise, we offer a lovely list of tax-related items, personally curated especially for America's Tax Experts®:
- Speaking of member benefits, the Member Forum on NAEA's website is exclusively for NAEA members (full, associate, etc.), which should be your go-to place if you are stumped by anything that comes across your desk. A recent chain on NOL, EIC, and third-party sick pay, shows our community of professionals working together.
- The New York Times offers a lengthy piece, A Gig Worker's Guide to Paying Taxes, which EAs may want to keep at hand for clients and potential clients. NAEA member Kathy Pickering, EA, (and H&R Block Chief Tax Officer) is quoted.
- Federal News Network printed an interesting article hyping congressional praise of IRS' adoption of artificial intelligence and other emerging tech (E@lert once toiled in IRS' Artificial Intelligence Lab — and we are not making this up). Treasury Secretary Mnuchin suggested AI could lead to EITC claimants receiving earlier payment, and Commissioner Rettig has reported IRS "has found success leveraging AI to target high-income households that have not filed their returns."
- Secretary Mnuchin, also while testifying this week, detailed challenges IRS faces with marijuana businesses, which are largely cash-only enterprises. So *this* is why IRS in February posted "how to pay in cash" instructions?
- Coronavirus is not only taking the markets on a rollercoaster ride, it is also beginning to roil the tax world.
Early bird registration for IRS' Nationwide Tax Forum opens March 1. The attendee code NAEA2020# will score you an additional $10 discount.
Joe Biden, who you may have heard is running for president, has proposed tax hikes that, according the Tax Policy Center would raise roughly $4 trillion over 10 years — largely from increased rates affecting high-income households and businesses ...
Both IRS and the Social Security Administration, and their respective inspectors general, are participating in National Slam the Scam Day. E@lert agrees with SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul, who said "It is appalling scammers are playing on ... fear to get people to act without thinking. Everyone should just hang up, and never give out their personal information."
Steptoe reports on a U.S. Supreme Court decision (Kansas v. Garcia), while not per se a tax case, "adds weight to arguments that taxes proposed in Maryland, Nebraska, and New York State are barred by the Internet Tax Freedom Act." The ITFA, for those of you a little rusty, provides that no state may impose taxes on internet access or multiple/discriminatory taxes on e-commerce.
- Congress yesterday sent the president an $8.3B emergency coronavirus spending bill, including $1B directly to states over the next 30 days.
- Meanwhile the Taxpayer Advocate Service and IRS are working together on a Service coronavirus plan.
"Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, poet, and philosopher
Contributions to NAEA PAC are governed by federal law. Only U.S. nationals (citizens and green-card holders) who are NAEA members in good standing may contribute to NAEA PAC. Contributions are voluntary and not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes. Corporate contributions are not permitted. We are required to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals who contribute $200 or more in a calendar year. Individual contributions are limited to $5,000 per year.
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NAEA E@lert | Volume 2: Issue 9
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