The Accountant Official Publication of the North Carolina Society of Accountants Post Office Box 1126, Conover, NC 28613 828-695-2520 or 866-755-NCSA FAX: 828-695-2522 February 2011 Inside this Issue A Message From The President Chapter News 2 Bill Fischer Congress and the IRS have succeeded in frustrating a NC Tax Credits 3 number of taxpayers with delayed filings for itemized deductions More PTIN News 3 and some of the other tax extenders. I, for one, never will under- stand how our software providers can have up-to-date software Personal Exemption nearly instantaneously after tax changes, and the IRS takes two Adjustment 3 months to make the changes to their computers. I’m sure they have a valid reason for the delay, but it still seems a little extreme. Charity Reporting 3 When doing North Carolina tax returns, please remember that Bill Fischer North Carolina General Assembly has NOT adopted the Small Processing Delayed Business Jobs Act of 2010 that President Obama signed into law on September 27, Returns 4 2010. We also don’t know about the provisions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment In- surance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 which was signed on December IRS2Go 4 17, 2010. The effective dates vary, including some that are retroactive. Will we be amending North Carolina this year? Federal PTINs are required to file tax returns, however the IRS has acknowledged that Tax Deposits 4 there are problems with the system and have provided relief to those who have applied National but don’t yet have one. If you fall into this category, and never had a PTIN before, you Tax Forum 4 can use your Social Security Number. As of January 25, the IRS has already issued more than 620,000 PTINs, has over 11,000 paper applications to process, and is averag- ing 3,500 new PTINs each day. Yes, there are a lot of tax preparers! Tax Map 5 Please don’t forget your local NCSA Chapter meetings. Your Chapter officers and program chairs work hard throughout the year to provide meaningful programs. Yet More PTIN News 5 Show them you appreciate their efforts–especially during tax season. In addition to the programs offered, Chapter meetings are an excellent venue for discussing tax problems Public and sharing your knowledge. Campaign Fund 5 NCSA committees are also at work during tax season. Plans have been final- ized for A Day at the Zoo–now all that’s needed is your registration form! Remember, Taxpayer Advocate’s this is for ALL NCSA members and families and friends. The Zoo is a great place to Annual Report 6-7 visit–you can even feed a giraffe. Please see the registration form in this issue of The NC Returns Accountant and get it to Candace soon. Due April 18 7 Remember to mark your calendar for June 16-18 for the NCSA Spring PAS and Convention. We’re combining these activities this year to lessen your time away Zoo Ticket from the office and costs. The PAS (Professional Accounting Seminar) will feature Order Form Bob Jennings with the latest on Compilation and Review (Tax Basis). As ac- countants, this is one seminar you won’t want to miss. Work hard, but not too hard. Remember to take care of yourself so you can enjoy life. 2 2 Chapter News Tax season is now in full swing! Our legislators are in Raleigh trying to close the largest budget gap in history; what will it mean to our clients? If you have suggestions or comments let your legislators know, and advise your clients to do the same. Even though we are all very busy our chapter meetings provide a res- pite of time to commiserate with fellow accountants about our profession. Take time to attend your chapter meeting; it will help make tax season fly by. Burlington Burlington Chapter met on Thursday, January 27, at Kimbers Restaurant in Gibsonville just west of Burlington. Burlington Chapter meets on the 4th Thursday of each month. Cape Fear Cape Fear Chapter met on Monday, January 17, at The Brass Lantern in Dunn. 17 chapter members and one guest heard NCSA President Bill Fischer present an informative and timely “Tax Update.” The next meeting will be on Monday, February 21, at The Barn Restaurant in Fayetteville. Attorney Williford McCauley will discuss basic estate planning including recent changes. Cape Fear Chapter meets on the 1st Monday after the 15th of each month. Central Central Chapter met on Monday, January 24, at 6pm at Sagebrush Steakhouse in Asheboro. Chapter Vice President Ron Powell gave the members in attendance a quiz on the recent tax law changes and led a discussion with questions and answers. The next meeting will be held at 6pm on Monday, February 28 at Sagebrush Steakhouse in Asheboro. David Smith will discuss Debt Collection procedures. Smith operates Credit Bureau Collection Systems in Asheboro. Central Chapter meets on the 4th Monday of each month. Charlotte Charlotte Chapter met on Monday, January 24, at Golden Corral in Matthews with Marva Adams of NC Department of Revenue speaking to the chapter about Sales & Use Tax and other NC changes. Char- lotte Chapter meets on the 4th Monday of each month. Hickory The Hickory Chapter meets the last Monday of each month. Piedmont The Piedmont Chapter met at Clark’s Barbeque in Kernersville on Thursday, January 27. Ron Pow- ell spoke to the chapter about Recordkeeping and Technology in the office. Piedmont Chapter meets on the last Thursday of each month. Raleigh Raleigh Chapter meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Sanford Sanford Chapter meets the 1st Monday after the 15th of each month. Western The Western Chapter meeting was held January 25th in Asheville at Ryan’s Family Restaurant with 15 members and five guests in attendance. NC Employment Security Commission representatives Becky Nunnaley and Maricella Acosta covered the steps to file electronic reports and the information that is avail- able through ESC online services. No meeting is scheduled for February or March. Topic and location for the April 26th meeting will be announced at a later date. SHARE YOUR NEWS WITH THE ACCOUNTANT. PLEASE E-MAIL INFORMATION TO: email@example.com OR FAX TO 336-873-7650. 3 3 NC Tax Credits According to the NC Department of Revenue, recently enacted legislation allows a refundable tax credit taken against personal income tax for small businesses that make contributions to the State Unemployment In- surance Fund during the tax year for wages paid for employment in North Carolina. The credit is applicable only to tax years 2010 and 2011 and is equal to 25% of the amount of qualified contributions to the State Un- employment Insurance Fund. A small business is defined as a business whose cumulative gross receipts from business activity for the year do not exceed $1,000,000. In computing the amount of tax against which multiple credits are allowed, non-refundable credits are subtracted before refundable credits. The tax credit should be computed on Part 6 of Form D-400TC for individuals, NC K-1 line 4a for corporations, and Form D-403TC Part 5 for partnerships. More PTIN News Another exception to the PTIN requirement. The IRS will permit any individual 18 years or older to pay the applicable fee and obtain a PTIN. The person can prepare all, or substantially all, of a tax return for compensation if: 1. The individual is supervised by an attorney, CPA, or EA authorized to practice before the IRS under Circular 230; 2. The supervising attorney, CPA, or EA signs the tax returns prepared by the individual. 3. The individual is employed at the law firm, CPA firm, or other recognized firm of the tax return pre- parer who signs the tax return; and 4. The individual passes the requisite tax compliance and suitability check. Individuals applying for a PTIN under this provision will be required to certify on the PTIN application that they are supervised by an attorney, CPA, or EA who signs the tax return prepared by the individual and provide a supervising individual’s PTIN. If, at any point, the individual no longer is supervised by the signing attorney, CPA, or EA, the individual must notify the IRS and will not be permitted to prepare, or assist in pre- paring, all or substantially all of a tax return for compensation. Individuals who obtain a PTIN under this provision will not be subject to a competency examination or CPE requirement. These individuals, however, may not sign any tax return they prepare for compensation, rep- resent taxpayers before the IRS in any capacity, or represent to the IRS, their clients, or the general public that they are a registered tax return preparer or a Circular 230 preparer. Although individuals who obtain a PTIN under this provision are not practitioners under Circular 230, the are, by preparing or assisting in the preparation of a tax return for compensation, acknowledging that they are subject to the duties and restrictions of Circular 230. The IRS may revoke a PTIN obtained under this pro- vision if the tax return preparer willfully violates applicable duties and restrictions prescribed in Circular 230 or engages in disreputable conduct. Personal Exemption Adjustment The NC personal exemption adjustment amount for tax year 2010 is $1,150 for each exemption claimed on a federal personal tax return if the federal AGI is less than $100,000 (joint), $80,000 (head of household), $60,000 (single), or $50,000 (separate). If the federal AGI is higher, the taxpayer must add back $1,650 for each exemption claimed on the federal personal tax return. This amount is added back to taxable income in computing the NC tax. Charity Reporting In Rev Proc 2011-15, the IRS announced that small tax-exempt organizations may be able to shift to the simpler Form 990-N (e-Postcard) for their 2010 annual information report. For tax years beginning after De- cember 31, 2009, most tax-exempt organizations whose gross annual receipts normally are $50,000 or less can file the e-Postcard. Supporting organizations of any size must file the standard Form 990 or 990-EZ. 4 4 Processing Delayed Returns Happy Valentine’s Day. The IRS plans to start processing tax returns delayed by the December tax law changes. The IRS reminds taxpayers affected by the delay that they can begin preparing their tax returns im- mediately because many software providers now are ready to accept these returns. Beginning February 14, the IRS will start processing both paper and e-filed returns claiming itemized deductions, the higher education tuition and fees deduction, and the educator expense deduction. Based on fil- ings last year, about 9 million tax returns claimed any of these deductions on returns received by the IRS before February 14. IRS2Go The IRS has launched IRS2Go, a smart phone application that lets you interact with the IRS using your mobile device. You can check your federal income tax refund by entering your Social Security number, which will be masked and encrypted for security, then select your filing status and enter the amount of your antici- pated refund from you 2010 return. If you e-file, you can check your refund status within a few days. If you do a paper return, it can take three or four weeks. You also can go to IRS2Go to subscribe to filing season updates by entering your e-mail address to get automatically daily tax tips. They are issued daily during the tax season and periodically during the rest of the year. Finally, you can get IRS2Go to sign up to follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews. IRSnews provides the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes. If you have an Apple iPhone or iTouch, you can download the free IRS2Go app by visiting the iTunes app store. If you have an Android device, you can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app. Federal Tax Deposits In Notice 2010-87, the IRS provided transitional relief for determining the timeliness of federal tax de- posits (FTDs). The IRS will not assert penalties for FTDs due in calendar year 2011 that are untimely solely because the depositor treated a statewide legal holiday as if it were a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. The term “legal holiday” for FTD purposes includes only those legal holidays in the District of Colum- bia. Nationwide Tax Forum The dates for the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum have been announced: • June 28-30, Atlanta, GA • July 12-14, Orlando, FL • July 26-28, Dallas, TX • August 9-11, San Jose, CA • August 16-18, Las Vegas, NV • August 30-September 1, National Harbor, MD 5 5 Tax Map The IRS announced a new and innovative service that enables tax law research by topic. It is an on-line service at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=213705,00.html. Each Tax Map “topic page” contains all the information known about the topic, including links to related topics, forms, publications, and instructions. Topic pages are found by typing a topic and searching or by selecting a topic from an index. Yet More PTIN News Eugenia Tabon passes on the following news. Some tax professionals obtained a PTIN prior to publication of additional guidance as to who needs a PTIN. Individuals who prepare only the following forms are not subject to the PTIN requirements: SS-4, SS-8, SS-16, W-2s, W-7, W-8BEN, 870, 872, 906, 1098s, 1099s, 2848, 3115, 4029, 4361, 4419, 5300, 5307, 5310, 5500s, 8027, 8288-A, 8288-B, 8508, 8717, 8809, 8821, and 8942. Generally, the IRS does not refund any PTIN payments. However, if you obtained a PTIN prior to issu- ance of guidance clarifying a PTIN was not necessary, you can request a refund and cancellation of the PTIN. Submit a signed, written explanation to the IRS Professional PTIN Processing Center, 104 Brookridge Drive #5000, Waterloo, IA 50702. If you don’t have a new or “refreshed” PTIN, you cannot prepare tax returns. You must wait until you submit an on-line or paper application, pay the fee, and obtain a PTIN. However, certain individuals who have made a good faith effort to timely obtain a PTIN but experienced processing issues are being advised they may prepare returns during the interim period while their applications are pending (there are about 11,000 of these). Supervised preparers are those who do not sign returns but are employed and supervised by a business at least 80% owned by attorneys, CPAs, or EAs and are supervised by an attorney, CPA, or EA. These indi- viduals must obtain a PTIN and certify on the application they are supervised and provide the supervising indi- vidual’s PTIN. The capability for a preparer to specify themselves as a supervised preparer will be added to the PTIN system. Once an individual posses a valid PTIN and passes an IRS competency test, they will become a Regis- tered Tax Return Preparer. The designation as a Registered Tax Return Preparer is reserved only for those who take the test; if they are exempt from testing or do not prepare returns, they will not use this title. Public Campaign Fund You have an obligation to ask clients about a check-off designation for the North Carolina Public Cam- paign Fund on the NC personal tax return. The Fund supports a nationally acclaimed program designed to im- prove how North Carolina voters elect judges for the NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The Fund helps voters cast a more informed vote in these elections by paying for the creation of a non- partisan voter guide which describes the functions of the appellate court and profiles the candidates running for those offices. The Fund also helps protect the impartiality of the courts by providing financial aid to candidates who accept restrictions on their spending and fundraising, including limits on donations from lawyers and spe- cial interest groups. To participate in the Fund, filers of NC personal income tax returns may designate $3 to the Fund by checking a box on their personal tax returns. Taxpayers must be made aware that designating $3 to the Fund does not increase the taxpayer’s tax due and does not reduce any refund due the taxpayer. A paid tax preparer of an individual’s personal tax return may not mark an agreement or objection to the allocation without the tax- payer’s consent. 6 6 Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report In her annual report to Congress, the Taxpayer Advocate breaks issues into multiple parts. The most serious problems encountered by taxpayers: • The time for tax reform is now. • The IRS Mission Statement does not reflect the agency’s increasing responsibilities for admin- istering social benefit programs. • The IRS performance measures provide incentives that may undermine the IRS mission. • The Wage & Investment Division is tasked with supporting multiple agency-wide operations , impeding its ability to serve its core base of individual taxpayers effectively. • IRS policy implementation through systems programming lacks transparency and precludes adequate review. Taxpayer rights: • IRS collection policies and procedures fail to adequately protect taxpayers suffering an eco- nomic hardship. • The IRS does not know the impact of ignoring a non-IRS debt when analyzing a taxpayer’s ability to pay an IRS debt. • The failure of the Office of Appeals to document prohibited ex parte communications may vio- late taxpayer rights and damage the public’s perception of its independence. • The IRS’s failure to provide timely and adequate Collection Due process hearings may deprive taxpayers of an opportunity to have their cases fully considered. • Third party reporting of cancellation-of-debt events is not accurate always, and the IRS reliance on such reporting may burden taxpayers. • The IRS’s failure to track and analyze the outcomes of Audit recommendations and inconsistent guidance increase taxpayer burden and inflate IRS audit results and cost effective measures. • Persistent breakdowns in Power of Attorney processes undermine fundamental taxpayer rights. • IRS Collection policies channel taxpayers into Installment Agreements they cannot afford. • The IRS’s over reliance on its “Reliable Cause Assistant” leads to inaccurate penalty abatement determinations. • State domestic partnership laws present unanswered federal tax questions. Tax administration: • The IRS has not studied or addressed the impact of the large volume of undelivered mail on tax- payers. • The IRS does not process vital taxpayer responses timely. • The IRS should track accurately sources of balance due payments to determine the revenue ef- fectiveness of its enforcement activities and service initiatives. • The IRS has been reluctant to implement alternative service methods that would improve acces- sibility for taxpayers who seek face-to-face assistance. • The S corporation election process unduly burdens small businesses. • The combined annual wage reporting programs continues to impose a substantial burden on em- ployers. Status updates: • The IRS has been slow to address the adverse impact of its lien filing policies on taxpayers and future tax compliance. • Despite program improvements, the IRS policy of processing most ITIN applications with pa- per returns during peak filing season continues to strain IRS resources and unduly burden tax- payers. • The IRS’s handling of Collection statute expiration dates continues to adversely affect taxpay- ers. (continued on page 7) 7 7 Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report (continued from page 6) • The IRS Offer-in-Compromise program continues to be under utilized. Legislative recommendations: • Enact tax reform now. • Repeal information reporting on purchase of goods but require reporting on corporate and cer- tain other payments. • Allow taxpayers to request equitable relief under §6015(f) or §66(c) at any time before expira- tion of the period of limitations on Collection and to raise Innocent Spouse relief as a defense in Collection actions. • Remove the 36 month “testing period” that may trigger Cancellation of Debt reporting. • Amend §3402(p) to require withholding on payments made for lost earnings or profits from dis- asters. • Enact a Statute of Limitations to limit the retroactive effect of revocation of an organization’s exempt status. • Refine whistleblower procedures to better protect taxpayers privacy while providing necessary information to whistleblowers. • Revise the willfulness components of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty statute to encourage business owners to continue operation of financially struggling businesses when the tax liability accrues due to an intervening bad act. • Designate the attorneys’ fees awarded pursuant to IRS §7430 are ineligible for offer to satisfy a litigant’s preexisting government debt. • Extend the due date for S corporation elections to reduce the high rate of untimely elections. • Enact a Uniform Federal Agency External Ombudsman Act. NC Returns Due April 18 For individual tax purposes, North Carolina will follow the federal April 18 extended filing date and consider any returns and payments that would have been due April 15 as filed on time if they are filed and paid by April 18. The extended deadline applies to the following forms and payments: • 2010 State individual income tax returns, whether filed electronically or on paper • First quarter 2011 individual estimated income tax payments • Partnerships • Estates and Trusts • Applications for extension for any of the above The extended deadline does not apply to corporations that file franchise and corporate income tax re- turns due April 15, 2011, or to first quarter 2011 corporate estimated income tax payments. NCSA Schedule of Events 2010-2011 OFFICERS 2011 PRESIDENT – BILL FISCHER 711 Dandridge Drive May 14—Board of Directors Meeting and Picnic— Fayetteville, NC 28303-2000 Zoo, Asheboro 910-864-4114 firstname.lastname@example.org June 16–Jennings Compilation & Review— Grandover, Greensboro—8 am-4 pm PRESIDENT-ELECT – JOHN L. BLANTON June 16–Scholarship Bingo–Grandover, Greensboro- 2200 Silas Creek Parkway 7B 8 pm-10 pm Winston Salem, NC 27103 336-794-2525 June 17– Class (TBD)–Grandover, Greensboro— email@example.com 8 am-12 pm SECRETARY – CHERYL C. HUDSON June 17–Board of Directors Meeting–Grandover, Greensboro— 3856 Dunn Road 6 pm-7 pm Eastover, NC 28312 June 17–President’s Reception & Dinner– 910-223-0200 Grandover, Greensboro, 7 pm-9 pm firstname.lastname@example.org June 18–Past Presidents’ Breakfast–Grandover, Greensboro, TREASURER – M. LOUISE PISTOLE 8:15 am-9:30 am Post Office Box 72 Matthews, NC 28106 June 18–Convention–Grandover, Greensboro, 9:45 am-1 pm 704-847-8275 email@example.com June 18–Installation Luncheon–Grandover, Greensboro, 1:15 pm-3:30 pm IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT – June 18–Board of Directors Meeting–Grandover, Greensboro J. R. LAWSON, JR. 2200 Silas Creek Parkway 7B ory He dline Ba ck Pag e St a July 16–Leadership Conference Winston Salem, NC 27103 336-794-2525 October 21–Practitioners’ Forum firstname.lastname@example.org November 2-3–Jennings 1040 seminar ASSOCIATION OFFICE Candace Cansler, Executive Director P.O. Box 1126 Conover, NC 28613 866-755-NCSA(6272) toll-free 828-695-2520 (v) 828-695-2522 (f) email@example.com THE ACCOUNTANT EDITOR – STEPHEN METELITS firstname.lastname@example.org The Accountant is distributed with the understanding the publisher is not engaged in rendering tax, legal, accounting, or any other profes- sional advice and assumes no liability or responsibility whatsoever in connection with its use. You are urged to do research before acting upon any information appearing in this publication. Opinions expressed in The Accountant are those of the editor and contributors. The Ac- countant is published monthly by the North Carolina Society of Accountants, Post Office Box 1126, Conover, NC 28613. A Day at the Zoo Enjoy a day at the North Carolina Zoo with your family and NCSA! Saturday, May 14, 2011 Schedule of events: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm NCSA Board Meeting (all NCSA members are welcome) 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Enjoy the Zoo 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Family Picnic (all NCSA members, families, and guests) Details: The NCSA Board of Directors will meet at the Multipurpose Room near the North America Zoo entrance (admission to the Zoo is not required to enter the building). All NCSA members are welcome to attend the Board meeting. Zoo admission will be at a “Group Rate.” There is no charge for members of the Zoo Society or North Carolina Aquarium. The Family Picnic will be held at Hippo Beach near the Africa Zoo entrance. (Admission to the Zoo is not required to attend the Family Picnic). A picnic Classic Boxed Lunch sandwich with Smoked Ham, Turkey Breast or Roast Beef on Whole Grain, Croissant or Sour Dough Breads; Smooth & Sharp Cheeses; Leaf Lettuce; Red Onion and Vine Ripe Roma Tomatoes; Fresh Cut Fruit; Southern Style Mustard Potato Salad; Assorted Chips; Fresh Baked Cookies; and Assorted Soda & Bottled Water will be served. Registrations will be accepted until April 29, 2011. A Day at the Zoo Registration Name: _________________________________________________ Zoo Admission: Number Total Cost Adult _____ $9.00 ________ Child (age 2-12) _____ $5.00 ________ Senior (age 62+) _____ $7.00 ________ Zoo/Aquarium Member _____ Free ________ Picnic Lunch _____ $15.00 ________ Total Cost: _______ Please make checks payable to NCSA and mail with this form to: North Carolina Society of Accountants P.O. Box 1126 Conover, NC 28613 Please circle one meat and one bread for each lunch below: Lunch #1: Meat: Smoked Ham Turkey Breast Roast Beef Bread: Whole Grain Croissant Sour Dough Lunch #2 Meat: Smoked Ham Turkey Breast Roast Beef Bread: Whole Grain Croissant Sour Dough Lunch #3 Meat: Smoked Ham Turkey Breast Roast Beef Bread: Whole Grain Croissant Sour Dough Lunch #4 Meat: Smoked Ham Turkey Breast Roast Beef Bread: Whole Grain Croissant Sour Dough Note: if ordering more than four lunches, please attach an additional registration form Registrations will be accepted until April 29, 2011 Zoo tickets will be available at the Multipurpose Room (North America Entrance from 9:00 am until 11:30. After 11:30 they will be available at the Hippo Beach picnic site (Africa Entrance).
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