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About JJStephens

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 11/04/1954

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  1. ATX

    I raised my fees about 2.5% this year...and still my average per return went down one dollar! Most of my clients have been with me 15-25 years and as more and more of them go into retirement, their returns are no longer as complex. I guess that's just the way it goes.
  2. Help with a trust sale

    Client has been with me something just short of a hundred years. Several years ago they formed a trust with a friend to purchase a rental (the trust has no other assets). The deal was, the other guy could buy them out or they could request to be bought out within five years. Just short of the five year deadline client decided to exercise their option. They think the guy is merely buying out the property but they keep the trust; the way they have described it I think he's buying their share of the trust. I have no idea why they would want to keep the trust--they do not plan to purchase any additional property. They're asking me if the guy should make the check to them or to the trust. I have only limited experience with LLC/partnership sales and none with trusts. I do plan to tell them to get an attorney to write up the deal. Anybody have any other guidance on this?
  3. client stiffed me - now what?

    Hey, JohnH. Next time you want to pay someone $1000 to take a client, I'll do it! In fact, I'll take a couple of them!
  4. NT - After season humor

    I recently had to have a brain MRI to see if it is contributing to a genetic cardiac issue they recently discovered I have. The neurologist told me my brain is in pretty good shape but he said (pointing at the picture), "As you can see, it's shrinking a little bit." Then he added, "Don't worry. That happens to everyone when they get old." To which I muttered (under my breath), "Thirty-something turkey!" I guess when I was in my 30s I thought 62 was old, too. Still....arrghhh!!!
  5. DONE!

    I'm jealous! 1 to go plus 3 I'm awaiting 1 last item from the clients. Then I get to start about 35 Forms 990 for my non-profits. Deep sigh.
  6. ATX MAX up $ 500 ?

    Like Catherine, I found the first couple returns I did in Drake pretty awkward and had an 'oh no, what have I done?!?!' feeling in the pit of my stomach. But after the first 2 or 3 returns that went away and by the 5th return I was feeling pretty comfortable. By the time I did a few more I was kicking myself for not taking the leap years earlier. For me, the two biggest benefits are outstanding support and the fact that it takes me only 2/3 the time (or less) to prep a return than it used to take using ATX. I guess I'd have to add in the pricing as a third benefit. After two years there are still a few things in the software I find a bit clumsy but I had that occasionally with ATX too.
  7. ATX MAX up $ 500 ?

    I jumped to Drake last year. ATX put on a press to get me back this year. Told me they could easily beat Drake and offered me a super special deal--$50 off the current price (which was $300 more than Drake). I passed. The previously hyper friendly sales agent suddenly adopted a whole new attitude and hung up. Sooo glad I made the jump last year. Prep time with Drake is about 2/3 what it was with ATX and support is phenomenal. I really enjoyed ATX for the 20 or so years I used it (and its predecessor)--especially in the early (pre-CCH) days. But I can't imagine leaving Drake now. Wish I'd done it ten years ago when I first thought about it. Oh, did I mention they haven't had a price increase in years?
  8. Spousal coverage

    I missed it first time I read through the 8962 instructs but on your advice I took a second look...and there it was! Thanks Deb.
  9. Spousal coverage

    Client & spouse were enrolled in Marketplace coverage throughout 2016 and took the advanced premium credit. Their 1095-A shows coverage for both throughout the year. In October the spouse became eligible for workplace coverage and enrolled in the employer's plan. They forgot to cancel the marketplace coverage on her until Jan 2017. She received a 1095-C showing Oct-Dec workplace coverage. This seems like it ought to be a simple issue but I'm completely befuddled. Can someone point me in the right direction?
  10. Trust sold house at a loss

    Client's mother died in February 2016. Her house was sold in November at a loss of $23,800 (the house was out-of-state and they wanted a quick sale). Estate had no other income/expense/gain/loss. It did receive a refund of overpaid real estate taxes but I believe that is immaterial. I'm not real strong on trusts--okay, truth is I'm a complete bonehead on trusts!--so I need someone to see if I did my research correctly. A loss on the sale of a personal residence is not deductible but when the house went into the estate it became investment property. Therefore, the loss passes through to the two beneficiaries on Schedule K-1 and they are able to deduct it on their personal returns. Is that accurate? Also, anyone know if I need to file a copy with NJ (where the estate is domiciled)?
  11. non profit without tax exempt status

    Sorry for the late response--just saw this. Just to establish my credentials in this area: non-profits are the bulk of my biz. Depending on a) when the entity was organized and b ) if it plans to apply for exempt status), it might not have to file an 1120. To request IRS recognition of tax-exempt status a non-profit has to file Form 1023 (or Form 1024, depending on what type of exemption it is requesting). The filing deadline is the last day of the 27th month after it is legally formed (i.e., after its charter date). The filing fee is either $400 or $850, depending on the entity's expected level of income. Some entities qualify to file the super-simple Form 1023-EZ; its filing fee is a flat $400. If its 1023/1024 is approved it will receive what is called a determination letter (it's important they keep it in a safe place as they will likely be asked for copies of it by banks and various others in the future). In such cases, the determination letter will (almost always) state that the entity's exempt status is recognized retroactive to the date it was formed. If that is the case, no 1120 is required for those prior periods. On the other hand, if the IRS determines the entity does not qualify for exemption it will receive an adverse determination letter. In such cases, the entity must file an 1120 for prior (and future) periods. If your client's 1023/1024 filing deadline has not passed (and assuming it plans to file prior to the deadline) the IRS allows it to operate under the presumption of exemption if it reasonably expects routine approval of its 1023/1024. However, it is required to file the iteration of Form 990 appropriate to its circumstances during the interim period. Which flavor of Form 990 the entity files is dependent on what type of exempt organization it is and the level of its income and net assets. 990s are due by the 15th day of the fifth month after the entity's fiscal year ends (May 15 for calendar year filers). Failure to file Form 990 for three consecutive years results in the automatic revocation of exempt status. The only way to get it reinstated is to reapply (and pay a new filing fee). If the entity files Form 1023/1024 after the filing deadline it can still request recognition of its exempt status; however, if granted, such recognition will be retroactive only to the date the Form 1023/1024 is received by the IRS. In such cases, the entity must file an 1120 for prior periods. Hope this helps.
  12. NT: QuickTime on Windows

    Yanked it off my computer several days ago.
  13. Form 8879 Issue

    My guess is the the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility will soon be having a chat with him. Probably ditto for the NY accountancy board. He might be able to work out some kind of probation but I cannot imagine a scenario in which he would completely avoid any sanctions. As for your own conscience, you made a good faith decision to go with a (seemingly) reputable CPA. You had no reason to suspect he was anything other than what he was purported to be. I completely understand your loyalty to long-time clients. I'll be facing that same thing in a couple years. I just hired an attorney who will eventually be 'inheriting' my consulting gig. He's great...but I still feel compelled to look over his shoulder at everything. That said, short of re-hanging your shingle or worrying yourself into a few early wrinkles, there nothing you can do but let it go.
  14. NT: a bit of boasting

    Note to self: try to stay on Catherine's 'nice' list.