Gail in Virginia

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About Gail in Virginia

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  1. NCPE offers a good 2 day seminar on corporations and partnerships, but the farthest west they go is Las Vegas and Denver. Does your local community college (or California equivalent) offer classes on taxation as part of the accounting curriculum? Our local community college offers Principles of Taxation I which primarily covers individuals and Principles of Taxation II which gets into corporations and partnerships.
  2. IF there is going to be regulation for the preparation of FEDERAL taxes, I can understand that being an issue for a federal agency. Currently, the JD and CPA are largely regulated and handled at the state level by state bar associations and state boards of accountancy. The EA credential is the only one that is primarily regulated at the federal level. And some states apparently try to prevent the use of that federal credential. Most credentialing is for the purpose of raising money, is it not? In a free market system, if you aren't competent, word soon gets around and your client base shrinks dramatically. But being competent isn't sufficient if a state agency can require that you pass their competency test and pay their fees to be able to practice your trade or business.
  3. I prefer to have some basis for the FMV at date of death. If it was real estate, I have used tax assessment as long as I know that the locality assesses at 100% of FMV. In some cases, if an inventory was filed listing the asset and the FMV that can be used. For stocks, the date of death value is normally obtainable. If it is something where the FMV is not readily available, or at least a close approximation, then I would say some kind of evaluation or appraisal would be in order.
  4. @Roberts, it was my understanding that the only requirement for foreign income exclusion was that you had to meet the physical presence test OR the bona fide resident test. I don't remember any requirement to pay income taxes to that country. If you work for a US company that has offices overseas, such as an oil company or financial company, and you spend the required amount of time in a foreign country, the US company might issue you a W2 but you could still qualify for the exclusion. At least that is my understanding - here in rural Virginia, that isn't something I see much of.
  5. The problem with amended returns going through is that even though a person looks at the return, they do not verify information on the return but rather assume for the moment that you are telling the truth. So if in filling out the Foreign Income exclusion they indicate that they were out of the country for 330 days during the year, the return will be processed as though they qualify. However, if they are "audited ," even by computer, and it turns out they never had a passport, and never left the country, they will have to repay those refunds, plus interest, and most likely penalties for unsubstantiated tax positions. I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole.
  6. And having a business logo put on the truck does not make all the mileage deductible because advertising. I don't care what the barber told them.
  7. This is the explanation I was given by someone who used to work in a call center, basically. We always wait at least two rings before answering, and this usually means someone else answers before we do and gets the sales pitch, while we get silence. The no one there calls are annoying and time wasting, but not as much as the ones where the salesperson is actually on the line. I like Catherine's solution too. I used to, before the do not call list, answer my phone at home with "we do not accept telephone solicitations at this number." I think the formal language threw them off stride, because quite often they just hung up after that.
  8. I still wouldn't count on on getting much, if anything, back. And if we do get anything back, it will be taxable in most cases.
  9. Even if the ruling stands, I figure my PTIN fees since 2010 have amounted to about $400 (roughly, I did not go back and look.) This was brought as a class action suit. So does the IRS pay the attorneys who brought the suit, they take 1/3 plus costs off the top and then divide the rest between those preparers who elect to be part of the class? So of the $400 I have spent, would I get maybe $200? Or less?
  10. I am not thinking about retirement this year. Or even next. But I do think about changing the way I work. I would love to not be responsible for everything. And I am sure that if I do decide to change, I could keep a few bookkeeping clients and prepare taxes for another firm. But it is hard to change to doing things the way another person wants when I have been used to doing it my way for so long. Not that my way is perfect; I just like getting to decide what changes to make each year. And I get really tired of the attitude I perceive from the IRS. If anything drives me out of this business, that will be it.
  11. I cannot give out information about the client's return without signed permission from the client. And if they are going to get the client to give me permission, why not just ask the client what he paid me last year? There are legitimate reasons to ask - as Rich said, they might be deducting it on schedule A. Or maybe applying a portion of the fee to a schedule C, E or F as a deduction. But why don't they just ask the client if they need to know?
  12. The people that don't hang around in the off-season don't know what they miss in educational opportunities on this board. I am getting really interested in this topic, and the one about donating the LLC interest. These are not things that I see everyday in my little rural practice.
  13. It isn't just the DIY software that people buy - I recall reading about one "preparer" who used the IRS free-file site for all her clients. She only did returns where people's income was low enough to qualify, and I am sure that almost all, if not all, of her clients got EITC. Her prices were very low, because she had no overhead. But regulating preparers will not stop people like her who don't sign returns as preparer.
  14. It is my understanding that if they can claim the children as dependents, they count for the purpose of determining affordability. Even though they may not pay for their insurance, they are paying all of the other bills (one assumes) and providing more than 50% of support since they are claiming the exemption. Therefore, they count for purposes of calculating income in relation to the poverty level.