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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/24/2019 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    I'm moving my sites to a new server this month. Sticking with the same host, but I need a little more speed and flexibility. I had planned on making the ATX Community one of the first few sites to go, but it looks like you folks are dealing with enough website-related turmoil for the moment, so I'll hold off and save this site for last. When it is time to move, there will be some minor downtime--I'll need to shut down the site during the move which will take about an hour, and then it'll be another hour or two (give or take) for the domain's DNS settings to propagate. Inevitably, there will be one or two members who won't see the new site for an extended period of time because their ISP's DNS servers are garbage. In cases like that, I highly recommend using a 3rd party DNS service for your entire network. Cloudflare DNS (I use this for my home network (router configuration) and on my cell phone) OpenDNS Google Public DNS I'll post again with an update as I get closer to the end of my site transfers.
  2. 10 points
    The guys below have sure got their ACT together on practice management, but I cain't seem to get beyond the basics. My secretary (wife) will say "If you don't sort through that junk and come up with a tax return in three more days, Btfsplk's Garage is gonna kick your ACT!" So my program goes into action: 1. Scan the Post-It notes stuck around the rim of my computer monitor. 2. All notes are prioritized in order of importance (for example-first on the list might be "See Buffett" or "Call Gates"). 3. Begin top-left and go clockwise, look across to top-right, then down to screen bottom, back across to left, then up again to top-left checking for something actionable (McDonald's/Bacon-Egg Biscuit" gets a lot of attention). Some notes, the sticky part wears out and they fall off, but tech support advised Scotch tape and that fixed that. On a fair day two returns will get done and hopefully all by October 15th. It used to be simpler but the funeral home quit handing out their big block appointment calendars (unless you die). I've upgraded and got a wide-screen monitor (holds more Post-Its). If it gets too crowded, I'll buy a second (need one for Solitaire anyway; I hate for a client to catch me playin' that when I'm supposed to be on their case). ____________________________________ Simplify! Simplify! - THOREAU
  3. 8 points
  4. 7 points
    What, I have to check the dates on these articles, that's too much work
  5. 7 points
    Remember when ATX was just a little company in Maine, with great communications? The good old days.
  6. 7 points
    If only Wolters Kluwer could get things back online as fast as you do!
  7. 7 points
    Hi John - well, I couldn't exactly claim to be well organized since lately I make a note to make a note. But naps are on automatic pilot - a couple of years ago my age (never mind what) made me start nodding off after lunch and drowsing fitfully 'til 2 or 3 -- but I can do it sitting up in the tall-back office chair (looks like I'm awake). The last fail-safe of my system is an EWCPA (Early Warning Client Proximity Alert) mechanism (bought a magnetic breaker system for the front door from a traveling salesman 20 years ago). It makes a clang a bit less than a Chinese emperor's gong when somebody pulls the doorknob. Then I can quickly grab a pencil, junior legal pad, and start scribbling. Regards, BB
  8. 6 points
    If it was an unknown strain, which was undetectable, how would they even know whether any data was lost ? It's not like someone stole the crown jewels. The data doesn't disappear, the hacker just leaves with a copy of the data.
  9. 6 points
    I know you will take good care of us, and I have NO idea whatsoever about all the DNS commentary.
  10. 6 points
    Bit of an over-reaction, don't you think? Yeah, it sucks. But we do know that they were attacked and they are trying to get their system back up. I have no love for ATX, but I am feeling for them right now. Cleaning up this mess is going to be a pain, and it is important that they don't expose us to the malware that attacked them. Tom Modesto, CA
  11. 6 points
    Then I would call in to ATX, maybe there is some synchronization (for lack of a technical term) that has to be fixed. Sounds like the transmitted estimates are the problem, but what do I know. Give them a call, they have nothing to do now other than hounding you for a renewal. Good luck.
  12. 5 points
    Yes, definitely a CA NR return. Also, enter the former 2106 deductions as CA does not conform to TCJA and you might have more than the CA standard deduction.
  13. 5 points
    We won't be told, if at all, whether or not our clients' data was compromised until after the 5/31 deadline to renew with discounts !!!
  14. 5 points
    Form 8821 might be more appropriate - the tax pro would receive copies of any notices issued but not be responsible for responding. IMO, form 2848 carries with it representation rights and duties to respond.
  15. 5 points
    Have you/client tried the Taxpayer Advocate? Friendly, local Congressperson? Maybe even a tax attorney, depending on the issue(s). I think the form letters are generated by a computer, and you won't get a real person involved, certainly not the level of person you need.
  16. 5 points
    Three new tax bills have been voted out of the House Ways and Means Committee with broad bipartisan support with zero "no" votes: https://www.taxprotoday.com/opinion/2019-federal-tax-legislation-starting-to-take-shape?feed=00000158-3f5d-dcbd-abf8-ff7f12270000 I found the most interesting provisions to be: 1. Repeal of maximum age for IRA Contributions ! 2. Change age to begin RMDs from 70 1/2 to 72 ! 3. Increase Failure To File Penalties ! 4. Tighten and Restrict Distribution Rules for Beneficiaries of Qualified Retirement Plans and IRAs ! Also significant is no movement on any of the Tax Extenders or any of the TCJA Technical Corrections !
  17. 5 points
    ATX is poor at communicating. They tell me they make too many changes to communicate all of them. They already have a release notes page. Just have some low level person post as many updates as they can every day. I spend half of tax season discovering new features, sometimes by accident, and I wonder what else is there that I've missed.
  18. 5 points
    I recommend strongly AGAINST a wifi system (instead of wired). More and more cybersecurity risks. Here in MA, if a client's confidential information is taken and they trace it to me or my systems, my business is toast. As am I.
  19. 5 points
    CCH bought out a software provider which was based in Maine so that's how long I have been with them. I enter my info from each form and have had a few problems over the years but I plan to stick with CCH until Gabriel blows his trumpet. I have a 64 bit machine and now must upgrade to Windows 10. Y'all say a prayer for me.
  20. 4 points
    According to the following article in Tax Pro Today, the IRS has announced corrections to Schedule D Worksheet Instructions as of May 16th: https://www.taxprotoday.com/news/irs-fixes-schedule-d-worksheet-that-miscalculated-capital-gains-taxes?feed=00000158-3f5d-dcbd-abf8-ff7f12270000 If your Tax Software followed the prior incorrect worksheet instructions, clients with certain Capital Gain scenarios may have paid more capt\ital gains tax than they really owed! The IRS says they will review the tax returns affected and make corrections ??? The only way I can see using out tax software to analyze the potential changes would be to make a copy of the return and recalculate once our software has updated the corrected Schedule D worksheet calculations ? Just when I was relaxing into my offseason routine
  21. 4 points
    Thanks Eric, you're the best!!
  22. 4 points
    Not only with their customers but also internally ! Before I left ATX, I had the same sales rep for about 6 years. The last time I talked to him, I had a very frank discussion about the reasons I was leaving. He was pretty upfront about what was going on within the ATX organization and he was pretty frustrated about the unresponsiveness of upper management !
  23. 4 points
    Imagine that - communication from Wolters Klower was a big issue for their customers during the outage.....
  24. 4 points
    Client: "I thought you said this investment plan is designed to fund the education expenses for the kids ! " Broker: "Oh, sorry. I guess you misunderstood. I was telling you it's set up to fund the education expenses for MY kids."
  25. 4 points
    I actually got acks back from two of the returns I transmitted today (odd considering I transmitted 23) that now say "transmitted to agency" so at least the Russians (if that who is at the wheel) are playing along. I suspect we are all about to get 2 free years of an identity theft subscription . . .
  26. 4 points
    Why don't we have a long Mother's Day weekend and reconnoiter on Monday.
  27. 4 points
    Sorry Edsel, but I vote for stupid. Love you man, but you are voicing frustrations, not practical tax solutions. You cannot ethically sign a tax return that contains a position that you know to be incorrect. The taxpayer did not make estimated payments during the year, and to tell the IRS they did is to falsify the tax return. Agree with the rest that the TPA is the best first route. Then explore your options in court. Get some help if you need it, from someone you trust. Good Luck Tom Modesto, CA
  28. 4 points
    This is key. We never really own software, we're just licensed to use it, and we agree to the TOS without ever reading it.
  29. 4 points
    have you tried working with a taxpayer advocate?
  30. 4 points
    Here is another article which seems to imply it was actually ATX which which started this: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/05/whats-behind-the-wolters-kluwer-tax-outage/
  31. 4 points
    Bart: You failed to mention the "Take Nap" note. (Actually, I should say "notes" because I keep several for morning, noon, and afternoon stuck at various places on my monitor and also in the bathroom/library). But being as well organized as you are, I'm sure you have them up there.
  32. 4 points
    I recently checked it out and come January 2020 you can extend 7 by paying per computer. I read it will be $50 first year, then $100 the second and I think $150 the last year. I was planning on getting a new computer, now not sure as my current one works well. Will probably extend either way, it's only money, we can always make more.
  33. 4 points
    My pleasure! I had to look back at the 2017 forms to get a grip on where it goes. These new forms are the worst.
  34. 4 points
    THIS. Definitely. 8GB won't run the operating system, the tax program, Adobe Reader, and your email without noticeable slowdowns these days. My spare machine has 8GB and will grind to halt if too many programs are running - and by "too many" I mean "barely enough to work with."
  35. 4 points
    SSDs last as long if not longer than HDs these days and it's the single biggest speed improvement you can make in a computer. HDs were always the bottleneck in processing.
  36. 4 points
    Get as much RAM as the motherboard will handle. Never too much RAM. 16GB minimum. If the motherboard will not hold this much, find a different machine. This is not an area to skimp on. Bigger & Faster are all good for your business. Chalk up the cost, to the cost of doing your business. Agree with ILLMAS about the SSD.
  37. 4 points
    I hope I don't constantly complain, but I do like for things to work the way they are supposed to. ProSeries had an issue with the print this year, and the best work around I found was to open everything up to the PDF printer and print from there. I am still doing that because I got in the habit and it works But I would still consider it a flaw in this year's software that I had to adapt to. I may go back to ATX. They had some major problems in 2012 because they did a major re-write of the software. The problems seemed to mostly affect users operating in a network environment Tax software has to be one of the most difficult programs to provide, especially in years where there are major revisions to the tax code and little to no lead time. And that is just for the federal portion that we all use the same! And we all want it to be perfect and do all the work for us. I don't think I will ever find a software that I think is perfect for a price that I am willing to pay. I do think that ATX provided a lot of value for the price.
  38. 4 points
    A long time ago, I used ProSeries PPR. Once I grew out of PPR, I switched to Max in 2001. I like the software, but there are things that are making me go "huh?" over the last 2-3 years. Support has deteriorated to the point of little use. The states don't seem to be a priority anymore. Back in the early days, they used to advertise the Zillion Forms. They don't talk about that anymore, but really, that has been the thing I am most hesitant to move away from. I can't tell you how many times I needed a county property tax return or some other 1 time use form and I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my software. I bitch about ATX a lot...more than it probably deserves, but that comes from the frustration of knowing what they used to be and what they have devolved into since the CCH takeover. If they were to get their support in order, I probably would not have much to complain about. I think I will be able to complain for a long time.... Tom Modesto, CA
  39. 3 points
    Exactly. plus when it's a positive adjustment you get a four year forward spread.
  40. 3 points
    I recently prepared a return showing 1099-B with some $550 in dividends and $300 in capital gain distributions. There were two minor sales of funds which netted another $200 in capital gains. The last page of the information statement showed $1600+ in brokerage fees to maintain the account. Looking back over the last few years, I would estimate that, like the above, the investment fees are more than the income generated by the portfolio. The brokerage firm is making more than their customer. Until a few years ago, these firms were not required to show their fees. I have sounded the alarm to my clients whom I find in this situation, but to no avail. They have been told that the brokerage firm has THEM as their first priority. I won't get into the subject of banking and financial services industry - there is plenty to tell. Have any of you noticed how much your clients are having to pay for these charges?
  41. 3 points
    Putting it on Schedule C may not work since the business doesn't exist any more. More likely it qualifies as Investment Interest, which may or may not be useful given the increased standard deduction. The only other possibility is a capital loss deduction.
  42. 3 points
    Remember how much they were appreciated? So much that we funded a barbeque to send them and they sent a photo back of them enjoying it. The good old days, indeed!
  43. 3 points
    The classification of the excavation costs depends on the functional intent and usage. If the excavation was required to provide a sound footing for the Ice Cream Stand and to bring in the plumbing and electrical then it's clearly part of leasehold improvements.
  44. 3 points
    Thank you, Eric, for everything!
  45. 3 points
    Do you pay hard cash for everything? Your credit card / debit card number is being used to monitor and record your purchase history for future advertising by the bank itself and at many retailers. Ever sign up for the discount card at Walgreens or the grocery store - yep. Which operating system are you using on your computers? Hope it's not MS or Apple. Do you have a cell phone? Apple and Android (Google) are monitoring all of your activity and unless you take action could even be monitoring your location at all times. Microsoft and Apple always know when you are at your desk because they monitor when you log in and log out or time out of their software.
  46. 3 points
    I've tried several going back to ACT! but as you've found they tend to be more work than reward. For at least 95% of my schedule I use GMAIL calendar thru Thunderbird. It's ultra easy to use their "repeat" feature to automatically trickle my contacts and work flow each month or week. Plus Gmail is free and ultra easy to sync with my phone for quick viewing. I don't have the work in process issue so much but when that's in play during tax season I use a notebook or I just put in a "to do" for tomorrow to accomplish the rest of the task with a note. On my calendar I have a few "to do" for each day of the year pretty much scheduled out forever based upon different re-occurrence schedules.
  47. 3 points
    It may be something as simple as one of the employees got married and their last name was changed in your client's payroll system but not in the SS system.
  48. 3 points
    I hate it when a client is always busy, but close to April 15 they call expecting you not to be busy and prepare their tax return WT#
  49. 3 points
    Agree with Lynn except that it wouldn't be a qualified joint venture, because that is only available where the only owners are a married couple with both spouses materially participating and elect to not be taxed as a partnership, BUT it could be reported as a joint venture where each partner reports his share. Just make sure that the QJV box isn't checked if you do it that way.
  50. 3 points
    I have used ATX continuously since tax year 2003. It has had its problems, but I like the way it operates. Send me a PM and I will be glad to share more information with you.
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