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David W Ristau CPA

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About David W Ristau CPA

  • Rank
    Member

Profile Information

  • State
    HI
  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    My offices are in HI and IL and I travel between both throughout the year.

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  1. Count my vote as skip the 1099 PDF attachment. I've been filing for at least 10 years using summary totals only, split into A-F category and by issuer. Never challenged, never questioned and save a lot of time on entries... I agree with Abby Normal: no one at IRS is pulling the returns for review.
  2. Current year paper documents received kept in locked file cabinet in alarmed office, scanned to PDF and returned to client with completed tax return. Long term documents all scanned to encrypted hard drive. No paper kept in office any longer after work completed, returns filed and client documents returned. All other paper documents, including junk mail, shredded daily. Easier to recycle micro-perf size shredded paper and all paper is totally unreadable or restorable once shred. SOP since 2006 when all then-stored paper files were scanned and shredded. Took six months to scan all the paper. Sold off 25 filing cabinets; space used for other storage. Currently looking at Backblaze B2 service with expandrive software to move all documents off local computer and keep in cloud. Not sure how the ATX software will interact with expandrive virtual mapped drive. Currently have ATX running on VM ware virtual computer without any issue. That shift alone saved days of program reinstallation time and headache when I bought a new computer and had to move from old computer to new computer. VM also makes back-ups much easier since the VM machine is a folder on the computer host. Hope this helps, Roberts....
  3. Seems to me that unless the parking lot slot is a ground level, dirt only spot, there is some sort of land improvement, i.e. concrete or asphalt, that has a cost or FMV with a known starting date, that should be accounted for and depreciated. I disagree with no depreciation concept.
  4. Here in Hawaii land values have far exceeded building values for several years on most older properties. I access the assessor's land values AND contact local realtors for comparable selling prices of vacant land. Most times between the two sources a reasonable allocation can be made, and reminder, a reasonable allocation is what's required in lieu of absolutes as far as income tax return filings. When land values exceed the combined purchase price of land and building, I research for a comparable building value and use a ratio to allocate value to building and land. Due diligence and clear workpaper on how the numbers were derived are essential.
  5. Thank you all for your answers. Jack from Ohio, all I needed was the CA Lottery FEIN. I already had the Lottery's address, my client's address and the winning amount. CA FTB already knew the lottery winnings, so matching wasn't an issue. Client had already filed Federal and Hawaii 2014 returns and wasn't amending the Fed or HI returns. Lottery winnings didn't trip any Federal tax owed and winnings were from time period as CA resident. Best part of winning CA lottery is it's exempt from CA income tax if you're a resident, which my client was at the time. Lynn from Louisiana, I agree the IRS transcript would show the CA Lottery FEIN, however, I'm visiting family in IL and client is in HI so the back and forth for POA filing was an added step and time delay not worth the hassle on a pro-bono return preparation and filing. My solution: Since FTB already knew the winnings, my solution was to trick the ATX program using FTB FEIN on the W-2G input screen, run the efile modules for Fed and CA, ignore the Fed efile and send off the CA return electronically. 15 minutes later CA acknowledgement came back accepted. I figure worse case scenario after all the dollars are matched up FTB will drop this filing into their closed file since matching questions in original notice have been answered in full. Client owed and paid zero CA income tax. Seems odd to me that the CA Lottery website didn't have their FEIN available.
  6. California Lottery FEIN Client received notice from CA FTB that he won lottery prize and didn't report it on 2014 CA tax return. Naturally client doesn't have the W2-G from 2014. Does anyone here happen to know the FEIN and legal name for reporting CA lottery winnings? If so, please post so I can enter and efile. I have been sitting on hold for 35 minutes with CA Lottery Commission waiting for customer service... Thanks!
  7. I tried to efile N-11 yesterday and received following reject message: "The'http://wwwirs.gov/efileSSN' element is invalid - The value '[My PTIN number]' is invalid according to its datatype 'http//wwwirs.gov/efile.SSNType' - The Pattern constraint failed. In other words... The XML data has failed schema validation. Field commonly associated with this error: 1 This is a Hawaii resident filing N-11 and MN non-resident return with Federal 1040 return. Federal and MN returns already accepted efile status. Posting a reply to you so you know you're not alone with HI efile issues.....
  8. No Federal return to file, however, I agree with lynn EA in Louisiana, prudent to check state filing requirement, too.
  9. I use CrashPlan Pro and Backblaze. Both are easy to use and restore data. Have had great success for past 4 years using both.
  10. My policy for 20 years: "We follow a strict policy of non-disclosure: We do not directly disclose ANY information about you to ANYONE. ALL information related to you as our client is released only to you. Once any information leaves our office we have no control over the information and thus will not be able to guarantee your privacy or security. ANY verbal or written request from a client to release documents directly to a bank, mortgage company or your lawyer will not be honored. "
  11. I think you are referring to the easy to use template feature that ended with the 2011 ATX preparation package. With the move to the new program platform in 2012, the return template feature disappeared. As a work around, you could set up regular returns in the 2016 program and use the duplicate form feature to create a new return with starting forms in it. Depending on how you track your clients, either by name or client number, you should be able to come up with names that land at the top of the Returns directory. If you're using the "hide completed returns" feature, be sure to not check the complete box on the templates you create.
  12. Updated on single user machine. No problems....yet. Win 7 Pro, installed on VMware drive on 1 TB Samsung SSD
  13. To best of my knowledge there are 3 David Ristau CPAs. I'm David W in Maui and IL. Another David is in California. Last one is in Missouri. I haven't had te pleasure of meeting either of the other David Ristau CPAs.
  14. Moving to Maui changed the approach to appointments. "Maui time" means anytime within 4 or so hours of the agreed upon time. Unless of course the whales are jumping or surf's real good, then it's within 6 hours. I'm with Rita: drop your stuff off and keep on going. I'll call with questions.... Mahalo!
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