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Sara EA

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  1. Our office uses Shredit. They come once a month and shred on site. We scan everything and return all original docs to clients, but we still have paper (handwritten notes, our routing sheets for each client, calendars, anything with the client's name on it, etc). The free and gov't shred days usually exclude businesses.
  2. Ha Ha! "Normal" these days consists of stimulus payments they don't remember, advance child tax credits they don't remember, cryptocurrency dabbling, NIIT, different phase out ranges for almost everything on the return that you have to explain, ability to use 2019 income in some cases, different rules for every type of retirement plan contribs and distribs, paying tax on 2021 retirement distribs over three years, should I go on? Normal for me will be if the tax laws don't change again before the end of filing season.
  3. Sara EA

    IRA and 72

    Posters here have nailed it! Very similar retirement plans have all different rules surrounding them. You can invest in guaranteed income funds in 401ks but not 403bs. Avoid early distribution penalties by taking money for education expenses from an IRA but not 401ks. "Hardship" distributions are a joke because people take money out for everything from casino trips to spending sprees. No excuse needed to withdraw from an IRA. Don't lament putting money into an IRA over the years. You saved taxes, likely federal and state, each year, and you paid no tax on the divs and gains. That meant you had a lot more money invested that enabled further divs and gains. If you had instead put the money in a taxable account, between fed, state, and tax on divs and cap gain distributions, you would have had 30-35% LESS money invested each year and thus less to grow. I converted my IRA to a Roth when they first came out. You were allowed to spread the conversion amount over four years to lessen the tax bite. After two years, however, taxes went up so I paid 25% the last two years. That's higher than my bracket now, but who knew. At least I'll never have to take an RMD from it and won't have to worry if I decide to go gambling or on a spending spree.
  4. Sara EA

    EA & NAEA

    Good job, Terry! A lot of effort went into that feat. I am a member of NAEA. It's pricey. Their quarterly journal is very informative and their courses are good. Our state chapter offered Ethics at no cost this year, and if you're missing credits you can take exams from the journal for a modest fee. They email a weekly newsletter that keeps you informed of the latest tax developments. They have a lobbying arm in congress (always asking for contributions for it), and their coverage of it does let you know what legislators are thinking and doing. Try it at the discounted price and see if it's worth it to you.
  5. When a taxpayer who hasn't had any changes for years receives an identity verification notice, it shows the system is working! Most likely another return was received for the same client but this one showed changes so IRS flagged it as suspicious. The agency has no idea who the real taxpayer is, so they query both of them. This is a much better process than just a few years ago when the first return filed got the refund and the real taxpayer had to file affidavits and wait forever for the money (and the thief is long gone with our tax dollars). I did have two clients who got odd requests from IRS this year to provide copies of all their tax docs. In both cases all the docs were ones the IRS would already have like W2s and 1099s. My hunch is that suspicious returns were filed and IRS was trying to identify the real taxpayer without calling it identity verification.
  6. Don, estate and trust returns can be tricky, and state laws may differ from the federal. If you think it is beyond your current level of expertise, don't hesitate to tell the client that and perhaps recommend someone who is more familiar. I do lots of 1041s referred to me by attorneys and financial advisors. (I am not looking for another referral! I have more work than I can handle.) At the same time, I refer resident alien and some returns with odd foreign income and a few others to people smarter than I am. I have done only a few farms and nonprofits and would decline any new ones because I'm just not comfortable with them. Tax law is so complicated now that I think eventually we'll all have to specialize just like medical people do.
  7. You don't say what the K-2s are from. If publicly traded partnerships, losses can only be netted against gains from the same partnership. Say basis was zeroed out in 2018 so $4k loss was carried forward. Income of $4k in 2019 would release the $4k loss carried over. A sale would release all the losses, but you said there was none so the presence of a 4797 is confusing.
  8. I always chuckled over that when I saw it in Pub 17 (remember that bible?). In over 20 years I have never had a single client report stolen loot to me. I think I counted a total of five clients who reported use tax. Had one this year who got a letter from DRS demanding use tax, saying it got the info from US Customs (client bought a fancy computer from overseas). That was a new one to me.
  9. Yes, the 2020 version of the CTC will be in effect, as well as the additional CTC rules. No credit for children age 17. What I'm concerned about is that people used to get, say, a $4k tax credit for two elementary school kids. In 2021, it was $6k, but they already got $3k, so on their tax return the credit will be $3000 instead of their usual $4k. I have some clients who purposely have very little withholding because the CTC wipes out most of their tax liability. They may not be happy this season.
  10. I'd want to know a lot more about Google Voice before committing. Privacy and security are not nouns not usually associated with Google. Do they record your calls to teach the artificial intelligence? Do they scan calls and texts for keywords to target ads on anything else Google or sell that personal info to advertisers? I'm just wary about giving more personal info to companies that make their money off of personal info.
  11. You can change your IRS and professional contacts online. Filling out that change of address form at the post office notifies most financial institutions. When we moved, I hadn't yet gotten around to notifying Vanguard, bank, etc, but their mail started arriving at our new address. Landline may come as a package deal with your internet provider so you may just port your number. I am not comfortable doing financial anything on my cell so keep the landline for that purpose plus the fax. Also, see how cell service is at your new location before you bail on the landline. You are not addressing the really big hassles about moving (trying not to think about them?) We moved two years ago and we will NEVER do it again. It is work going through every single thing you own and deciding what the heck to do with each and every one (keep, sell, donate, recycle, junk). Then you have to do those things (pack, sell, donate, recycle, junk). You have to get the old home ready to sell (fix that drip, paint the bathroom, replace that screen, etc.) In your new place, you have to decide where to put everything and unpack it all, realize what's missing and go buy it (shower curtain hooks, door mat, electrician to install extra outlets, whatever). Take as many CPEs in January as you can because you won't have any more time. That said, it can be so worth it! We love our new home and community. As for retirement, weigh how much you love what you do against how much you love to do the things you have planned in retirement. (Definitely have plans.) It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Keep a few select clients, or work at a CPA firm just during tax season, or ditch it all and have fun doing the things you haven't had time to do. They're all good choices so you can't go wrong.
  12. MC, you can allow popups on certain sites in Firefox. Copy the web address, then go to tools>settings>privacy & security. Scroll way down to "block pop ups" and add the site you want to allow in the exceptions box.
  13. We've had clients who expressed amazement that a real person answers our phone. Maybe we should automate to something with 12 menus so we can be more "with it." (We actually considered having a menu option when folks were calling nonstop about stimulus payments, when they'd come, how much, I didn't get mine yet. The message would tell them WE HAVE NOTING TO DO WITH IT and give them the IRS number.)
  14. cbslee, can't you just make Firefox or one of the others your default browser?
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