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Sara EA

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  1. I just had a request for a first-time penalty abatement denied too, even though taxpayer has always been current. The reason given in the IRS letter was that he did not qualify for "reasonable cause," which is not what we asked for. Has artificial intelligence been answering these requests? If so, it's certainly not very intelligent.
  2. I read today that IRS is ignoring the 30-day thing and allowing taxpayers to verify beyond that time limit. But the poor frightened people don't know that! I wonder why the online system is down. A few years ago the system to recover an IPPIN was disabled as was the sharing function for the FAFSA because the ID thieves had enough info on the taxpayers to answer the questions no problem. Did it happen again?
  3. I have a retired client who has a similar notice and called IRS THIRTY times and never got through to anyone. Her notice said she could not verify online (she is capable of doing so). This is terrible customer service, and I told her to contact her US rep and senators to tell them to fund the IRS so it can actually serve taxpayers. What a horrible situation for all the recipients of these notices--they're scared that their ID has been compromised and then can't reach anyone to help, all under time pressure. Unacceptable.
  4. Our firm has taken the position that we will not recommend that clients take the money or opt out (except in cases where 2021 income is certain to be above eligibility). We wrote a generic email to respond to client queries that explains that there is an enhanced CTC and that half of it will be paid in advance for taxpayers within certain income parameters. Receiving it may lower their 2021 refund, or if their income rises above the limits in the IRS letter, they will have to pay some or all of it back. If they think their income will rise or they like the idea of a big refund all at once
  5. I've been dealing with crypto for years because I have a client who is a miner. I had to study it, was fascinated, and now I follow it (would never buy it). By now a few other clients are buying/selling various coins, so I'm able to handle them. I will back out if any one of them ever starts buying everyday items with crypto as the constantly changing price would be impossible to trace. Few actually use it as currency, and I don't know why any merchant would accept it. Say someone buys a Tesla for $80k, but by the time the transaction clears (up to 20 minutes for bitcoin), the value of th
  6. We find that you can't beat ATX for price and ease of use for 1099s, W2s, etc. For our practice of maybe 1500+ returns, including lots of partnerships, S and C corps, trusts, estates, some nonprofits, and many complex but some simpler individual returns, ATX does not meet our needs. We use UltraTax, which is expensive but very powerful and does almost everything we need. It isn't perfect on states, but close. A weakness is the tax projection module, which doesn't consider increases or decreases in credits depending on projected income. Of course, they sell a separate projection piece, whi
  7. The eastern panhandle of WV is beautiful and has a vibrant economy, certainly other areas of the state do too. There is much to praise about residents being independent. You won't find a million fast-food restaurants but lots of mom-and-pop places with great, affordable food. Not many big box stores, but you will get to shop at local hardware , appliance, and furniture stores and niche sporting good, auto, plant, you name it places. I once bought a bag of mulch at a local ACE hardware store (family owned), and it was bagged in nearby Virginia. No matter where you go in WV, you'll feel lik
  8. We had an incident when the person doing the efiling filed parents' return instead of son's (same first name as dad). We hadn't started the parents yet, so the filed return was blank. Imagine how many lines of "explanation for changes" that took. The culprit no longer works for us (not her only mistake).... I'm impressed that people are filing amendments already. We have so many on extension that it will be months before we get to amendments. Almost all of our state returns with unemployment that were filed before the law changed will have to be amended. We will have to triage here:
  9. No loss allowed if sold to a related party. I believe the unallowed loss is added to the new owner's basis provided she holds on to the house for a specified period of time. You can research that in your spare time since it won't affect anyone's taxes in 2021. (Spare time--what a concept!)
  10. A little south of Winchester. I would love to connect with more tax pros here. I cannot imagine how you solo practitioners do it. I've always worked for a firm with other tax pros to bounce thing off of and help or get help when needed. I belong to both NAEA and NATP, and over the years in CT I got to know lots of people from attending seminars together. I am working remotely for the tax firm in CT where I've been for 18 years or so and interact with my colleagues there, but here in VA I don't know a single person in this crazy business.
  11. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember from an update course that unlike the stimulus payments, the advance child tax credit will have to be paid back if 2021 income is not what the IRS calculated the credit on. This year I had a few clients who could not come up with how much stimulus they got, but when I looked at their 2020 income and realized they were not going to get any more anyway, I just plugged in the standard amounts or entered zeros. (Say they really got $1k instead of $1200, but their 2020 income was too high to get anything, it made no difference what I put in there because t
  12. Get ready for the phone calls!
  13. We have been in VA about a year a half and love it. The people are genuinely kind, real southern hospitality, and it is beautiful here in the Shenandoah Valley. Real estate taxes are less than a quarter of what we paid in CT, gas is cheaper, utilities and insurance are less, roads are in great condition, state budget is healthy. Housing is expensive though, and we aren't in the beltway. Our son lives 40 miles away in WV. It too is a beautiful state with low housing and property tax costs. You can get any environment you want there--mountains, plains, rivers and lakes. I don't know why i
  14. I had to learn about VC several years ago when one of the boss's clients started mining. He's my client now and still mines. He has the magic software and this year gave me a 29-page 8949, all filled out. Put the totals on the return, attached the pdf, done! He did all the work (well, his software did), but I still charge him a lot because of my "specialized knowledge." As of now, VC is not subject to FINCEN reporting. Proposed rules may change that. If held in a foreign exchange and greater than $50k, it should be reported on Form 8938.
  15. If the house is mortgaged, the bank has the title so your client can't gift something she doesn't own.
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