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Top 10 Tax Resources for the 2014 Tax Season

Top-tenCaffeine, check. Office supplies, check. Patience for lost or late documents, check. What else do you need for tax season besides, of course, sympathetic family and friends?  Knowledge and technical resources help, as does convenience in finding them – so keep these resources from the AICPA bookmarked to help you prepare returns, manage your office, advise and communicate with clients, and even keep a sense of humor.

  1. Busy Season Survival Strategies – Get other practitioners’ tips for work-life balance, maintaining staff morale, and staying productive in this Tax Power Hour – normally reserved for Tax Section members, this webcast has been opened for AICPA members. 
  2. Tax Season Resource Page – Find tax news, useful resources and products like the AICPA checklists, and updates on hot topics such as the net investment income tax. It will be updated regularly with IRS releases, regulatory changes and special events.
  3. Tangible property tools – There isn’t enough coffee in the world to help you review over 300 pages of regulations, is there? Good news – the AICPA volunteer tax experts did the work for you. Review this summary chart and get more information and tools at this dedicated web page.   
  4. Marketing and client outreach materials – the Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit is your one-stop shop for communication resources. Download tax law brochures, two-pager on tax extensions for clients, press interview FAQs, tweets, you name it, to reinforce your value to current and prospective clients as well as your community.
  5. Client termination checklist and letter –  Sometimes, you have to let go of a client who is not a good fit with your practice. After the season is over, use this checklist to evaluate whether to retain the more challenging clients.  And if you decide that this client is not for you, customize this letter to inform them.
  6. Professional standards – Refresh your memory on CPAs’ obligations for standards that need to be followed when preparing returns with the Statements on Standards for Tax Services #3.
  7. Facts on third-party verification requests (sometimes referred to as comfort letters) –  Learn the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about CPAs' obligations and tax and disclosure issues. Links to many additional resources are included.
  8. Affordable Care Act info – Get answers to questions you and your clients have on the health care reform law at the Health Care Reform Resources Center that includes helpful summaries and links to related guidance.
  9. State Tax Compliance – Check out Defense of Marriage Act Guidance resources, which AICPA updates regularly, to help clients know whether to they can file married returns in specific states. Also, the State Tax Compliance Resources page links you to state tax deadlines, revenue departments  and numerous other websites you need
  10. Peace and laughter – Need a moment of tranquility?  Take a minute to walk in the woods or watch beautiful  landscapes.

And last but not least, two items to make you laugh or at least smile - this conference call video is almost a guaranteed laugh.

You may find yourself relating to the squirrel in the obstacle course but the good news is that he makes it!

Ann Marie Maloney, Communications Manager - Tax, American Institute of CPAs.

Top 10 image via Shutterstock

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