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Top 10 Resources for the 2017 Tax Season

FootballAs we prepare this list for all of our current members, we cannot help but feel like a pair of college football coaches rallying the team before the big game. So to everyone out there looking at their screen, we ask you to take a knee (figuratively) and lean in for a huddle.

We are on the eve of the big game. People are watching and will be expecting your all. The competition will be fierce, the plays will change frequently and you can expect someone or something will be coming at you from all directions. But fear not! You’ve got this. (Fist pump).

All your years of training have led to this very moment. Now is the time to stretch your muscles, gather your equipment and focus on the game plan. We want to help by putting some tools at your fingertips to get you warmed up, refreshed and staying sharp.

  1. Tax Season Resources for CPAs is your one-stop library for this busy season that includes resources from the Tax Section, PFP, and PCPS. Find the newest tax resources as they roll out, as well as the 2016 Annual Compliance Kit that offers organizers, engagement letters, checklists and practice guides (free for Tax Section members).
  1. State and federal due date charts and other tools help you keep track of new return due dates and updates on which states are conforming to the new federal rules.
  1. The Tax Reform Resource Center gives you the latest updates, along with analysis and resources to provide guidance on tax reform as legislation develops.
  1. Identity theft prevention and recovery resources will help you learn more about what you can do as a practitioner to advise clients on this troubling epidemic and steps to enhance your firm prevention measures. Help clients restore their confidence (and identity) with the ID Theft Checklist: Action Steps to Recovery.
  1. Client education materials show clients you understand their concerns with brochures on 2016 tax year changes or paying for college from the AICPA’s Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit. Offer these FAQs to reassure them that tax extensions may be a good thing. (Note: AICPA log-in required for most resources.)
  1. Top issues videos. Get an overview of key tax issues to raise with individual clients. Also handy is the Journal of Accountancy Quick Guide, a summary of tax rates, exemptions, credits and retirement plan limits.  
  1. Now is the perfect time to review the Due Diligence in Tax Services guide to help you determine when you can rely on information from your client or if you need to dig a little deeper. Also, you can brush up on your knowledge of the AICPA’s enforceable Statements on Standards for Tax Services (SSTSs), and make sure to scroll down to the FAQs to see the new topics added.
  1. Penalty abatement information – Practitioners wanting a quick breakdown on using the IRS's first-time penalty abatement waiver from certain penalties can get information from this resource page from the Tax Division. A template you can use to request abatement for clients is available for Tax Section members.
  1. IRS Hotlines Quick Reference Chart – Save yourself a little time by avoiding the entire “press 6 to hear…” and get to the option you need. This recently updated list also includes numbers for dedicated lines such as international tax, Form 706, installment agreements, etc. These and other tools can be found on the AICPA’s IRS Procedure & Tax Administration
  1. Chilling out tools

As a parting sentiment, we will share something a wise mentor said to Cari many years ago:

There will be certain days when it is hard to get up and motivate yourself, but when this happens, the key is to recite “suit up and show up” to yourself and forge ahead.

As a CPA, you are the PREMIER provider of tax services, and this is your time to shine!

Cari Weston, CPA, Director – Taxation, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Ann Marie Maloney, Communications Manager – Tax, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Football image courtesy of Shutterstock

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