4 posts categorized "Eileen Sherr, CPA, MST" Feed

Capturing Online Sales and Use Tax: The Battle Continues

EcommerceHave you purchased something online this past year, month or day?  You probably looked at the cost of the item purchased, but did you pay attention to whether you paid taxes on your purchases?  Sorry to tell you this, but just because a sales tax was not charged does not mean you don’t owe a tax on the transaction.

All states that impose sales taxes also require purchasers to remit use tax on any taxable purchases if sales tax is not paid. Many, if not most, consumers are unaware of the use tax and, therefore, do not comply.  It is almost impossible for state taxing authorities to enforce these laws with respect to individual consumers (but businesses often are audited for use tax). 

Continue reading "Capturing Online Sales and Use Tax: The Battle Continues" »

Tentacles of State Tax on Professional Services May Reach CPAs

TentacleCould your clients be required to pay a sales tax on your CPA tax and accounting professional services? Could states really “tax a tax service” that CPAs provide to taxpayers who need these services to comply with the increasingly complex tax law and accounting rules?

Well, three states already tax professional services and do not exempt accounting services, so CPAs in those states can speak to its impact. The states are Hawaii - 4%, New Mexico - 5% and South Dakota - 4%. Some states also have taxes that affect (but do not specifically target) the accounting profession. For example, Delaware imposes a gross receipts tax of .004% on monthly receipts over $100,000, and the state of Washington has a 1.8% business and occupation tax on service providers.

Continue reading "Tentacles of State Tax on Professional Services May Reach CPAs" »

CPA Day of Service, Estate Tax, Debit Card Fees

We asked our bloggers to tell us what they found interesting on the Internet this week. What would you add to this list?

Stacie Saunders - The Virginia State Society of CPAs shared this video on the AICPA Facebook page. It highlights how some of their members contributed to the 2011 CPA Day of Service. Great work!

Eileen Reichenberg Sherr, CPA, MST - The IRS announced in IR- 2011-97 that estates of people who died in 2011 need to file estate tax returns to benefit from the new portability rules even if they do not otherwise need to file an estate tax return. Since the estate tax return is due nine months after death, it could be due as early as Oct. 3, but a six month extension can be filed to give the estate more time to consider this option.

Gregory J. Wright, MBAIn a move that surprised many, Bank of America stated it was going to roll out a debit card fee plan that would charge customers $5 per month if they wished to pay for purchases using their debit card. After criticism from the public, Bank of America went on the defensive, stating “…we lost lots of revenues and these fees only partially make them up.” Bank of America lost $2.2 billion in 2010 and recently posted an $8.8 billion loss for Q2 2011.

We’d be remiss this week if we did not mention the passing of Steve Jobs as the biggest news item of the week. His innovation and leadership changed the face of technology as we know it. We leave you with this quote, which we feel summarizes his legacy well. This is from his commencement speech at Stanford University, June 2005.

"[Y]ou can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

 

Death and Taxes: Not Quite as Certain as You Think

Solve tax mysteriesIn 1789, Benjamin Franklin now famously observed in a letter to French physicist and writer Jean Baptiste Leroy, “Everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  However, 222 years later, Americans have much uncertainty with taxes, particularly those related to death. 

One such tax mystery that is still unraveling is the estate tax.  It started over 10 years ago with the enactment of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), which lowered tax rates and increased exemptions on estates starting in 2002 through 2009, until the tax was finally repealed in 2010.  Then, unless a later Congress took further action, the higher pre-EGTRRA rates would return starting in January 2011.

Continue reading "Death and Taxes: Not Quite as Certain as You Think" »

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