A belated word of thanks - I am thankful that I live in a country where I can publicly identify the members of Congress as the idiots they are without fear of being thrown into prison.
+ My friend Bruce McFarland, the MISSOURI TAX GUY, often writes about QuickBooks issues at his blog. He recently explained “When To Use Classes or Types in QuickBooks”.
+ Trish McIntire has a few posts on 1099 issues at OUR TAXING TIMES – “New 1099 Checkboxes” and “Actually Reporting 1099K Income”.
+ Trish also discusses the new IRS Refund Cycle Chart, something that would concern those who efile (but not me – as I cannot), in “Still Batching”.
+ TAX GIRL Kelly Phillips Erb discusses a tax pro who wrote back to the IRS regarding the Notice 4809 recently sent to 21,000 tax preparers in “Dear IRS: A Tax Pro Fires Back” at FORBES.COM.
Before publishing the tax pro’s response Kelly talks about who received the letter and why -
“Tax return preparers who received one of the more than 21,000 letters which were sent out were targeted because they ‘complete large volumes of tax returns’ which have ‘a high percentage of attributes associated with returns typically containing inaccuracies and misinterpretations of tax law’.
So, that means foreign tax credits? EITC? AMT? What are those confusing attributes?
Why, the popular schedules A, C and E, of course. Schedule A is for itemized deductions. Schedule C is for the self-employed or business owners. Schedule E is for landlords. Clearly, dangerously confusing.”
+ CCH has published a guide to the “Three Percent Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act”, signed into law by BO on November 21st. Click here to download.
+ We have been told that the “IRS Moves to Next Phase of Return Preparer Initiative: New Competency Test to Begin”
“The fee for the competency test is $116, which includes the IRS portion of the fee and the fee for Prometric Inc., a third-party test vendor. The test covers preparation of the Form 1040 and its related schedules. Test scheduling begins next week. Initial test takers won’t receive their test scores for two to six weeks to allow the IRS to validate the exam and determine the pass/fail cutoff. Once validation is complete, around mid-January, those taking the computer-based test will receive their scores at the test center immediately upon completing the test.
Prometric will eventually administer the test at more than 260 centers nationally, but the test is not available at all locations currently. Test sites will be added daily and international locations may be added in the future.
Over 750,000 tax return preparers have obtained PTINs. The IRS estimates that approximately 350,000 people may be initially subject to the Registered Tax Return Preparer test requirement.”
Kelly Phillips Erb shares my skepticism about the initial test in her post “IRS Begins Competency Test Scheduling” –
“It’s clear that there are some kinks to be worked out. I know a lot of tax pros have concerns about how smoothly the testing will go – especially after the fiasco that was the initial PTIN registration. It has to be better this time, right?”
As I have said before, since I have until 12/31/13 to pass the test I will wait until at least the fall of 2012 before I sit for it. Who knows - maybe the IRS will change its mind and provide “grandfathering” by then and I will be off the hook.