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New Rules

Our February issue is out, chock-full of valuable tax-saving strategies (including important new information on Section 199A). Scroll down to see what's included. 
IRS Issues Final Section 199A Regulations and Defines QBI 
Your ownership of a pass-through trade or business can generate a tax deduction of up to 20 percent of your qualified business income (QBI). The C corporation does not generate this deduction, but the proprietorship, partnership, S corporation, and certain trusts, estates, and rental properties do. In this article, you learn how to find your QBI.
IRS Clarifies Net Capital Gains in Final 199A Regulations 
New tax code Section 199A can give you a tax deduction of up to 20 percent of your taxable income reduced by net capital gains. Last August, the IRS issued Section 199A proposed regulations that gave you some guidance on what net capital gains are. And now the new final regulations give you clarifying guidance on what the IRS deems are net capital gains for purposes of Section 199A.
Q&A: Avoiding the $100 a Day per Employee Penalty for S Corporations 
The answer in this article explains how the S corporation can pay the solo owner-employee's individually purchased health insurance without worrying about the $100-a-day penalty.
IRS Updates Defined Wages for New Section 199A Tax Deductions 
Your Section 199A tax deduction disregards W-2 wages when your Form 1040 taxable income is equal to or less than $315,000 (married, filing jointly) or $157,500 (filing as single or head of household). Also, you don't have to think about wages for your out-of-favor business if you have taxable income above $415,000 (married, filing jointly) or $207,500 (filing as single or head of household). But if you are in a group that needs to consider the wages your business paid you and your employees, you have to follow the rules set out by the IRS, as we explain in this article.
IRS Creates a New "Safe Harbor" for Section 199A Rental Properties 
The Section 199A 20 percent tax deduction is a possible gift from lawmakers. Literally, you don't earn this deduction; it's simply there for you if you qualify. Under the trade or business rule, your rental property profits can create the deduction. And now, under an alternative rule, you can use the newly created IRS safe harbor to make your rentals qualify for the deduction.
IRS Section 199A Final Regs Shed New Light on Service Businesses 
The IRS issued final Section 199A regulations that contain some new and very favorable provisions that are important to out-of-favor specified service trades and businesses. Of particular note are the de minimis rules discussed in this article that show you how to break your business into two or more businesses for purposes of the Section 199A tax deduction.
For 199A Tax Deductions, Must Landlords Give 1099s to Vendors? 
Get ready. You may be about to experience another encounter with the law of unintended consequences. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives you a possible 20 percent tax deduction on your rental property income. But that's only if your rental property is a trade or business, and that comes with its own burdens.
New Downloadable Section 199A Tax Deduction Topic Guide 
What do you need to know about the new 20 percent tax deduction that's available to you if you have ownership in a pass-through business such as a proprietorship, a partnership, an S corporation, a trust, an estate, and certain rental properties? Find the information you are looking for with this downloadable PDF.
Section 179 Deduction: When Your Vehicle Lease Is Not a Lease 
Is your lease a lease? Are you sure? There are lots of funny rules that make what looks like a lease a purchase—and make what looks like a conditional sales agreement a lease. This article shows you what happened to Arthur Boyce and gives you a number of tips to help you avoid his plight.

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W. Murray Bradford, CPA
Tax Reduction Letter

IRS Identifies 100,000 Preparers Who Failed to Follow New PTIN Rules

WASHINGTON — As part of its new oversight program of the nation’s tax return preparation industry, the Internal Revenue Service today announced it will send letters to approximately 100,000 tax return preparers who prepared returns in 2011 but failed to follow new requirements.

In 2010, the IRS launched an initiative to increase its oversight of the tax return preparation industry and regulate the conduct of tax return preparers. All paid tax return preparers must obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and, when required to do so, sign their names and include their PTINs on the returns and refund claims they prepare for compensation.

Starting July 7, 2011, the IRS began sending letters to about 100,000 tax return preparers who either used outdated PTINs or used social security numbers as identifying numbers on returns they prepared this filing season. The letters explain the new oversight program, inform preparers of how to register for a new PTIN, or renew an old PTIN, and where to get assistance.

“The vast majority of federal tax return preparers complied with the rules. Obviously, some preparers did not get the word, so these letters provide additional information so they can register as soon as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We owe it to the compliant tax preparers to make sure that everyone is on a level playing field.”

The IRS launched its PTIN registration program last fall. Since then, about 712,000 tax preparers have registered and obtained PTINs. Paid preparers who are not Certified Public Accountants, attorneys or Enrolled Agents, have additional requirements to pass a competency exam and suitability check, which are expected to start this fall, and complete 15 hours of continuing education credits annually, which will start in 2012.

Some unscrupulous preparers may attempt to elude the new oversight program by not signing returns they prepare. Taxpayers should never use tax return preparers who refuse to sign returns and enter PTINs.

In an effort to identify these “ghost preparers,” the IRS later this year also will send letters to taxpayers who appear to have had assistance with their returns but lack tax return preparer signatures. The letter will inform taxpayers how to file a complaint against preparers who failed to sign returns and explain how to choose legitimate tax preparers. The goal of the letters is to protect taxpayers by ensuring that all paid federal tax return preparers are registered with the IRS, and sign tax returns they prepare and use an identifying number when required to do so.

Compliance is a central part of the new tax return preparer initiative and the letters are one step in an ongoing compliance effort to ensure tax return preparers are following the new regulations. The IRS also is working to identify tax return preparers who make repeated errors and IRS personnel have had face-to-face meetings with thousands of these tax return preparers over the past two years.

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In this edition of the Employee Plans News

New single distribution rule – allows participants to send the pre-tax amount of their distribution to one destination and after-tax to another

Canadian retirement plan participants – qualify for tax deferred contributions to certain plans 

Mandatory electronic filing for Form 8955-SSA and 5500-series– for filers who have to file at least 250 returns during the calendar year

Fidelity bonds and depositing plan contributions – EPCU Virgin Island retirement plans project results

Form 5500-EZ Pilot Penalty Relief Program – watch video for details (2.11 min)

IRS Nationwide Tax Forums online – seminars include two videos, slides and transcripts on retirement plan topics

The Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt & Government Entities (ACT) – is accepting applications including two for Employee Plans - apply by Nov. 3 


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