The IRS paid out about $147 billion in tax refunds between January 31 and February 28. The average refund was $3,034 – a 3% increase over the same period of time a year ago. These refunds account for 48 million of the 59 million returns received so far, which was 5.6% more received than by the same time last year. The agency’s report also states that this is nearly 40% of the returns it expects to receive this tax season. Ordinarily, taxpayers who anticipate a refund will file sooner than those who do not.
Source: IRS: 2014 Refunds Ahead of Last Year
Recent developments in taxation: PES tax CPE courses
PES is continually releasing new continuing education courses on topics that are timely and relevant to your role as a CPA. Some of our newly released courses include 6790: Tax Implications of Federal Healthcare Reform, 6760: How China’s Rise Will Change Business Forever, and 6810: Settling Tax Debt With the IRS.
Tax Implications of Federal Healthcare Reform covers revenue provisions of the Affordable Care Act along implementation of these changes. The 6 CPE hour course covers provisions in effect for 2013, as well as provisions coming into effect in 2014.
How China’s Rise Will Change Business Forever discusses the global expansion of China’s biggest corporations and the competition they will present to American businesses. The courses discusses strategies Chinese companies are using to rewrite the playbook on international business, and what American companies must do to thrive in the future. This course qualifies for 12 hours of CPA CPE.
Settling Tax Debt With the IRS covers tools that can be used to settle tax debts with the Internal Revenue Service, such as Offers in Compromise and Installment Agreements. The 14 CPE hour course also covers an overview of methods the IRS uses to enforce payment of federal taxes.
The IRS has released their annual list of the Dirty Dozen tax scams and Identity Theft is in the number one spot. Other scams making the list include phishing, return preparer fraud, and hiding income offshore. Working with a qualified CPA will help taxpayers avoid many of the scams on the list. The full Dirty Dozen list is available on the IRS website CPE for CPAs.
There is nearly $1 billion in tax refunds from the 2009 tax year that are still unclaimed because the individuals never filed an federal tax return. The IRS estimates that half of the potential refunds for 2009 are over $500. Many of the unclaimed refunds are from the Earned Income Tax Credit which can be worth up to $5,657 for 2009.
April 15, 2013 is the last day to file a 2009 return and receive a refund. After that the unclaimed refunds become property of the U.S. Treasury.
The IRS has outlined how they plan to handle the $600 million in sequester-related budget cuts. The good news for taxpayers is that furloughs for IRS employees are not scheduled to start until the summer and tax season is expected to be unaffected by the cuts. The cuts are across-the-board and will eventually affect taxpayer services, enforcement, operations support, and business systems modernization. Payouts to whistleblowers will also be decreased.
It’s that time of year again! January 30 marks the first day the IRS will start processing 2012 returns and kicks off this year’s tax season. Some of the IRS forms still aren’t available but most individuals can start filing returns today. If you’re looking for additional information on any tax topics, some of our CPA CPE courses can come in handy.
Plus, you have a full year to complete the CPE so you can purchase the course as a reference today and complete the full CPE credits after April 15, when you have more time!
The American Taxpayer Relief Act was passed on January 1, 2013 in order to avert the “fiscal cliff”. The Act extended various tax cuts and incentives while letting others expire.
Our new 4-hour CPA CPE course on the “fiscal cliff” bill provides an understanding of many of the provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, as well as a history of the items it affects.
The course is titled American Taxpayer Relief Act and is course #6770. You can purchase the CPE course here for only $34.50.
As the previous post discussed, tax preparers are now being regulated by the IRS and must complete 15 hours of IRS-approved tax preparer continuing education by December 31, 2012 (and each year thereafter). Although the 15-hour tax preparer continuing education requirement is from the IRS and must be completed by tax preparers throughout the entire country, some individual states have additional requirements for tax preparers.
New York is one of these states with additional requirements. Although New York tax preparers still only need to complete a 15 hour tax preparer course each year, they must also register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance annually. Additionally, anyone in the state of New York who helps to issue or administer a refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation check must register with Department of Taxation and Finance.
For additional information on tax preparer continuing education requirements, New York state requirements for tax preparers, or to purchase a tax preparer course from an IRS continuing education provider you can visit www.NewYorkTaxPreparers.com.
The new IRS regulations for tax return preparers are now in effect and the first major deadline for these newly regulated tax preparers is to complete a tax preparer course that qualifies for 15 hours of continuing education by December 31, 2012. The tax preparer continuing education must be completed each year in order for the preparer to renew their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). CPAs, EAs, and Attorneys must also renew their PTIN each year if they are signing tax returns, however they are exempt from the additional continuing education requirement. Supervised preparers (don’t sign any tax returns) and non-1040 preparers are also exempt from the tax preparer CE requirement.
The tax preparer continuing education may be completed in a variety of ways but most are choosing to go with a self-study tax preparer course. These courses are often offered in an online format, as a PDF download file with an online exam, or a printed-out hard copy book with an online exam. TaxPreparersCE.com is one of the IRS-approved continuing education providers that offers tax preparer courses in these formats. They charge a fairly low price of $49.50 for the Online and PDF versions, with the printed-out Hard Copy version available for $69.50 including shipping.
In addition to completing the IRS-approved tax preparer continuing education by December 31 of each year, preparers will also need to pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer competency exam by December 31, 2013. Although the RTRP competency exam does not need to passed until the end of next year, the IRS is recommending that tax preparers take the exam as soon as possible to avoid the possibility that there will not be enough testing capacity at the end of next year to accomodate all the tax preparers who have not yet taken the competency exam.
Our popular Federal Healthcare Reform course is now even more relevant with Barack Obama being re-elected. Various components of this sweeping reform will start going into effect over the next few years and some will have significant tax implications.
This course covers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from a business perspective and is a great way to get informed about the new regulations as well as earn 6 hours of CPE.