IRS Resources You Should Know About

Treasury tax check with cash.The IRS, in addition to being a somewhat ominous government agency which exacts compliance and accuracy, also provides taxpayers with resources designed to simplify the tax reporting process.  As a tax preparer, you should be aware of these resources and not only share them with clients but utilize them yourself.  Here are just a few you should know about:

e-Services for Tax Pros.  As described by the IRS, “e-Services is a suite of web-based products that will allow tax professionals and payers to conduct business with the IRS electronically.  There services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the internet.”  The following are available to all those who qualify:

      • Registration
      • e-file Application
      • Transcript Delivery System (TDS)
      • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching
      • QuickAlerts Messaging Service

Basic Tools for Tax Professionals.  In the event that you need to access information or instruction from the IRS, this would be the place to look for it.  Organized in a list format with links to more information, this would make a good bookmark for all tax preparers.

Circular 230 Tax Professionals and Tax Code, Regulations and Official Guidance.  If you’re interested in reading up on IRS regulations governing attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Enrolled Actuaries, Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents, and Appraisers, this series of documents can provide you with the information for which you’re looking.

e-News Subscriptions.  The IRS sends out updates and alerts to subscribers, so if you’re interested in being the first to hear about IRS news and tips, this is where you want to go.

Forms and Publications.  This site provides all taxpayers with easy access to all IRS forms and publications.

Current Tax Tips and Fact Sheets 2014 are both useful resources that will enable you to be aware of any tax changes or alerts as you approach this year’s filing season.

Latest News.  If you don’t subscribe to IRS updates and newsletters, you can still access the most recent news releases by visiting this screen.

PTIN Requirements.  If you still haven’t secured your PTIN, you may want to visit this screen to learn more about the new IRS regulations for tax preparers.  You can also apply for your PTN here.

Frequently Asked Tax Questions and Answers.  And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in any of those other resources, you’re likely to find it here, or at least be directed to where it might be.

The IRS has all this information and more, proving to be a helpful resource to many of us who may need it.

Universal Accounting is Also a Valuable Resource

Here at Universal, we’re interested in seeing you succeed as a tax preparer.  Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!  Or call us at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll now!

Potential IRS Shutdown

Treasury tax check with cash.Following recent budget cuts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced that a shutdown is currently being considered as one possible way to save the agency money.  He explained, “People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do…  But there is no way we can say right now that that won’t happen.”

In recent budget revisions, Congress cut the IRS budget to $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion less than the agency requested. The IRS was one of few agencies to experience budget cuts this year, regardless of the impending tax season that will require the implementation of Obamacare credits and the exaction of penalties for the new tax evasion law.

In addition, the agency also faces a mandated federal employee pay raise of one-percent.  Koskinen says, “It’s not just the $350 million cut in the budget; it’s the fact that we have $250 million in new expenses for a government-wide pay raise.  …So we really have a $600 million hole this year.”

The potential shutdown could save the IRS an estimated $29 million a day.  At a press conference held on December 16th, Koskinen explained that while it’s a last resort, the IRS could close anywhere from one to a number of days in order to offset the difference.  This news followed an email warning IRS employees of suspended overtime and a hiring freeze.

QuickBooks Made Profitable

The IRS isn’t the only organization experiencing budget problems.  Have you set a New Year’s resolution to better budget your money this year?  Learning how to better track funds could help you and your clients become more lucrative.  In addition to budgeting, QuickBooks Made Profitable will teach you just how to use QuickBooks accounting software to attract and retain more clients.

Nearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks software.  While other programs may be useful, QuickBooks has definitely captured the small business market.  Mastering QuickBooks will not only enable you to better manage your budget and keep more efficient records, but it will also help you teach your clients how to use the software so that you can get the information you need which, making your job much easier.  This program will teach you how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profits.  What client wouldn’t be interested in that?  We’ll teach you how to use this valuable software package to generate more income!

Don’t wait to grow your business and experience the success your budget will certainly help you achieve.  There are countless potential clients out there in need of these specific services.  You can be the one to provide them.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order QuickBooks Made Profitable today!

Resource

Bade, Rachael.  “IRS Warns of Possible Shutdown.”  18 December 2014  Politico.com

Recommended Summer Reading List

Summer is a great time to slow down and reflex on one’s business and career. And reading good how-to books can provide you with great ideas on improving key business functions.  Current publications can help you understand and apply solid business principles to both your personal and professional life. 

For this summer’s recommendations, we share four selections from Small Business Trends’ writer, Ivana Taylor’s list:

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger (Simon and Schuster, 2013).  How do you get people to refer your business to their friends and family?  Word-of-mouth advertising can be an allusive thing, but it’s most effective because individuals are more likely to follow the advice of people they trust than the advertising they hear on the television and radio.  Including innovative research and case studies, this book is an interesting read that demonstrates what makes consumers more likely to promote various products and services by word-of-mouth.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip and Dan Heath (Random House, 2013).  If you find yourself indecisive, chances are you haven’t discovered the right option yet.  This book helps readers make decisions in confidence, using a process that moves individuals forward and upward in both their professional and personal lives.  Best-selling authors Chip and Dan Heath draw on experience from familiar brands that have made good and bad choices.

Rock Your Business: What You and Your Company Can Learn from the Business of Rock and Roll by David Fishof (Amazon Digital Services, 2012).  David Fishof is famous for starting Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camps where participants get to live out their dreams of rocking out on stage with their favorite musicians.  This book details those things musicians do to launch their rock bands to stardom and how that relates to building a successful business.

Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel and Brian Quinn (Wiley, 2013).  Working from a list of more than 2,000 innovators, authors used an algorithm to determine 10 innovation types.  As Taylor explains, “Innovation is a complex topic and the text and graphic guide the reader through the authors’ process rather effortlessly.  This is a heady topic brought down to earth in manageable, understandable and doable chunks.”

Red to Black in 30 Days by Allen Bostrom (Universal Accounting Center, 2008)

The recession is hitting small businesses hard, and many are failing right and left; we hope yours is not one of them.  Red to Black in 30 Days enables readers to learn the Universal Project Management Model that will enable them to save failing businesses.   This book is a guideline for financial professionals who work with disheartened small business owners in need of a good turnaround plan.

Each chapter focuses on a crucial aspect of the turnaround process. Simple steps are outlined from initial contact through stabilization and profitable growth. This can be the guide through your first turnaround experience or it can enhance the management skills of even the seasoned financial professional.  You may find that in offering turnaround services your business (and those of your clients) will be the few that thrive in these difficult financial times. For the cost of this one book you can enhance your value to current and prospective clients.  Order your copy now.

Resource

Taylor, Ivana.  “7 Best Business Books for Summer Reading.” 2 June 2013 SmallBizTrends.com

Tax Season Opens

irs-news2Due to the renewal of “extender” provisions to the tax law that expired in 2013, the IRS announced that tax season will open as scheduled, and they will begin accepting the electronic submission of returns on January 20th.

The legislation extended tax breaks for individuals and businesses as well as a savings program for the disabled.  Business deductions that will now be allowed through 2014 include some of the following:

  • Bonus depreciation, allowing an additional first-year deduction of 50% of equipment costs
  • Section 179 rules which allow for $500,000 on acquired property for business use
  • Exclusion from capital gains tax of 100% of small business stock sold by an individual
  • The Word Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring military veterans and other qualified individuals
  • The Research Tax Credit
  • New Markets Tax Credit

A number of other deductions are included in the extension, which are detailed in an article by Michael Cohn entitled “Passage of Tax Extenders Contains Key Tax Breaks” on the website AccountingToday.

Before the extension of this legislation, the IRS was concerned that the elimination of those tax breaks would make it difficult for them to effectively update their systems in time for tax season.  However, at the beginning of December, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “We have reviewed the late tax law changes and determined that there was nothing preventing us from continuing our updating and testing of our systems.  Our employees will continue an aggressive schedule of testing and preparation of our systems during the next month to complete the final stages needed for the 2015 tax season.”

In addition to proceeding with tax season as planned, the IRS reminds taxpayers that electronic filing is the most effective way to submit a return and ensure a timely refund.  Visit the official IRS website for more information.

Universal Accounting’s Tax Training

UA’s Professional Tax Preparer program will help you establish yourself as a trained and trustworthy tax professional.  You can earn the Professional Tax Preparer Designation while receiving up to 60 CPE credits, depending on the number of modules you complete.

UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will not only give you hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S), but it will also provide you with the following:

  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • 2 instructional manuals
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee

Call 1-877-833-7909 to enroll today, and improve your competitive advantage while securing your professional standing in the tax industry.

Resources

–.  “Tax Season Opens as Planned Following Extenders Legislation.” 29 December 2014  IRS.gov

Cohn, Michael.  “Passage of Tax Extenders Contains Key Tax Breaks.”  17 December 2014  AccountingToday.com

Happy Holidays to YOU!

presentGive Yourself the Gift of Profitability

Who wouldn’t want the gift of profitability?  That’s probably even on Santa’s wish list.  A solid investment in yourself and your business would make a great present that may not fit in your stocking, but will definitely fill your bank account!  What’s the investment?

Every successful business thrives on three things: a service that’s in-demand, effective marketing, and complementary offerings.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find all these components in one package?  You can, and they’re all right here!

A Service that’s In-Demand

In order to run a successful practice you must offer a necessary and valuable service.  Small-business accounting is such a service.  By law, businesses are required to keep books.  Not only that, but many small businesses are in need of knowledgeable and skilled accountants who will perform that needed function and help them achieve greater profitability.

To appreciate the demand for small-business accountants, consult the US Department of Labor.  They report that between 2012 and 2022, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow by 13%.  They predict “As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records.”

Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper Program will not only teach you small business accounting with a practical, hands-on approach, but it will enable you to earn a designation that evidences your skill and expertise, putting potential clients at ease.  The program covers four units which each take less than 15 hours to complete, all on your own time and at your own pace.  The units include:

In less than 60 hours you could complete all four modules and be on your way to a successful accounting practice with a certificate to hang on your office wall.  That’s much more appealing than 4 years on a university campus.

Effective Marketing

Regardless of how unmatched your services may be, you won’t have any clients unless you market effectively.  While accountants are good with numbers, they generally aren’t as comfortable promoting their services.

With over 30 years’ experience training professionals like you, Universal Accounting Center knows how to market accounting services to small businesses!  Our Universal Practice Builder Program will arm you with the ability to accomplish the following:

  • Become your area’s Profit and Growth Expert
  • Produce 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • Utilize 12 proven marketing strategies
  • Practice effective marketing via phone, newsletter, and professional websites
  • Practice tactical goal planning and setting
  • Prepare and present seminar training for three different instructional courses

In addition, this program is guaranteed to earn you $30,000 of additional annualized billings in just 12 months!  Talk about a risk-free investment!

Complementary Offerings

Successful practices continue to grow and generate profit when they offer complementary offerings their target market finds valuable.  You probably already know that Intuit’s QuickBooks is the accounting software used by more than 80% of small business owners.  Mastering this program will enable you to increase your offerings by providing QuickBooks setup and consultation services.  QuickBooks Made Profitable will teach you just how to use this program to draw and retain more clients to your accounting practice.  You’ll learn how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profitability as well.  Imagine how much this program alone could increase your bottom line.

So there you have it; a present that will brighten your future and make your practice more profitable.  Give yourself the gift that keeps on giving!  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today!

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