Current Happenings in the Accounting Profession

          Extenders Legislation Contains A Lot More Than Extenders

          Nation's Tax Season To Begin On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

          Return Preparer Letters

          Safe harbor for purchases of de minimis tangible property will be raised

          Tax Dues Date Changes

          Affordable Care Act Resources

          GASB Outlook Newsletter

          Current IRS Updates

          Current AICPA Exposure Drafts

          Idaho State Tax Commission

          Idaho State Tax Commission Contact Information

          Idaho State Tax Commissioner Responsibilities - Who Does What

Extenders Legislation Contains A Lot More Than Extenders

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed in to law legislation which extends a long list of expired tax provisions and also contains a large number of other tax items.

    ISCPA Members May Log In to the Member's Only Area and
  • Listen to ISCPA Federal Tax Podcast Special Edition - All About the Extenders & More
  • View cites for All About The Extenders & More Podcast
  • Learn about ISCPA's "New Tax Extender Legislation - Congress Awakes: Tax Law Revisions in 2015 - More Than Just Extenders" webinar on January 7, 2016

Nation's Tax Season To Begin On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

WASHINGTON ― Following a review of the tax extenders legislation signed into law last week, the Internal Revenue Service announced on 12.22.15 that the nation's tax season will begin as scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016.

The IRS will begin accepting individual electronic returns that day. The IRS expects to receive more than 150 million individual returns in 2016, with more than four out of five being prepared using tax return preparation software and e-filed. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to people filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for e-file to begin.

"We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. "Our employees have been working hard throughout this year to make this happen. We also appreciate the help from the nation's tax professionals and the software community, who are critical to helping taxpayers during the filing season.”

As part of the Security Summit  initiative, the IRS has been working closely with the tax industry and state revenue departments to provide stronger protections against identity theft for taxpayers during the coming filing season.

The filing deadline to submit 2015 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, rather than the traditional April 15 date. Washington, D.C., will celebrate Emancipation Day on that Friday, which pushes the deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation. (Due to Patriots Day, the deadline will be Tuesday, April 19, in Maine and Massachusetts.)

Koskinen noted the new legislation makes permanent many provisions and extends many others for several years. "This provides certainty for planning purposes, which will help taxpayers and the tax community as well as the IRS," he said.

Although the IRS begins accepting returns on Jan. 19, many tax software companies will begin accepting tax returns earlier in January and submitting them to the IRS when processing systems open.

Return Preparer Letters

The following was received from the Return Preparer Office for your information:

    We will be mailing the following letters on Tuesday, Dec. 29:
  • Letter 5271 to 5,000 return preparers. This letter reminds them of their responsibilities when preparing returns that include the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.
  • Letter 5272 to 2,500 return preparers. This letter reminds them of their responsibilities when preparing returns that include the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit when children with ITINs are involved.
  • Letter 5573 to 2,500 return preparers. This letter reminds credentialed return preparers to inquire about 1099-K income when they prepare Schedule C returns. (Letter 5574 on the same topic was sent to 5,000 non-credentialed return preparers in August. It was sent earlier because it encouraged the recipients to take CE on the topic and to consider participating in the Annual Filing Season Program.)
  • More information about RPO educational letter efforts is available here:

Safe harbor for purchases of de minimis tangible property will be raised

The IRS announced on November 24th that it will raise the deductible amount for purchases of tangible property by taxpayers without applicable financial statements (AFSs) to $2,500 per item, an increase from $500 (Notice 2015-82) . The IRS made the change after receiving more than 150 comments recommending that the limit on deductions for purchases of tangible property be raised to anywhere between $750 and $100,000.

Under the tangible property regulations, to reduce the compliance burden on taxpayers, taxpayers can elect to currently deduct expenses for the purchase of tangible property that would otherwise have to be capitalized. For taxpayers without AFSs, that election was limited to $500 per invoice or per item. (For taxpayers with AFSs, the limit is $5,000, which the IRS justifies as warranted because those taxpayers are more likely to follow GAAP rules.) After the regulations were issued, many practitioners objected to the $500 de minimis amount, pointing out, among other things, that a typical computer or smartphone usually costs more than $500.

Read Full Journal of Accountancy Article

Good things often come to those who wait - and to those who work hard on legislation!

Tax Dues Dates Change

It's hard to believe, but the tax due dates bill that we've all worked on over the past few years, and continued to discuss with our Senators and Representatives during our Hill Visits, finally passed both the House and Senate this week as part of the highway bill, and it's headed to President Obama's desk for his signature. The short-term highway funding extension passed by the Senate on Thursday contains several important tax provisions (H.R. 3236). The bill was passed by the House of Representatives, 385-34, on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill modifies the due dates for several common tax returns, overrules the Supreme Court's Home Concrete decision, requires that additional information be reported on mortgage information statements, and requires consistent basis reporting between estates and beneficiaries. Due date modifications: The act sets new due dates for partnership and C corporation returns, as well as FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), and several other IRS information returns. For partnership returns, the new due date is March 15 (for calendar-year partnerships) and the 15th day of the third month following the close of the fiscal year (for fiscal-year partnerships). (Currently, these returns are due on April 15, for calendar-year partnerships.) The act directs the IRS to allow a maximum extension of six months for Forms 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. Read Full Journal of Accountancy Article

Due Date Changes– A Way Station on the Journey

Posted by Edward Karl, CPA on Aug 07, 2015

It started like most things we do: AICPA members needed it done. One after the other, after the other, and on and on, we heard from members who were tired of receiving complicated K-1s on October 13, 14 or even 15. "Please help us” they asked, so we turned to our Tax Executive Committee and said: "what makes sense?" And so, a multi-year, imaginative effort to craft a solution ended in a "way station" of success on July 31 when President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 3236).

The law provides for a more logical flow of a broad array of returns. The main idea was to have flow-through returns completed before the returns in which the information is reported – Forms 1040 and 1120; give folks enough time to breathe and digest the flow-through information. And so calendar-year partnerships are due March 15 and calendar year C corporations are due April 15. Partnership returns are due a month earlier than they had been, but six-month extensions are now available. Other fixes were made, too, to Forms 990, 1041 and 5500. Also, the due date for FinCEN Form 114 (FBAR) moves from June 30 to April 15, but for the first time, taxpayers will be allowed a six-month extension.

Read Karl's full blog