Archive for November 29, 2011

IRS Plans to Add Additional Email Option for PTIN Renewal

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Tax preparation software for tax preparers and PTIN hassle.




The Internal Revenue Service said it plans to add a new option to its Preparer Tax Identification Number system in December for users who need to change the email address associated with their online PTIN accounts.

The new option will also help people who have forgotten their user IDs or passwords, but don’t have access anymore to their original email » Read more..

Tax Preparation Software For Preparers

Professional Tax Preparation Software

Tax Preparation Software For Tax Preparers


Our service uses the most advanced tax preparation software, written specially for professional use. After many years in the business of tax preparation and dealing with professional tax preparers, I realize that software used for preparing tax returns for your clients must be most advanced and be able to handle all aspects of you clients needs.

As an example, lets say your client needs to file a joint federal and a married filing separate state tax returns. Not the same state, but different states. This software allows you to do just that. Tax return will be split between Taxpayer and Spouse and will produce properly split returns. I have created data sheetsthat allow you to describe which income/deductions belong to Taxpayer and which belong to Spouse.

This software was written a specially for use in a service bureau environment and allows each individual tax preparer have his or her own account number. This assigned account number will have your PTIN, EFIN, EIN and all other needed information that needs to be printed on federal and state tax returns. This information also used when returns being submitted to the IRS during e-file.

Tax return preparation software is only as good as the people who designed it and experts, who have enough experience, to make it possible to be versatile enough and intuitive to be able to create special warning system that gives you heads up on the little things that you could have missed.

The reason this software is this good is exactly that. When tax returns have been keyed into the system, an expert runs it through the special warning faze, which has been designed by our team of programmers, that shows all items that could have been missed by the tax preparer. In this case, the person responsible for reviewing your tax return, will send an email or will call you to discuss possible changes that might need to be made to the tax return.

IRS Moves to Next Phase of Return Preparer Initiative; New Competency Test to Begin

Professiona tax preparation software, tax preparation software for preparers, w-2 printing, 1099 printing

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is moving into the next phase of its effort to improve the tax preparation industry by launching the new Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test.

The new competency test is part of a larger initiative to increase oversight of the tax preparation industry. Last year, the IRS required all paid tax return preparers to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Those tax return preparers who currently have a valid PTIN and are required to take the new test will have until Dec. 31, 2013, to pass it.

Preparers who pass the test and meet other requirements will be given a new designation: Registered Tax Return Preparer. In order to maintain that designation, the individuals must renew their PTINs annually and complete 15 hours of continuing education each year. Enrolled Agents, Certified Public Accountants, and attorneys, among others, are exempt from the new testing and education requirements. These professional groups already meet more stringent guidelines to obtain their professional credentials.

“This is another major step forward in our effort to enhance tax preparation service to millions of taxpayers. People should feel assured that the person they hire to prepare their federal tax returns has a working knowledge of the tax code,” said Doug Shulman, IRS Commissioner. “The majority of tax return preparers are reputable professionals but the few bad apples cause great harm to taxpayers and the industry.”

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.

Fact Sheet 2011-12 provides additional details about the test, including which preparers are required to take it and how to schedule an appointment.

Work on background check implementation plans continue

The IRS continues to study the most appropriate ways for requiring certain tax return preparers to undergo a background check. The background check is necessary to ensure tax return preparers have not engaged in disreputable conduct and are suitable for practice before the IRS. The IRS will provide additional guidance concerning the background check in coming months.

While the IRS continues to review the issues surrounding background checks, it will issue Registered Tax Return Preparer certificates to individuals who pass the Registered Tax Return Preparer test and a tax compliance check. Individuals issued Registered Tax Return Preparer certificates may begin using the Registered Tax Return Preparer designation, but they still may be subject to additional background checks that the IRS may implement in the future.

Special Enrollment Examination remains unchanged

The process for individuals to become an Enrolled Agent remains unchanged.  Most Enrolled Agents have passed a comprehensive three-part IRS test (Special Enrollment Examination) covering individual and business standards and representation rules.  Enrolled Agents also must complete 72 hours of continuing education every three years.  Most Enrolled Agents have unlimited practice rights before the IRS, which means they can represent clients regarding any tax matter.

The process for registering and taking the Special Enrollment Examination remains unchanged. More information on the Registered Tax Return Preparer Competency Examination and the Special Enrollment Examination is available at

PTIN renewal season reminder

All PTIN holders must renew their PTINs for the 2012 filing season by Dec. 31, 2011.  The PTIN renewal fee for 2012 is $63. Return preparers who obtained their PTINs by creating an online account should renew their PTINs at

Preparers who used paper applications to receive their 2011 PTINs were sent an activation code that they can use to create an online account and convert to an electronic renewal for 2012. Individuals can also renew using a paper Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application, but renewing electronically avoids a four to six week wait for processing the renewal request.


Email Address Change Option Coming to PTIN System

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IRS will add a new option to the PTIN system in mid-December for users who need to change the email address associated with their online PTIN accounts. The new functionality will also help people who have forgotten their user IDs and/or passwords but don’t have access to their original email accounts. Preparers in this situation are encouraged to wait for this online option instead of sending paper applications, which take four to six weeks to process.

The IRS Has Advice for Charitable Giving

W-2 Printing, Professional tax preparation software

The IRS shows how you can figure the fair market value of your charitable donations in this video



Home Energy Credits Still Available for 2011

IRS Special Edition 2011-08


The IRS reminds homeowners that they still have time this year to make energy-saving and green-energy home improvements and qualify for either of two home energy credits.

The Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit is aimed at homeowners installing energy efficient improvements such as insulation, new windows and furnaces. The credit is more limited than in the past years, but can still provide substantial tax savings.

• The 2011 credit rate is 10 percent of the cost of qualified energy efficiency improvements. Energy efficiency improvements include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors and certain roofs. The cost of installing these items does not count.

• The credit can also be claimed for the cost of residential energy property, including labor costs for installation. Residential energy property includes certain high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters and stoves that burn biomass fuel.

• The credit has a lifetime limit of $500, of which only $200 may be used for windows. If the total of nonbusiness energy property credits taken in prior years since 2005 is more than $500, the credit may not be claimed in 2011.

• Qualifying improvements must be placed into service to the taxpayer’s principal residence located in the United States before January 1, 2012.

Homeowners going green should also check out the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, designed to spur investment in alternative energy equipment.

• The credit equals 30 percent of what a homeowner spends on qualifying property such as solar electric systems, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.

• No cap exists on the amount of credit available except for fuel cell property.

• Generally, labor costs are included when figuring this credit. 

Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for these tax credits, so homeowners should check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before they purchase. Taxpayers can normally rely on this certification statement which can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or with the product packaging. 
Eligible homeowners can claim both of these credits on Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits when they file their 2011 federal income tax return. Because these are credits and not deductions, they reduce the amount of tax owed dollar for dollar. An eligible taxpayer can claim these credits regardless of whether he or she itemizes deductions on Schedule A.


Electronic Filing Options for Business and Self-Employed Taxpayers

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Electronic Filing Options for Business and Self-Employed Taxpayers


Forms 1120/1120-S and 7004

Form 7004, Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns


Employment Taxes (Forms 940, 941 and 944)

Estates & Trusts (Form 1041)

Excise Tax Returns (Form 720 and Form 2290 and Excise Claim Form 8849 (Schedule 3 and 6))

Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) (Forms 1099, 1098, W-2G & more)

Partnership Returns

Modernized e-File (MeF)
MeF Internet filing is available for charities and non-profits, corporations and partnerships.

Electronic Payment Options

EFTPS – Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

Convenient Payment Options Using Credit Card and Electronic Funds Withdrawal

e-file for Business Providers & Partners

Find a listing of companies who offer IRS e-file for Business products and services including direct links to each companies’ Web site. Be sure to check the special offers and discounts from our IRS e-file for Business Partners.

Social Security Administration (SSA) Employer Web Site
Learn how to submit your Forms W-2 electronically.

Reminder to Truckers: Highway Use Tax Returns Due Nov. 30

Trucking Tax Center


Alert: This is where you should check for up to date information about the Heavy Highway Vehicle Use tax, Form 2290, for the tax period beginning July 1, 2011. Sepcial provisions still apply through November 30 for filing your return and/or registering your vehicle.

Updated as of November 1, 2011
The Form 2290 is available now. If your vehicle was first used in July, August, September or October 2011, you are required to file Form 2290 by November 30, 2011. You will not be liable for any late filing penalty or interest if you meet this due date. Beginning November 1, 2011, we will provide a stamped (receipted) Schedule 1 to those who file and pay their tax.

e-filing and Paying Your 2011 Excise Tax
IRS e-file for 2290 is now available for the tax period beginning July 1, 2011. Visit the e-file provider page and choose the IRS authorized e-file provider that’s best for you. 

An Option for Getting Your Tags and/or Registering Your Vehicle
You can get your tags for the tax period beginning July 1, 2011 because existing regulations require states to register a heavy highway vehicle when the application for registration is received between July 1 and November 30, 2011. If you have your receipted Schedule 1 for the previous year’s taxable period, in this case, July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, states can continue to accept it as proof of payment through November 30, 2011.

An Option for Registering Your Newly Acquired Vehicle
Through November 30, 2011, states also must register newly acquired heavy highway use vehicles without proof of tax payment if:

  • you present the original or a photocopy of a bill of sale showing that the vehicle was purchased by the owner during the 150 days before the date the state received the application for registration; and,
  • the vehicle has not been registered in any state subsequent to the date of purchase. 


IRS Reminds Taxpayers about Home Energy Credits

This IRS YouTube video describes energy credits available to taxpayers who plan to winterize their homes before the year’s end.

NATP Events & Education Seminars for 2012, 2011 Tax Year


1040 Workshops 

120 Workshop Locations

The Essential 1040®
As federal tax laws become more complex, the need for preparers to be aware of changes each year becomes increasingly more important. To truly be equipped for tax season 2012 each preparer needs to review all the new laws that affect their clients. 

Topics include:

  • New laws
  • E-filing
  • 2010 Roth Conversions
  • Value of Health Insurance Reported on W-2s
  • Reimbursements Limited to Prescribed Medication and Insulin
  • Penalty Increase for HSAs and MSAs
  • Simple Cafeteria Plans
  • New Hire Retention Credit
  • Repeal of Expanded 1099 Reporting and Revenue Offset » Read more..