Provided by Drake Software

IRS Changes Maintenance Schedule Amid Preparer Concerns

No Columbus Day Downtime for Modernized e-File

Responding to concerns, the IRS will keep Modernized e-File in operation over the Columbus Day weekend. However, other services will be brought down for maintenance.

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Five Steps to Better Strategic Management

Every business executive is familiar with the need for strategic planning.  Less familiar, though, is the critical management skill that the strategic plan is designed to support – strategic management.  In simple terms, strategic management is the ability to think and act for the long term benefit of the firm, rather than reacting to the immediate threats and needs of business.

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October 15, Filing Extension Deadline

IRS Offers Advice for Those with Extensions Expiring on October 15

October 15 is the deadline for 13 million taxpayers with a tax-filing extension, and the IRS wants to make sure those individuals check to see if they qualify for tax benefits before submitting a return. The press release covers different types of credits and deductions, as well as advice related to health care reporting, e-filing, and payment.

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IRS Plans Help for Wildfire Victims

Disaster Declaration Means Tax Relief for Affected California Residents and Businesses

After the President declared California’s Lake and Calveras counties federal disaster areas, the IRS reported plans to provide relief for victims of the Valley and Butte fires. This means some deadlines between September 12, 2015 and January 15, 2016 will be postponed until the latter date, which includes the following:

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Plans Resume For Regulation of Tax Preparers

Senators Hatch and Wyden Announce Bill from Joint Committee on Taxation

The effort by the Internal Revenue Service to regulate professional tax preparers gained new life this week when Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) jointly announced the introduction of a new bill designed to combat identity theft.  Sen. Hatch also announced an open executive session for the bill this week, on Wednesday, September 16, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 10:00 am.

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Drake Leads Industry in Software Satisfaction Surveys

In spite of a year of change and delays, tax preparers and CPAs rated Drake Software at the top of the industry for user satisfaction and other key metrics.

According to the IRS, roughly 145.5 tax returns were processed in the 2015 season, with 74.2 million filed electronically by tax professionals through August of 2015.  These represent increases of 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

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Why Employee Evaluations Are Critical To Success

The annual tax season generally takes only one-fourth of the work year, and for all of the preparation required may seem to be over in a few short weeks after it begins.  Temporary staff is let go, the paperwork is all wrapped up and it is time for that well-earned vacation.

All of which makes it difficult to make time for the management responsibility most critical to the success of the firm – the employee performance evaluation.  Which also means that the evaluations that do get done tend to be informal, short, and built on the question of who will stay on after tax season, who will be re-hired for next year, and who will be let go after April 15.  The subject becomes even trickier for those who will not be invited back, since you may not wish to present that information until the season is over.

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IRS Publishes Low Income Housing Credit Audit Technique Guide

New Guide Helps With Low Income Housing Credit

Last Friday the IRS released the Low Income Housing Credit Audit Technique Guide, which – as the article states – “explains examination techniques, as well as unique issues, business practices, and terminology to help tax professionals [report] various items related to the Low Income Housing Credit.” 

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Deducting the Cost of Looking for Work

What You Need to Know When Deducting Job-Hunt Expenses

Last week the IRS released information pertaining to deducting job search costs, including a list of nine “key tax facts” on the subject.

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10 Tedious Tax Office Chores You Should Automate

Tax preparation professionals are fortunate in that they make use of computer hardware and software virtually every day of their working lives.  The complexity of the tax laws, frequent legislative and regulatory changes, and the demands of preparing more than 142 million tax returns all require an atypical level of computer literacy and use not seen in other small businesses.

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