National Conference Sessions

​​​​​National Conference Sessions


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This event has ended.

Below, you’ll find information about the courses that were offered at the 2017 Conference.

Even if you didn’t attend this year’s Conference, you can still get online access with online recordings through PlayBack Now. MP4 video sessions include the presenter’s PowerPoint with synced audio for a virtual re-creation of each presentation.

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Basic

Intermediate

Advanced

Update/Ethics

All Sessions

Advanced Statute of Limitations

Due to the statutes of limitations, taxpayers can only take certain actions within a limited time frame. These rules limit federal and state tax authorities as well. These actions may involve tax assessments, the processing of refunds, applying various tax credits or the collection of tax. As a tax preparer, you can help your clients who may have returns to amend or who have tax issues in their past know when they must file certain documents. In this session, we guide you through each statute of limitations applicable to tax law and the provisions of them with respect to tax law matters.

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All on the Line – Military Tax Issues

This session is designed to help you answer tax questions for those who serve to protect our freedom. Are you handling your military client tax returns properly? There are some special privileges awarded for the personal and financial sacrifices military service demands. This course highlights the special tax issues of military members in the reserves, on active duty, those who are disabled and retired veterans and their military spouses. We cover taxable and nontaxable income, deductions, special deadlines, taxation of spouses, and legal residence concerns.

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Americans Abroad

Many Americans work abroad, retire overseas, open bank accounts in foreign countries, and buy real estate in foreign lands. All these things present challenging tax situations. It is imperative that you understand the benefits available to reduce the double tax burden that would otherwise arise when foreign source income is taxed by both the U.S. and the foreign country from which the income is derived. Learn how to determine if your client can pass the physical presence test or bona fide resident test, and when and how to use the foreign earned income and housing exclusions or foreign tax credit. Explore the impact of those decisions on IRA contributions. Also learn what reporting forms must be filed to disclose ownership of foreign assets to avoid potentially huge penalties.

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Audits & Notices: Perils & Pitfalls

Representing a taxpayer who is being examined or audited requires a different skill set from return preparation. While it’s vital to have basic tax knowledge when representing someone in an audit, you also need to have a more in-depth understanding of the particular areas of the return in question. In this session, we review some of the basics of audit representation, along with those areas that may be of particular concern when addressing an IRS audit or examination.

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Basis: Situations & Solutions

In this session, we look at a number of basis issues that clients bring to us from separate property states, including property received as a gift and property received as an inheritance, and find the best basis under the given circumstances. Be a hero to your client by minimizing their gain on sales of property. We also discuss the basis for civil law vs. tax law.

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Dealing with the Divorced/Divorcing Client

There are many unique tax considerations that you must understand when dealing with divorced, divorcing or never married clients. One of the more challenging life events a tax professional encounters is the dividing of a household and applying the tax laws appropriately, while ensuring we do not run afoul of Circular 230. The division may be in the straightforward form of divorce, or in a more complicated division of tax benefits for those who have never married, whether or not they reside in the same home. The deductions and credits may be the same, but did you know the rules are different for those who are divorced vs. those who did not marry? Join us to learn about the proper filing status, the different rules for credits and deductions for the single vs. divorced and transfers of assets, as well as a discussion of whether, when and how to handle the inherent conflict of interest in such situations.

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Business Use of Automobile for Employees & the Self-Employed

The business use of automobiles is a common topic that you probably see come up quite often, particularly during tax season. In this presentation, we not only look at the tax differences of buying a car vs. leasing the same vehicle, but also the several bigger picture financial results that may be affected, such as amount of down payment and monthly payment, cost of financing, using actual expenses vs. the standard mileage rate for business use, and whether the taxpayer can switch between these two systems. We discuss how the basis of an automobile is affected when it was purchased with a trade-in, depreciation limits for “luxury” automobiles, trading in a car that was owned for a new leased vehicle and much more.

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Calculating Partnership Basis

Calculating partnership basis can be a real struggle for many tax preparers. Have you ever wondered if a client’s partnership basis is computed correctly? Do you get blank stares when you ask your clients what their basis is in their partnership interest? In this valuable session, we discuss the computation of partnership basis, as well as annual adjustments and the ramifications of debt assumption and debt relief.

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Capital Gains with Regard to Real Estate

Real estate sales can be complicated. This course addresses what happens when real estate is sold in a variety of tricky situations, such as unclaimed depreciation, divorce, mixed use, business use of home, farm real estate, and sales after excluded cancellation of debt and foreclosure. Help guide your clients through the opportunities to minimize their capital gains taxes.

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Casualty Losses & NOLs

Have you had an event in your area that was declared a disaster? Have you had a client who experienced a personal property loss? In this session, we cover the ins and outs of what constitutes a casualty loss and how to complete Form 4684. Many casualty losses create a net operating loss (NOL), so we take the logical next step and review the NOL process, including the dreaded alternative minimum tax net operating loss (AMT NOL).

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Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest arise in practice before the IRS all the time, and smart practitioners need to know how to spot and avoid those conflicts before it becomes a malpractice or a disciplinary issue. In this session, you’ll learn common conflicts of interest that arise in practice before the IRS, and the best way to avoid them.

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Cost of Goods Sold

Is it a supply item, or is it a cost of goods sold (COGS)? Do you need to have inventory in order to have cost of goods sold? How should inventory be valued? In this session, we’ll review the guidelines for COGS and inventory. At least one IRS fact sheet addresses the correlation of COGS and the tax gap, and in this session, we review the fact sheet and how it may impact our clients. After this class, you will have the tools necessary to adequately distinguish between supplies and COGS, and be in a better position to advise your clients on their inventory issues.

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Depreciation Recapture & Form 4797

Few words strike more terror into the heart of the tax professional than “depreciation recapture” and “Form 4797.” Let’s face it—trying to explain to a client who sells an asset for less than they paid for it that they have taxable income from that event is an uphill battle at best! In this lively session, we present new ways to envision the concept of depreciation and the consequences of the sale of a depreciated asset. We illustrate the recapture and taxation of previous depreciation deductions, recovery of basis and capital gains. Finally, we present a high level view of the proper completion of Form 4797.

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Do You Know – Basis in an Entity?

Basis of an entity is tracked on the investor’s return, generally the Form 1040. From the creation of an entity (birth), operating of the entity (life), transferring of ownership (adoption) and finally the liquidation (death) of an entity’s ownership, basis constantly changes. This session looks at tracking basis of debt and equity from day-to-day events, business decisions and even events outside of the entity. We consider contributions, distributions, taxable and nontaxable events in the entity, elections by the entity and owners, transfer of ownership and actions by the owner of the entity. Using a simple measuring cup to better understand any basis scenario, you can take this lesson back to your office to more easily explain basis to your clients.

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DPAD – Misunderstood & Overlooked

We discuss the history, purpose and method of determining when the domestic production activity deduction (DPAD) applies, what test we must pass and what method to use in calculating DPAD. Help your clients keep manufacturing made in America.

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Estate Planning

This session examines general estate concepts and discusses some advanced strategies for equalizing each spouse’s estate. We discuss strategies of optimizing the marital deduction, and in the process, look at different types of trusts, such as the qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust, bypass trust and Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT). We also address some conversational topics to discuss with your attorney or your client’s attorney regarding tactics designed to protect assets from potential creditors. Help your clients protect their families and plan for the future in this webinar.

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Ethics Bingo

This is a Circular 230 based ethics course unlike any you have ever attended! Ethics has been a huge area of discussion within the tax community for some time. Each year, it seems that the IRS adds due diligence requirements for tax preparers and increases preparer penalties. It is absolutely imperative for you to understand your duties as you serve your clients. In this session, we look at hypothetical preparer scenarios and determine the most ethical position to take. To keep the course interesting, we will play bingo with real prizes. With colorful examples, you won’t be able to help but remember the rules, and how they apply to you, your practice and your clients.

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Every Choice Has a Consequence for Your Clients

Practitioners make decisions daily that impact taxpayers in a variety of ways. Have you ever considered the impact a decision may have on other areas of a taxpayer’s return or, for that matter, the future? This course is designed to expand your thinking “outside the box” to consider the consequences a decision may have.

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Examination Do's & Don’ts

The way you work with an IRS examiner can sometimes mean the difference between a no-change letter and a referral to the Criminal Investigations Unit. In this course, we walk you through best practices for guiding a client through an IRS examination, and common pitfalls to avoid, from the perspective of a tax litigation lawyer who has seen the results of examinations done right and very, very wrong.

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Foreclosure, Short Sales & Cancellation of Debt

This presentation clarifies the issues surrounding proper tax reporting for clients who have real property foreclosed on or sold in a short sale. Issues covered include: recourse vs. nonrecourse debt, the exceptions and exclusions of reporting canceled debt as income and the reduction of client tax attributes when one of the exclusions does apply. Includes five case studies to use as a road map for when you get back to the office.

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Form 706, Estate Tax Return

While the daunting title, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, may overwhelm even the most seasoned professional all on its own, Form 706 schedules further serve to confuse and overwhelm. This course is your guide to putting assets, liabilities, trust holdings, and community property allocations where they belong, and provides sample entries to mitigate—and possibly eliminate—IRS scrutiny of the completed return.

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Form 8867: Due Diligence for All

The PATH Act of 2015 spread the due diligence requirements for the earned income tax credit (EITC) across the board, covering most taxpayers claiming children, as well as college credits. The penalty for failure to follow due diligence when working with these clients can be costly. This session details the necessary steps to observe, as well as some common tripping points.

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HSA Used the Right Way

It’s a triple treat and surprisingly powerful for the taxpayer–the money goes in tax-free, grows tax-free and is not taxable when you take it out for health care costs! In light of efforts to repeal the ACA, the HSA is expected to become a centerpiece of managing health care-related expenses going forward. Yet, when asked, too many tax professionals admit to not knowing enough about this powerful tool that offers tax relief when paying for health care-related expenses, while also wearing some retirement savings features. Let’s look at the HSA so you can guide and assist your clients in this area with superior tax knowledge.

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Implementing an Information Security Plan for Your Business

Identity theft is all too common. As a matter of course, tax professionals collect sensitive information from taxpayers that, if compromised, could cause serious harm to your clients and to your business. It is important to understand your risks, to know what is required from a regulatory standpoint and to implement the practices and protections that will make the information you collect more resistant to unauthorized access or compromise. This session covers the basics of information protection and provides specific guidance that you can use in your daily practice to better protect client and business information. You will also be updated on the IRS’s efforts to combat identity theft through the Commissioner’s ongoing Security Summit.

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Innocent Spouse/Injured Spouse

This session contrasts the injured spouse from the innocent spouse. We study the fundamentals of injured spouse relief, including computations in both common law and community property states. We also look at the rules surrounding qualification for innocent spouse relief, the process to request such relief and consider various defenses to obtain relief. Help your clients protect more of their refund by using these tools.

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Ins & Outs of Section 529 Plans

Section 529 plans are growing in popularity. As the cost of college skyrockets, many of our clients look to us, their tax professionals, to help them plan in a tax-sensitive way. §529 plans are a useful tool. This session gives you a thorough review of 529 plans, including contributions, titling, beneficiaries and distributions.

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Installment Agreements

If a client owes money to the IRS but cannot pay the debt in full, they have the option of doing so through an installment agreement (IA). To effectively represent clients, you must know the law, the rules and IRS policy with regard to installment agreements. All clients have different situations, so you must be aware of which type of IA works best depending on the scenario. In this session, we discuss all the different IAs, including streamline, partial pay, the one-year rule and the six-year rule.

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IRAs – Traditional, Roth or Self-Directed

Self-directed IRAs are becoming more popular because of the alternative investments that are permitted, including private company stock, oil and gas limited partnerships, precious metals, real estate and private mortgages. Because of the various types of investments now available, the filing requirement for Form 990-T is becoming more frequent. In this session, we look at the 60-day rollover rule and the conversion and contribution rules of Roth IRAs. The session also includes a summarized review of the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules to ensure that your clients are withdrawing their RMDs properly.

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IRS Problem Resolution: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The IRS wants to speak to your client–what do you recommend? The IRS wants your client to extend the statutes of limitations—what do you recommend? Your client has the right to request a collection due process or equivalent hearing—what do you recommend? There are best practices and exceptions to every rule. Knowing the reasoning that guides audit and collection case decisions is critical to you, the professional who acts as the architect of the taxpayer’s defense plan. In this session, we illustrate how to examine the facts and circumstances to make the best decisions on your tax resolution cases. You’ll learn the tools and strategies to get the best resolution for your clients.

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Is It Above the Line, Below the Line or Not Deductible?

When preparing your clients’ returns, it’s crucial to understand all the possible deductions and how they may or may not apply to your clients’ unique tax situations. This interactive discussion focuses on certain situations and whether something is deductible under such a scenario. Using real life examples, we analyze if something is deductible and where it would be deductible.

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Panel Discussion – Tax Update

Sometimes, we leave sessions with unanswered questions. Bring those questions to this panel discussion and we’ll address the issues. This 100–minute dynamic session addresses many of your questions regarding new tax law and any complex or practice-altering changes. Stay updated and informed to best serve your clients!

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Practitioner Privilege

Prior to commencing the enactment of the Reform & Restructuring Act of 1998 (RRA 98), communications between non-attorney practitioners (such as CPAs and EAs) and their clients were not privileged. However, the RRA 98 created a tax advisor-client privilege. This provision provides the same common-law protection of confidentiality that applies to communications between a taxpayer and their attorney. Help protect your clients by learning how to ensure your communications are privileged.

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QuickBooks to Tax Return

This session identifies common bookkeeping errors and incorrect postings, how to correct them, and how to prepare accounting data for tax return preparation – both corporate and personal.

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Real Estate Professionals

Defining and describing the role of a real estate professional continues to be one of the most confusing tasks we face as tax professionals. This session examines the requirements and standards that must be met to determine whether a taxpayer qualifies as a real estate professional, using realistic examples and scenarios.

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Retirement Planning

Quite a number of individuals do a poor job planning for retirement. As a matter of fact, approximately 10,000 individuals will turn age 65 every day through 2030, and most will retire with inadequate resources to fund their retirement. Take it in your hands to properly advise your clients on their retirement options. This session explains how to enhance and develop the critical skills needed to help your clients achieve their retirement goals. Your clients worked hard—don’t leave them in the dark when it comes to their retirement.

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Special Occupations

The tax code is frequently used to encourage or discourage certain behaviors by taxpayers, and this is no different when it comes to encouraging taxpayers to engage in certain occupational activities. Thus, certain special occupations may receive more beneficial treatment than your normal 9-to-5 worker. This course covers the special provisions and qualifications that pertain to teachers, ministers, gamblers, military service members, and employees who are subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) provisions. If you have clients who work in these fields, this is the course for you!

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Tax Issues of Clients with Disabilities

Good tax professionals should always consider themselves advocates for their clients and their families, and that is especially important when dealing with a client with a disability or a client with a family member who has a disability. There are many unique tax deductions and credits that may be available to the client, and many tax planning issues that may be encountered. In this wide-ranging session, we touch on all aspects of disability from qualifications, expenses of care, education and employment, to transportation costs, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare, Medicaid and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-associated costs for business owners.

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Tax Stuff You Thought You Knew

We’ve all had those “light bulb” moments when we realize that we’ve been missing out on a great tax deduction for a client or have overlooked a perfect tax planning opportunity. These revelations come from many sources. Sometimes, it’s that one really useful piece of information we learn at a seminar or from a colleague that gets us thinking, or something totally unexpected that we come across when researching another tax topic. You are in “Jeopardy” of having fun while learning some surprising tax facts in this fast-paced session. You’ll have at least one “a-ha” moment, guaranteed!

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Tax Update

Are you curious about what impact the new Congress and presidential administration will have on 2017 tax law? Attend this dynamic session covering new legislation effective for 2017 and beyond. We analyze new developments and discuss ramifications for taxpayers, as well as tax planning options.

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Trading Securities

In this session, we look at and discuss the tax treatment and reporting requirements for common transactions that taxpayers engage in as part of their investment portfolio. We also go over the exercise of qualified stock options offered by an employer. Help your clients plan for their future, by learning about the tax implications of investing.

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Unusual Income Items

You’ve probably been stumped before by an unusual income item a client brings to you. Let’s face it, we all have! This session attempts to address some of the unusual income and expense items you may run across during the course of tax season.

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What is IRD?

Income in respect of a decedent (IRD) refers to those amounts to which a decedent was entitled as gross income but which were not properly includable in computing his taxable income for the taxable year ending with the date of his death or for a previous taxable year under the method of accounting employed by the decedent. Clear as mud! In this session, we slog through the muck and mire to identify sources of IRD and offsetting deductions, how and where to report each and how to calculate a tax deduction for any estate tax that may result.

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What Would You Do? Reverse Roles!

This session of “What Would You Do?” is just like the TV show—only the subject material is related to situations happening in your tax office. Based on real life situations we face in our tax offices, we put all the players and facts in place and then challenge you to share what you would do in such a scenario. Using our bookkeeping clients, payroll clients, tax clients, senior clients, etc., we’ve compiled a collection of mind-provoking “what-ifs”. Get a peek at what other tax professionals would do in these circumstances. Who is right? Can you make ethical decisions on the fly? While looking at each situation, we analyze our requirements of best practices, due diligence, tax law and ethical behavior.

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