Highlighting The Importance of Cyber Security (Sponsored Content)

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month Throughout this entire year most major headlines have revolved around COVID-19, but have you thought about how COVID-19 is impacting cyber security? With many companies going remote, as well as consumers spending significant time online, cyber criminals are taking advantage. Cyber Security on the Rise According to Fintech News, in 2020 cloud-based attacks rose 630% between January and April and phishing attempts rose 600% since the end of February. With the tax industry being such a targeted industry by cyber criminals, it is imperative to think about ...
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The IRS is Sending Tax Refund Interest Payments

If your clients contact you about a mysterious bank deposit from the IRS, you can assure them it’s not a mistake. The IRS reported that 13.9 million taxpayers who filed their 2019 income taxes on time and received a refund will now be receiving a second payment from the IRS: an interest payment. This interest payment isn’t routine — it’s because of the disaster-related postponement of the income tax deadline to July 15th. The IRS is required by law to pay interest when there is a disaster-related postponement. You likely haven’t seen this before and let’s hope we won’t see it again any time...
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How to Start Your Tax Practice

Are you ready to start your tax practice? It’s not as simple as hanging an open sign in your office window. In this article we offer you tips to walk you through forming your business, building your practice and growing it with marketing strategies. Business formation First things first, let’s get your business started with the proper paperwork, credentials, and licenses. Credentials There are a lot of different options for someone who wants to pursue a career in tax. You may have already decided what route you’re planning to take, but if not, it’s helpful to review the different options avail...
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How to Network and Gain Referrals During COVID-19

COVID-19 is changing the way business is done and people have found ways to adapt. Home offices and virtual meetings are now the norm. But there’s another aspect of business that needs to evolve: networking. In-person meetings are few and far between. Large events and conferences have been put on hold. Rather than seeing this as a good time to take a break from networking, we need to find a way to network with these new restrictions. If you don’t enjoy in-person events, the challenge of finding new alternatives to networking may just be what you need. Here are some strategies to help you exp...
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PTIN User Fees Reinstated for 2021

Preparing taxes in 2021? Be prepared to pay. The Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) fee is back. While the PTIN fee has been reinstated, it’s lower than it previously was. The IRS announced that the 2021 PTIN fee will be $21 plus $14.95 payable to a third-party contractor. The fee has decreased from $33 plus $17 payable to a third-party contractor. Who needs a PTIN? The IRS mandates that “Anyone who prepares or substantially helps prepare any federal tax return or claim for refund for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS.” If you file taxes, this means you. PTINs are good...
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How to Avoid Burnout as a Tax Professional

As a tax professional, you have likely just finished one of the most challenging tax seasons of your career. And with the three-month tax extension, you’re left with less time to regroup before you need to begin preparing for the next round of deadlines. Adding to that, new legislation from the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program has added extra stress on top of an already busy workload. If you’re starting to feel burned out, it’s time to take steps to address that. What exactly is burnout? Burnout isn’t the same thing as feeling a little stressed out or overworked. The University ...
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Easy Ways to Show Clients Empathy and Support

2020 is taking us all for a ride that no one predicted. With uncertainty running high, your clients might be turning to you for more support than usual. You are likely one of their most trusted advisors, and maintaining and building that trust is more important than ever. Building trust with them is more than just answering questions as they have them. It’s proactively showing empathy and offering your support, even if business can’t be conducted as usual. If you’re not sure where to start, we have four easy ways to show clients empathy and support right now. Reach out proactively You might ...
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Top 5 Reasons You Should Attend a Virtual Trade Show

Online events aren’t new but converting a large expo into a remote event is fairly novel. Trade shows, fairs, and conferences on down to annual meetings are all happening digitally. Attending virtual trade shows is a new reality for most. And while the playbook on this topic has yet to be written, many organizations are getting creative when it comes to planning their events. Bottom line - virtual trade show are still very much trade shows. These are the top five reasons why you shouldn’t shy away from attending one this year. 1. Extra one-on-one time with vendors One of the more obvious ...
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3 COVID-19 Business Strategies for Tax Professionals

This tax season has looked drastically different than any before it with the onset of COVID-19. Between the tax filing and payment deadline extensions and the majority of American workers—including tax preparation professionals and their clients— guided to work from home, it’s become a rather complicated few months. If you’re a tax professional, you’ve likely already observed changes to your business and made adjustments where possible. For example, many of your clients are probably taking advantage of the extended filing deadline, so you are still busy completing returns. Your clients also m...
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The CARES Act and Your Small Business Clients

After some short deliberation in Congress, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into law on March 27. At TaxAct, we spend countless hours reading the law, viewing informative webinars, digging through analysis, and making direct contact with the IRS to understand the ins and outs of the plan. While there will be continued clarification around the law, including IRS news releases and notices, let's break down what we know so far about how this law impacts small businesses. Paycheck Protection Program Let’s start with business loans. If your client has a sma...
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Wondering if TaxAct Professional Has the Form You Are Looking For?

Many of the tax and accounting professionals we serve look to the Q&A portion of our software to determine whether or not a specific form is supported. If you’ve ever wondered if you can attach a particular form using TaxAct Professional products, there’s a quick and easy way to find out. Simply switch to the Forms view, search by form name or number, and click Add Form. As always, if you have any questions whatsoever, we are here to help. You can reach us in the way that best suits your practice’s needs: For the fastest answers to many of our most frequently asked questions, search o...
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Stimulus Payments to the Deceased: Should My Client Keep It?

Q: My client received a stimulus payment on behalf of their deceased relative. Should they cash it? A: According to the IRS FAQ page on its website, families who receive a stimulus payment on behalf of a deceased loved one should send the money back to the government. The FAQ answer specifically states: A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you onl...
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