Get the Help You Need with TaxAct Professional

Tax season is in full swing, and we know our Pros are heads down working hard for your clients. If you have questions or need assistance with TaxAct® 2018 Professional, we have several ways to help you. Online We continue to build out our FAQs to save you time. Our most recent update can help with practice setup and linking accounts. You’ll also find information on: Getting started Log-in Issues Account maintenance E-file IRS/State filing We also offer videos and webinars for you. Subjects covered include setting up master billing info, customizing your info and prefe...
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Make Time to Grow Your Practice in 2019

This time of year is hectic for tax preparers. Meeting with clients, doing research, and preparing returns are vital to the business. Often we hear that Pros are so focused on working in their businesses that they don’t take time to work on their business. It’s important to slow down and to consider how to grow your practice. Accounting businesses are often cyclical – they have a busy season, and a very busy season. Managing staff, fighting fires, overseeing projects, and finding new business take a lot of your time and effort. If you find time to consider how to grow your practice, you mos...
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Qualified Business Income Deduction Simplified

Last month the IRS issued final 199A Regulations, implementing the qualified business income deduction (QBID), created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (also known as 2017 tax reform). The deduction can be claimed by eligible taxpayers for the first time on their 2018 Form 1040. According to the IRS, “Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code provides many taxpayers a deduction for qualified business income from a qualified trade or business operated directly or through a pass-through entity.” There are two components to the deduction: The QBID allows eligible owners of partnerships, ...
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IRS Tax Reform Resources for Pros

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as 2017 tax reform, initiated many changes for tax professionals this season. It’s important for tax preparers to understand what those changes mean for their customers, and that can take time. Fortunately, the IRS has provided several resources to help wade through the confusion. Webinars Did you know the IRS has a video portal where they’ve posted webinars to help tax pros? Not only are the webinars available for viewing, but there are also transcripts of the webinars available. To name a few, subjects include: Tax Reform Due Diligence Re...
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reCAPTCHA: What it is and How it Protects You and Your Client Data

Every tax professional is a potential target for highly sophisticated, well-funded and technologically adept cybercriminals around the world. No one can fight this crime alone. It takes all of us working together. That is why the Security Summit - the unprecedented partnership between the IRS, state tax agencies, and the private-sector tax industry - came together to form a united and coordinated front against this common enemy. One of the changes for TaxAct® 2018 Professional includes a requirement for “bot protection,” meaning preventing an automated way of trying several username/pass...
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Are You Marketing Your Services to the Self-Employed?

Global consulting firm McKinsey found that there are roughly 68 million freelancers in the US. Think about that for a second, the gig economy (Uber, Lyft, Doordash, .etc) has revolutionized freelancing for 1/5 of America and it’s only going to grow larger. The unfortunate part about statistics on freelancing is that the BLS (Bureau Of Labor & Statistics) is doing a fairly poor job at compiling them accurately – and it’s not entirely their fault. Why is that? It’s simple, yet complex. Not everyone that is self-employed is not employed traditionally. There are tens of millions of Am...
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Understanding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a Tax Preparer

In late December of 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most extensive piece of tax reform legislation implemented since the Reagan era. Because media buzz surrounding this reform has caused a substantial number of questions from many taxpayers and tax preparers, we're here to break down the fundamentals in a way that makes sense to everyone. How will tax reform benefit individuals and families? How are tax brackets changing under the new reform? Which deductions are reduced or eliminated? How will reform alter the role of tax preparation professionals? [ap_call...
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Tips to Efficiently Track Your Clients’ E-Filed Returns

As we close in on the final week before the April tax filing deadline, we wanted to pass along some quick tips on how you can efficiently track your clients’ e-filed returns. We highly suggest utilizing the “Fed EF Status” column as a quick and easy way to check the status of your client’s e-filed returns. This is a more timely way to receive the status of your e-filed returns since the e-file status emails could be slightly delayed during peak times leading up to the filing deadline. (more…)
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Protection Plus: Like Equifax, a Data Breach Can Happen

Stolen information? Lost identity? The data breach that hit Equifax is the most recent reminder that a data breach can happen to any company. If you were one of the 145.5 million people who had their personal information compromised in Equifax’s data breach, you are probably in the midst of dealing with chaos and paying for costly help to ensure you take the steps you need to recover properly now and prevent future headaches. Some of the steps include: Be aware & take precaution Initiate fraud alert Monitor your credit reports These steps take time and can be stressful, makin...
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Protection Plus: 4 Ways to Help Prevent a Data Breach

In addition to preparing your clients taxes, you are also responsible for keeping their private information safe. As a tax professional, you have access to a lot of confidential information that cybercriminals want. Here are some important procedures you can implement to reduce your chances of a data breach. Take precaution: It may seem obvious, but a main priority for keeping information safe should be having top-notch security software that includes a firewall, anti-malware and anti-virus system programmed to automatically update. You can add an extra layer of protection by having an out...
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Protection Plus: Cyber Liability Information

Cyber criminals are targeting tax professional systems to access taxpayer data. There is much talk addressing consumer concerns, but little is said about protecting the tax professional from the impact of a data breach. A study sponsored by IBM and conducted by the Ponemon Institute released in June 2016 found the average cost of a data breach is $221 per lost or stolen record. At this rate, a tax preparation business with 350 client records can expect to incur a cost of $77,350. (more…)
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Protection Plus: PATH Act Effect on EITCs and CTCs

President Obama signed the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015,” or the PATH Act, on December 18, 2015. It was the most notable tax legislation to be passed by Congress last year, and it will have a great effect on the upcoming tax season. It extended many expiring tax provisions, permanently in some cases, and it also addressed Earned Income Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits. (more…)
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