Tax season opens; important last-minute resources available

And we’re off …

Busy season officially begins today. I guess that means we’ll see all of you tax pros in about three months.

And thanks to a couple of holidays, you’ll be incommunicado longer than usual this year. Taxpayers have until Monday, April 18 to file their tax returns because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., which falls on Friday, April 15. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19 to file because Patriot’s Day falls on April 18 in those two states.

But before y’all dive into the tax prep pool, we have a few important tax-related resources to share with you.

Tax lists: Answers to your questions
Topping the list is the MACPA’s federal and state tax listservs. Members use the lists to post questions and answers and share advice with fellow Maryland CPAs throughout tax season and beyond. The lists are so effective at delivering solutions to pressing tax-related problems that members consistently cite them as one of our most popular member resources. Sign up and get started here.

The MACPA’s education team has put together a lineup of cutting-edge, up-to-the-minute CPE that covers the latest issues and updates on the tax front. Check out all of our tax programs.

AICPA Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit
The Tax Practitioner’s Toolkit will help you establish yourself as a leading provider of tax services, all year long. The Toolkit includes a number of resources to help you conquer concerns about the Affordable Care Act, tax season, tax legislation, and extensions.

Also within the Toolkit are customizable materials intended to help you reach potential clients and be ready for business opportunities that can present themselves at any time. These include marketing tools, speakers’ resources, templates for media releases and tips for delivering a media interview, and more.

You will find the Toolkit here.

New Form 2848
A new Form 2848 (“Power of Attorney”) and related instructions are now available from the IRS.

Important information about IP PINs
Due to an error, taxpayers are receiving Identity Protection PIN letters with an incorrect year listed. Taxpayers and tax professionals should be advised the IP PIN listed on the CP 01A Notice dated Jan. 4, 2016 is valid for use on all individual tax returns filed in 2016. Get details here.

Wage and tax statements for small businesses
Due to the decreased demand and printing and shipping costs, the IRS will no longer stock Forms W-2, W-3 and 1099 in Taxpayer Assistance Centers. The forms, which are used by small business owners, can be ordered online or by telephone and mailed directly to the taxpayer’s home or business address.

To order online, go to the IRS’s Online Ordering for Information Returns and Employer Returns website. To order by phone, call the IRS at (800) 829-3676.

The Social Security Administration also offers an online option to create and file electronic Forms W-2. File Forms W-2 / W-2c and W-3 / W-3c electronically by visiting the Social Security Administration’s Employer Reporting Instructions and Information website to create and file electronic fill-in versions of Forms W-2 and W-3.

Other IRS news and resources

Now … get to work. They don’t call it busy season for nothing.


Bill Sheridan