July 2014
the WISCONSIN ACCOUNTANT
a newsletter of the Wisconsin Association of Accountants
 

July 2014

Executive Corner

 

I hope you are enjoying the summer as much as I am. It goes too

fast and soon we will be in the fall seminar schedule.

 

This year's convention in Wisconsin Dells at the Chula Vista will be a lot of fun! A very educational and fun way to network with other professionals and did I say a lot of fun! 

 

Sign up early and be sure to make your hotel reservations by

 the deadline of 30 days prior to the convention.

 

Sunday night we will have a boat ride and dinner.  We also have

golf lined up at the Chula Vista. Sign up with your friends or I will pair you with others and you will have another chance to network with fellow accountants and spouses. See you in September!

 

 

Byron L Dopkins, EA, ABA                                

WAA Executive Director

 


 Byron Dopkins

Affordable Care Act Seminar
Tax Aspects by Jennings Seminars

Avoid Summertime Tax Scams 

IRS Tax Tip 

  

Ah, summertime! Warm days, rest and recreation and...tax scams. Thieves don't stop victimizing unsuspecting taxpayers with their scams after April 15. Identity theft, phone and phishing scams happen year-round. Those three top the IRS's 'Dirty Dozen' list of tax scams this year. Here's some important information you should know about these common tax scams:

 

1. Identity Theft.  Identity thieves steal personal and financial information to commit fraud or other crimes. This can include your Social Security number or bank information. An identity thief may file a phony tax return to claim a fraudulent refund.

 

The IRS has a special identity protection page on IRS.gov. It has many resources you can use to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. The page can also tell you what steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft and need help. This includes how and when you should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit.

 

2. Phone Scams.  In these scams, thieves pose as the IRS and call would-be victims with one goal in mind: to steal their money. Callers will tell you that you owe taxes and demand immediate payment. They will tell you that you must pay the bogus tax bill with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often abusive and threaten arrest or deportation. They may know the last four digits of your Social Security number. They also rig caller ID to falsely show that the call is from the IRS.

 

Keep in mind that if a person owes taxes, the IRS will first contact them by mail, not by phone. The IRS doesn't ask for payment with a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. If you owe, or think you might owe federal taxes and you get one of these calls, hang up. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS will work with you to pay what you owe. If you don't owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.

 

3. Phishing Scams.  Criminals use the IRS as bait in a phishing scam. Scammers typically send emails that purport to come from the IRS. They often lure their targets with a false promise of a refund or the threat of an audit. They may also set up a phony website that looks like the real IRS.gov. These phony sites often have the IRS seal and other graphics to make them appear official. Their goal is to get their victim to reveal personal and financial information. They use the information they get to steal identities and commit fraud.

 

The IRS doesn't contact people by email about their tax account. Nor does the agency use email, social media, texting or fax to initiate contact or ask for personal or financial information. If you get an email like this, do not click on a link or open any attachments. You should instead forward it to the IRS at [email protected]. For more on this topic visit IRS.gov and select the 'Reporting Phishing' link at the bottom of the page.

 

Don't let tax scams take the fun out of your summer. Be alert to phone and phishing email scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov, for more on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim and how to report tax fraud.


IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Podcasts

New 1023-EZ Form Makes Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status Easier; Most Charities Qualify 

IRS Newswire 

  

WASHINGTONThe Internal Revenue Service today introduced a new, shorter application form to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily."This is a common-sense approach that will help reduce lengthy processing delays for small tax-exempt groups and ultimately larger organizations as well," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The change cuts paperwork for these charitable groups and speeds application processing so they can focus on their important work."

 

The new Form 1023-EZ, available today on IRS.gov, is three pages long, compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, including as many as 70 percent of all applicants, qualify to use the new streamlined form. Most organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible.

 

"Previously, all of these groups went through the same lengthy application process -- regardless of size," Koskinen said. "It didn't matter if you were a small soccer or gardening club or a major research organization. This process created needlessly long delays for groups, which didn't help the groups, the taxpaying public or the IRS."

 

The change will allow the IRS to speed the approval process for smaller groups and free up resources to review applications from larger, more complex organizations while reducing the application backlog. Currently, the IRS has more than 60,000 501(c)(3) applications in its backlog, with many of them pending for nine months.

 

Following feedback this spring from the tax community and those working with charitable groups, the IRS refined the 1023-EZ proposal for today's announcement, including revising the $50,000 gross receipts threshold down from an earlier figure of $200,000.

 

"We believe that many small organizations will be able to complete this form without creating major compliance risks," Koskinen said. "Rather than using large amounts of IRS resources up front reviewing complex applications during a lengthy process, we believe the streamlined form will allow us to devote more compliance activity on the back end to ensure groups are actually doing the charitable work they apply to do."

 

The new EZ form must be filed online. The instructions include an eligibility checklist that organizations must complete before filing the form.

 

The Form 1023-EZ must be filed using pay.gov, and a $400 user fee is due at the time the form is submitted. Further details on the new Form 1023-EZ application process can be found in Revenue Procedure 2014-40, posted today on IRS.gov.

 

There are more than a million 501(c)(3) organizations recognized by the IRS.

IRS Adopts "Taxpayer Bill of Rights;" 10 Provisions to be Highlighted on IRS.gov, in Publication 1 

IR-2014-72, June 10, 2014 

  

WASHINGTONThe Internal Revenue Service today announced the adoption of a "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" that will become a cornerstone document to provide the nation's taxpayers with a better understanding of their rights.

  

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights takes the multiple existing rights embedded in the tax code and groups them into 10 broad categories, making them more visible and easier for taxpayers to find on IRS.gov.

 

Publication 1, "Your Rights as a Taxpayer," has been updated with the 10 rights and will be sent to millions of taxpayers this year when they receive IRS notices on issues ranging from audits to collection. The rights will also be publicly visible in all IRS facilities for taxpayers and employees to see.

 

"The Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains fundamental information to help taxpayers," said IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen. "These are core concepts about which taxpayers should be aware. Respecting taxpayer rights continues to be a top priority for IRS employees, and the new Taxpayer Bill of Rights summarizes these important protections in a clearer, more understandable format than ever before."

 

The IRS released the Taxpayer Bill of Rights following extensive discussions with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office inside the IRS that represents the interests of U.S. taxpayers. Since 2007, adopting a Taxpayer Bill of Rights has been a goal of National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, and it was listed as the Advocate's top priority in her most recent Annual Report to Congress.

 

"Congress has passed multiple pieces of legislation with the title of 'Taxpayer Bill of Rights,'" Olson said. "However, taxpayer surveys conducted by my office have found that most taxpayers do not believe they have rights before the IRS and even fewer can name their rights. I believe the list of core taxpayer rights the IRS is announcing today will help taxpayers better understand their rights in dealing with the tax system."

 

The tax code includes numerous taxpayer rights, but they are scattered throughout the code, making it difficult for people to track and understand. Similar to the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights contains 10 provisions. They are:

  1. The Right to Be Informed
  2. The Right to Quality Service
  3. The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
  4. The Right to Challenge the IRS's Position and Be Heard
  5. The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
  6. The Right to Finality
  7. The Right to Privacy
  8. The Right to Confidentiality
  9. The Right to Retain Representation
  10. The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

The rights have been incorporated into a redesigned version of Publication 1, a document that is routinely included in IRS correspondence with taxpayers. Millions of these mailings go out each year. The new version has been added to IRS.gov, and print copies will start being included in IRS correspondence in the near future.

 

The timing of the updated Publication 1 with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is critical because the IRS is in the peak of its correspondence mailing season as taxpayers start to receive follow-up correspondence from the 2014 filing season. The publication initially will be available in English and Spanish, and updated versions will soon be available in Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.

 

The IRS has also created a special section of IRS.gov to highlight the 10 rights. The web site will continue to be updated with information as it becomes available, and taxpayers will be able to easily find the Bill of Rights from the front page. The IRS internal web site for employees is adding a special section so people inside the IRS have easy access as well.

 

As part of this effort, the IRS will add posters and signs in coming months to its public offices so taxpayers visiting the IRS can easily see and read the information.

 

"This information is critically important for taxpayers to read and understand," Koskinen said. "We encourage people to take a moment to read the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, especially when they are interacting with the IRS. While these rights have always been there for taxpayers, we think the time is right to highlight and showcase these rights for people to plainly see."

 

"I also want to emphasize that the concept of taxpayer rights is not a new one for IRS employees; they embrace it in their work every day," Koskinen added. "But our establishment of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is also a clear reminder that all of the IRS takes seriously our responsibility to treat taxpayers fairly.

 

Koskinen added, "The Taxpayer Bill of Rights will serve as an important education tool, and we plan to highlight it in many different forums and venues."

Welcome to our New Members!
  

Lynn Kehl

Oshkosh

 

Neal Horman

Onalaska

 

Martina Tkacenko

West Allis

 

Samantha Christoph

Madison

 

 

If any of these new members should not be

granted membership to the WAA please submit your objections to the Executive Director.

2014

Seminars

   

WAA Annual Convention

Sept 22-23, 2014 8:30am to 4:30pm

Chula Vista

Wisconsin Dells, WI 


Bob Jennings 

Business Tax Updates

Oct 6-7, 2014 8am to 4pm

Kalahari Resort

Wisconsin Dells, WI 

  

Jennings Affordable Care Act

 Oct 17, 2014  8am-4pm

Country Springs

 Waukesha, WI  

 

Gear Up 1040

Nov 3, 2014 8am-5pm 

Nov 4, 2014 8am-4pm

Brookfield Suites Hotel

Brookfield, WI

  

Bob Jennings 1040 Update

Dec 1, 2014 8am-5pm

Dec 2, 2014 8am-4pm 

Kalahari Resort

Wisconsin Dells, WI

  

Gear Up 1040 

Dec 8, 2014 8am-5pm 

Dec 9, 2014 8am-4pm 

Hudson House Inn

Hudson, WI

 
Visit our website at  
to register or view the seminar schedule. 
 
(608) 328-8341

OFFICERS

 

President:

Steve Smith, EA, ABA, ATA 

34 North 4th St 

Black River Falls, WI  54615

(715) 284-4419 

[email protected]

 

Vice Presidents:

Paul Kersten, CPA

610 W Green Bay Street 

Shawano, WI  54166 

(715) 524-2302 

[email protected]  

  

Mark Burby, CPA 

900 S 10th St 

Manitowac, WI  53813 

(715) 748-4110 

[email protected] 

 

Secretary:

Chuck Kirsch, EA

155 S Jefferson St

Lancaster, WI 53813

(608) 723-2502

[email protected]

 

Treasurer:

Darcie Weissmiller, EA, ABA

PO Box 307

Medford, WI 54451

(715) 748-4110

[email protected]

 

 NSA State Director:

Tom Adler, CPA 

1110 Fourier Dr Ste 110 

Madison, WI  53717 

(608) 664-1944 

[email protected]adlercpa.com

 

Past President:

Jolynn McIntosh, CPA 

1124 17th Ave 

Monroe, WI  53566 

(608) 328-8341 

[email protected] 

 

Directors:

Robert Burgardt 

414  Hartford Square 

Hartford, WI  53207 

(414) 520-0863 

[email protected] 

 

Mark Nelson, Jr, EA 

2581 S Kinnickinnic Av

Milwaukee, WI 53207

(414) 481-6812

[email protected]

 

Joe Suttner, CPA

PO Box 187

Chilton, WI 53014

(920) 849-9346

[email protected]

 

Margaret Schell, CPA

6609 Montclair Ln

Madison, WI 53711

(608) 442-7525

[email protected]

WAA Benefits

 

Seminars and Educational Forums

 

Accreditation

 

Local Chapter Involvement

 

Government Agency Liaison

 

Monitor Legislation

 

Insurance Programs

 

Accountants Protection Plan

 
WAA Objectives
 

To raise professional standards and improve the practice of accountancy.

 

To strive for excellence in the profession.

 

To encourage accountants in a continuing program of

professional development.

 

To foster increased recognition for the professional in the public, private and educational sectors of our state.

 

To initiate legislative action and provide government liaison between the accounting profession and

government leaders.

 

To provide meetings and fellowship for accountants.

 

To promote the highest standard of ethical conduct among its member.