IRS Announces New Unemployment Compensation Exclusion

The IRS has just published brand new guidance on the exclusion of $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation.

If your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $150,000, the American Rescue Plan enacted on March 11, 2021, excludes from income up to $10,200 of unemployment compensation paid in 2020, which means you don’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. If you are married, each spouse receiving unemployment compensation doesn’t have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $10,200. Amounts over $10,200 for each individual are still taxable. If your modified AGI is $150,000 or more, you can’t exclude any unemployment compensation.

For much more information, please CLICK HERE.

Checking the Economic Impact Payment

The IRS now allows taxpayers to view their Economic Impact Payment amounts online, if any, by using their online account. Online account is an online system that allows taxpayers to securely access their individual account information. Taxpayers can view:

  1. The amount they owe, updated for the current calendar day
  2. Their balance details by year
  3. Their payment history and any scheduled or pending payments
  4. Key information from their most recent tax return
  5. Payment plan details, if they have one
  6. Digital copies of select notices from the IRS, and
  7. Their Economic Impact Payments (EIP 1 and EIP 2), if any

Use: https://www.irs.gov/payments/view-your-tax-account

Taxpayers can also:

  1. Make a payment online,
  2. See payment plan options and request a plan via Online Payment Agreement, &
  3. Access their tax records via Get Transcript. The amount of the Economic Impact Payment is needed when calculating the amount of the taxpayer’s Recovery Rebate Credit for 2020.

Warning. Taxpayers must first create an account with the IRS before accessing any information. Tax professionals are not allowed to access or create an account for their tax clients. The taxpayer must create his or her own account and is the only person allowed to access the information, even if the client provided their information to the tax professional to create or access an account, or consented to use their information to create or access the account. Unauthorized use of the online account system is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties.

What Taxpayers Need To Know About Claiming The Credit For Other Dependents

Tax Tip 2021-18, February 11, 2021

Taxpayers with dependents who don’t qualify for the child tax credit may be able to claim the credit for other dependents.

The maximum credit amount is $500 for each dependent who meets certain conditions. These include:

  • Dependents who are age 17 or older.
  • Dependents who have individual taxpayer identification numbers.
  • Dependent parents or other qualifying relatives supported by the taxpayer.
  • Dependents living with the taxpayer who aren’t related to the taxpayer.

The credit begins to phase out when the taxpayer’s income is more than $200,000. This phaseout begins for married couples filing a joint tax return at $400,000.

A taxpayer can claim this credit if:

  • They claim the person as a dependent on the taxpayer’s return.
  • They cannot use the dependent to claim the child tax credit or additional child tax credit.
  • The dependent is a U.S. citizen, national or resident alien.

Taxpayers can claim the credit for other dependents in addition to the child and dependent care credit and the earned income credit. They can use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant, Does My Child/Dependent Qualify for the Child Tax Credit or the Credit for Other Dependents?, to help determine if they are eligible to claim the credit.

More information:

Credit: IRS Tax Tips

Teacher Deductions !

Rev. Proc. 2021-15 was just issued. It expands the definition of what expenses qualify under IRC Sec.62(a)(2)(D) (ii) for the maximum $250 above line deduction for teachers. Protective items that are, or will be, used by the teacher to aid in preventing the spread of Covid-19 are now qualified expenses. This includes but is not limited to: face masks, disinfectant, soap, gloves, tape, chalk, barriers, air purifiers, etc. The expenses must paid paid or incurred after 3/12/20.

FBAR & Crypto

Update on Pending FBAR Changes

Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany – April 17, 2018: Many coins of various cryptocurrencies

Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) Filing Requirement for Virtual Currency:   Virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a unit of account, a store of value, or a medium of exchange. Some virtual currencies have an equivalent value in real currency or act as a substitute for real currency. Generally, a U.S. person who has a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, any foreign financial accounts, including bank, securities, or other types of financial accounts located in a foreign country, must file an FBAR with the FinCEN if the aggregate value of those foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Currently, the FBAR regulations do not define a foreign account holding virtual currency as a type of reportable account . However, FinCEN intends to propose to amend the regulations regarding FBARs to include virtual currency as a type of reportable account under 31 CFR 1010.350. FinCEN Notice 2020-2.

Thank you to NCCPAP and Bruce Oberfest, member of the Westchester/Rockland Chapter, for bringing this to our attention.

BoardWatch – September 2020

Recently, Durlene Reed, CPA & TACPA Executive Committee Member was able to attend the virtual meeting of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, (TSBPA). She filed the following notes for your information.

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
Committee & Board Meeting Notes
for September 16 and 17, 2020

Items Discussed:

Peer Review Committee
– TSCPA was approved to continue to sponsor peer reviews.
– There is an exodus of reviewers and participating practices.
– The cost to do a review is escalating.
– There is a COVID‐19 related backlog.
– Team captains are underperforming.
– The PROB does not review each PR at the work paper level, but it does read 100% of the reports.
– Rule 527 will be discussed at the next meeting.
– Because of COVID‐19 the PROB’s contract was extended 120 days instead of 90 days.
– Many firms have dropped out of PR by going to preparation of financial statements. The number of such firms will be discussed at the next meeting.


Rules Committee
– Rule 507.4 needs clarification.
– Limitations on operations after 2 review failures.
– There needs to be an arm’s length between the PROB and the PR.
– The wording in Rule 505‐20 should be changed from “referral” to “shall oversee”. To discuss this at the next meeting.
– Free CPE


Executive Committee
– Fee increase will be implemented as adopted last year.
– Office relocation should be complete by next month.
– In-person swearing in ceremony was cancelled in favor of a virtual one.
– TSPBA audit.
– Board succession plan to be presented at the November meeting.
– Finger print status was updated. The deadline of 08/31/21 may be extended due to the pandemic.

More TCJA!

More TCJA!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, P.L. 115-97 keeps on giving! Relief for small business! Proposed Regulation 132766-18 was issued in July. It addresses the TCJA changes dealing with who can use the cash basis of accounting for tax purposes.

TCJA simplifies recordkeeping for “small business”. If a business has average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less the cash method of accounting may be used for tax purposes (adjusted for inflation to $26 million for 2019 and 2020) (Sec. 448(c)). Also, uniform capitalization to inventory is not required (Sec. 263A), immaterial inventory can be treated as supplies and materials (Sec. 471 (c)), and the percentage of completion method of accounting for long term construction contracts is not required (Sec. 460(e)).

Average annual gross receipts amount is computed using the gross receipts for the three years preceding the tax year in question. Caution, aggregation rules apply at 50% or more common control. Filing a change in accounting method is required.

Not So Fast!

These benefits are not allowed for “tax shelters”. The definition of tax shelters is broad. It includes any non-C corp entity where more than 35% of losses in any tax year are allocated to owners who do not actively participate in management. This includes syndicates. Care is advised because a change in accounting method may generate a loss causing the entity to be classified as a tax shelter. Once this happens the taxpayer will be locked into the accrual method for five years.

Some things don’t change!

Sec 448(c) provides that qualified personal service corporations, farming businesses, partnerships with no C corp partners, and S corps  generally can continue to use the cash method regardless of the gross receipts test as long as they are not “tax shelters”.

Conflicts between code sections have arisen and will require additional clarification.

Senate passes HR 7010

Wednesday night 6/3/20, the Senate passed House bill HR 7010 which provides relief for PPP loan payback. The 8 week period is extended to 24 weeks. The payroll cost percentage is now 60% as opposed to 75%. Payback period for loan is now 5 years instead of 2. Business may now delay payroll tax payments.

The bill now goes to the President for signature. More to come!

BoardWatch is Back!

What’s BoardWatch?

Most of us do not have either the time or resources to stay abreast of potential actions being taken by the people who regulate/control our industry and our practices. Actions taken by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, (TSBPA), can have a significant impact on licensed practitioners. We should all have the opportunity to help create or refine the rules that affect us and our practice.

BoardWatch is a service of the Texas Association of Certified Public Accountants (TACPA), where members volunteer to attend the public meetings of the Texas State Board of Accountancy (TSBPA). The goal of BoardWatch is to provide our membership with timely information about actions proposed and/or taken at the Board. Using that information, we all can decide if we want to opine in a comment letter to the Board, perhaps contact our state legislator for help, or do nothing at all.

The BOTTOM LINE…?  We want to make you aware of potential changes and give you the opportunity to evaluate them in relation to your practice.  We want you to have the opportunity to provide input to the Board and suggest changes before anything is finalized and/or implemented.

Read BoardWatch Report #1

This service will soon be a member-only benefit. Please consider joining or renewing your membership today! CLICK HERE

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact:
Dave Brown
Executive Director
davebrown@tacpa.net
469-443-0971

IRS – New Scams!

Scammers never sleep!

IR-2019-145, August 22, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners late last week warned taxpayers and tax professionals about a new IRS impersonation scam campaign spreading nationally on email. Remember: the IRS does not send unsolicited emails and never emails taxpayers about the status of refunds.

The IRS this week detected this new scam as taxpayers began notifying phishing@irs.gov about unsolicited emails from IRS imposters. The email subject line may vary, but recent examples use the phrase “Automatic Income Tax Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.”

“The IRS does not send emails about your tax refund or sensitive financial information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “This latest scheme is yet another reminder that tax scams are a year-round business for thieves. We urge you to be on-guard at all times.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.