201805.04
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The Right Trust Can Yield Tax Advantages For Wealthy Clients

APRIL 30, 2018 • JEFF STIMPSON High-net-worth clients with estates worth more than $11.18 million per taxpayer must still pay estate taxes under reform. Such clients looking to pass on wealth may now want to look at non-grantor trusts, potentially more attractive due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In a non-grantor arrangement, the trust owns the assets in the trust and is responsible for taxes for income retained by the trust. This differs from a grantor trust, in which the donor who established the trust retains control of the assets but also pays the necessary i The possible benefit of a non-grantor trusts “is new, complicated and very different. Almost…

201805.03
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Art of Accounting: ‘What’s a CD?’

Early on in my career I met with a widow to review her finances and plan her cash flow after her husband’s death. One of her two daughters was also at every meeting. I knew the husband very well, but had never met his wife or children, and was aware of her being very risk adverse. During the course of the meetings I kept assuring her of the safety of her money and how a laddered CD portfolio would provide for her cash flow and safety of principal. At the end of the last meeting, she said she understood everything I said, except one thing, and she asked me, “What’s…

201804.11
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How Did the Big Four Auditors Get $17 Billion in Revenue Growth? Not From Auditing | WSJ

Consulting is now a cash cow for accounting firms, raising concerns about conflicts of interest At the Big Four accounting firms—Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG—total global revenue from consulting and advisory work now exceeds traditional auditing, where revenue has been relatively flat. PHOTO: REUTERS(2); ZUMA PRESS(2) By Michael Rapoport April 7, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET Audit firms have a tough job. Some critics think they shouldn’t have a second one. For years, the Big Four accounting firms have pushed into consulting, seeking growth their core auditing businesses weren’t providing. Since 2012, the firms’ combined global revenue from consulting and other advisory work has risen 44%, compared with just 3% growth from auditing. The result is that the bulk…

201803.25
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Non-CPA Firm Ownership: From Nice to Have to Have to Have

By  Joanne S. Barry, CAE March 2018 The idea that CPA firms would allow non-CPAs to own a minority stake in a CPA firm and then refer to these non-licensees as “partners” was once a hotly debated topic within the profession. Now, nearly 25 years after Nebraska became the first state to do so, allowing non-CPAs to become equity partners in a firm is seen as less of a risk and more of a necessity for an adaptable profession that is facing the automation of all its tax preparation jobs and entry- and mid-level auditing positions. A recent Center for an Urban Future study found that “bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are…

201803.20
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Art of Accounting: Training A New Tax Specialist | Accounting Today

By Edward Mendlowitz Published March 19 2018, 10:46am EDT The following is some of the advice I give when I train or mentor a new tax specialist: To build awareness of what they need to know, they need to peruse every journal or tax service they subscribe to. (If you are not going to go through it, then don’t subscribe — osmosis doesn’t work in this situation.) This means looking at every page of every issue to see the topics written about and when they come across something they are working on or that might affect a client, they should read it. They also need to retain what they are…

201803.08
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How To Keep Your Tax Preparer From Hating You | USA Today

Sallie Mullins Thompson and Anil Melwani (Manhattan/Bronx) Published 8:32 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2018 | Updated 8:36 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2018 How to keep your tax preparer from hating you Tina Orem, NerdWallet.comPublished 8:32 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2018 | Updated 8:36 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2018 With tax deadline approaching, the number one question to consider: Should you hire a tax professional or use tax software? We explain. USA TODAY Tax preparers are a hot commodity this time of year, but sometimes their clients drive them crazy with habits they say are over the line. Here are a few ways you can be less taxing to your tax pro. Don’t wait…

201802.16
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Quite Correct by Aaron Elstein | Crain’s New York Business

Aaron Elstein, Senior Reporter, Crain’s  NY Business and Accountants Club speaker on December 2, 2015 opines on the stock market. The stock market is “correcting”. I’m not entirely clear why corrections take place only when markets fall, but such are the ways of Wall Street. Albany gets nearly 20% of its tax revenue from the city’s financial sector, so a bear market could really put a damper on plans to fix the subway system, build the Gateway rail tunnel and address other big-ticket programs. Read more

201802.16
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Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems | CPA Trendlines

Olson talking budget cuts on C-Span Not a good way to start Tax Season 2018. An angry and frustrated National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has slammed Congress hard in the Taxpayer Advocate Service 2017 Annual Report to Congress. After a series of IRS budget cuts over the last several years, Olson says she sees the daily consequences of reduced funding and the choices made by the agency in the face of funding constraints. “Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to upgrade its technology … and unable to maintain compliance programs that both promote and protect taxpayer rights,” Olson says in…