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Keeping CalCPA Members Connected and Informed

Archive for the ‘CalCPA Buzz’ Category

A Renewal by May 1 Equals Free, 4-hour Ethics Course

March 17th, 2015

Renew today and continue to take advantage of the advocacy for the profession, connections with your professional peers and discounted CPE CalCPA and the CalCPA Education Foundation provides. CalCPA will also soon launch a redesigned website in the coming months that will be more dynamic, easier to use—and mobile friendly for your phones and devices.

Renew by May 1 and receive free 4-hour ethics course.

IRS Opens TACs to Combat Budget Cuts

March 17th, 2015

The IRS announced that 10 of its larger Tax Assistance Centers around the country would start scheduling appointments to determine if an appointment-based service approach can help reduce taxpayer wait times during a time of severe budget cuts. Starting this month, the IRS plans to add 34 small and medium-sized TACs to the test and has started taking appointment requests in new locations.

Check out the TACs opening in California.

FTB Info on the California Competes Tax Credit

March 17th, 2015

The California Competes Tax Credit is an income or franchise tax credit available to businesses that come to California or stay and grow in California. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by the governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and approved by a statutorily created California Competes Tax Credit Committee. The committee consists of the director of GO-Biz, the state treasurer, the director of the Department of Finance and one appointee each by the Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Committee on Rules.

For fiscal year 2014-15, $151.1 million of the California Competes Tax Credits will be available for allocation during three application periods. The first and second application periods have closed with $45 million and $75 million available for allocation. For the third and final application period, $31.1 million (plus any unallocated amounts from previous application periods) will be available for allocation.

Applications for the credit will be accepted online until April 6. Information on the California Competes Tax Credit also is available online.

2015 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy Adopted by the SEC

March 17th, 2015

The Financial Accounting Standards Board announced that the SEC adopted the 2015 GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. The GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy contains updates for accounting standards and other improvements to the official Taxonomy previously in use by SEC issuers.

The GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is a list of computer-readable tags in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format that allows companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. The tags allow computers to automatically search for, assemble, and process data so it can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts, journalists and regulators.

Answers to Common Taxpayer Questions about the Affordable Care Act

March 17th, 2015

The AICPA has answers to taxpayers’ most common questions about the health insurance information reporting required by the Affordable Care Act on 2014 federal income tax returns. A few examples:

  • Where do I report my health insurance information on my tax return? Taxpayers will use Line 61 on Form 1040, Line 38 on Form 1040-A and Line 11 on Form 1040EZ to report on their 2014 federal tax return whether they had health care that met minimum essential coverage standards under the ACA for each month of 2014, unless they were exempt. For many taxpayers, that just means checking the full-year coverage box on their tax return.
  • Is the penalty for those who did not have minimum essential coverage or who did not quality for an exemption the same each year? No. It goes up in 2015 and future years. The penalty for 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (with a family maximum of $285), or one percent of household income that is above the filing status, whichever is greater. In 2015, the penalty is $325 for each adult and $162.50 for each child under 18 (with a family maximum is $975) or two percent of household income, whichever is greater. The overall penalty limit is equal to the national average a family would pay for a bronze-level insurance plan on the Marketplace.
  • How do I request an exemption? Qualifying taxpayers can get an exemption from minimum essential coverage through the Marketplace or by claiming the exemption on their tax return using Form 8965, which is filed with the tax return. Some exemptions are granted through the Marketplace, some are claimed directly on the tax return and some are available using either method. The IRS website has a chart explaining how each exemption can be obtained.

A Repair Regulations Rundown

March 3rd, 2015

From 2013-15, the IRS issued final regulations, often referred to as “repair regulations,” and related guidance. The regulations cover areas including rules for when to expense vs. capitalize costs and partial dispositions. The FTB has received numerous questions on the topic, and published information covering whether California follows the repair regulations, the effect of the IRS changing the accounting method and how California will follow the revenue procedure in 2015-20.

The CalCPA Education Foundation also is providing a webcast March 13 (9 a.m.-noon) to update you on the above topic.

CAMICO Tip of the Month: Disappearing Client Funds

March 3rd, 2015

If your firm is controlling client funds and writing checks to pay client bills, be sure that the firm’s internal controls are strong enough to prevent the misuse of funds. Affected engagements range from basic bookkeeping and bill paying on behalf of clients, to business management engagements in which the firm has broad control over the client’s financial affairs. Executor/trustee engagements are also prone to misappropriation.

Establish a combination of internal financial and security controls to help safeguard funds. Utilize screening processes and background checks for employees and partners with signatory authority over client funds. An engagement letter describing the services being provided and their limitations should be signed by the client.

For more information about CPA firm insurance issues, call 1 (800) 652–1772 or go online.

How Businesses Can Apply for the California Competes Tax Credit

March 3rd, 2015

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) invites you to a free workshop on how to apply for the California Competes Tax Credit. GO-Biz encourages large and small companies that are adding jobs in the state to apply for tax credits to help expand their business. GO-Biz evaluates the most competitive applications based on the factors required by statute, including total jobs created, total investment, average wage, economic impact, strategic importance and more. Applications are accepted online through a free and interactive website.

Workshop dates and locations can be found online.

Is the Private Company Council Effective?

March 3rd, 2015

The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) issued a request for comment seeking stakeholder input as part of an assessment of the Private Company Council’s (PCC) effectiveness, accomplishments and future role in setting standards for private companies. The assessment is intended to assist the trustees in determining whether the PCC is fulfilling its mission and meeting its primary objectives, and whether the trustees should make any changes in the PCC’s structure that would improve the PCC’s effectiveness. Among the possible improvements on which the trustees are seeking comment are:

  • The PCC should continue to establish working groups for select FASB projects.
  • There should be a consistent and continuous feedback mechanism among the PCC members and FASB members and staff on active FASB projects.
  • The PCC should continue transitioning to a body that primarily provides input on active FASB agenda projects.
  • PCC members should participate as their schedules allow in outreach performed by the FASB with private company stakeholders.
  • The FAF Appointments and Evaluations Committee should continue to seek individuals that have the requisite profile to advise the FASB on active projects.

What to Expect if the CBA Comes Knocking

March 3rd, 2015

When the California Board of Accountancy receives a complaint, an investigation is conducted, after which, a recommendation is made to either:

  • Close the case with no violation of the Accountancy Act or CBA regulations;
  • Require the licensee to take prescribed continuing education;
  • Issue a citation and fine; or
  • Refer the case to the Attorney General’s Office for review and possible preparation of an accusation against the licensee or a statement of issues relating to the applicant.

If charges are filed against a licensee, a hearing may be held before an independent administrative law judge who submits a proposed decision to be considered by the CBA, or the matter may be settled. The CBA may either accept the proposed decision or decide the matter itself. Please note that CBA actions reported here may not be final. After the effective date of the CBA’s decision, the licensee may obtain judicial review of its decision. On occasion, a court will order a stay of the CBA’s decision or return the decision to the CBA for reconsideration.

Copies of the accusations, decisions, and settlements regarding any of these disciplinary and/or enforcement actions are available on the CBA website.

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