Renew your membership by enrolling in auto renew by May 1 and be entered in a prize drawing. Members have a chance to win either a VPE 40 or an Amazon Echo. The prize drawing is subject to terms and conditions.

How it works: During the start of each membership term in May, we’ll automatically charge your credit card. After your annual membership dues payment has been processed, we’ll email you a confirmation receipt—it’s that easy.

Proposed CPE Regulations Advance

The California Board of Accountancy has approved draft regulatory framework to incorporate new CPE delivery methods, nano-learning and blended learning. The framework also will allow for partial CPE credit in as little as one-fifth increments.

CBA staff will now bring back the final language and begin the regulatory process, which can take 12-14 months before reaching completion. The proposed language largely follows the same framework for current CPE delivery methods.

CalCPA continues to work closely with the CBA as the language is refined to make sure that California CPAs have the flexibility and options to meet their obligations for continuing education.

AICPA Launching New App to Administer Peer Reviews May 1

If your firm has already begun the process of completing the Information Required for Scheduling Reviews Form (background form), providing team information or scheduling a Committee Appointed Review Team (CART) review, you may be required to submit the information via the new web-based application, Peer Review Integrated Management Application (PRIMA), after it goes live.

Any previously issued background and team information forms will no longer be valid after May 1, 2017. To avoid duplicate effort, we encourage firms to wait to submit that information directly in PRIMA on or after May 1, 2017.

For all firms to follow after May 1, all enrolled firms will complete all peer review information directly in PRIMA, which includes:

  • Updating your firm’s enrollment (including your firm’s Managing Partner and Peer Review Contact as well as indicating the levels of service performed by your firm);
  • Scheduling your firm’s peer review;
  • Responding to Matters for Further Consideration (MFCs), if applicable, during your review;
  • Responding to Findings for Further Consideration (FFCs), if applicable, during your review;
  • Acknowledging your peer review acceptance letter; and
  • Submitting evidence for corrective actions.

Fed Tax Updates: Estate Tax, Cancelled Debt & Property Rules

Estate Tax Returns: Under IRS Notice 2017-12, an account transcript may be substituted for an estate tax closing letter. An account transcript includes transaction codes and code descriptions. A transcript that shows code “421” and the description, “Closed examination of tax return,” indicates that the IRS’ examination of the estate tax return has been completed and closed. Therefore, a transcript displaying code 421 is the functional equivalent of an estate tax closing letter.

36-month Test Eliminated for Reporting Cancelled Debt: Regs. Sec. 1.6050P-1 (TD 9793, Nov. 9, 2016) eliminates the previous rule, subject to exceptions, that a creditor had to furnish Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt, if there was a 36-month period during which the creditor did not receive any debt repayments.

Transaction Relief for Tangible Property Rules: IRS Notice 2017-6 (IRB 2017-3, Jan. 17, 2017) waives the eligibility rule for an additional year to any year before 2017 for taxpayers making certain automatic changes to use the final tangible property rules. The eligibility rule prohibits taxpayers from making certain automatic accounting method changes if they made or requested an accounting method change for the same item during any of the 5 tax years ending with the year of change.

—Stuart R. Josephs

Private Company Council Meeting Report & FASB Updates

The Private Company Council (PCC) met earlier this month, and the FASB staff delivered updates (and the PCC provided input) on the following FASB projects:

Private Collection of Overdue Federal Taxes Starts in April

The IRS this month sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies.

The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, unpaid tax debts. Usually, these are unpaid individual tax obligations that are not currently being worked by IRS collection employees and often were assessed by the tax agency several years ago. Taxpayers being assigned to a private firm would have had multiple contacts from the IRS in previous years and still have an unpaid tax bill.

The program will begin this week with a few hundred taxpayers receiving mailings and subsequent phone calls, with the program growing to thousands a week later in the spring and summer.

Taxpayers with overdue taxes will always receive multiple contacts, letters and phone calls, first from the IRS, not private debt collectors.