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NCCPAP Supports Pending Bill H.R. 3330
Taxpayer Protection and Preparer Proficiency Act

From our friends at NCCPAP...

June 26, 2019—The National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) announces its support of Bill H.R.3330 introduced by Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) on June 18, 2019. This legislation allows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to require minimum standards for paid tax preparers. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced a companion bill, S. 1192, in the Senate, which NCCPAP also supports.

According to Neil H. Fishman, CPA, CFE, FCPA, CAMS and National President, NCCPAP, "We consider this to be important legislation because there are many tax preparers who are neither licensed nor regulated by any government authority, state or federal. These individuals lack the requirement to keep up with changes in tax laws and the knowledge to put tax legislation to work for the taxpayer's advantage. CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents are all regulated—either by the IRS, State Boards, or a Department of Education. If CPAs, attorneys, or enrolled agents were to commit egregious acts, taxpayers can file a complaint with these regulatory bodies who can then impose disciplinary actions. For those not credentialed as such, there is no redress for the taxpayer."

To summarize, Bill H.R. 3330:

  • Restores the ability of Treasury and the IRS to set federal standards of tax practice for all paid return preparers. 
  • Requires that certain preparers meet the following minimum competency requirements:
    • Obtaining a preparer tax identification number (PTIN); 
    • Satisfying any examination and annual continuing education requirements;
    • Completing a background check.
  • Clarifies that Treasury has authority to:
    • Require preparers to provide PTINs on returns (but except persons preparing return under supervision of a preparer who signs the return)
    • Rescind PTINs if a preparer is shown to be incompetent or disreputable (subject to notice and an opportunity for a proceeding).
  • Requires a GAO study on the sharing of information between the Treasury Department and State authorities regarding PTINs issued to paid return preparers and preparer minimum standards.
 As an advocate for both tax practitioners and taxpayers, NCCPAP supports this bill because the absence of standards leaves many taxpayers vulnerable. 

For more information, contact Neil H. Fishman, CPA, CFE, FCPA, CAMS; President, NCCPAP

Tax Cuts

  Recent Changes to Moving, Mileage, and Travel Expenses
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes changes to moving, mileage and travel expenses:

  • Move-related vehicle expense
    • The new law suspends the deduction for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, through Jan. 1, 2026. During the suspension, no deduction is allowed for use of an auto as part of a move using the mileage rate listed in IRS Notice 2018-03.
    • This does not apply to members of the Armed Forces on active duty who move related to a permanent change of station.
  • Unreimbursed employee expenses
    • The Act also suspends all miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor. This change affects unreimbursed employee expenses such as uniforms, union dues and the deduction for business-related meals, entertainment and travel. For additional guidance, see IRS Notice 2018-42.
  • Standard mileage rates for 2018
    • The standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck for 2018 remain:
      • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, a 1 cent increase from 2017.
      • 18 cents per mile driven for medical purposes, a 1 cent increase from 2017.
      • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, which is set by statute and remains unchanged.
  • Increased depreciation limits
    • The recent legislation also increases the depreciation limitations for passenger autos placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017, for purposes of computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.
    • The maximum standard automobile cost may not exceed $50,000 for passenger automobiles, trucks and vans placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017.
Many thanks to Sandy Zinman, CPA, Chair of the National Tax Committee, NCCPAP

Resources on help all taxpayers understand tax reform

IRS Tax Tip 2018-115 is a great place for taxpayers to visit when they have questions about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation, which was passed late last year, includes changes to many areas of the tax law. Here are some of the resources on that will help individual taxpayers, businesses and the tax community understand the law and its effect on their taxes:

  • Tax Reform Web Page. The Tax Reform page highlights what taxpayers need to know about the tax law changes and how these changes affect them. This page also links taxpayers and tax professionals to news releases, tax tips, publications, notices, and legal guidance related to the legislation.

  • Updated Withholding Calculator. The IRS encourages everyone to use the Withholding Calculator to perform a “Paycheck Checkup,” which is even more important this year because of the tax law changes. The calculator helps taxpayers determine if they’re having the right amount of tax withheld from their paychecks.

  • Updated Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Taxpayers who determine they need to make changes to their withholding can complete a Form W-4, which reflects the tax law changes. Employees will submit the completed Form W-4 to their employers.

  • Frequently Asked Questions. The IRS posted new FAQs to help people understand how to use the Withholding Calculator and the changes to the Withholding Tables.

More information about the tax law changes will be coming throughout the year. will be updated to reflect changes as they develop.

Tax Reform: Changes to Depreciation Affect Businesses Now

IRS Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-68

As employers across the country celebrate National Small Business Week, the IRS reminds businesses that the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may affect their depreciation deductions and taxes. Business taxpayers can generally depreciate tangible property except land, including buildings, machinery, vehicles, furniture and equipment. Changes to depreciation and how they will affect businesses may include:

•Businesses can immediately expense more under the new law; taxpayers may elect to expense the cost of any property and deduct it in the year the property is placed in service. •Maximum deduction increased from $500,000 to $1 million. •The phase-out threshold increased from $2 million to $2.5 million.
•The new law allows taxpayers to elect to include improvements made to nonresidential property. The improvements must have been made after the date the property was first placed in service.

These improvements include:
• Any improvement to a building’s interior
• Roofs
• Heating and air conditioning systems
• Fire protection systems
• Alarm and security systems

Improvements that do not qualify:
• Enlargement of the building
• Service to elevators or escalators
• Internal structural framework of the building

These changes apply to property placed in service in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017.

Retirement Plans

Retirement Plans Can Make Harvey Loans

August 30, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service today announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Harvey and members of their families.

Participants in 401(k) plans, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, as well as state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules.

Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in disaster area localities affected by Hurricane Harvey and designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Jan. 31, 2018.

More information


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