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CPA Shoptalk: 8 Takeaways

January 16, 2018

Overview

On January 10th, 11th and 18th our tax attorneys ‎hosted a "CPA Shoptalk" seminar in ‎Portland, Vancouver and Bend. Below are ‎some key takeaways to consider:

1. Partnership Audit Rules Post-TEFRA

The Balanced Budget Act of 2015 effectively repealed TEFRA for all partnership tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.  Your client’s “tax matters partner/member” provision is not effective going forward, and needs to be replaced with “partnership representative” provisions.  Along with those changes, you should give thought to who will be the partnership representative and to what rights/obligations that partnership will be entitled or subject.  Finally, and maybe most importantly, if you do nothing, your partnership may be subject to an assessment, instead of your partners.  For all of these reasons, we recommend your partnership clients review and update their partnership and operating agreements now. 

Presented by Dan Eller

2. Representing the Taxpayer in Sensitive Employment Tax Audits

Payroll tax delinquencies are increasingly an area of IRS focus and enforcement.  Assessments of individual liability for unpaid Trust Fund amounts can be devastating.  Professionals representing individuals in Trust Fund Recovery Penalty examinations have the opportunity to provide great value in avoiding or mitigating penalty assessments if they prepare properly and thoroughly.  In particular, IRS inquiries must be scrutinized and responses must be carefully and accurately prepared in order to preserve the taxpayer’s rights to administrative, and potentially judicial, review.

Presented by Marc Sellers

3. Charitable Planning: Trends, Tips and Tax Issues

Recent press surrounding the Jobs Act suggests charitable giving will decline because fewer taxpayers will itemize, which would have the effect of reducing the after-tax benefit of charitable giving for those taxpayers.  That view is too narrow.  Recent changes in the law present real opportunities for charitable giving planning.  For example, the overall limitation on deductions for certain “high-income” taxpayers has been suspended.  Moreover, using RMDs may be more attractive now than ever before.  That being said, other changes make basis substantiation critical.

Presented by Jennifer Woodhouse

4. Income and Estate Tax Considerations for Appreciated Real Estate in a Credit Shelter Trust

Many people have old estate plans that contemplate high estate taxes. Nowadays, capital gains taxes are frequently higher than estate taxes in a given situation. If clients have old trusts, especially old credit shelter trusts with appreciated real estate, income tax basis issues should be analyzed to determine whether it is more detrimental from a tax perspective to keep the credit shelter trust rather than terminate it.

Presented by Maria Schmidlkofer

5. Oregon State Legislative and Tax Reform Update

The 2017 legislative session resulted in a variety of tax-related bills. Highlighted bills relate to the apportionment of corporate income based on a market-sourcing method, unitary business determinations of corporate affiliates, estate tax delinquency penalties, taxation of property of LLCs, tax expenditures, methods of determining taxpayer business activity, income that is apportionable for corporate tax purposes, and increased taxes related to transportation.

Presented by Samantha MacBeth

6. Washington Statutory Updates to Powers of Attorney 

In 2017, Washington implemented a complete overhaul of its Power of Attorney Act, including changing execution formalities and validity requirements.

Presented by Lisa Lowe

7. Tax Reform Update/Proposed Changes to Tax Law

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act contains many provisions that will affect both your individual and business clients’ tax liabilities and may provide opportunities for additional federal income tax savings.  Individual taxpayers are seeing many of their previously available deductions eliminated or reduced, but they may benefit from the increased standard deduction and reduction in rates.  The new pass-through income deduction, increased expensing and dramatically lower C corporation tax rates are just a few examples of the many provisions business clients need to consider.  Taxpayers need to review these new provisions in light of their situations to both estimate their new tax burden and analyze ways to best take advantage of the new law. 

Presented by John Way

8. Income and Estate Tax Issues with Beneficiary Designation Asset

The bulk of your client’s estate is often composed of beneficiary designation assets. Retirement accounts, life insurance and other similar accounts with beneficiary designations can account for more than fifty percent of the value of a client’s estate. Improper beneficiary designations could subject a large portion of an estate to estate tax, could disqualify a special needs beneficiary from long-term care or medical care programs vital to the beneficiary’s care and welfare, or could allow underage beneficiaries to squander their inheritance. Beneficiary designations should be carefully tailored and coordinated with the terms of the client’s last will and testament or revocable living trust. We recommend not only a periodic review of clients’ estate documents but also a thorough review of their current beneficiary designations to avoid outdated or erroneous designations.

Presented by Jeff Patterson

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