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Major Topics

New Legislation: Federal Tax Legislation enacted in late 2015 and in 2016.

Rulings and Cases: September 2015 to August 2016 issues under review by the IRS and the courts.

Affordable Care Act: It emphasizes issues for smaller employers. Topics include: updates and new guidance, determining whether an employer is an applicable large employer, and premium tax credit issues

Death of a Taxpayer: Guidance on individual income tax, fiduciary income tax, and estate tax issues following the death of a taxpayer. It discusses trust planning given the increased exemption amount and portability, and tips for dealing with an older estate plan that cannot be changed. It also includes basis issues involving life estates, joint tenancy, and community.

Business Issues: Issues tax practitioners encounter when they prepare returns for clients who operate a business. Topics include: updates and new guidance on the repair regulations, casualty losses, schedules K-1 for S corporations and partnerships, and repair regulations applicable to rentals.

Agricultural and Natural Resources Issues: Issues that affect farmers, including: new bonus depreciation rules for plants, vines, and trees, valuation of growing crops, conservation Reserve Program issues, and payments to 4-H or FFA members.

Individual Issues: Issues tax practitioners encounter when preparing individual income tax returns, including: characterization of crowdfunding and fantasy sports income, airplane and automobile expenses, new proposed regulations on innocent/injured spouse relief, deducting expenses of home care for children and seniors, and taxation of clergy, Mennonite, and Amish.

IRS Issues: Issues the IRS targets as key topics for practitioners such as: New Form 2848, power of attorney, identity theft, IRS appeals, and IRS Future State initiative to increase e-filing and payment options, and expand services.

Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD): It explains flow through of the DPAD to the individual level, and special rules related to cooperatives. It includes discussion and examples specific to the construction, agricultural, and manufacturing industries.

Retirement: Common retirement tax planning issues including: Taxability of social security benefits, Self-directed IRAs, Retirement distributions, including required minimum distributions, and choosing a retirement plan for a business.

Business Entity Issues: Topics include: S corporation elections and conversions, fringe benefits such as health insurance and HSA contributions in an S corporation, new proposed hot asset regulations for partnerships, new partnership audit regime, Form 1023-EZ update, and new procedures for submission and review of applications for tax exempt status. 

Financial Distress: Topics include: Forms 1099-A and 1099-C, including the distinction between cancellation and discharge, tax consequences of foreclosure and deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and cancellation of debt (COD) income and exclusions from COD income.

Related Party Issues: Rules for transactions between related parties in the context of installment sales, sale of property at a loss, I.R.C. § 179, gain on sale or exchange of depreciable property, educational assistance programs, and I.R.C. § 139 disaster relief payments.

Taxation of Foreign Income: Streamlined compliance procedures to remedy a failure to report foreign financial assets, reporting and taxation of foreign pension distributions (e.g. Canadian pensioners), nonresident alien filing issues, including exemptions for nonresident dependents, and ITIN requirements.

Penalties and Defenses: Commonly encountered penalties, such as failure to file, pay, or deposit, estimated tax penalties, and information reporting penalties. Penalty waiver topics include: Reasonable cause, first time penalty abatement, administrative waivers, undue hardship, and statutory exceptions

SCDOR: SC Legislation, SCDOR Security Updates, Update on South Carolina EFile and MyDORWay.

South Carolina and Federal Ethics: Important issues that help practitioners comply with their ethical obligations. Topics include: New due diligence requirements, engagement letters (including a sample letter), conflicts of interest (including a sample waiver), and adopting a security plan to safeguard data.