Thursday, October 24, 2013

Message from our President:

Hi Members,

Please check out the MA/RI Chapter Section on the NATP site under chapters. This along with our blog will be a great resource for information about the Chapter. 

Please check out the Community Section under Member Center on NATP site, this is an area for questions and discussions, new to the site.

Reminder, Annual Meeting next Tuesday in Mansfield, elections will take place. We have a great speaker, Kathryn Keane, hope to see you there.

Chris Miarecki, EA
President, MA/RI Chapter NATP

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rhode Island Tax Quarterly Newsletter Now Available

The Rhode Island Division of Taxation has posted the latest issue of its quarterly newsletter, "Rhode Island
Tax News."  Topics include:

  • The new Special Investigations Unit
  • A project to revise all tax forms
  • A revised deadline involving historic preservation tax credits
  • An upcoming seminar for tax preparers
  • A sales tax exemption for the new statewide arts district
  • A new chief of E-Government
  • Regular features such as Practitioners' Corner and Legal Corner.

To access the latest issue, please click HERE

Thursday, October 17, 2013

US Government Opens After Congress Ends Its 16-day Shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government reopened its doors Thursday after a battle-weary Congress approved a bipartisan measure to end a 16-day partial shutdown and avert the possibility of an economy-jarring default on U.S. obligations.

Early Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the measure, which the House and Senate passed late Wednesday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the must-pass legislation to mount a last-ditch effort to derail the president's landmark health care law and demand concessions on the budget.

The White House directed all agencies to reopen promptly and in an orderly fashion. Furloughed federal employees across the country are expected to return to work Thursday.

The impasse had shuttered national parks and monuments, and mostly closed down NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. Critical functions of government went on as usual and most federal employees won't see their paychecks delayed, but the closure and potential default weighed on the economy and spooked the financial markets.

There were signs early Thursday that the federal government was slowly coming back to life. "We're back from the (hash)shutdown!" the Smithsonian Institution crowed on Twitter, announcing that museums would reopen Thursday and the National Zoo in Washington on Friday.

Standard & Poor's estimated the shutdown has taken $24 billion out of the economy, and the Fitch credit
The Rhode Island Division of Taxation's December seminar for tax preparers sold out this afternoon.

But the Division of Taxation is still accepting registrations for the November seminar for tax preparers, which will be held at the Community College of Rhode Island's Newport campus.

No CPE credits will be available, but Certificates of Completion will be issued. There is no charge for the seminar, but pre-registration is required because space is limited. To pre-register, use the following Division of Taxation link and click on "Seminar for Preparers" --

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

IRS Increases Fees for Installment Agreement and OIC

IRS has announced an increase in the user (processing) fees for Installment Plans and Offers in Compromise
effective January 1, 2014.  Under OMB rules, IRS is supposed to charge user fees and is supposed to recover full cost.

Currently the fee for an Installment Agreement is $105, a reduction to $52 for a direct debt agreement, and $45 to restructure or reinstate a defaulted agreement.  IRS has determined that the cost of an installment agreement is $282, $122 if it is a direct debit agreement, and $85 to restructure/reinstate a defaulted agreement, therefore an increase in the user fee appears to be appropriate.  The new fees beginning January 1, 2014, are:  $120 for an installment agreement and $50 to restructure/reinstate a defaulted agreement.  The direct debit agreement fee does not change.

The current fee for an Offer in Compromise is $150.  IRS has determined that the full cost of processing an Offer in Compromise is $2,718.  The new fee beginning January 1, 2014, for an Offer in Compromise is $186.  The “no fee” for low-income taxpayers continues to apply.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is the Oct 15 due date still in effect and should people still file?

Taxpayers should continue to file and pay taxes during a lapse in appropriations as they would under normal government operations. Individuals who requested an extension of time to file should file their returns by Oct. 15, 2013. Taxpayers can file their tax return electronically or on paper, though the processing of paper returns will be delayed until full government operations resume. Payments accompanying paper tax returns will still be accepted as the IRS receives them. Tax refunds will not be issued until normal government operations resume. Tax software companies, tax practitioners and Free File will remain available to assist with taxes.

All other tax deadlines remain in effect, including those covering individuals, corporations, partnerships and employers. The regular payroll tax deadlines remain in effect as well. Penalties and interest still apply for all late filings not received by the regular deadlines.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day from the
Massachusetts / Rhode Island NATP Chapter

Monday, October 7, 2013

National NATP Board of Directors Candidates

On behalf of our Chapter members, our Chapter President will soon be voting for candidates to the NATP Board of Directors. Because these are the future leaders of our National Association, it's in your best interest to get to know the candidates and express your opinions to our Chapter President, Christine Miarecki. She can be reached by phone at 413-283-9407 or email at

Information on the candidates can be found by clicking the picture below.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reminder - 2013 Annual Meeting & Seminar

Massachusetts / Rhode Island NATP Chapter Annual Meeting & Educational Seminar October 29th 2013

Join the Massachusetts / Rhode Island NATP Chapter on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 for our Annual Meeting & Educational Seminar. This all day event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA. Registration details will be forthcoming, and will be handled online by National this year. We will provide a link to the registration website once it is up and running. But until then, please take a look at the details on our speaker and topics provided in this great 8 CE Hour opportunity including continental breakfast, snacks, lunch, vendors and great networking opportunities.

  • To register by phone, fax or mail, click for the registration form.
  • For online registration with credit card, click here.
  • After October 28, please print the form (see link above) and register at the door.

Speaker - Kathryn M. Keane, EA.

Kathryn is a principal of Macanta, a small tax and related services practice located in Brooklyn, NY, serving over 850 individual clients and 50 businesses. In December 2006, Kathryn completed two three-year terms on the National Board of Directors of NATP and was twice awarded Chapter Person of the Year for 2002 and 2008 for her volunteer service to the community at large as well as to NATP. In addition to serving as an Education Committee member for NY NATP, she currently serves as Chair of the IRS Tri-Boro Practitioner Liaison Committee. Kathryn is a frequent speaker for NATP Chapters. She has also presented for VASEA, NCCPAC (Nassau-Suffolk County Chapter) and local chapters of NYSSCPA. Kathryn has a B.S. degree from Brooklyn College.

Global Clients: FBAR, Foreign Tax Credits and the Foreign Income Exclusion

More clients are investing overseas as well as living and working outside the US.  This 2 CE hour session will look at FBAR requirements for those with investments overseas: who must file FBAR, what exactly is reported, what is our obligations.  The session will cover the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, requirements, mechanics and impact on taxpayers.  We will also address the Foreign Tax Credit: who, what, how and why?  Everyone has a client with some foreign income whether is a dividend from a foreign stock or a job overseas, this session will feature a comprehensive federal return looking at all these global issues.

ACA—the Affordable Care Act: what you need to know for your client

This 2 CE hour session will look at the features of the ACA that we will see in the 2013  season such as the 3.8% investment tax and the .9% Make Too Much Earned Income Tax.  We will address what exactly is considered when calculating the thresholds, what is the limit for each of the different positions.  In addition, we will cover the requirements on all taxpayers to obtain health insurance in 2014.

AMT—Alternative Minimum Tax

Alternative Minimum Tax! Ever try to explain it to a client?  This 2 CE hour session is a hands on session on that will take on the usual and commonly overlooked AMT triggers.  We will discuss ideas to reduce the AMT impact.  At the conclusion of our session, most of our example will flow into a comprehensive problem.

Ethics—Operating an Ethical Tax Practice in an Increasingly Unethical Society

No code quoting, holier than thou, lecture on abstract ethics in this 2 CE hour session.  We will actively and openly discuss the ethical challenges facing tax practices today.  We work on Conflicts of Interest, Due Diligence, Accuracy, Preparer Penalties and other things that threaten to smash our practices.