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Friday, October 24, 2014

Bank Product and Fee Collect ending dates


(revised for new EFC stop date of Nov 3 and new TPG end date of Nov 1)

The banks' published ending dates are shown below.

The EFC stops sending efiles to IRS usually mid-November for 1040 and December for business, in conjunction with the IRS' preparation for the new filing year.   We will still allow you to retrieve acks past those dates.  IRS has not yet announced start dates for January efile, but we will update this blog as soon as those dates are finalized.


Republic Bank:  10/22/2014
                            rejected apps may be fixed and sent until Nov 3rd                        
Last day for Site Printed Checks:  5/31/2014
ACH Direct Deposits: 12/31/2014                               
Check Stale date:  checks expire 90 days after they are printed, or 6/30 for ones printed at ERO locations.  Once we start printing on 6/1 then its 90 days from print day or 12-31. 

TPG, 3Fund and FeeCollect: 11/01/2014
                            rejected apps may be fixed and sent until Nov 3rd                        
Last day for Site Printed Checks:  10/31/2014
ACH Direct Deposits:    12/31/2014                           
Check Stale date:  90 days after printed date

Advent: 10/31/2014                        
Last day for Site Printed Checks:  12/1/2014 (option to change over to bank print)
ACH Direct Deposits:  10/31/2014                            
Check Stale date:  12/31/2014

River City Bank: 12/05/2014 **however, our EFC stops accepting apps 11/03/2014  
Last day for Site Printed Checks: 06/13/2014 
ACH Direct Deposits:  process manually throughout the year
Check Stale date:  June 16th

REFUND ADVANTAGE: 12/24/2014 **however, our EFC stops accepting apps 11/03/2014 
Last day for Site Printed Checks:   12/12/2014
ACH Direct Deposits: 12/24/2014                               
Check Stale date:   12/31/2014



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Outstanding state acks (LA, and SC)

Updated 10-23-2014 at 3:30pm
These state acks are outstanding
LA individual
SC individual, Corp and S-Corp


Updated 10-20-2014 at 2:30pm
We have some states still with outstanding acks. GA business and individual, LA individual, and SC individual are the largest quantities

Updated 10-17-2014 at 5pm

The states of GA and LA have the highest number of outstanding state acks at this time.

Many other states also have outstanding acks and could take up to five days to post the acks.

Reminder that IRS was not accepting efiles the weekend before Columbus Day; therefore any efiles sent to SFS were held from Friday Oct 10th at 6pm until Tuesday Oct 14th at 8am.

Please use the Return Query tool on the support site to verify the return is still awaiting ack and to view the date/time when it went to the agency.  States frequently take 1-5 days to send acks, especially on this heavy volume deadline week.


NOTE: Be sure to track your e-filed returns and see the exact field causing the IRS reject. Click here for instructions

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Protection Plus new enrollment process; also Tax Prep Partner, Book orders, ACA, and Research information

Protection Plus New Enrollment Process
If you plan to offer your customers Protection Plus audit assistance service, you will be required to complete an enrollment process this year. The enrollment will take place on the TaxWise Solution Center if you only have one office.   If you have multiple offices, use the Central Office Manager (COM) to enroll.

How to access Protection Plus Enrollment 
Single Office Customers
  • Select the Home tab.
  • Select Protection Plus from the list of options on the left sidebar.

Multi-Office Customers
  • Log into COM.
  • Select the Offices tab.
  • Select Edit Office Info.
  • Select the Protection Plus from the drop-down.

If you’re interested in learning more about offering Protection Plus to your customers, visit http://www.taxwise.com/products/o-protect.aspx.

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Affordable Care Act
The majority of 1040 taxpayers will have to make 1 of 3 choices on their tax return this year to demonstrate compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Without their indication of compliance, they are at risk to be contacted by the IRS. Do you know the three options and are you ready to advise your clients on them?

Save on the ACA Research Bundle For a limited time, receive the Health Care Reform Online Library and handbook Affordable Care Act:Law Regulatory Explanation & Analysis for only$269

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Choose from a number of resources for tax season relief, including Affordable Care Act: Law Regulatory Explanation & Analysis (2015) 
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IRS Representation Certification
Are you a licensed tax professional and want to represent your clients before the IRS? Learn how to represent IRS collection clients with confidence with our IRS Representation Certification program.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Oct. 20, 2014)

Federal Tax Day - Current,M.1,CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Oct. 20, 2014)

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the federal budget deficit has dropped to $483.4 billion due to a combination of lower federal spending and higher tax revenues from the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. The IRS, meanwhile, has updated its procedures for taxpayers who have not filed a required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) (FinCEN Form 114, are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS and have not already been contacted by the IRS about the delinquent FBARs.

Congress

Since its enactment in mid-1981, the research and experimentation (R&D) tax credit has been extended 15 times and has never been made permanent (TAXDAY, 2014/10/15, C.1). The Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted in an October 2 report that it expired at the end of 2011 and was retroactively extended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240). Following the midterm elections, lawmakers, who consider the credit vital to a thriving economy and have been pushing for years to make it permanent, will reportedly renew it for two-years, in the so-called extenders package. While the credit is usually assumed to be a single credit, it actually consists of four discrete credits; a regular credit; an alternative simplified credit; a basic research credit; and an energy research credit. Whether it will be made permanent, remains up in the air, according to the CRS.

Lawmakers are also grappling with whether the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) should be extended, modified or remain expired (TAXDAY, 2014/10/17, C.1). While some members of Congress support extension or modification of the PTC, others say that the credit is not needed. Although the PTC has been important to the growth and development of renewable electricity resources, particularly wind, tax incentives for renewables may not be the most economically efficient way to correct for distortions in energy markets or to deliver federal financial support to the renewable energy sector, said the CRS.


IRS

Procedures for Delinquent FBARs Updated. The IRS has updated its procedures for taxpayers who (1) have not filed a required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) (FinCEN Form 114, (2) are not under a civil examination or a criminal investigation by the IRS, and (3) have not already been contacted by the IRS about the delinquent FBARs (TAXDAY, 2014/10/14, I.1). These procedures are for individuals who do not need to use either the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) or the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures to file delinquent or amended tax returns to report and pay additional tax.

Additional Relief/FATCA Withholding and Information Reporting. Treasury and IRS have provided additional relief with respect to pre-January 1, 2015, accounts and obligations for withholding agents, foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and payors that have withholding or information reporting obligations under the Chapter 4 (Code Sec. 1471 through Code Sec. 1474) (FATCA) regulations or the Chapter 3, Chapter 61 or Code Sec. 3406 regulations (the temporary coordination regulations) (Notice 2014-59; TAXDAY, 2014/10/13, I.3). The Treasury and IRS intend to amend the regulations to reflect this relief, but taxpayers can rely on the provisions in Notice 2014-59 until the regulations are issued.

Streamlined Procedures/Nonresident Taxpayer Compliance. The IRS has issued new streamlined procedures for U.S. taxpayers residing outside of the United States who have failed to report the income from and pay the tax on a foreign financial asset and failed to file an FBAR with respect to a foreign financial account and such failure did not result from willful conduct (TAXDAY, 2014/10/13, I.4). Under the procedures, negligent, inadvertent or mistaken conduct as well as conduct that is the result of a good faith misunderstanding of the law’s requirements is nonwillful.

Streamlined FBAR Procedures/Resident Taxpayers. The IRS has issued new streamlined compliance procedures for resident U.S. taxpayers who failed to properly report a foreign financial asset, failed to file an FBAR and/or one or more international information returns with respect to the foreign financial asset as a result of nonwillful conduct (TAXDAY, 2014/10/13, I.5).

By Jeff Carlson, Stephen K. Cooper and Jennifer Cordaro, CCH News Staff

Monday, October 20, 2014

SFS Customer Care closing at 4:30pm Oct 21st

SFS Customer Care will close Tuesday, Oct 21st, at 4:30pm EST for a company event.
We will reopen the following day at 8am.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Boost your Tax Expertise with New NATP Partnership

10-16-2014      TaxWise Training Bulletin

Announcing New Partnership with NATP
The direct connection between tax compliance knowledge and software application allows you to boost your expertise and success. That’s why we recently formed a partnership with NATP to offer you, our customer, access to exceptional tax education courses to help you prepare for this upcoming tax season. Tax laws are constantly changing and tax preparation is increasingly complex. With today’s busy schedules, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest updates and explore complex tax issues. This partnership will help you meet your educational goals and earn CPE through a wide variety of topics and delivery formats offered through the NATP Learning Center.

As an SFS customer, you will receive special pricing on NATP live webinars, on-demand webinars and self-study courses. Popular courses include:
  • The Essential 1040
  • Annual Tax Update
  • Ethics & Circular 230
  • Introduction to Tax Preparation
IRS Annual Filing Season Program
The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is a new voluntary program offered to all tax professionals. Once completed, you will receive an Annual Filing Season Record of Completion from the IRS. Along with this, AFSP participants will be included in a public database of return preparers on the IRS website, scheduled to launch in January, 2015. With this credential, you will also be able to represent your clients before the IRS in matters related to professional tax returns you prepare on their behalf. Learn more about the program.

If you would like to participate, we now offer the IRS Annual Filing Season Program through our National Tax School. This package contains an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR)a knowledge-based comprehension test, courses that coverother federal tax law topics; and ethics all delivered in an interactive audio visual course format.

Purchase the IRS Annual Filing Season Program bundle here.You will find the bundle on the Available Courses page of the website. Be sure to enter your CCH SFS Client ID and coupon code CCHSFS10 during checkout to receive your $10 discount.
Annual Seminar:
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Order Your 2015 Research Books Today
Be ready for tax season with our 2015 research books. Choose from a number of resources for tax season relief, including Affordable Care Act: Law Regulatory Explanation & Analysis (2015) and the U.S. Master Tax Guide (2015). 
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oct.15 - consider unlinking your states; transmit fed and state efiles at least two hours before deadline

Upcoming e-File Deadlines
October 15
E-file deadline for 1040 returns on extension

October 20
Last day to re-transmit timely filed rejected returns
We strongly encourage you to transmit your e-files at least two hours before the midnight deadline.
NOTE: Be sure to track your e-filed returns and see the exact field causing the IRS reject. Click here for instructions

Important e-Filing Tips
Run diagnostics to view diagnostic errors AND validation errors. Diagnostic and validation errors are two separate notifications that must be cleared to create the e-file. Learn more about these errors

Pick up your e-File acknowledgements (acks). Be sure to check for acks after critical deadlines. This will allow you to view and fix any rejects within the allotted time frame.

You can also schedule automatic ack retrieval through your TaxWise program. The Schedule Ack Retrieval feature allows TaxWise to automatically connect to the Electronic Filing Center and pick up any available acknowledgements. To learn more about this option, access Help in the TaxWise program.

Consider unlinking state returns from federal returns before transmitting the e-file. Linked state returns (with a separate e-file created) cannot be submitted until the federal return is accepted by the IRS, but unlinked state returns can be submitted at any time. The federal return is not required to be accepted before the state return is submitted for processing. For state MeF returns, TaxWise will default to linked. However, you may elect to send the state as unlinked by making a selection on the state form.

Extended Customer Care Hours
Customer Care hours will be extended on October 14th and 15th. We will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern on both days to assist you during the 1040 e-filing deadline. 
View Customer Care hours

Extended and Late Returns
Remember to keep TaxWise up-to-date as you prepare and e-file extended and late returns. You can easily check for updates using Get Program Updates and Get Module Updates on the Communications menu. Or download updates from theTaxWise Solution Center.

Oct 14th- some outstanding acks

Problem: some returns that we transmitted yesterday morning (October 14th) did not send successfully to IRS

These batches could include returns that were sent to our EFC last Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday—we held all of those efiles until IRS was ready to accept them Tuesday morning

Symptom: Return Query will show “awaiting ack” or "sent to agency" and a date sent of 10-14-14 but no ack received yet

solution: no action needed by the ERO. Our EFC team has identified the affected batches and are working with IRS to get those resent to IRS. We expect to successfully efile the returns today, before the Oct 15th midnight deadline. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

IR-2014-95: Online Seminars from the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are Available

IR-2014-95:  Online Seminars from the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are Available

Online Seminars from the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are Now Available

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminded tax professionals that they can earn continuing professional education credits online through seminars filmed at the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.

The 14 self-study seminars are now available on the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online (NTFO). Self-study seminars provide information to students using interactive videos, PowerPoint slides and transcripts.

The 2014 online forum seminars cover many topics of interest to tax professionals including:
  • Highlights of 2014 income tax law changes,
  • Overview of the premium tax credit and the individual shared responsibility provision,
  • Updates to and overview of Treasury Circular No. 230, and
  • Improvements to the process for securing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
The online forums are registered with the IRS Return Preparer Office and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a qualified sponsor of continuing professional education (CPE). For a fee, Enrolled Agents and CPAs taking NTFO seminars can earn CPE credits. To earn CPE credits, users must create an account, answer review questions throughout the seminar, and pass short tests at the end of the seminars.

The online forum seminars can also be audited for free. Users who choose to audit seminars will not have access to the review questions or final examination and will not receive credit for the seminar.
In addition to the recently-added seminars, NTFO also offers many seminars from prior-year IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.


Tax professionals interested in these seminars should visit www.irstaxforumsonline.com.

Monday, October 13, 2014

IRS efile offline until Tuesday morning- for the annual Columbus Day outage

IRS efile offline this past weekend for annual Columbus Day outage


IRS released the following Quick Alert about their planned outage for Columbus Day.

The SFS electronic filing center will stop sending efiles to IRS at 6pm Friday night, and resume at 8am Tuesday morning.

Important Oct 15th deadline e-Filing Tips
Run diagnostics to view diagnostic errors AND validation errors. Diagnostic and validation errors are two separate notifications that must be cleared to create the e-file. Learn more about these errors

Pick up your e-File acknowledgements (acks). Be sure to check for acks after critical deadlines. This will allow you to view and fix any rejects within the allotted time frame.

You can also schedule automatic ack retrieval through your TaxWise program. The Schedule Ack Retrieval feature allows TaxWise to automatically connect to the Electronic Filing Center and pick up any available acknowledgements. To learn more about this option, access Help in the TaxWise program.

Consider unlinking state returns from federal returns before transmitting the e-file. Linked state returns (with a separate e-file created) cannot be submitted until the federal return is accepted by the IRS, but unlinked state returns can be submitted at any time. The federal return is not required to be accepted before the state return is submitted for processing. For state MeF returns, TaxWise will default to linked. However, you may elect to send the state as unlinked by making a selection on the state form
NOTE: Be sure to track your e-filed returns and see the exact field causing the IRS reject. Click here for instructions

Subject:  Modernized e-File (MeF) Production Power Outage for Columbus Day


All times shown in this communication are in Eastern Time Zone.
IRS will conduct its annual Columbus Day Power Outage beginning Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. and ending on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 5:00 a.m.

The MeF Systems will not be available during this time. Shutdown will begin on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

Important Note: States that schedule retrieval of their state submissions may have to change their schedule in order to retrieve submissions in time to validate returns and submit acknowledgements by 2:30 p.m. on October 11, 2014. Anything not retrieved through MeF by 3:00 p.m. cannot be accessed again until MeF re-opens for Production on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

Deadlines on Saturday, October 11, 2014               
Transmitters:
      Transmitting Submissions (State & Federal)             1:00 p.m.
      Retrieving Acknowledgements                                 3:00 p.m.
States:
      Transmitting Acknowledgements                              2:30 p.m.
Start Up on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
      Transmitters and States                                             5:00 a.m.
Please monitor the MeF Status Page for any updat