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Preliminary
2017 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum Seminar Topics

*SUBJECT TO CHANGE*

Last Updated 4/7/2017

The Meaning of the Seminar Track Symbols

(A) Advanced Seminar
(E) Ethics Seminar*
(T) Federal Tax Law*
(U) Federal Tax Law Updates*
(F) Certified Financial Planner Track (TBD)**
Offered one time only Offered ONE TIME only

There are no advanced preparation requirements or prerequisite requirements for the seminars listed below. All seminars presented at the tax forums are "group-live."

ATTENTION:
*Please follow the notations (T) , (U) and (E) for seminars that qualify for continuing education credit for enrolled agents, certified public accountants and Annual Filing Season Program participants.

**Seminars marked (F) will be reviewed by the Certified Financial Planner Board and may qualify for continuing education credit for certified financial planners.

1. Advanced Rental Real Estate Issues
(A) (T) (F) This seminar will focus on issues surrounding rental real estate, including conversion to and from personal use, tax deferred exchanges (IRC 1031), involuntary conversions (IRC 1033), and interest tracing requirement (IRC 163). In addition, this presentation discusses the IRC 280A tax considerations for property that is rented and used personally, including the use of a principal residence in the shared economy.

2. Advocating for Clients Whose Accounts Were Assigned by the IRS to a Private Collection Agency
(T) This presentation will discuss the statutory basis and the IRS' implementation of the private debt collection initiative in 2017. It will discuss how the program works and how to protect and advocate for your clients. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2016 Report to Congress addresses this most serious problem facing taxpayers.

3. Advocating for Your Client in Cases Involving Trade and Business Expenses Hobby Losses
(T) This presentation will provide a general overview of trade and business expenses with a specific focus on hobby losses. The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will use recently decided court cases involving hobby losses and other trade and business expenses to explore strategies for advocating on behalf of taxpayers to the IRS, and look at best practices when substantiating these expenses.

4. Advocating for Your Client in Issues Flowing from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
(A) (T) (F) This presentation will provide a brief overview of the legal and administrative background regarding FATCA, including withholding of fixed, determinable, annual and periodic (FDAP) payments to nonresidents. This seminar will cover the process of obtaining applicable refunds and how to advocate for taxpayers experiencing delays or other difficulties in these efforts. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2016 Annual Report to Congress addresses this problem facing taxpayers.

5. Business Use of the Home including the Shared Economy
(A) (T) (F) This presentation will provide a brief overview of the legal and administrative background regarding FATCA, including withholding of fixed, determinable, annual and periodic (FDAP) payments to nonresidents. This seminar will cover the process of obtaining applicable refunds and how to advocate for taxpayers experiencing delays or other difficulties in these efforts. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2016 Annual Report to Congress addresses this problem facing taxpayers.

6. Calculating the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for Self-Employed Individuals
(A) (T) (F) This session focuses on computing the foreign earned income exclusion for a self-employed U.S. citizen or resident alien. The session will include detailed information on what constitutes foreign earned income, and will walk participants through the preparation of Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income for a fictitious sole proprietor. There will also be a brief discussion on self-employment tax obligations and the effect of Totalization Agreements.

7. Charitable Contribution Supporting Documents: How Much is Enough?
(T) Client organizers are a great tool for gathering the details of client charitable contributions, certainly sufficient to complete the tax return. However, is the underlying support for those claims sufficient enough to hold up under examination and does the client have this evidence in their possession when filing the tax return? This session provides a refresher on the charitable contribution substantiation requirements, and shares the results of recent court cases that may require you to change your practices. It will also challenge you to rethink the due diligence required when asking for the information. For instance, can you accept their numbers at face value and should receipts be requested? If so, should you keep copies of them in your tax return files? Attend this session for a discussion all of the implications involved in tracking and reporting charitable contributions correctly. Presented by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, www.aicpa.org.

8. Creating Wealth and Securing a Future
(T) (F) Millions of Americans are not saving or not saving enough for retirement. According to a 2016 Federal Reserve Report, 31 percent of non-retired individuals said they have no retirement savings or pension whatsoever. Given these statistics, do you have interest in taking the next step with your client to create wealth and secure their future? This coming tax season, encourage your clients to kick start their savings with myRA®, a starter retirement savings account created by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that's designed especially for those who don't have access to retirement savings plans at work. They can simply open a myRA account and direct all or part of their tax refund to it. It's a smart, easy way to put this one-time payment to work for their future. In this session, you will:

  • learn why tax time is a good time;
  • learn how myRA can help your small business clients;
  • learn the requirements for qualifying for the Savers Tax Credit;
  • become familiar with completing Form 8888, Allocation of Refund;
  • know the importance of contribution deadlines and their tax implication; and
  • become aware of the ITIN enrollment process.

Presented by the U.S. Department of Treasury, www.treasury.gov.

9. Data Compromises: A Tax Professional's Nightmare
(T) (F) IRS Criminal Investigation will provide an overview of data vulnerabilities common to recent data compromises involving tax professionals and insights of dark-web activities indicating that tax professionals remain a valuable target of identity thieves.

10. Dealing with the Partnership K-1 on the 1040 What You Really Need to Know!
(A) (T) (F) Do you feel overwhelmed when your client hands you a Partnership K-1? Where do you start, what questions do you ask and what do you need to know? With the increasing popularity of pass through entities, it is more likely that you may be dealing with a K-1 from a partnership on your client's tax return. This seminar will show you how to take the K-1 items to the 1040 tax return and practice points on issues such as passive and active participation, the Net Investment Income Tax, basis issues and unreimbursed partner expenses. This session includes real life examples, potential hazards and resources to keep you in compliance and help you report the K-1 correctly. Presented by the National Society of Accountants, www.nsacct.org.

11. Form 1042 and Form 1042-S Compliance
(A) (T) In this session, we will look at the withholding requirements and Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons and Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding reporting obligations of a withholding agent under chapter 3 and chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code. The presentation discusses the most common errors, when and how to file an amended Form 1042-S and what is new for tax year 2017.

12. Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) Common Issues
(A) (T) (F) The U.S. taxes its citizens and residents on worldwide income. The primary purpose of the Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) is to mitigate the potential effects of double taxation. This session will discuss the creditability of foreign taxes with respect to treaty rates vs. statutory withholding rates. This discussion will build on the topic discussed at last year's forums and will provide more advanced examples and situations to give participants a more thorough understanding of this topic. Additionally, the session will discuss the annual choice to either elect for the foreign tax credit or deduct foreign taxes. Finally, there will be an advanced discussion on foreign tax redeterminations, which will focus on advanced examples and situations.

13. Form 4797: Mysteries, Myths and Methods
(T) The successful completion of Form 4797, Sales of Business Property can be challenging for even the most seasoned tax professional. This session will seek to remove these challenges and leave the attendee with the ability to know the result of the disposition of an asset even before entries are made on the form. The attendee will learn how to:
  • calculate depreciation recapture;
  • differentiate between ordinary income and capital gain items upon asset disposition;
  • determine when Section 179 expense must be recaptured;
  • determine when capital gain may be subject to ordinary income tax; and
  • identify the tax ramifications of asset dispositions when safe harbor methods have been utilized under repairs v capitalization regulations.

Presented by the National Association of Tax Professionals, www.natptax.com.

14. The Gig Economy is Here to Stay: What Tax Pros Need to Know
(T) Today's sharing economy provides individuals with many opportunities to create new sources of income. Almost anyone can perform short "gigs" driving others, delivering meals or other goods, working short-term jobs or renting out all or part of one's home. Tax professionals know this income is taxable but how and where do we report it on the return? What expenses, if any, can be deducted against that income, and when is self-employment tax an issue? This fast-paced session will prepare you to assist your clients with proper compliance and to advise them with tax minimizing strategies. Presented by the National Association of Enrolled Agents, www.naea.org.

15. Highlights of 2017 Tax Law Changes
(U) (F) Offered one time only This seminar will discuss the major tax law changes for 2017, including how they affect tax forms and publications.

16. Identity Theft II
(T) (F) In response to forum attendees' requests following last year's Identity Theft Practitioner; Your Office, the Next "Goldmine", this presentation will go beyond awareness and will focus on what is important in developing your own written information security plan. This session will look at steps you can take to secure your "goldmine" and meet your due diligence obligations under those laws that govern the tax preparation industry. Presented by the National Association of Tax Professionals, www.natptax.com.

17. IRS and Security Summit Updates: Making Progress Against Identity Theft
(T) Working in partnership with state tax agencies and the tax industry, the IRS made significant inroads against identity theft in 2016 and seeks to build upon that foundation for 2017 and beyond. This session will educate tax professionals about the actions being taken by the Security Summit, detail the initial results and outline the future of the Security Summit approach and tax professionals' roles. The presentation will also detail how tax professionals may partner with the IRS to better protect themselves and their clients. Taxes. Security. Together. We all have a role to play.

18. IRS Audits Triggers and Tips
(T) (F) This presentation discusses how tax returns are selected for audit, including income information reporting and third party payment document matching. It will focus on the tax returns of high-income earners, Schedule C businesses, and tax returns with large itemized deductions, such as charitable contributions, home office deductions and employee business expenses. You will learn how the IRS detects unreported income through the analysis of bank statements, net worth and other indirect methods. Other topics include: how the IRS addresses hobby losses, rental losses, and alimony deductions; tips on how to respond to Information Document Requests (IDRs); an explanation of the IRS' Domestic Voluntary Disclosure Program; discussion on amended tax returns and claims for refund; and an examination of tax preparer investigations. Presented by the American Bar Association, www.abanet.org.

19. IRS Future State: Working with You to Transform a Vision into Action
(T) (F) As digital and virtual communications become more widely used and accessible, the IRS continues to modernize how we interact with taxpayers and their representatives to encourage voluntary tax compliance in a safe and secure manner. This year, new tools and expanded communication options are making it more convenient to address tax issues, whether they are simple or complex. How can these innovations help you navigate audits, collection actions, and other interactions with the IRS? Attend this session, in addition to visiting the "IRS Future Digital Services" booth in the exhibit hall, to share your perspective and to learn more about how the IRS is working to create a better experience.

20. IRS Notices Issued after Filing Information Returns (CP2100 or Notice 972CG): What to Do and How to Respond
(T) This seminar focuses on providing tax professionals with the purpose and a basic understanding of the IRS Information Return Program (IRP). It covers the importance of timely and accurately filing information returns and the responsibility of backup withholding for invalid and/or missing taxpayer identification numbers (TIN). This session also explains penalties related to information returns and how to respond to IRS Notice CP2100 and/or CP2100A and Notice 972CG.

21. ITIN Program Changes Implementation of the PATH Act
(U) (F) This is an update about the significant changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program made by Section 203 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), Pub. L. 114-113, div. Q, enacted on December 18, 2015, that modified Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code.

22. Keeping Up With Your Due Diligence
(E) (F) This seminar will address due diligence topics for tax professionals and apply Circular 230 to specific issues in tax practice.

23. One Year Down, But Wait! There's More on Refundable Credits Due Diligence
(T) Now that you have test-driven the new due diligence requirements and shared your experiences, can we talk? This seminar takes a deep dive into your most difficult due diligence scenarios. This session will give you practical interview techniques that cover the rules and exceptions to help you get it right for your clients and meet your due diligence. You will learn how to get your clients the credits they deserve and keep your practice on the right track with the IRS.

24. OPR Discipline What You Need To Know
(E) (F) This seminar will address tax professional behavior that results in discipline, from reprimand to disbarment. It will include a discussion of factors that drive the decision on whether to take disciplinary action, and how the Office of Professional Responsibility decides the appropriate level of discipline.

25. A Practitioner's Look at Limited Liability Companies (LLC) and Their Tax Entities
(A) (T) What kinds of LLCs are there and how are they taxed? LLCs are very popular but they can be very confusing and complicated for tax reporting purposes. Which form of business is right for your client? This session examines various tax aspects of the LLC, from a single member disregarded entity taxed on Schedule C to a multiple member LLC taxed as a partnership or corporation and the tax elections that are available. Included in this session are real life examples, potential hazards, and resources to help you understand the various reporting issues for the LLC. Presented by the National Society of Accountants, www.nsacct.org.

26. Preparer Risk: When a Practice Problem Becomes an Ethics Problem
(E) (F) This session will enable participants to know what to do when tax return preparation and representation issues cross the line and become an ethics issue. Practical examples will be shown to assist participants in the proper way to identify and manage common issues, such as: answers to questions on returns, competence, conflicts of interest, due diligence, knowledge of errors, and return of records. Presented by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, www.aicpa.org.

27. Representing Taxpayers in Collection Matters Before the IRS
(A) (T) The IRS recently estimated that the tax gap, or the amount of the correct tax liability that is not paid voluntarily and on time, exceeds $458 billion. These liabilities are often the subject of enforced collection action by the IRS in the form of levies, lien filings, wage garnishment, and Social Security levies. Congress granted to taxpayers numerous collection due process rights by which they can challenge the IRS' enforced collection action in favor of one or more collection alternatives. This program will discuss:
  • the IRS' various collection mechanisms, including levies, lien filings, wage garnishment, Social Security levies, and jeopardy terminations and assessments;
  • taxpayers' rights to challenge these collection actions under sections 6320 and 6330 of the Internal Revenue Code;
  • various collection alternatives, including offers in compromise, installment agreements, and currently not collectible status;
  • strategies to secure these collection alternatives from the IRS in lieu of the enforced collection action; and
  • the United States Tax Court's jurisdiction to review the IRS Office of Appeals' determinations with respect to these collection due process rights.

Presented by the American Bar Association, www.abanet.org.

28. Retirement Plan Distributions and Related Taxes
(T) (F) This session discusses distribution rules for 401(k) and IRA-based SEP and SIMPLE retirement plans and how payments are taxed to recipients. The seminar will cover distributions made before retirement, at retirement and to beneficiaries. Learn about:
  • pre-retirement distributions due to loans, financial hardship and divorce;
  • 10 percent additional tax on early distributions;
  • distributions at separation from service;
  • rollover rules for transferring money between plans and IRAs;
  • required minimum distributions at age 70 1/2;
  • distributions to spouse and non-spouse beneficiaries;
  • reporting requirements for plans and recipients; and
  • how to find, fix and avoid distribution mistakes in plans.


29. Schedule C Issues Facing the Tax Professional
(T) (F) This course discusses the complex and difficult federal income tax issues facing both the new and seasoned tax professional when preparing the Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business. The course includes issues such as:
  • what the tax professional should understand about the "tax gap" as it relates to Schedule C filers;
  • when and how revenues and expenses are to be reported;
  • understanding the make-up of the Schedule C and the reporting requirements; and
  • the challenges, limitations and opportunities for filing the Schedule C as it relates to the rest of the individual taxpayers' Form 1040.

Presented by the National Society of Tax Professionals, www.nstp.org.

30. The Tax Professional's Guide to Understanding the Importance of the Substantiation of Business Expense Deductions
(T) (F) This presentation provides tax professionals with information to educate their clients on the importance of understanding what is and what is not an allowable business expense, as well as how to determine what is an "ordinary and necessary" expense under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 162. The course will discuss the proper substantiation for verifying deductions and the importance of good record keeping for tax purposes. Presented by the National Society of Tax Professionals, www.nstp.org.

31. TIGTA: Helping You and Your Client Steer Clear of the Latest Frauds, Scams and Swindles
(E) (F) This course will explore the critical role that tax professionals play in helping to ensure the highest level of ethics and integrity in federal tax administration. Participants will learn how the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) works with tax professionals to address allegations of preparer and IRS employee misconduct. The course will also focus on raising awareness of the latest IRS impersonation schemes, including the IRS Impersonation Phone Fraud Scam, and what preparers can do to help educate their clients to ensure that they don't become the next victim.

32. Understanding Collection
(T) This seminar will provide information on various programs currently available to taxpayers in SB/SE including:
  • passport revocation;
  • private debt collection;
  • installment agreements;
  • Online Payment Agreements;
  • offers in compromise;
  • Notice of Federal Tax Lien; and
  • IRS revenue officers working with the IRS in the field.


33. Understanding Multi-cultural Clients, Credits and Challenges
(T) This seminar will discuss the many unique challenges tax profession may encounter when serving the multi-cultural client. Does your clients social security card look different? Is your clients household composed of citizens and ITIN holders? Do your clients have dependents in a foreign country? Does your client qualify for any tax credits? If so, which ones? Learn how to properly prepare and file tax returns for this ever-growing market. Presented by Latino Tax Professionals Association, www.latinotaxpro.org.

34. When Tax Prep Meets Tax Court: Essential Cases Form 1040 Preparers
(T) Tax professionals sometimes find themselves in dilemma when preparing a Schedule A on Form 1040. Completing a Schedule A is rarely as simple as placing numbers on a line and sometimes much more challenging. This session focuses on various U.S. Tax Court decisions that enable preparers to make the correct choices when preparing a client's individual tax return. Presented by the National Association of Enrolled Agents, www.naea.org.

35. Working with the IRS Office of Appeals What to Expect in Collection Appeals
(T) (F) This presentation presents information that taxpayers and tax professionals should know when working with the IRS Office of Appeals. It provides an overview of Appeals policies and procedures and discusses what you can expect. The seminar specifically outlines Appeals' case procedures for collection cases, how you appeal an IRS decision and what point in the process your case can come to Appeals.

36. Working with the IRS Office of Appeals What to Expect in Examination Appeals
(T) (F) This seminar presents information that taxpayers and tax professionals should know when working with the IRS Office of Appeals. It provides an overview of Appeals policies and procedures and discusses what you can expect. The seminar specifically outlines Appeals' case procedures for examination cases, how you appeal an IRS decision and what point in the process your case can come to Appeals.

37. Your Client Said They Had the Documents, Now Where Are They? Refundable Credits Audits
(A) (T) How do you help your clients through the audit process? Most clients need a better understanding of what documents can be provided to prove audit issues. This session discusses standard IRS requests for information and possible alternatives they will consider. It will cover documentation you can provide for each refundable credit to avoid negative impact to your clients.


WORKSHOP


Compliance Basics for Charities and Other Tax-Exempt Organizations
(A) (T) (F) An IRS Exempt Organizations expert leads the two-hour EO workshop that includes practical examples, case studies and an opportunity to engage with the instructor and fellow attendees. Topics discussed at this year's workshop include:
  • an overview of the application process;
  • the benefits and responsibilities of tax-exempt status;
  • unrelated business income basics;
  • how to meet public inspection and disclosure requirements; and
  • how to avoid automatic revocation and fix it if it happens.