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41 Courses Available

Ethics
Course
Credit Hours
Tax Return Preparer Ethical Issues
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

The Internal Revenue Service routinely processes more than 200 million tax returns each year, many of them prepared by tax professionals. Not surprisingly, as tax law becomes increasingly complex, taxpayers often seek for the knowledgeable assistance of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents and registered tax return preparers.

To help ensure such professionals understand their ethical responsibilities in representing their clients before the IRS and in preparing their tax returns, the IRS has published Treasury Department Circular No. 230. Circular 230 offers substantial guidance in:

  • Setting forth rules relating to the authority to practice before the IRS;
  • Identifying the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS; and
  • Prescribing sanctions for violating the regulations.

This course will examine many of those rules, duties and restrictions as well as the sanctions imposed for their violation. In that examination of applicable rules, the course will discuss the requirements imposed on tax return preparers by them and will then present real-world scenarios focusing on specific ethical issues they may encounter in their professional activities. The preparer will be asked to analyze the scenario, identify the ethical issue or issues presented and determine an appropriate response.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the scope of registered tax return preparer responsibilities;
  • Describe the best practices for tax advisors in preparing or assisting in the preparation of a submission to the Internal Revenue Service;
  • Explain practitioner duties and restrictions with respect to -
    • Information to be furnished to the IRS,
    • The practice of law,
    • Dealing with taxpayer omissions, errors and noncompliance with U.S. revenue laws,
    • The requirement for preparer diligence as to accuracy,
    • Return of client records,
    • The existence of conflicts of interest, and
    • Solicitation of business; and
  • List the various sanctions that may be imposed for a preparer's failure to comply with applicable conduct rules.

Field of Study: Ethics
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Disciplinary Actions for Circular 230 Violations
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

This course outlines the basic sanctions imposed under Circular 230 and the process for imposing them. More importantly, the material digests dozens of disciplinary cases instituted under Circular 230 and categorizes the specific types of conduct leading to sanctions. Upon completing this course the practitioner will have a firm grounding in the patterns of activities that are likely to result in disciplinary actions, those defenses that may be successful, and the excuses that do not work.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the different sanctions the OPR may impose for violations of Circular 230
  • Determine party responsible for violations of Circular 230
  • Recognize the difference between frivolous arguments and reasonable basis
  • Define violations of Circular 230

Field of Study: Ethics
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Ethics for Tax Practitioners
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

Ethics are the values that govern our decisions and actions. Some companies have clearly defined written codes of principles for determining the difference between good and bad behavior. Good ethics boils down to knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do what is right. This course will explore the definition of ethics in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the important covenants contained in Treasury Circular 230, which governs practice before the IRS. Additionally, this course will discuss the various penalties and sanctions available for violation of the rules by individuals allowed to practice.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the role of ethics in the tax preparation industry.
  • Explain the IRS rules as outlined in Circular 230.
  • Identify common ethical violations and penalties.
  • Discuss procedures that promote compliance with ethical guidelines.

Field of Study: Ethics
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Law
Course
Credit Hours
1099 Dos and Don'ts
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

Understanding information reporting using the 1099 series of returns is crucial for the practitioner. Not only are there penalties for failure to file and inaccurate filing, the IRS uses these information returns in its document matching program to identify problems on Form 1040 and other tax returns. Unfortunately, winding your way through the maze of 17 different 1099 varieties can be a challenging task.

This course is designed to provide needed guidance through the thicket. General rules involving the 1099 series of information returns are discussed, including due dates, penalties, and the proper procedure for correcting errors. In addition, each of the 17 Form 1099 types is reviewed, with special emphasis on Form 1099-MISC, the most common of the information returns.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the basic rules for preparing and filing Form 1099
  • Recognize the exceptions to the requirement to file Form 1099
  • Select the appropriate version of Form 1099 to file
  • Define the types of transactions that trigger Form 1099-MISC reporting
  • Identify the specific information that must be included on Form 1099-MISC and other 1099s
  • Identify the due date and penalty requirements associated with 1099 filing

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self-Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Accuracy & Continuity on Tax Returns
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

In Accuracy & Continuity the course content focuses on illustrating the steps necessary to comply with due diligence standards. The tax preparer must not only explore accuracy on a current year return, but review of a prior year return for figures related to carryovers and depreciation should also be performed. In addition, the course content touches on situations that involve interest and dividend income, RMDs, rental income, and short-and long-term capital gains. Finally, the course provides a brief discussion of basis determination and preparer contingency fees.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review prior year's return for accuracy, comparison, and carryovers for current year return.
  • Recognize items that will affect future returns (e.g., carryovers, depreciation).
  • Interest Income (taxable and non-taxable) (e.g., Schedule B and 1099-INT).
  • Dividend Income (e.g., Schedule B and 1099-DIV).
  • Rental income and expenses (e.g., Schedule E Supplemental Income and Loss).
  • Required minimum distributions from retirement plans.
  • Short-term and long-term capital gains and losses (e.g., Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses, Form 1099-B Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions).
  • Determination of basis of assets (e.g., purchased, gifted, or inherited).
  • Rules regarding fees, including contingent fees.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Children - Tax and Wealth Preservation Issues
CTEC:

3 hours

IRS:

3 hours

NASBA:

3 hours

Course Description

This course offers tax professionals practical information on current law, principles, and practices of income taxation and the impact on financial planning for families.  The course objective is to review key principles of individual income tax planning as they relate to families.

Learning Objectives

  • Children and Federal Income Taxes
  • Special Taxation Issues and Considerations Involving Minor Children
  • Approaches to Funding Education
  • Transferring Assets to Minors
  • Life Insurance in Planning for Minors
  • Transferring Retirement Benefits
  • Planning After Death for Care of Minor Children

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Education Tax Benefits
CTEC:

4 hours

IRS:

4 hours

Course Description:

Few advantages are as sought after by parents for their children than an education that will enable them to grow professionally and enjoy the benefits such an education can help bestow. The federal government supports and encourages their efforts to provide that education through various programs and income tax incentives.

This course will examine the programs, credits, deductions and federal income tax treatment of various items that affect saving for and financing an individual's education. In so doing, it will consider:

  • Qualified tuition programs;
  • Coverdell education savings accounts;
  • The education savings bond program;
  • Federal tax credits for education;
  • The federal tax treatment of scholarships, fellowships, grants and tuition reductions; and
  • Deductions available for student loan interest, tuition and fees.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the features of the types of qualified tuition programs available under IRC section 529;
  • Explain the tax benefits provided under an IRC section 529 qualified tuition program;
  • Identify the limits and tax treatment of contributions to and distributions from a Coverdell education savings account (ESA);
  • Describe the tax treatment of interest earned under qualified U.S. savings bonds used to pay certain education expenses;
  • Explain how the American opportunity and lifetime learning credits operate;
  • Illustrate the tax treatment of scholarships, fellowships and other types of educational assistance; and
  • Explain the federal income tax rules applicable to student loan interest, payment of tuition and fees, and student loan cancellations and repayment assistance.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 200 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Estate Planning Overview
CTEC:

3 hours

IRS:

3 hours

NASBA:

3 hours

Course Description

Estate and end-of-life planning is a topic for which many people often seek the guidance of an experienced tax advisor. Issues such as preparing a will, incorporating a trust, or using life insurance as a means to reduce estate tax are generally hot topics. Professionals such as Attorneys, Financial Planners, and Tax Advisers commonly contribute to the process and work together to identify the best solution for the client. A Tax Adviser who is not authorized to practice law must rely on those duly qualified to prepare the appropriate planning documents. It is important that all professionals involved understand the fundamentals of estate planning in order to navigate their clients through the evolving regulations surrounding wealth transfer.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand estate planning basics
  • Reduce transfer taxes using available credits and exemptions
  • Transfer property outside of probate
  • Effectively utilize life insurance and annuities in estate planning
  • Develop an understanding of popular trust instruments

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 150 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Estate Tax Planning
CTEC:

3 hours

IRS:

3 hours

NASBA:

3 hours

Course Description:

Estate Tax Planning examines the various aspects of planning for the estate tax liability. The course begins with a discussion of the genesis of estate taxation in English common law and continues with an examination of the estate and its administration.

The subjects discussed in the course are a) the estate and its administration, b) federal gift and estate taxes, c) common estate planning trusts, d) calculating federal estate taxes, e) state inheritance and estate taxation, and f) estate tax payment. The text serves as an introduction to the issues of estate settlement and includes a discussion of the probate estate and the federal gross estate.

The steps taken to calculate federal estate tax liability are discussed. In that discussion, the federal gross estate, tentative taxable estate, taxable estate and tentative tax are examined. The various estate tax credits and deductions are considered and their place in the federal estate tax calculation is explained.

The role of trusts in estate tax minimization is considered. The common trusts employed in estate tax planning are explained, and the uses of credit shelter trusts, QTIP trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts are demonstrated. State death taxes are considered, and inheritance taxes are compared to estate taxes with respect to the party liable for payment and the role of decedent/beneficiary relationships in inheritance taxation. Finally, the traditional sources of estate tax payment are examined and compared.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the components of an estate for tax purposes and a probate estate;
  • Identify the assets that comprise the federal gross estate;
  • Recognize state inheritance taxes and estate taxes and the typical beneficiary classifications for state inheritance tax purposes;
  • Indicate how gifts are taxed under the federal gift tax system;
  • Recognize the deductions and credits allowed under the federal system of estate taxation;
  • Identify the common trusts employed in estate tax planning;
  • Select items to include or exempt to perform an estate tax calculation; and
  • Identify the methods of estate tax payment and their cost consequences.

Duration: 150 minutes
Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Duration: 150 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Fundamentals of Entity Selection
CTEC:

3 hours

IRS:

3 hours

NASBA:

3 hours

Course Description:

Assisting a client in choosing the best business structure is a challenging task that requires a combination of skills and knowledge. There is much riding on your ability as a tax professional to help entrepreneurs or existing business select the "perfect form." Not only will this decision affect their ability to achieve their specific business objectives, it will also determine how well their assets are protected.

Later, you will read about a small business owner, Deborah Williams, who receives insufficient help from her first accountant when incorporating her small computer business. It cost her dearly before she finally consulted a different tax professional, someone more knowledgeable in this arena.

This course is designed to provide you with the information you need to be of similar value to your clients. In particular, it focuses on the tax advantages and disadvantages of S & C Corporations, LLCs, LLPs and Sole Proprietorships. It will target and explore many of the major factors that drive the initial decision of entity selection, as well as special circumstances that arise during the course of doing business.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 150 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Healthcare Reform: Tax Provisions of the Affordable Care Act
CTEC:

4 hours

IRS:

4 hours

NASBA:

4 hours

Course Description:

The landmark legislation known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law in 2010, is likely to affect virtually every person and institution in the United States in some way. It imposes healthcare-related requirements on health plans, health insurers, employers and individuals.

In addition to imposing various tax increases to increase revenue, the PPACA uses a carrot and stick approach to ensure compliance with its provisions, offering tax credits for compliance and imposing tax penalties for non-compliance. This course will review the principal provisions of the law and will examine its tax impact on individuals and businesses.

In so doing, it will consider the:

  • Coverage-related provisions of the PPACA addressing -
    • Plan grandfathering pursuant to which health coverage in force at the time of the law's passage may be continued,
    • The prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions,
    • The proscription of lifetime and annual benefit limits,
    • The limitation of health coverage rescissions,
    • The requirement for certain patient protections,
    • The general requirement for universal health care coverage, and
    • The requirement that plans covering children extend child coverage until age 26;
  • Tax credits available to small businesses to encourage them to sponsor employee health plans;
  • Shared responsibility for certain large employers to provide employee health coverage and the tax penalties imposed for noncompliance;
  • Various personal income tax changes affecting taxpayers; and
  • Tax credits and tax penalties authorized to help enforce the PPACA requirement that individuals maintain minimum essential coverage.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the principal healthcare provisions of the PPACA;
  • Identify the tax credits for which small businesses may be eligible when sponsoring employee health plans;
  • Explain the shared responsibility requirements for employers regarding employee health coverage and the tax penalties imposed for the failure to meet them; and
  • Describe the tax credits and tax penalties designed to help ensure that individuals meet the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Marital Status and the Adoption Credits, Moving Expenses and Gain on Sale of Main Home
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

In Marital Status, the goal is to identify which acts constitute consideration of marriage, as well as the benefits and consequences of obtaining married status. For the most part, the ability to file married-joint creates the most beneficial situation for taxpayers. In certain circumstances, like adoption of a spouse's child, marital status can create adverse effects. In addition, this course identifies instances which qualify for deduction of expenses in the process of a move and in relation to the sale of a primary residence.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand tax payments (e.g., withholding, estimated payments).
  • Understand due dates, including extensions.
  • Taxability of wages, salaries, tips, and other earnings (e.g., W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, cash).
  • Sale of a principal residence (e.g., IRC 121 exclusions, 1099S Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions).
  • Eligible Moving expenses - (e.g., Form 3903 Moving Expenses).
  • Penalties to be assessed by the IRS against a preparer for negligent or intentional disregard of rules and regulations, and for a willful understatement of liability (e.g., IRC 6694(a), IRC 6694(b)).
  • 6.8. Safeguarding taxpayer information - (e.g., Publication 4600 Safeguarding Taxpayer Information, Quick Reference Guide for Business, IRC 7216).

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Offers-In-Compromise: Navigating the Process
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

While Congress has given the IRS the authority to compromise tax liabilities for less than the full amount due, the law never compels the IRS to accept an offer-in-compromise. Thus the key to representing taxpayers in offer-in-compromise situations is to be fully aware of the internal procedures and ground rules that the IRS has established for itself. By reviewing these procedures and showing you how to intelligently utilize the IRS rules for the benefit of your clients, this course will equip you to successfully navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the offer-in-compromise. The objectives of this course include familiarizing you with the basics of doubt as to liability and effective tax administration offers, while providing you will specific tools and references for handling doubt as to collectability cases.

Learning Objectives:

By reviewing these procedures and showing you how to intelligently utilize the IRS rules for the benefit of your clients, this course will equip you to:

  • Navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the offer-in-compromise
  • Identify the basics of doubt as to liability and effective tax administration offers
  • Recognize the specific tools and references available for handling doubt as to collectability cases

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Passive Activity Loss Limitations
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

A common mistake made in tax preparation is the deduction of losses from passive activities without regard to the limits applicable to those losses. While rental real estate activities often generate passive losses, the passive loss limitation rules apply to a broad range of activities and are of particular concern to S corporation shareholders, partners, and members of limited liability companies. Furthermore, until further guidance is issued, the rules may be particularly tricky to apply with respect to LLC membership interests. The objectives of this course are to provide the practitioner with a sound understanding of the basic rules related to passive activity loss limitations and their application in common scenarios. The course covers the relevant definitions and exceptions regarding passive loss limitations with which every tax practitioner should be familiar.

Learning Obejectives:

Upon completion you will be able to:

  • Identify passive activities
  • Calculate hours spent in order to determine classification of participation in an activity
  • Recognize applicability of grouping activities
  • Name the tests associated with determination of material participation

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Preparing Returns with Multiple Income Sources
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

This illustrative course is designed to provide a more tangible experience to understanding tax preparation. The course content will identify possible sources of taxable income, examine self-employment income and the necessity to make estimated payments, and generally explains the initial steps taken at the beginning of the return process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine all sources of taxable and non-taxable income (e.g., wages, interest, business, sale of property, dividends, rental income, income from flow-through entities, alimony, government payments, and pension distributions).
  • Self-employment income and expenses (e.g., Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business and Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income, cash).
  • Other income (e.g., alimony, barter income, hobby income, non taxable combat pay, state income tax refund from prior years, prizes).
  • Sale of non-business assets (gains or losses).
  • Self-employment tax (e.g., Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax).
  • Understand payment options (e.g., check, direct debit, EFTPS, credit card, installment agreement-Form 9465).
    • Field of Study: Tax
      Course Level: Basic
      Prerequisite: None
      Delivery Method: Self Study
      Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Reporting Foreign Income and Assets
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

Reporting of foreign assets, accounts, and income are now high on the agenda for the IRS, and severe penalties may be imposed, even for innocent missteps. The complex nature of the requirements, coupled with a lack of familiarity shared by many taxpayers and practitioners makes these issues particularly important today. This course is designed to provide you with the tools necessary to tackle these issues effectively and efficiently.

Learning Objectives:

In this course you will learn about the various requirements for reporting foreign income and assets.

  • Recognize the basic rules for income tax reporting of foreign earned income.
  • Learn about the new foreign financial asset reporting requirements on IRS Form 8938
  • Understand the newly-emphasized "FBAR" filing requirements for foreign financial accounts.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Representing Taxpayers before the IRS
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

This is a basic level course that describes the contexts in which the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") interacts with taxpayers in circumstances where representation of the taxpayer would be appropriate. The specific objectives of this course are to arm you with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively represent taxpayers before the IRS with respect to both audits and collection activity. Using examples and illustrations, this course will familiarize you with the forums in which the IRS is encountered, the methods and procedures of each, and suitable responses to IRS communications. You will learn to distinguish "real" deadlines imposed by law from suggested response dates. Upon completion of this course you will have a better understanding of the options available to assist your clients at various stages of the controversy process, what to expect from IRS personnel, and what is expected of you as a taxpayer representative.

Learning Objectives:

The stated learning objectives for this course include:

  • Define various terms associated with taxpayer examinations and representation before the IRS
  • Recognize the role of the offices and divisions within the IRS who are tasked with performing audits and examinations
  • List the forms which a taxpayer may receive or use to respond to inquiries during an examination or audit
  • Identify the key IRS employees involved in the examination and audit processes and define their roles

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Retirement Plans, Pensions and Annuities
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

Employer-sponsored retirement plans, generally referred to in the aggregate as qualified employee plans, constitute one of the important "legs" of the retirement stool that individuals look to for their income in retirement. The other two legs of that stool are personal savings - through investment in securities, deferred annuities, savings accounts, etc. - and Social Security retirement benefits. This course will examine qualified employee plans, their limits and their tax treatment along with a discussion of annuities and their taxation.

Annuities offer their owners the opportunity to systematically liquidate a principal sum or save money for a long-term objective. For many annuity buyers, that objective is to provide income during retirement. As we will see in our examination of annuities, they provide owners with a number of advantages; principal among them is their tax treatment. By purchasing and investing in an annuity, a contract owner can avoid current income taxation of earnings. By avoiding current income taxation, earnings that might have been used to pay current income taxes can be invested to produce additional income.

Annuities' tax advantages aren't limited to tax deferral, however; annuities offer additional tax advantages. For example, an investor purchasing a variable annuity can change his or her investment allocation in the contract's variable subaccounts whenever desired. Typically, such changes are made in order to implement new objectives or to modify the level of risk assumed. From a tax point of view, the important issue is that the contract owner can make these changes without being required to recognize income as would be required if, for example, the investor liquidated his or her stock portfolio in order to purchase bonds. In addition to these tax benefits, a contract owner that elects to annuitize his annuity contract, i.e. to take a periodic income from it, will find that part of each periodic income payment may be tax free as a return of his or her investment in the annuity contract.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the types and characteristics of qualified employee plans;
  • Explain the limits imposed on qualified employee plan contributions and benefits;
  • Describe the requirements applicable to qualified employee plan loans and their tax treatment;
  • Explain the rules governing rollovers to and from qualified employee plans;
  • Apply the federal tax laws to qualified employee plan contributions and distributions;
  • List the principal types of annuities and their characteristics; and
  • Describe how annuity contributions and distributions are taxed.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Self-Employment, Education Credits and Estimating Tax
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

This course was designed to expose the tax professional to a more complex level of tax return preparation. In addition to discussing adjustments to gross income, the course content will cover what constitutes self-employment income, the items which qualify as education in order to claim education credits, and guidelines for paying estimated tax payments. In addition, the course will briefly discuss deductible expenses related to work related travel and entertainment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine applicable adjustments to gross income (e.g., self-employed health insurance, self employment tax, student loan interest deduction, alimony paid, tuition, and fees deduction).
  • Determine filing requirements (including extensions and amended returns).
  • Identification of forgiveness of debt as income (including Form 1099-C Cancellation of Debt).
  • Self-employment tax adjustment to income (e.g., Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax).
  • Tuition and fees - (e.g., Form 8917 Tuition and Fees Deduction, Form 1098T Tuition Statement).
  • Education credits - (e.g., Form 8863 Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits), Form 1098T Tuition Statement).
  • Employee travel, transportation, education, and entertainment expenses - (e.g., Form 2106-EZ and Form 2106 Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses).
  • Understand estimated tax payment requirements (e.g., potential for penalties, Form 1040-ES Estimated Tax).

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Single - With Dependents
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

In this illustrative course the goal is to address the various credits and exemptions available to single parents. In addition to the child tax credit and the child care credits, many single parents qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This credit is not only available to taxpayers with children, and this course strives to review the key determining factors in evaluating a taxpayer for qualification. Unreported social security and Medicare is also addressed, particularly as it relates to the receipt of tip income.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine applicable credits (e.g., earned income tax credit, child tax credit, education, retirement savings, and dependent and child care credit).
  • Determine special filing requirements (e.g., presidentially declared disaster areas).
  • Determine qualifying child/relative tests for Earned Income Credit.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (e.g., Schedule EIC Earned Income Credit, Form 8867 Paid Preparer's Earned Income Credit Checklist).
  • Unreported Social Security and Medicare tax - (e.g., Form 4137 Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income).
  • Appropriate use of Form 8867 Paid Preparer's Earned Income Credit Checklist and related penalty for failure to exercise due diligence (e.g., IRC 6695(g)).

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Something Old Something New Some Divorce Tax Issues for You
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

This federal tax law course is designed to provide the tax preparer with necessary information to assist taxpayers in the process of divorce or who have recently completed divorce. The course provides information on how to elect filing status, how to deal with separation of property following divorce, and circumstances involved in common law or same sex marriages.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, you will be able to...

  • Understand the rules of transfers of property incident to divorce
  • Determine appropriate filing status for divorcing and divorced couples
  • Identify eligibility for deductions in situations of community property
  • Understand rules for same sex unions

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Issues Related to Small Construction Contractors
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

The construction industry presents a variety of tax complexities for preparers. Among the difficulties is the generally required use of the percentage of completion method of accounting for construction contracts and the application of the look-back interest rules. Fortunately, there are exemptions for some of these complexities for the smaller construction contractor.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concept of the percentage of completion method of accounting
  • Recognize the general rules for selecting an appropriate accounting method
  • Compare and contrast cash method and accrual method of accounting
  • Understand the Completed Contract Method and Exempt-Contract Percentage-of-Completion Method (EPCM)
  • Learn about AMT and its effect on long-term contract adjustment, S corporations, partnerships and look-back
  • Study the pros and cons of long-term accounting methods

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Rules Related to Ministers and Clergy
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

While practitioners may be familiar with the basic concepts related to tax exempt organizations, many fail to understand the various exceptions and special rules that apply to ministers. Although tax exemption only applies to organizations, a host of special rules, including certain exemptions from gross income, apply to the individuals that perform ministerial services for churches and religious orders. The issues can be tricky to spot, and a lack of knowledge about the special tax treatment afforded to ministers can result in an over- or under-payment of tax.

This course is designed to remedy any weaknesses the practitioner may have in his or her understanding of the tax rules applicable to ministers. The relevant definitions are explored, as well as the major issues of withholding, self-employment tax, and the parsonage allowance are covered, including other common income and expense issues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine the difference in classification of out-of-pocket costs as business expenses or charitable contributions
  • Identify all sources of income and determine which sources are included in gross income, and which sources are included in self-employment income
  • Understand the concepts of burden of proof and donative intent in determining whether a payment is a gift or compensation
  • Become familiar with the rules for payments to retired ministers, including the classification of payments received under a pension plan
  • Understand the rules pertaining to the treatment and classification of the parsonage allowance, fair rental value, and amounts spent on utilities
  • Calculate gross income for federal income tax purposes, as well as self-employment tax purposes
  • Define various clergy-related terms such as religious order, vestments, and vow of poverty

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Treatment of Individual Retirement Arrangements
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

Course Description:

Federal tax policy is designed to accomplish numerous goals, from funding government to encouraging socially-beneficial actions such as saving for retirement. ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, was created principally to meet the latter objective.

ERISA created an individual retirement arrangement-usually referred to simply as an IRA-to encourage taxpayers who were not participants in an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan to save money to fund their future retirement needs. That was the initial legislative action. In order to participate, you needed to be employed and not a part of a pension, profit-sharing or other qualified plan.

These early ERISA provisions offering tax benefits to individuals funding IRAs have been extended in subsequent legislative actions to:

  • Unemployed spouses;
  • Qualified retirement plan participants; and
  • Taxpayers preferring tax-free distributions instead of deductible contributions.

Early expansion of the IRA provisions added a spousal IRA that is designed to provide retirement assistance to uncompensated homemakers. It was also expanded to allow employees who are covered under an employer-sponsored qualified pension or profit-sharing plan to contribute to an IRA.

Since that earlier ERISA expansion related to IRAs, new IRAs have been added, including Roth IRAs that offer tax-free qualified distributions rather than deductible contributions. In order to differentiate the newer Roth IRA from its earlier cousin, the original IRA is now referred to as a "traditional" IRA.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the rules governing eligibility and permitted contribution levels applicable to traditional and Roth IRAs;
  • Identify the requirements and benefits related to a spousal IRA;
  • Explain the tax treatment of contributions to and distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs;
  • Describe the benefits of tax-deferred accumulation; and
  • Discuss traditional and Roth IRA distribution rules.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Treatment of Life Insurance Proceeds
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

One of the important considerations in many financial transactions is the tax treatment the transaction is given. Often, the impact of taxation is a consideration in the purchase of life insurance every bit as much as it applies to stock purchases, bond purchases and the establishment of qualified retirement plans.

In this course we will look at the tax treatment given proceeds from life insurance policies and will consider the taxation of death benefits, cash value withdrawals, loans and surrenders. In addition, we will examine the differences in tax treatment caused by a life insurance policy's:

  • Failure to meet the statutory definition of life insurance;
  • Being deemed a modified endowment contract;
  • Transfer of ownership to another person for a valuable consideration;
  • Sale in a viatical or life settlement transaction;
  • Ownership by an employer; and
  • Use in a qualified retirement plan.

Learning Objectives:

When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Explain the customary income tax treatment given to life insurance policy withdrawals, loans, surrender proceeds and death benefits;
  • Explain how a life insurance contract's failure to meet the statutory definition of life insurance changes its income tax treatment of death benefits and cash values;
  • Describe the changes to the tax treatment of life insurance policy living proceeds resulting from the policy being deemed a modified endowment contract;
  • Discuss the income tax treatment given to life insurance policy death benefits when the life insurance policy has been transferred for a valuable consideration;
  • Compare the tax treatment of life insurance death benefits under a policy included in a qualified plan with the tax treatment of nonqualified life insurance death benefits;
  • Identify the types of life insurance exchanges that are tax-free under IRC section 1035;
  • Define the terms "terminally-ill" and "chronically-ill" as used in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; and
  • Describe the income tax treatment of accelerated death benefits, viatical settlements and life settlements.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Treatment of Sickness and Injury Plans
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

Health insurance is so central to the health and well-being of people that it may be hard for many Americans to believe it could ever have been a less important factor in helping to promote good health than it is today. In fact, health insurance as it is recognized today is a relatively recent development.

Since the early development of health insurance coverage, many changes have occurred in the manner in which health care services are delivered and paid for. Among those changes is the emergence of various tax-favored health plans. This course will examine many of those tax-favored health plans.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the tax treatment of premiums for and benefits from health insurance policies;
  • Explain the rules governing health savings accounts and Archer medical savings accounts, including their requirements and limits relative to -
    • Eligibility,
    • Contributions,
    • Distributions,
    • Transfers, and
    • Rollovers;
  • Clarify the elements of a health reimbursement account and its tax treatment;
  • Compare the tax treatment of employer-paid and individually-paid disability income insurance policies;
  • Describe the tax treatment of business-related disability coverage, including -
    • Disability overhead expense policies,
    • Disability buyout policies, and
    • Keyperson disability policies; and
  • Explain the tax treatment of long term care insurance.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Taxation of Daycare Providers
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

It is estimated that over 130,000 daycare businesses employ almost one million workers in the U.S. Most of these businesses have five or fewer employees, and many are sole proprietorships run out of the owner's home. Many daycare providers are unaware of, or simply misapply, the somewhat confusing tax rules to which they are subject. This course guides the practitioner through the tax complexities, focusing on the proper determination of deductions, so that you may be better positioned to identify the issues and help your client minimize tax burden and the chance of noncompliance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify different types of daycare providers
  • Identify the standards by which an expense is classified as a business deduction
  • Understand which types of property qualify for depreciation deductions, as well as rules for determining basis
  • Determine sources of business expenses such as business related travel, payments for food and toys, start-up costs, and business use of home
  • Identify when a daycare provider can consider bad debt as an expense
  • Understand rules for paying wages and compensation to all levels of employees, including family members and independent contractors, as well as classification of payments made to the business owner

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Taxation of Lawsuits, Awards, and Settlements
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Objectives:

This course describes the various tax consequences that arise when the taxpayer receives or pays a lawsuit judgment, award, or settlement. Both gross income inclusion rules and tax deduction issues are discussed and illustrated with examples from case law and IRS rulings. The payment of attorney's fees is also covered extensively. After taking this course you should be able to accurately assess the tax ramifications of damages and settlements received or paid by your clients and assist your client and counsel representing your client in structuring lawsuits and settlement agreements.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify damage awards and settlements that are taxable
  • Recognize which legal expenses are deductible
  • Choose appropriate approaches to settling legal disputes to achieve favorable tax consequences
  • Describe how to report attorney's fees with respect to legal disputes
  • Indentify the tax consequences of divorce, contract, and other types of legal cases

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Preparer Responsibilities
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

The recent economic downturn and expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit ("EITC") means that more and more professional preparers will be encountering clients who may be eligible for the credit. While this might be welcomed news for taxpayers, it presents a minefield of dangers for preparers. Unlike other tax credits, the EITC imposes special compliance burdens on those who prepare the return, exposing tax professionals to potentially severe consequences for a lack of due diligence. In this environment there is no substitute for a thorough understanding of preparer obligations.

This course explores the general requirements for the EITC and focuses on the preparer's responsibilities when undertaking to prepare a return claiming the credit. The due diligence requirements are set forth in detail, with examples illustrating the application of the basic principles involved. After completion of this course you will be sufficiently acclimated to the EITC preparer rules to confidently prepare returns for lower income clients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize key definitions and terms used when discussing the EITC, such as earned income, due diligence, and qualifying child
  • Calculate refunds using threshold numbers, and tax liability and payment data
  • Identify EITC error rates, frequency of fraudulent returns, and preparer penalties
  • Identify the various steps within the due diligence process, including requirement for Form 8867 and preparer obligation to evaluate information provided by the taxpayer
  • Recognize the eligibility requirements for the EITC
  • Identify record-keeping requirements associated with EITC credit documentation

Who Should Attend: All tax practitioners advising individual and business clients
Course Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Whose Deduction is it Anyway? Tax Issues for Divorced and Separated Parents
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Course Description:

This course is not intended as a comprehensive analysis of all the tax issues that arise in the context of divorce or separation. Many of the tax issues that may arise need to be dealt with in a planning context, before a divorce or separation agreement is finalized. Rather, the objective of this course is to review the issues that are most likely to confront the return preparer whose clients are already divorced, separated, or otherwise not married to the other parent of their children.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the difference in classification between alimony and child support
  • Calculate the dependency exemption allowances in cases of divorce and separation
  • Identify the eligibility of qualifying relatives
  • Determine the various credits available to taxpayers with children

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: QAS / Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Circular 230 Practice Requirements
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

Practicing before the IRS can be both rewarding and frustrating. A big part of limiting that frustration is obtaining a thorough understanding of the mechanisms in place regulating the authorization to “practice before the IRS” and disciplinary proceedings instituted by the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. What does and does not constitute practice before the IRS is a somewhat elusive concept, and through this course you will obtain a solid understanding of what it means.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the basic requirements for being an authorized practitioner, including the rules regulating appraisers and enrolled retirement plan agents.
  • Classify practitioners and their scope of representation before the IRS.
  • Identify the steps of a disciplinary proceeding.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Determining the Deductibility of Business Expenses and Hobby Losses
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

The IRS routinely targets activities engaged in by taxpayers for analysis under Internal Revenue Code §183, the so-called "hobby loss" rules. While taxpayers are allowed to deduct losses from business activities against other income, losses subject to Code section 183 are disallowed, and deductions are limited to the income generated from such activities. Furthermore, the Tax Court has increasingly used the “ordinary and necessary” restriction on business expenses to deny deductions with respect to sideline activities. Dozens of cases involving this issue are decided by the Tax Court every year underlining the need for practitioners to be aware of what to look for (and look out for) when advising their clients about the deductibility of business expenses and business activity losses. The problem is that these rules are really nothing more than a series of factors and the resolution of any case is fact-specific.

This course reviews the general parameters for establishing entitlement to business expense deductions and the criteria for distinguishing between deductible business losses and nondeductible hobby losses. The purpose of this course is to provide the practitioner with an overview of the common factual elements found in the relevant cases so that they can be better prepared to help their clients navigate these difficult waters.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Determine permissible deductibility of business expenses under Code §162.
  • Distinguish for-profit activities from hobby activities using the criteria in Code §183
  • Identify the required method for allocating expenses pursuant to Code §183.
  • Name the elements of the 10-part test under the hobby loss rules.
  • Recognize and determine the deductible expenses when an activity fails to meet the "profit motive" test.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Qualified Small Business Stock Sales
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

The tax incentives under I.R.C. §1202 provide taxpayers with an opportunity to maximize potential tax savings, while making investment in small businesses more attractive. Historically, §1202 has allowed for a 50% exclusion for gains recognized with respect to the stock of qualified small business corporations that are not S corporations.

Legislation enacted in late 2010 once again temporarily increased the exclusion on QSBS to 100% on purchases made after September 27, 2010 and before January 1, 2014. However, in order to realize the benefits afforded under this provision, careful navigation of the many complex rules related to the acquisition and subsequent sale of qualified small business stocks is needed. This provision expired at the beginning of January 2014 and, unless reenacted retroactively, the exclusion returns to 50%.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify what gains are eligible for exclusion under §1202.
  • Define current tax treatment of QSBS.
  • Calculate a five-year holding period.
  • Identify operating rules related to pass-through entities.
  • Determine how to offset short positions and application limitations of §1202.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Debt Cancellation
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

Debt cancellation is an increasingly common occurrence, especially in times of a troubled economy. The forgiveness of a debt not only has economic and financial consequences, but also specific tax consequences and the rules regarding these tax consequences can be complicated. Taxpayers and their advisors attempting to navigate through these turbulent waters will need a compass; this course is designed to provide that compass.

Those who fail to abide by the complex requirements of recognizing and excluding cancellation of debt ("COD") income may encounter unpleasant surprises. In this course we will explore the basic rules for both the inclusion of COD income in gross income and the circumstances in which COD income can be excluded; delving into each exclusion in some detail. Using examples to illustrate the application of the rules to specific situations, we will address calculation of the inclusion amount, the consequence of tax attribute reduction following exclusion, and the complicated issues related to attribute reduction in the context of S corporation and partnership borrowers.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the COD income rules.
  • Identify circumstances in which COD income has to be included and those in which it may be excluded from your clients’ gross incomes.
  • Classify how to report both the income resulting from a cancellation of debt and the tax attribute reduction necessary when an exclusion applies.
  • Define key terms such as income and insolvency.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

The Correct Approach to Deducting Travel and Lodging Expenses
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

It is no longer uncommon for taxpayers to live and work in different metropolitan areas and for organizations to hold meetings and conventions in resort locations. When this is the case, some or all of the taxpayer’s travel and lodging expenses may be deductible. Tax professionals need to be aware of the myriad of rules surrounding the deductibility of travel expenses in order to adequately advise their clients.

This course explores the requirements and limits pertaining to deductions for travel and lodging expenses. The general requirements are set forth in detail, with specific attention given to travel and lodging related to temporary work locations and foreign travel. The concept of a taxpayer’s “tax home” is illustrated using numerous examples and explanations. Deduction of travel expenses for medical, charitable, and educational purposes is also addressed.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify non-deductible commuting expenses from the costs of deductible travel.
  • Determine when spousal or companion travel may be deductible.
  • Identify how to handle the travel expenses of taxpayers with multiple work locations.
  • Recognize when travel expenses have to be allocated between business and non-business activities.
  • Recognize the limitation on deductions for lavish or extravagant travel expenditures.
  • Differentiate deductible from nondeductible lodging expenses.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Applying the New Tangible Property Regulations
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

This course covers the application of the tangible personal property regulations that were finalized in 2013 and 2014. The concept of "unit of property" is addressed, as are the types of acquisition and production costs that must be capitalized. Of primary concern is distinguishing deductible repairs from improvements that must be capitalized, and to this end the capitalization categories of betterments, adaptations, and restorations are fully described.

The course also provides practical guidance on the procedures for making accounting method changes, especially those that are required to conform to the final regulations. A table indicating the most common accounting method changes, their assigned change numbers, and legal source will assist practitioners in preparing Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method. In addition, each of the important elections that are available under the new rules is discussed in detail. Calculating the adjustments to income that may be required by an accounting method change is covered, as is the use of general asset accounts.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish deductible repairs from improvement costs that must be capitalized.
  • Identify the accounting options available for materials and supplies and spare parts.
  • Determine what constitutes a unit of property under the final regulations.
  • Select the appropriate elections available under the final regulations.
  • Identify the various safe harbors provided by the final regulations.
  • Calculate Code section 481(a) adjustments.
  • Recognize circumstances in which general asset accounts may still be beneficial.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Charitable Contribution Compliance
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

Charitable contributions are subject to a wide variety of special requirements. Only certain types of contributions to certain types of organizations are deductible for tax purposes. Furthermore, special substantiation and other compliance rules apply. This course provides a description of these requirements and tips for making sure that an intended charitable contribution meets the standards for deductibility.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the elements of a deductible charitable contribution.
  • Differentiate between the rules applicable for contributions to public charities and private foundations.
  • Calculate the charitable deduction when something is received in exchange for a contribution.
  • Distinguish the charitable deduction limits applicable to individuals and corporations.
  • Identify the special rules for vehicle donation.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Taxpayer Penalties and Interest
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

When a tax liability is assessed, the tax itself represents only a portion of the amount due to the IRS. In addition to the tax, taxpayers are subject to a variety of penalties and interest. This course reviews the most common penalties applicable to taxpayers, including both civil and criminal sanctions. The amount and circumstances under which each penalty may be imposed is addressed, as are the mechanisms by which a taxpayer may challenge the application of the penalty. The rules for calculating normal and restricted interest are covered and the criteria for interest abatement are outlined.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Differentiate non-assessable, assessable, and accuracy-related penalties.
  • Recognize the circumstances in which a penalty may be automatically imposed.
  • Determine the circumstances under which the negligence and civil fraud penalties may be imposed.
  • Choose the appropriate arguments to successfully secure a penalty abatement.
  • Calculate the appropriate underpayment and overpayment interest amounts.
  • Identify the limited circumstances in which interest abatement may be obtained.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Substantiation of Business Expenses
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

While practitioners and taxpayers alike frequently focus on the substantive rules regarding the deductibility of an expense, an otherwise deductible amount may be disallowed if it is not properly substantiated. Adequate substantiation is by its nature dependent upon the facts and circumstances of each case. In this course we will review the basic rules of substantiation and look at the facts presented in several recent cases to gain insight into the level of substantiation necessary to support various types of business expenses.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the types of records necessary to support a business deduction.
  • Recognize the various methods of substantiation available.
  • Indicate when corroborating evidence is necessary to substantiate a deduction.
  • Define the substantiation requirements for various specific types of expenses.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Primer on Retirement Plans for Small Business
CTEC:

2 hours

IRS:

2 hours

NASBA:

2 hours

Introduction to Course:

There are several retirement plan options available to business owners. Each plan comes with its own set of benefits and requirements. This course explores the advantages and incentives of creating a retirement plan, as well as discussing the differences and statutory requirements for each plan.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify the various retirement plan options for small businesses.
  • Differentiate SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans.
  • Recognize the differences in SIMPLE IRA and SIMPLE 401(k) plans.
  • Identify the statutory requirements for operation of qualified plans, such as 401(k) plans.
  • Calculate the maximum amount of income that can be deferred through the use of various types of retirement plans available to small businesses.
  • Recognize the tax consequences of distributions from the various retirement plans.

Field of Study: Tax
Course Level: Basic
Prerequisite: None
Delivery Method: Self Study
Duration: 100 Minutes
Expiration: In accordance with NASBA standards, access to this course will terminate one year from the date of purchase. Incomplete courses will no longer be accessible beyond the one year deadline.

Tax Updates
Course
Credit Hours
2015 Federal Tax Law Updates
CTEC:

5 hours

IRS:

5 hours

NASBA:

5 hours

Course Description

Excess federal tax law update course hours count toward the IRS federal tax law requirement. For example, a 5 hour federal tax update course qualifies as 3 hours of tax update and 2 hours of other federal tax.

Each year, various limits affecting income tax preparation and planning change. Some changes commonly occur each year as a result of inflation indexing, while others occur because of new legislation or the sunsetting of existing law.

This course will examine the tax changes that took effect in 2015 that are more significant from the perspective of an income tax preparer. Some context will be supplied, as appropriate, to assist readers in understanding the changes. In addition to these customary annual changes affecting various limits, certain other tax changes effective in 2015 that were brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

List the 2015 changes in various amounts including –

  • Standard mileage rates,
  • The standard deduction,
  • The exemption amount,
  • The AMT exemption amount,
  • The limits related to income from U.S. Savings Bonds for taxpayers paying higher education expenses, and
  • Deductions for qualified long-term care insurance premiums;

Identify the 2015 tax credit changes affecting the –

  • Saver’s credit,
  • Earned income credit, and
  • Adoption credit.

Recognize the 2015 changes affecting –

  • Health Savings Account (HSA) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) requirements and contribution limits,
  • Roth IRA eligibility, and
  • Traditional IRA contribution deductibility for active participants in employer-sponsored qualified plans.

List the changes effective for 2015 brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act including the –

  • Increased individual penalties under the shared responsibility provision mandating insurance coverage,
  • Small employer premium tax credit, and
  • Applicable large employer mandate.

Learn More About Continuing Education

  • Hour Requirements
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Our Guarantees
  • Our Policies

How many hours do you need?

Tax Professional

The IRS still accepts CPE for tax preparers, but it is no longer a requirement. Consider participating in the new IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

Enrolled Agent

The IRS requires EAs to complete a minimum of 16 hours of CE annually, with 72 hours completed in a 3 year period. We suggest taking 24 hours annually to avoid a large deficit in year 3.

Annual Filing Season Program

To receive a record of completion, a non-exempt preparer will complete a 6 hour AFTR course, 3 hours of federal tax law topics, and 2 hours of ethics.

View our AFSP Course options

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to my courses?

You have one year from the purchase date to complete all courses with the exception of the AFTR course, which expires December 31.

Do these courses count for CPA credit?

Many of the courses in our library have NASBA and QAS approval. We do not register our courses with individual state boards of accountancy so please ensure your state accepts NASBA registered courses. IRS Tax Ethics courses do not qualify for CPA ethics credit, as they do not cover accounting topics.

Do you have a California State Tax Law course for CTEC?

We do not have the 5-hour course on CA tax law. All other courses qualify for CTEC federal tax and ethics. Please let us know if you are interested in a CA tax law course.

Our Guarantees

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you purchase educational materials directly from us, or on the fastforwardacademy.com website, your purchase is covered by our 30-day return policy. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your purchase, you may request a refund of any item(s) purchased within the eligible return period. We may deny any return or exchange if it fails to meet our return policy criteria.

Our Policies

Return Policy

Shipping Policy

Return Policy

To qualify for a refund we must receive notice within 30 days of the date of initial purchase [“eligible return period”], along with a brief explanation of the reason for the return, and your original receipt. Returns for subscriptions will be honored for 30 days from the date of initial purchase. Notice of your intent to cancel a subscription must be received no later than 5 days from the date of each monthly renewal date [“notice period”].

If your return includes a book, or other physical merchandise, you must contact us for a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number. Returned merchandise must include your RMA number, assigned to the return by a Fast Forward Academy representative. All physical returns must arrive at our corporate office, located at 3670 Maguire Blvd, Ste 350, Orlando, FL 32803. A package is considered received when it arrives in good order at our corporate office with an RMA number. We are not responsible for lost mail. For your protection, please send your package with delivery verification. We deduct the full retail price of any physical merchandise we do not receive from the refund amount. The full retail price of the merchandise does not include any discounts or promotions.

Returns of third-party merchandise included as part of a promotion with Fast Forward Academy educational materials are governed by the specific terms of the offer. Unless otherwise specified, any included third-party products, such as a calculator or tablet, must be returned unopened in original packaging. If the third-party product(s) is in any other condition other than unopened in original packaging your return amount will NOT include the full retail price of that opened or used product and/or service.

If any books or other physical merchandise included in your return was shipped to a destination outside the United States we will deduct a restocking fee from the amount of your refund. The amount of this fee is the greater of 10% of the order value, or $50.

If you purchase our learning materials from a source other than Fast Forward Academy, you should contact that retailer directly for any returns, as this policy does not apply to purchases from outside vendors or suppliers. Shipping costs are not refundable.

Contact us to obtain an RMA form.

Shipping Policy

Fast Forward Academy products are handled by top shipping carriers to ensure your order gets to you on time. Shipments generally leave our fulfillment center within one business day of placing your order. Qualifying orders for US destinations receive free standard shipping, arriving at your doorstep within 3 to 6 business days of shipment. Otherwise we provide 2-day shipping for $11.90. If you require expedited delivery to US destinations, we can provide overnight service for an additional fee of $20.90. Shipping charges and available service will vary based on package weight and country of destination. You can see our shipping rates in your shopping cart before placing your order.

International Shipments

Items shipped to countries outside of the U.S. may be subject to taxes, customs duties and fees levied by the destination country ("Import Fees"). The recipient of the shipment is the importer of record in the destination country and is responsible for all Import Fees. Fast Forward Academy cannot mark any package(s) as a “Gift” in order to avoid customs and duties fees.

Depending on your country, please expect 2-4 weeks as an estimate of delivery for international orders. Keep in mind, that you can access the electronic textbook immediately after purchase, along with all of our other online tools. You can view our international shipping rates in your shopping cart.

Our international rate for standard service is $40.90 for most countries. The standard rate for a shipment to Canada or Mexico is $16.90.

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