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Topics for 2018 National Income Tax Workbook

New Legislation - Business

This chapter covers business tax legislation that was enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). It is organized by code section to help participants quickly find topics of interest and includes:
  • A summary of each provision
  • Cross-references to other chapters to help participants find further information
  • Effective dates to help participants keep track of when provisions begin and when they expire

New Legislation - Individual

This chapter covers individual tax legislation that was enacted by the TCJA. It is organized by code section to help participants quickly find topics of interest and includes:
  • A summary of each provision
  • Cross-references to other chapters to help participants find further information
  • Effective dates to help participants keep track of when provisions begin and when they expire

    Rulings and Cases

    This chapter summarizes selected rulings and cases that were issued from September 2017 through August 2018 to give participants an update on issues that are being addressed by the IRS and the courts. The rulings and cases are organized under topic headings that match the titles of other chapters.

    Agriculture and Natural Resource Issues

    This chapter covers emerging topics that affect farmers and ranchers, including:
    • The new qualified business income (QBI) deduction for cooperatives
    • The depreciation of farm assets, and the new depreciation rules under the TCJA
    • Qualifying a farm lease for the QBI deduction
    • The new excess business loss disallowance rules

    Business Entity Issues

    This chapter discusses current issues in choice of entity and new laws and procedures for tax exempt-entities. Topics include how the TCJA impacts the choice of a business entity, the new exemption application for 501(c)(4) organizations, new rules that allow a 501(c)(3) organization to change its form or place of organization without a new exemption application, and other new developments for tax-exempt entities.

    Business Issues

    This chapter discusses some of the issues that tax practitioners encounter when they prepare returns for clients who have rental property or operate a business. Topics include:
    • Comprehensive examples that illustrate how to maximize the QBI deduction for a business
    • Employee fringe benefits
    • Calculating the QBI deduction for a real estate investor
    • Flow-through of the QBI deduction to partners and S corporation shareholders
    • New rules that impact micro-breweries, wineries, and distilleries

    Ethics

    This chapter discusses important issues that help practitioners comply with their ethical obligations. Topics include:
    • Due diligence for FBAR reporting, marijuana clients, and claiming refundable credits or head of household status
    • Practice continuation for the sole practitioner (including a sample practice continuation agreement)
    • Best practices for providing tax advice by email
    • Ten case studies that illustrate real-life ethical scenarios

    Individual Issues

    This chapter covers several issues tax practitioners encounter when preparing individual income tax returns, including:
    • The child tax credit and the new tax credit for dependents
    • Tax issues for divorcing spouses, including planning for repeal of the alimony deduction
    • Choice of filing status, and TCJA provisions that may impact how to file
    • Schedule A vs. the standard deduction, including ways to take advantage of charitable and other deductions for the taxpayer who claims the newly increased standard deduction

    IRS Issues

    This chapter covers issues the IRS targets as key issues for practitioners. Topics include:
    • Data security, tax scams, and identity theft
    • Passport revocations or denials for delinquent taxpayers
    • The current-status of the IRS, including a review of the challenges the IRS is facing in trying to implement the new legislation

    Payroll and Estimated Tax

    This chapter reviews payroll withholding requirements from the employer's perspective and discusses estimated tax payments from the employee's perspective. It includes information on the new wage withholding rules and updated IRS tools to help ensure the correct amount of withholding and estimated tax.

    Retirement and Savings

    This chapter covers common retirement tax planning and savings issues including:
    • IRA rollovers, conversions, and recharacterizations
    • Hardship distributions and plan loans
    • New and existing rules for ABLE accounts and Section 529 accounts

    Tax Practice

    This chapter contains important tax practices and procedures, including:
    • When a partnership can and should opt out of the new partnership audit rules
    • IRS liens and levies
    • Collection alternatives such as installment plans and currently not collectible status
    • When the taxpayer owes the IRS interest and when the IRS owes the taxpayer interest
    • Requesting technical advice from the IRS

    Tax Rates and Useful Tables

    This chapter reports the tax rates, deduction limits, credit limits, and income thresholds and limits that change each year. It includes information for 2017, 2018, and 2019 to the extent that information is available.