Saturday, September 25, 2010

EA Continuing Education Overview for 2011 Rules on Gift Tax

Starting in 2011, enrolled agents must be aware of the new gift tax rules – until they are replaced with newer rules, as always seems to happen every few years.  The first change is that lifetime gifts of up to ,000,000 are permitted before gift tax is required.

As all enrolled agents know from their EA continuing education, gift tax is always paid by the donors – not the gift recipients. Gift tax returns are often required even when no tax is owed. Keeping the public informed about this is an important social contribution for enrolled agents.

It is also an optimal way for an EA tax practitioner to attract clients.

The only way to avoid reporting a gift is when it is less than the annual exclusion. This threshold is indexed to the cost-of-living. However, it remains at ,000 for 2011 – the same as 2010. This allows anyone to give to another person up to ,000 during a calendar year without having to count it against the ,000,000 lifetime exemption.

Study for the enrolled agent examination covers the technique known as gift splitting.

This permits a married couple to give a gift of twice the annual exclusion without incurring gift tax. The couple agrees to split the gift when filing their separate gift tax returns.

However, if one person gives more than the annual exclusion, the excess is reported on that individual's gift tax return. It may be counted against the lifetime exemption of ,000,000. But another important point covered in enrolled agent CPE is that the gift tax and estate tax are connected. Any part of the lifetime exemption that is used for gifts is no longer available for estate tax exemption.

Unfortunately, the ,000,000 limit applied to the lifetime exemption is set to expire after 2012. This means that entirely new legislation is expected that will become part of futureenrolled agent continuing education.

A summary of the general gift tax situation for 2011 is that annual total gifts to one person of up to ,000 do not have a tax impact. Any excess requires filing of a gift tax return – although gift splitting and the lifetime exemption may eliminate any tax assessment.

A special rule applies for contributions to a 529 college savings plan. A lump sum gift to the 529 of a future student is non-taxable up to ,000 when spread over five years. No other gifts to the same recipient may occur over those five years without imposition of gift tax. The ,000 threshold is also indexed to the cost-of-living.

Other types of gifts that an enrolled agent knows are exempt from tax are gifts to charities or spouses as well as amounts paid for someone's benefit directly to an educational institution for tuition or to a provider of medical services.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Continuing Education For Dentists

Continuing education for dentists supports dentists in all varieties of specialties to help educate them about any important changes in their profession. has quite a few excellent online continuing education programs for dentists and their staff. The current standard of treatment and specialized techniques are taught through the online training sessions. This helps to raise the bar of the quality of standards of care, so that every Dentist has the same opportunity to receive excellent training whether they live in Peoria or New York City.

Continuing education, as offered by for dental professionals, is important to improve skills and knowledge, and also it is a requirement to maintain a professional license. After a dentist leaves dental school they need to be licensed in their state of residence in order to be able to practice dentistry. Each year they must follow the criteria established by their state regulatory agency, which includes the protocols of the required continuing education minimums. Every state has different requirements but all states require that the license be renewed on some stated time schedule. In California, the requirements are that the license to practice dentistry be renewed every two years with a minimum of 50 hours of continuing education. There are ways to meet this requirement such as attending seminars and in-person classes, but the online courses like the ones found at are by far the most affordable and convenient ways to meet the requirements for ongoing continuing education. By taking the online courses of, dentists can both further their education and earn continuing education credits that apply towards the requirements to renew their license.
Online continuing education courses help dentists become aware of the most important advancements in their profession. Continuing education courses are one of the best examples of using technology to provide long distance learning. The online continuing education programs cover training, business management issues, and integration of new technology and equipment that will benefit the practice.

Here is just a sample of the some of the online continuing education programs that are available:
"Preventive Dentistry
"Diagnostics and Treatment planning
"Esthetic Dentistry
"Geriatric Dentistry
"Oral Surgery

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CDC Public Health Training Network Offers Free Online Continuing Education Courses

Many schools and organizations offer courses and other activities for continuing education credit. Courses can vary widely in price, location and media. Instead of paying for continuing education courses, health professionals can choose to complete courses online for free through the  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Public Health Training Network (PHTN), a distance learning network that offers a wide selection of free courses. 

Health professionals, such as physicians, nurses and certified health education specialists, need to complete continuing education units for recertification. For example, physicians in California need to accrue 50 hours every two years to renew their license. 

Some classes are offered online.  Most courses are free and some have an online video component. Students can also elect to take courses and pay only for the media, such as books, video, CD or slides.

Some media do not carry credit. Look for the CE icon. 

The CDC has been approved as a provider of continuing education by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.; American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and International Association for Continuing Education and Training. 

The CDC offers CME credit for physician and non-physicians, CNE credit for nurses, CECH credit for Certified Health Education Specialists, and CEU credit for other professionals.
When selecting courses, determine if the course providers are approved by the appropriate national accrediting organizations and state boards.  For instance, the CDC states the following about California Board of Nursing stipulations:
"The California Board of Nursing will accept CDC's ANCC credit for self-study courses.

However, they will not accept ANCC credit for courses offered within the state of California. "
For more information, read the Occupational Outlook Handbook, look for your health profession and read "sources of additional information. "