Thursday, February 24, 2011

EA Continuing Education Basics for Back Taxes in a Divorce

Like any major life change, divorce of a married couple has financial consequences. One of the issues involves income tax. In addition to dividing other assets and liabilities, divorce includes consideration of tax debt.

Completion of enrolled agent continuing education requirements provides the necessary training to assist taxpayers with these matters. Simply addressing tax liability in a divorce decree document is not sufficient for the IRS. This is because the IRS considers all taxes owed on a jointly filed tax return as joint and separate obligations. Therefore, the IRS may levy the bank account of any one spouse for taxes owed regardless of which spouse received the income.

A former spouse faced with these circumstances can obtain relief from the IRS. The skills obtained in tax CPE by enrolled agents prepare them for providing assistance with such measures.

One option is obtaining status as an innocent spouse.

This is usually available for one spouse who was unaware that a jointly filed tax return contained incorrectly reported information. The burden of proof for an innocent spouse is lack of knowledge about a misrepresentation of income by the other spouse. The pleading therefore is that only the other spouse is responsible for back taxes due.

Another avenue is injured spouse relief. This is easier to obtain then innocent spouse status. EA CPE also addresses how to receive this injured spouse relief. An injured spouse applicant requests a division of the tax liability from a joint tax return.

IRS approval is obtained for an equitable allocation of tax debt.

A dividing of tax liability for an injured spouse results is an assignment of debts in fair relation to the party who retained the income and thus the ability to pay the taxes. However, a separation of liability is denied for individuals who were aware that their spouses recorded erroneous information on the joint tax return as well as persons involved in a fraudulent transfer of assets between spouses.

Form 8879 is required for injured spouse relief. Innocent spouse relief is obtained by filing Form 8857. Enrolled agent continuing education covers both types of forms, including the requirements and results expected for either of them.

California enrolled agents have extra considerations because that is one of the ten community property states. These states consider debts accumulated during marriage - including tax debt - as evenly divisible between divorcing spouses. All other states use a division of debt in accordance with repayment ability.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trends In Tax Continuing Education

Continuing education (CE) is necessary for tax and finance professionals that provide services to the public. It is important that a practitioner have the necessary tools to complete their CE requirements, which is why new trends in the industry support enhanced knowledge in pertinent subject matters.

Online Education

Many practitioners lead busy lives both personally and professionally. As a result, individuals need the ability to enroll in distance-learning programs. Many jurisdictions are approving online continuing education courses for added convenience. Program sponsors are typically required to have their tax courses pre-approved in order for attendees to earn online continuing education credits. The providers must also supply an accurate course description, content overview and the amount of credits that are obtainable.

Online CE can be used in conjunction with a virtual classroom or for self-study purposes.

It is important to note that may states and organizations ordinarily require an examination in order to verify the practitioner's assessment of the content. This ensures that the practitioner has actually completed the course.

Unique CE Opportunities

Practitioners are able to obtain free continuing education credit for teaching courses and/or publishing relevant works. The amount of research, preparation and time that goes into these types of projects is rewarded through CE credit. The research that is needed for published articles or books will touch on pertinent subjects that deal with financial planning and federal taxation, among others. In certain situations, a teacher can earn double CE credits during the initial presentation.

The majority of jurisdictions limit the earned credits to a specific percentage of the total CE hours needed.

Reporting Procedures

Many professional associations and state governments, as well as the federal government, are supporting online registration and reporting of CE credit hours. This not only reduces the amount of time and money that is spent on processing requests, but it also makes it easier for practitioner's to submit their information and records.

Many organizations are allowing sponsors to submit Certificates of Completion through electronic means, which also make the record keeping and renewal process straightforward. In addition, many CE sponsors can register their online CPE courses for review online - providing practitioners with supplementary course selections, locations, content and dates.

Federal CE Changes

One of the most significant trends in CE is the federal government's initiative to provide the public with qualified tax preparers. Any individual that accepts a fee for tax preparation services will now need to register with the IRS in order to be included in an approved database of preparers. The public will be able to verify an individual's current standing quickly and will be able to see that they have met the guidelines issued by the IRS.

Because of the federal changes, a preparer will now need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) in order to process tax returns beginning on January 1, 2011. In addition, a 15-hour CE requirement will now go into effect that must be satisfied on an annual basis. In order to complete the registration process, preparers will have to pay a .25 renewal fee.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Value Of Continuing Education

The more education a person has, the better prepared they are for today's challenging job market. Because employers are looking for people with certain skills and knowledge it is important to many people to attend continuing education courses to keep them at the top of their game. Through their interest in continuing education Phoenix residents that are looking to gain an edge in the job market are taking courses in computer technology that allow them a deeper understanding of the IT world.

For people in every type of business or industry the use of computers has made it possible to increase productivity and job performance. By taking classes to understand how to set up and trouble shoot networks and servers, individuals that are looking to change jobs or become an even greater asset to their employers are able to gain the skill and understanding to repair and maintain an office full of computers.

With the layoffs that have taken place throughout the greater Phoenix area some individuals are returning to the classroom to enhance their resume. Through their commitment to continuing education Scottsdale residents that have affected by the local economy can have a fighting chance to regain a position within an established company. As Phoenix is home to a number of corporate headquarters for international businesses there is a need for trained personnel to manage the various computer systems and perform quality control checks of the internal IT systems. By studying at a local campus and having the flexibility to work while taking classes to improve their value in the workplace, a number of Phoenix residents are applying their newly learned knowledge to their current position within a company.

By providing the resources for adults to continue their education, campuses in Scottsdale are making it convenient and simple to register for courses that can help individuals to become more productive and responsible in their work. Whether that means working for a degree to improve the types of prospects that are related to the job market searches or gaining skills to become a more valued employee at a current job, the continuing education Phoenix adults are gaining can be tailored to meet their needs and interests. For some people that might mean brushing up on their technology training while for others the curriculum might be an introduction to the fields that have been steadily growing and expanding over the past 20 years. Whatever the situation or reason for wanting to return to the classroom the continuing education centers are providing a quality computer technology training that many employers are looking for.