October 13th: (OPTIONAL) E-Services Webinar 10/19 or 10/24 about Secure Access Registration

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC If you are registered for e-Services as a Responsible Official or Contact on your VITA site’s EFIN (electronic filing ID number) application, you may want to attend an upcoming webinar offered by the IRS e-Services team. Information will be shared on upcoming changes to registration and use of the system Read more about October 13th: (OPTIONAL) E-Services Webinar 10/19 or 10/24 about Secure Access Registration[…]

September 29, 2017 – TPC’s Preliminary Analysis of “Unified Framework”

Reporting source: Tax Policy Center (TPC) I’m sure the big question burning in your mind is: “What’s in the GOP tax reform framework and how can I better understand it?” C’mon admit it. I know that’s what you were thinking. Well there are some handy resources out there for you! For starters, you can read Read more about September 29, 2017 – TPC’s Preliminary Analysis of “Unified Framework”[…]

September 20, 2017 – VITA Threshold for Tax Year 2017 is still $54k

Reporting source: IRS San Jose SPEC The low-to-moderate income threshold for FY 2018, Tax Year 2017, is $54,000. The threshold is based on tax year 2017 EITC AGI limits as shown below. Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than: $48,340 ($53,930 if Married Filing Jointly) with three or more qualifying Read more about September 20, 2017 – VITA Threshold for Tax Year 2017 is still $54k[…]

September 6, 2017 – Education Benefits Workshop Highlights

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC Education Benefits – Slide Deck – courtesy of AARP Foundation   For Education Credits Qualifying expenses ALWAYS includes tuition and fees that must be paid to the school as a condition of enrollment, course-related books, supplies and equipment ALWAYS excludes insurance, medical expenses (like student health fees), parking fees USUALLY Read more about September 6, 2017 – Education Benefits Workshop Highlights[…]

September 5, 2017 – CE Credits Update

Reporting source: IRS San Jose SPEC IRS Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) VITA/TCE Programs are approved to provide IRS Continuing Education (CE) credits for the following professionals: Enrolled Agents (EAs), Non-credentialed tax return preparers participating in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP), California Tax Education Council (CTEC), and Certified Financial Planners (CFP). Attorneys Read more about September 5, 2017 – CE Credits Update[…]

April 6, 2017 – About last day e-filing

Reporting source: IRS San Jose SPEC There have been numerous inquiries on how to file Federal and State returns unlinked the last day of the filing season. In the past, we suggested sending your Federal and State e-files separately. This was to ensure that your State returns were timely filed. However, with the Modernized e-File Read more about April 6, 2017 – About last day e-filing[…]

March 21, 2017 – Lundy Post Office “Last Minute Tax Help” event in San Jose on 4/18

Is your tax site closing before Tax Day? Have overflow at your tax site? Send them to the Lundy event for last minute tax help and tell them what to bring! 30 volunteers. 4 hours of madness. Volunteers at Lundy are certified: Advanced, HSA, Military, and Foreign Student. Sites can also assist people with filing Read more about March 21, 2017 – Lundy Post Office “Last Minute Tax Help” event in San Jose on 4/18[…]

March 14, 2017 – “Silent returns” are not allowed

Reporting source: IRS SPEC VITA sites are not permitted to prepare ‘Silent Returns’. If we prepare ‘Silent Returns’, we would be preparing an incomplete return, and an incomplete return is not an accurate return. A return is accurate when tax law is applied correctly and the completed return is free from errors based on the Read more about March 14, 2017 – “Silent returns” are not allowed[…]

March 13, 2017 – The Nine Common Filing Errors

Reporting source: CFED’s Tax Prep Dispatch An article from CFED: If you’re on any of the IRS mailing lists for e-news, you probably received the message this week entitled, “Nine Common Filing Errors to Avoid.” This error list refers to all returns filed with IRS, but it got me to wondering how these might apply Read more about March 13, 2017 – The Nine Common Filing Errors[…]

March 9, 2017 – Got Rejects? TaxSlayer Link to Federal Reject Codes

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC Sharing info from the TaxSlayer website on the most common reject codes and plain language explanations to help you figure out why a return was rejected and how to fix the error so you can re-transmit. https://online.taxslayerpro.com/support/1435/Federal-Reject-Codes—Modernized-Electronic-Filing?language=1&page=31

March 1, 2017 – CFED WEBINAR: VITA Volunteer Engagement

Reporting source: CFED’s Taxpayer Opportunity Network   Looking for Meaningful Ways to Recognize and Retain VITA Volunteers? Sign up for CFED’s webinar — Volunteer Engagement: Recognition and Year-Round Retention Strategies Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | 10-11:30 am PST Volunteers are essential to the success of VITA programs. Across the country, VITA volunteers donate thousands of Read more about March 1, 2017 – CFED WEBINAR: VITA Volunteer Engagement[…]

February 17, 2017 – How to do prior year and amended returns

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC Resources: Screenshot guide below is from Raquel from IRS SPEC VITA blog posts about 1040x: https://vitablog.taxslayerpro.com/?s=1040x TaxSlayer Instructions for 1040X (PDF)   Prior Year Returns Tax Years 2015 and 2014 should be able to be e-filed. As far as I know, there isn’t a special login page to e-file prior Read more about February 17, 2017 – How to do prior year and amended returns[…]

February 10, 2017 – IRS QSRA – Policy Update on Expired ITINs

Reporting source: IRS San Jose SPEC Visit http://earnitkeepitsaveit.org/site-resources and click on the first link for a list of all the latest QSR alerts! Issue Number: QSRA 2017-01 Inside This Issue: Policy Update on Expired Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) Purpose: The Quality Site Requirements (QSRs) were developed to ensure VITA/TCE sites have consistent guidelines to Read more about February 10, 2017 – IRS QSRA – Policy Update on Expired ITINs[…]

INVITE to 2/13 EKS Foreign Student Certification Training in San Jose

Reporting source: UWBA EKS Santa Clara County This class only covers the TAX LAW and not the software. Ideal for anyone who has never completed their Foreign Student certification. The class is only available for people who plan to certify for this season. A site coordinator from Sacred Heart Community Service (biggest Foreign Student site Read more about INVITE to 2/13 EKS Foreign Student Certification Training in San Jose[…]

February 8, 2017 – Pub 4454 available online. Printed copies shipped in March.

Reporting source: IRS San Jose SPEC Pub 4454 (EN & SP), Your Civil Rights are Protected is a brochure designed to help the public understand and meet their tax obligations with equitability and fairness for all taxpayers. It is a product required at all SPEC VITA/TCE sites to give out if there is a Civil Read more about February 8, 2017 – Pub 4454 available online. Printed copies shipped in March.[…]

February 8, 2017 – Notes from CFED WEBINAR: Navigating the ITIN Renewal Process

Reporting source: CFED Thank you for attending our webinar on messaging strategies for the upcoming EITC refund delay. The slides and recording from this webinar are now available for download at http://cfed.org/knowledge_center/events/past/delayed_refund_vita_communications_campaign_messaging_strategies_and_tools_for_vita_program/. Get the word out via social media! The IRS launched a “Get Ready” communications and outreach campaign to educate as many taxpayers as Read more about February 8, 2017 – Notes from CFED WEBINAR: Navigating the ITIN Renewal Process[…]

February 8, 2017 – Workaround to error seen during tax prep of multiple years

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC   Reported error If you assist a taxpayer with their 2015 tax return and then go on to start their 2016 tax return, you may see the following error message in TaxSlayer when you enter the taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN):   Solution To avoid this message: – You must Read more about February 8, 2017 – Workaround to error seen during tax prep of multiple years[…]

February 8, 2017 – Workaround for error with federal refund and state balance due

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC Hi All, Please see Johnny Yee’s email below, received from TaxSlayer Customer Support on how to e-file tax returns that have a federal REFUND and state BALANCE DUE. ——- Workaround until TaxSlayer resolve issue: From: Vita TaxslayerPro Support Sent: February 08, 2017 2:27 AM To: Johnny Yee Subject: Re: Issue: Read more about February 8, 2017 – Workaround for error with federal refund and state balance due[…]

February 7, 2017 – Beyond the Basics Tax: Avoid Unnecessary APTC Repayment in TaxSlayer

Reporting source: CBPP (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) Basically we need to answer ‘No’ to the question “Are you required to repay all of the Excess APTC Received?” unless the taxpayer’s household income is over 400% of FPL (Federal Poverty Line). ———- Forwarded message ———- From: Halley Cloud, CBPP Date: Tue, Feb 7, 2017 Read more about February 7, 2017 – Beyond the Basics Tax: Avoid Unnecessary APTC Repayment in TaxSlayer[…]

February 6, 2017 – Workaround for input of IHSS / Medicaid Waiver Payments

Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC IHSS / MEDICAID WAIVER PAYMENTS (this workaround only applies if taxpayer lived with person they were caring for) Three steps for federal return: 1) Enter the W2 on the W2 screen (make it match *see exception for CA Return below*) 2) Back out the income on line 21 (negative dollar Read more about February 6, 2017 – Workaround for input of IHSS / Medicaid Waiver Payments[…]

February 6, 2017 – Letter from Frank Nolden, Director of SPEC, regarding TaxSlayer

Reporting source: IRS SPEC Hello Everyone, I wanted to reach out to our entire VITA/TCE program network to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced last week during the service interruptions of the TaxSlayer software. We have heard from many of you and we truly understand your frustration and concerns about your Read more about February 6, 2017 – Letter from Frank Nolden, Director of SPEC, regarding TaxSlayer[…]

February 4, 2017 – Solution to Reject IND-013-01

Reporting source: UWBA EKS   Reject IND-013-01 In the Return Header, ‘PreparerSSN’ or ‘PTIN’ or ‘STIN’ or ‘PreparerFirmEIN’ must have a value, if any one of the following is true: (1) checkbox ‘SelfEmployedInd’ is checked; (2) ‘PreparerPersonNm’ or ‘PreparerFirmName’ or ‘PreparerUSAddress’ or ‘PreparerForeignAddress’ has a value. Data Value:   Solution Make sure each of your Read more about February 4, 2017 – Solution to Reject IND-013-01[…]

August 17, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (3 of 4): Tax Return Prep – Part 2

WEBINAR RECORDING: https://app.brainshark.com/taxslayer/vu?pi=zGfzIGiAczQIFXz0   ATTACHMENTS: August Wk Three Agenda (pdf) for webinar Tax Return Prep – Part2 (pdf) Practice Return Exercise (pdf)   NOTES from Live Webinar 3 Presenter went over the entry of advanced tax topics on page 210   ENTERING INCOME: 1099-Misc EIN database also applies here and pre-populates data from previous entry For Sch C, Finding Read more about August 17, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (3 of 4): Tax Return Prep – Part 2[…]

August 10, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (2 of 4): Tax Return Prep – Part 1

WEBINAR RECORDING: https://app.brainshark.com/taxslayer/vu?pi=zHqzbt9hnzQIFXz0   ATTACHMENTS: August Wk Two Agenda for webinar Return Preparation Parts I and II (draft) TaxSlayer Practice Exercise   NOTES from Live Webinar Session 2   TAXPAYER PROFILES You don’t have to use a taxpayer profile Taxpayer profile doesn’t show up on Practice Lab No Admin features in Practice Lab unfortunately   FILING STATUS Read more about August 10, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (2 of 4): Tax Return Prep – Part 1[…]

August 3, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (1 of 4): Configuration / Set-up

WEBINAR RECORDING: https://www.brainshark.com/taxslayer/vu?pi=zGgz186FTezQIFXz0   ATTACHMENTS: August Wk 1 Agenda (pdf) LoginConfigure manual (pdf)   INTRO This webinar was all about showing what the coordinators will eventually get access to sometime in November (when the real software rolls out) Customer support refers to themselves as “TaxSlayer Support Squad” (more fun than Customer Support Rep)   LOGGING IN (page 4) Read more about August 3, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (1 of 4): Configuration / Set-up[…]

May 24, 2016 – TaxSlayer FAQ from SPEC Headquarters

TaxSlayer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Reporting source: SPEC Headquarters (Atlanta, GA)   Background: The VITA/TCE software contract has been awarded to TaxSlayer, LLC. TaxSlayer will be the new software provider for the VITA/TCE Programs beginning with filing season 2017. Our primary focus is the 2016 filing season and to ensure our partners and volunteers that Read more about May 24, 2016 – TaxSlayer FAQ from SPEC Headquarters[…]

May 3, 2016 – Season Updates, TaxSlayer, Practice Lab, Fact Sheet

Notes from IRS SPEC Employee and Partner Conference Call Reporting source: United Way EKS-VITA Coalition General notes: VITA sites will be able to use TaxWise until ~November 9th (when the CCH contract expires). After the contract expires in November, sites will no longer have access to TaxWise Online Pub. 4491 will only be available in electronic format Read more about May 3, 2016 – Season Updates, TaxSlayer, Practice Lab, Fact Sheet[…]

Feb 23, 2016 – Qualified Medicaid Waiver Payments

Reference: IRS Publication 4491, Chapter 16-2 (it’s page 200 of the online PDF) Reporting source: IRS Oakland SPEC Certain payments made to individual care providers must be excluded from gross income. Locally, these payments are commonly reported on W-2’s from In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) with a Roseville, CA address. Generally, if the care provider and Read more about Feb 23, 2016 – Qualified Medicaid Waiver Payments[…]