What are The Must-Do Trainings Before Next Tax Season?

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Tax experts have access to a variety of education and training programs. Here is a "must-do" list of trainings and education programs to take into consideration to make sure you're prepared for tax season 2022 so you can save time and effectively focus your efforts.

1. Tax Law Updates

When new laws are passed, tax reform takes place. It's crucial to understand the new laws; if you find them too difficult to understand, get in touch with professionals for help. Tax reform can modify the tax strategy you used in prior years, reducing any benefits you could have earned. This is just one way that tax reform may affect your taxes. It will put into effect new tax regulations that your company can benefit from.

It's crucial to be aware that tax regulations will change in the future, and you profit most from keeping up with these changes. Being ignorant is expensive, and you probably already overpay taxes. To maintain compliance for your business operations, you need to follow local and state tax regulations. Due to the frequency of change and potential complexity of these rules, tax managers were ranked as having the top position.

2. Data Security and Identify Theft Prevention

Tax fraud affects every business. This increases the chance that tax returns might be filed using stolen identification information. The Income Tax School's Identity Theft course covers identity theft, including how it occurs, who is affected, and what can be done to assist avoid it.

The session covers tax identity theft, with a focus on how to avoid being a victim as well as warning indicators that a taxpayer may have become a victim and what to do in such a situation. The theft of Preparer Tax Identification Numbers, Electronic Identification Filing Numbers, and building a safe tax office are among the topics covered in the session.

3. Professional Ethics

Tax professionals should always remain up to date with Circular 230 (regulations governing practice before the IRS), the norms of conduct, and professional ethics. Tax professionals should inquire with their state as to the number of credits needed every registration period and when they must complete an ethics course. There are also additional criteria particular to each state.

A variety of state- and non-state-specific continuing education for professional conduct courses are available through Professional Education Services (PES).

4. Practice Management Insights

Tax professionals can always use advice on expanding their business, saving time, and improving office productivity, all of which boost their bottom line. For instance, as technology advances, professionals can learn how to use social media to attract new customers or how to improve efficiency by switching to an electronic/paperless practice management system.

For instance, the QuickBooks Connect conference may provide tools to assist you in continuing your education and expanding your business, including connecting you with other professionals, experts, and business leaders. In order to help tax and accounting professionals manage current disruptive developments and trends to work more productively, better interact with their clients, and find long-term success, see How to Make your Tax Practice a Firm of the Future with Bryce Forney.

5. How Your Tax Software Has Changed and What’s New?

Finding out about the most recent modifications to your tax software is almost as important as remaining current with changes to the tax regulations and tax forms. Before tax season begins, getting a head start on these modifications can be advantageous. In addition to updating the software to comply with changes in tax legislation and form requirements, vendors also do so to make your life simpler by automating calculations and enhancing the user interface.

Additionally, the IRS has its voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) to entice preparers who are not registered to take CPE courses. The new AFSP is advantageous for several reasons, including remaining current on tax laws and developments, lowering the risks that ignorant preparers pose to taxpayers, and enabling preparers to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

For inclusion in a new database on IRS.gov and to get a record of completion under this IRS program, preparers must complete 18 hours of continuing education requirements by year's end. An ethics course of two hours, a six-hour refresher course, and ten hours on federal tax matters are all part of the continuing education requirements.

The database also lists professionals with higher degrees of certification and practicing privileges, such as registered agents, CPAs, and attorneys, who have recognized credentials. Return preparers who have successfully completed nationally or state-recognized exams are exempted from the six-hour refresher course and are still eligible to participate in the program by completing 15 hours of continuing education.