March 12, 2012
Joseph Perry, Partner-in-Charge, Tax & Business Services, Quoted in Accounting Today Article "More Forms, Delays, and New Regs Shape Tax Filing in 2012"
By Roger Russell
"The IRS is stricter in terms of its matching, as well as certain questions being asked which go to the heart of compliance," said Joe Perry, partner-in-charge of tax at Top 100 Firm Marcum. "For example, Schedule C and the other business forms ask if you are required to file Form 1099, and if so, did you? It's used for matching purposes. If an individual or business takes a deduction for expenses, another company should be picking up that income."
"While these are reporting requirements, we have to make sure the clients answer the questions correctly," he said. "Where a firm is doing full service for the client there's no problem, but when you get information only at the end of the year or during filing season, it can create a problem."
This is the first year that clients are required to furnish Form 1099s to their accountants if the total they paid exceeds $600, explained Perry. "We sent out information to our business clients at the end of last year, and followed it up with phone calls, but they are still taking time to be in compliance."
"And it's not just the federal government that requires additional information," Perry pointed out. "For example, New York asks if you filed a rent tax return for New York City."
PTINS, FBAR AND FATCA
The PTIN requirement still leaves questions open as to who needs to have it, said Perry.
"An intern just gathering information doesn't need it," he said. "That's okay so long as they don't make decisions on how an item is treated on a return. We require all staff persons to apply for a PTIN. At $65 per individual, it adds to the cost of compliance. But on the bright side, many practitioners who started out in public accounting and did returns on the side will stop dabbling in preparation. We'll have more competent professionals."
The increased emphasis on foreign bank accounts has added to the regulatory burden, as the FATCA and FBAR filing requirements are added to the mix. "The IRS continues to seek taxpayers who are sheltering or hiding income abroad. We usually ask, 'Is this all the income you have?' and that should be broad enough," said Perry.