Inside the Small Business Practitioners' Tax Forum

The AICPA’s Small Business Practitioners Tax Forum was held July 17 – 18 in Chicago, Ill. This year’s forum had a new focus on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Compliance, demonstrated by the more than 130 pages of notes that accompanied Monday’s first session “Tax Update”, presented by conference chair Mark Mares. Fortunately, he didn’t go through every item on every page, just the most significant legislative, judicial and administrative rulings from the past year that impact small businesses.

The same train of thought was projected into the future during the lunch presentation “The Legislative Crystal Ball”. This informative lecture looked at legislation and legal issues currently working their way through Congress and the courts, as well as a discussion of the ideas put forth by the President’s Tax Advisory Panel, with hints regarding which ideas might be reappearing in other forms in the future.

On Tuesday, the exploration of legislative and legal issues continued but this time with from the state point of view. Dorice Pepin of TruePartners Consulting LLC presented “Multi-State Tax Traps for Small Business”. Much of this session dealt with royalty and other intangible expenses that many states are attempting to tax and the legal challenges to these statutes. Gross receipts taxes and the streamlined sales tax project were also discussed briefly.

In general, it was an information packed two (or three, if including optional sessions on Sunday) days. The information was covered very swiftly, and not always in great detail, however, it was a great opportunity to learn what changes are most significant for small businesses this year.

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