Recent government statistics show that the Internal Revenue Service has increased its scrutiny of tax returns and tax professionals, particularly where small business owners or high-wealth individuals are concerned.
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One IRS priority is to ferret out undeclared interests in foreign financial accounts and assets, which can lead to civil or criminal penalties for taxpayers—not to mention sanctions for practitioners who either fail to report these matters fully or are negligently ignorant of their existence.
The bottom line: Tax enforcement is evolving and CPAs and finance professionals must be prepared for a new generation of enforcement tools and techniques. To help meet that goal, the American Institute of CPAs is sponsoring a new event this spring, the AICPA Conference on Tax Controversy, which will offer strategies for practitioners whose clients face questions or challenges from the IRS.
Keynote speakers include Faris Fink, commissioner of the IRS's Small Business/Self-Employed Division, and Karen Hawkins, director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.
Tax controversy participants will receive practical, “in the trenches” advice about effectively representing their clients before the IRS in an examination, collection or appeals matter. Many sessions will provide practice toolkits of forms and documents for use in a tax practice.Topics for the small business tax forum include the merits of going paperless for improving office workflow, tax resolution of identity theft issues, and multistate income tax matters for small business clients, among other subjects.
The conference takes place May 2-4 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the AICPA’s popular Small Business Practitioners Tax Conference. A single registration entitles attendees to take part in sessions of either conference. For more information, click here.