IRS Updates, Paychex Meeting, and Anaheim Regional Seminar

This blog article covers three different meetings in three different cities on four different days. The week started on Tuesday Oct 15 as our Executive Director, Carlos Lopez, EA, and our VP of Business Development, Tony Martinez, EA, flew to Rochester, New York to meet with Paychex, our preferred payroll and HR provider.

Carlos and Tony met with Paychex's marketing team to understand the needs of the ever-growing Latino market. One of the discussion points was the annual report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) on the State of Latino Entrepreneurship. A key finding is that Latino-owned businesses outpace the growth rate of all other groups, including white, Asian, and black-owned firms. It is estimated that there are over 5 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. This of course presents an incredible opportunity to those companies who are looking to serve this market, Paychex included.

Latino Tax Pro meeting with Paychex

We shared the results of our latest survey which shows that over 60% of our members are offering accounting services and over 40% are offering payroll services. Our members have an average of 250 individual clients and 50 business clients. 

Overall it was a great meeting, with Paychex planning to attend our 2019 Regional Seminars taking place in Miami, Houston, and San Antonio. 

IRS Meeting in DC

After the Paychex meeting, Carlos and Tony flew to DC for our monthly National Practitioner Liaison meeting with the IRS. These are closed-door meetings; however, the IRS did ask us to share a few things.

1. New Taxpayer First Act Office

The IRS has formed the Taxpayer First Act Office (TFAO) to help implement the new Taxpayer First Act law. TFAO is asking for our feedback on how to redesign the IRS to improve taxpayer experience. One area of interest is how the IRS can better serve immigrant taxpayers who may not speak English. Please send your ideas directly to TFAO at tfao@irs.gov.

2. National Tax Security Awareness Week 2019

The IRS plans to host it's annual National Tax Security Awareness Week in December. The purpose of this campaign is to encourage both individual and business taxpayers to take steps to protect their tax data and identities in advance of the 2020 filing season. More details to come.

3. New Form 1040-SR

In September, the IRS unveiled a draft version of a new, simplified income tax form for people 65 and older. To use the new form, filers, including both spouses, must be at least age 65 though they don't have to be retired. They also must use the standard deduction rather than itemize. The final version of this form will be available in November. 

After the IRS meeting, Carlos and Tony met with the National Association of Enrolled Agents to discuss how we can help more of our members achieve the Enrolled Agent designation. 

Anaheim Regional Seminar

After DC, Carlos flew home and Tony flew to Anaheim to speak at the 2019 Anaheim Regional Seminar. On Saturday Oct 19, Lisa Hamilton from the IRS kicked off the seminar by discussing Opportunity Zones.

After her presentation, one attendee asked "Can you still renew an ITIN for a nephew in Mexico if you're looking to claim an exemption credit for California (Form 540)?"

Remember, Dependents residing outside the United States (U.S.) are not eligible to renew an ITIN unless they qualify for an allowable tax benefit.

In this case, claiming an exemption credit on Form 540 (CA) is an allowable tax benefit. Lisa explained "you must mail the Form 1040 and Form 540 along with the Form W-7 renewal." This was great news! We encourage you to follow these directions and let us know if the ITINs get accepted.

After Lisa, Tony presented Immigrants, Visas, and Taxes. Tony's been presenting this topic across the nation with great reception. Check him out:

Covered CA added a last minute bonus session that discussed the new California healthcare mandate. Many attendees where shocked by this. 

The day was filled with amazing learning and networking opportunities. We would like to thank all who attended. Next stop, the New Jersey Regional Seminar!