All CPAs are accountants but not all accountants are CPAs.
In many states, anyone can call himself/herself an “accountant.” In order to become a CPA each US State Board of Accountantcy determines the law and rules for each state and jurisdiction for those professional requirements.
Most states have a minimum of three requirements for licensure: Education, Experience and Exam or Uniform CPA Examination requirements. Only then are individuals granted licenses to practice by state boards of accountancy.
In addition, CPA’s, like E.A.’s and Attorneys, must pass a background check to ensure that they have not engaged in any conduct that would justify their suspension or disbarment from practice before the IRS.
What does CPA mean?
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a trusted financial advisor who helps individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals. CPA’s, like Attorneys and Enrolled Agents (E.A.’s), are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can practice before.
If I use my personal car for work as a sales representative and my employer pays for my gasoline expenses, can I still claim the full mileage deduction on my federal tax return?
You can compute the standard mileage deduction, then subtract the reimbursement from your employer to compute the employee business expense.
I commute about 40 miles to and from work 5 days a week. Can I claim an employee business expense for this mileage?
No, driving to and from your office is not a business expense.
Is there a penalty if a company does not issue its 1099s by the January deadline?
Forms 1099-B, 1099-S and certain 1099-MISC aren’t required to be provided until February 15.
There are two dates that apply for annual information returns, each with its own penalty. Those are the dates the forms should be provided to recipients and the dates the forms should be submitted to the IRS.
The penalty for failure to furnish and failure to file are each $50 (potential total of $100) to a maximum of $100,000 (potential total of $200,000).
Since the information provider is giving helpful information for tax compliance, the IRS is fairly relaxed in imposing these penalties.
I own my own company and am an independent contractor with no employees. I will earn about $60,000 this year. I want to contribute to a SEP. I file a joint income tax return with my husband. Does that affect my ability to contribute to a SEP?
No, your SEP contribution is based on your earnings alone.
Can I claim my parents as dependents? They have no income, and I pay their rent, bills, etc. What documentation do I need?
You should be able to claim your parents as dependents. You will need to be able to document (using bills, statements, cancelled checks and credit card receipts) that you are paying their living expenses and that they have no income.
I lost all my stock in a 401k plan. Am I entitled to deduct this as a loss on my taxes?
Since you did not report income relating to the amount put in the 401(k) plan, you have no basis in the stock and can’t claim a loss for the stock.
In our employee handbook, it states that we are supposed to wear a shirt and tie for employment. Would my drycleaning for the shirts, ties and suits be tax deductible?
The IRS regards suits as “street clothes,” not uniforms. I know it doesn’t seem fair, but your dry cleaning expenses aren’t tax deductible.
How much can you claim for items donated to the Goodwill? How do you determine the values?
Items donated to Goodwill and other charities are based on the fair market value of the items. There are no published guidelines that I’m aware of from the IRS. Here is one from Goodwill Industries of Northern New England: www.goodwillnne.org/donate/donation-guide/
If you give more than $500 of a given type of merchandise (used clothing), special disclosure is required on IRS Form 8283, which is required to be included with your income tax return.
Can you claim a tax deduction for monetary donations to a family member or friend?
Donations to a family member or friend are not tax deductible. Only donations to a qualified charity are deductible as charitable contributions.
What is forensic accounting?
Forensic accounting services generally involve the application of specialized knowledge and investigative skills possessed by CPAs to collect, analyze, and evaluate evidential matter and to interpret and communicate findings in the courtroom, boardroom or other legal/administrative venue.