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A: Money laundering is the process of concealing where illegally obtained money originated from, which usually includes the use of foreign banks or legitimate businesses. Below are some examples:
1) Offshore Trusts
a. These personal investment companies belong to the citizens of the United States or companies that are incorporated in the U.S. and are held in overseas bank accounts. There is no federal law in place prohibiting these accounts per se; however, they can be a red flag warning for a scam. This method is mainly used for tax benefits. We recommend documenting and verifying all beneficiaries and principals related to the account.
2) Financial Intermediator
a. These individuals are accountants or bookkeepers who handle funds for private individuals. They typically have power of attorney for investing and other financial transactions. Do your research: although there are legitimate reasons for financial intermediators, they can be a disguise as well for money launderers. It would be in your best interest to determine whom they actually represent before doing business with a financial intermediary.
3) Fake Companies or Shell Companies
a. If you are concerned with the source of the funds for a company, you may want to take a look further into their internal billing, invoices, and also their vendors to see if they are legitimate or if there are any inconsistencies.
Please note: These could be warnings and are not definite proof of a scam. We recommend doing thorough research before entering any business negotiation, and always verify and document.
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If you’re a CPA who works independently, for a small business, or for your own accounting firm, you’ll want to find what CPE online courses MasterCPE has to offer. You can sign up to take all the necessary continuing education courses for your licensing (excluding Ethics) for a 12-month period for just $149! If you run your own accounting firm and want to make sure your team is up to date with certifications, you’ll also receive group discounts from MasterCPE.
There are hundreds of accounting classes for you to choose from that will further inform you about current economic and business trends. The courses even include details about the latest tax regulations and tax-related concerns that your clients may have. A summary of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is available on the MasterCPE website, which will help you with many of the latest updates and give you the information you need to explain changes in taxation to clients. MasterCPE offers IRS-approved taxation courses for accountants and enrolled agents, so that you will be well qualified to share accurate information regarding taxes with your customers while assisting them in successfully organizing their business or professional finances.
Taking your CPE online classes can also prove to be convenient for you, since you can log on whenever you have the time to complete coursework. This way, you can still maintain your client load and offer assistance to your accounting team and still have time to complete your continuing education courses so that your license will remain valid.
When you enroll in classes and complete assignments, your work is graded right away. As soon as you’re done taking your exams and find out that you’ve passed with a stellar grade, you can print out a certificate for verification.
MasterCPE is registered with the National State Boards of Accountancy. The classes and exams offered by MasterCPE are accredited in most states, including those that require approval from most State Boards of Accountancy. However, you can check the MasterCPE website to make sure your state will accept your credits before you begin your courses.