Course description and objectives: Designed to make the practitioner comfortable with "high traffic" issues, this program enables participants to discuss and handle individual tax essentials. The course examines and explains the practical aspects of return preparation and individual planning, bridging the gap between theory and application. Significant new developments are summarized with emphasis on tax savings ideas. Practical applications and illustrations are used to systematically explore tax deferral, reduction, and elimination opportunities accompanying return preparation. For example, the analysis of gross income is discussed together with income splitting techniques; property transactions are examined alongside like-kind exchanges and involuntary conversions. The result is an extraordinary blend of the latest developments affecting individual returns and their related planning ideas.
Delivery Method: Online Interactive Self Study
Advanced Preparation: None
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Chapter 1: Individual Tax Elements
1. Identify federal revenue tax sources noting the definitive role of gross income, and determine a client's tax liability using current rates, tables, and statutory amounts, and their withholding and/or estimated tax responsibility.
2. Specify the various filing statuses and their filing requirements noting the advantages and disadvantages of each.
3. Determine what constitutes gross income under Section 61 noting the tax treatment of compensation, fringe benefits, rental income, Social Security benefits, alimony, prizes and awards, identify dividend and distribution types and their tax differences, and specify how debt dis-charge can result in taxable income.
4. Identify the mechanics of income exclusions such as education-related exclusions, gift and inheritance exclusions, insurance, personal injury awards, interest on state and local obligations, and the foreign earned income exclusion.
5. Recognize income tax deductions and their use to reduce tax liability by:
a. Identifying personal, spousal and dependency exemptions and re-porting requirements including pre-2005 dependency rules;
b. Specifying the deductibility of Section 163 interest categories, Section 162 educational expenses, Section 217 moving expenses, Section 165 casualty & theft losses, and Section 164 taxes noting their proper reporting and substantiation;
c. Determining variables that impact the deductibility of charitable contributions, and identifying qualified organizations, permissible contributions contribution limitations, their tax treatment, and substantiation requirements;
d. Identifying the deductibility of medical care expenses including medical insurance, meals and lodging, transportation, home improvements and lifetime care payments noting the impact of Medicare;
e. Specifying deductions that are subject to the 2% of AGI limitation, deductions not subject to the 2% limit, and nondeductible expenses.
6. Determine distinctions among several types of tax credits identifying the eligibility requirements and defining the cited changes created by recent tax legislation to individual tax returns.
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