VA Tax News

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  • 11 Nov 2011 10:25 AM | Anonymous

    Filing Reminder for Corporation Income Tax Clients

    Corporation income tax returns for the taxable year ended July 31, 2011 are due to be filed by Nov. 15, 2011.  For fastest and easiest filing, use Corporate Income Tax e-File to file your client's return.

    Remember, even though Virginia law provides for an automatic six-month filing extension, that extension does not apply to tax payments. To avoid penalties, be sure your client pays at least 90 percent of the tax liability by Nov. 15, 2011.  Use our free Business iFile service to make your client's payment online.

    A reminder for your clients whose corporation's taxable year ended Jan. 31, 2011: the extended filing date is coming up soon!  Return and payment for any tax due must be filed by Nov. 15, 2011.   

    For complete information on corporation income tax filing and payment requirements, see the instructions for Form 500 on our website


    Power of Attorney Process Issues F.A.Q.

    Virginia established a new Power of Attorney process last year that allowed Authorized Agents to receive automatic copies of correspondence sent to the taxpayers they represent.  To address confusion on the Power of Attorney process, here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions on Power of Attorney matters and submission of R-7 and PAR 101 forms.

    Q:  Why register as an Authorized Agent?

    A: Anyone who wishes to be automatically copied on correspondence sent to a taxpayer must submit Form R-7 to register as an Authorized Agent with Virginia and Form PAR 101 identifying them as representative for that taxpayer. This includes all types of representatives: attorneys, friends, family members, accountants, etc.

    Q: Who qualifies to register as an Authorized Agent or receive Power of Attorney authorization?

    A:  Any individual can register as Authorized Agents and receive Power of Attorney authorization; businesses cannot.  The Department of Taxation will not accept a Form R-7 or any Power of Attorney documents that list a business as the authorized Power of Attorney.

    Q: Will Virginia accept any alternate Power of Attorney documents?

    A:  A federal Form 2848 specifying Virginia tax matters and specific years or a durable power of attorney document can be accepted only to allow discussion of related account issues. Alternate Power of Attorney documents cannot authorize the Department of Taxation to issue automatic copies of correspondence.  However, representatives authorized through alternate Power of Attorney documents can still obtain copies of taxpayer correspondence within the scope authorized by the Power of Attorney document. These representatives must submit written requests to Customer Service for the specific correspondence they wish to obtain.

    Q:  Is the federal Form 8821 an acceptable Power of Attorney document?

    A:  No, the federal Form 8821 is not an acceptable Virginia Power of Attorney document.  The Department of Taxation will not process these forms to record Power of Attorney authorization.

    Q:  Will it be a problem if I use different information on my R-7 and PAR 101?

    A:  Authorized Agents should use the exact same mailing address, name spelling, and contact information on both the R-7 and the PAR 101.  Differences in information may lead to confusion on the Authorized Agent’s identity and delays in processing PAR 101 forms.

    Q:  What do I do if I need to update my Authorized Agent information?

    A:  All updates to the Authorized Agent profile (mailing address, etc.) should be made on the Form R-7 with the change of information box checked.

    Q:  Can I fill in the PAR 101 with my Federal CAF# instead of an Authorized Agent number?

    A:  No. An Authorized Agent number (AA#) is issued to agents upon processing of their R-7.  This number is unique to VA and is not the same as the Federal CAF# or an Enrollment Card Number.

    Q:  How many Authorized Agents can receive automatic copies of taxpayer correspondence?

    A:  Only two (2) Agents per taxpayer may be named on the PAR 101 to receive automatic copies of correspondence.  Other agents can still be named to act on the taxpayer’s account by attaching a supplemental information list to the PAR 101 form.  These additional Agents will not receive automatic copies of correspondence, but they may obtain copies of correspondence by submitting a written request to Customer Service.

    Q:  Is my Power of Attorney document valid without my signature?

    A:  Without the Agent signature, authorization has not been accepted and TAX will be unable to communicate with said Agent.  Therefore, all Authorized Agents named on the PAR 101 must sign the form under the signature of representative section on line 7.  Agents on a supplemental form of the type outlined in the previous question must sign the supplemental statement.

    Form R-7, Form PAR101, and their accompanying instructions are available online at the Virginia Department of Taxation’s website.


    Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    The Virginia Taxpayer Bill of Rights booklet outlines your rights in contacts with the Virginia Department of Taxation, and contains a wealth of other useful information, forms and instructions.

    Intended as a guide to the rights provided in the Code of Virginia under the Virginia Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the publication also describes the role of the Taxpayer Rights Advocate and the agency’s collections, office audit, and field audit processes in detail, and covers the basics for offers in compromise and administrative appeals as well.  The booklet’s appendices include forms and instructions for submitting an appeal or an offer in compromise, plus forms for designating a Power of Attorney.

    As you will find, the Virginia Taxpayer Bill of Rights booklet is a valuable resource for both taxpayers and tax professionals.  Be sure to bookmark or download a copy for your tax reference library!


    Need More Information?

    For more information on any of the topics in this message, please visit our website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov.
  • 25 Oct 2011 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON, DC, October 25, 2011 - The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) is now accepting exam applications for the November 28 - December 19, 2011 testing period from industry professionals seeking to earn any of the following four credentials:

    • ABA Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor®
    • Accredited Tax Advisor® (ATA)
    • Accredited Tax Preparer® (ATP)
    • Accredited Retirement Advisor® (ARA)

    The exams are offered at computer-based testing centers throughout the United States.

    The ABA is a national credential that verifies the technical proficiency of practitioners in financial accounting, financial reporting, financial statement preparation, taxation, business consulting services, business law and ethics. The emphasis is on a practical approach to public accounting.The ABA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), an independent resource recognized as the authority on accreditation standards for professional certification organizations and programs.

    The ATA is a premier national tax credential for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including planning for owners of closely held businesses, planning for the highly compensated, choosing qualified retirement plans and performing estate tax planning. Their expertise covers tax returns for individuals, business entities, fiduciaries, trusts and estates, as well as tax planning, tax consulting and ethics.

    The ATP is a credential for tax practitioners who demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the existing tax code and the preparation of individual tax returns with an expertise in comprehensive 1040 issues including supporting schedules, self-employed returns, and ethics. The ATP exam will not be offered beginning in 2012, although ACAT will continue to support recertification and promotion of this credential for tax practitioners who earned it before then.

     The ARA recognizes professionals who have a thorough knowledge of topics relevant to retirement planning and special issues of senior citizens including tax planning; preparing clients for retirement; tax preparation for decedents, the essentials of estates and trusts; financial planning; and applying your knowledge and skills in real-life situations when serving aging clients.

    ACAT accreditation provides evidence to clients, prospective clients, employers, and the public that the accredited professional has met national standards and has a mastery of accounting and taxation procedures and practices. These credentials demonstrate a mastery of accounting and tax procedures and practices that far exceed the proposed IRS registered tax return preparer standard.

    Candidate information with topic blueprints for each exam, credential information and exam registration, is available at www.acatcredentials.org.

    The National Society of Accountants (NSA) offers preparatory course study guides for some of the exams. For more information, visit www.nsacct.org or call 800-966-6679.

    In Spring 2012, the exam testing dates will be June 16 - July 7, 2012. There will also be a separate window for colleges to proctor a paper exam in their schools from May 21- June 18, 2012.

    For more information about the exams and ACAT credentials, visit www.acatcredentials.org or call 888-289-7763.


    # # #

    ACAT is an independent accrediting and monitoring organization affiliated with the National Society of Accountants. ACAT accredits professionals in independent practice who have demonstrated measurable knowledge of the principles, practices, and ethical standards of accounting, taxation, information technology and related financial services. For more information, visit www.acatcredentials.org.

  • 20 Oct 2011 9:20 AM | Anonymous

    The Department of Taxation receives numerous tax returns containing an enclosed "proof of receipt" letter and postage-paid envelope, asking that we return the letter as proof of receipt.  Unfortunately, we do not have the staff to handle this additional work.  If you would like your shipment tracked, we recommend that you use courier services, or mail methods that specialize in mail tracking.  The Department of Taxation is not in the position to acknowledge receipt of packages or shipments outside of standard mail services designed to accomplish this.

  • 07 Sep 2011 3:56 PM | Anonymous
    Richmond, VA - Governor Bob McDonnell today authorized Virginia Tax Commissioner Craig M. Burns to provide a one week filing and payment extension to certain individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene. The extension will apply to taxpayers located in the Commonwealth who are unable to meet their filing obligations because the financial records they need to file their taxes, or their tax preparer, are located in cities and counties within the Commonwealth dealing with Hurricane Irene recovery or are otherwise unavailable because of severe hurricane damage.

    "Individuals and businesses in areas impacted by Hurricane Irene already have significant stresses and challenges facing them as they recover from the severe impacts of Hurricane Irene, including damage to businesses, loss of power, loss of business, and personal and professional hardships," Governor McDonnell said. "The Commonwealth is dedicated to assisting those whose lives and businesses were impacted by the storm, and this extension of tax deadlines is one action we can take to ease some of the burden on those working to rebuild."

    Individuals and businesses in these areas will automatically be allowed an additional seven days to file income and withholding tax returns and make tax payments that have a due date, or an extended due date, of Sept. 15, 2011. Tax returns and payments that are due on Sept. 15, 2011, will be allowed to be filed or paid on Sept. 22, 2011. The Virginia Department of Taxation will abate interest and any late-filing or late-payment penalties that would otherwise apply.

    The extension does not apply to returns or payments of sales tax or any other taxes administered by the Department of Taxation with a due date, or an extended due date after Sept. 15, 2011.

    Additional extensions and penalty waivers may be granted in hardship cases. Written requests for additional extensions should be emailed to TaxIndReturns@tax.virginia.gov for personal tax inquiries and TaxBusQuestions@tax.virginia.gov for business tax inquiries, or directed to:

    Virginia Department of Taxation
    Customer Service Section
    Hurricane Irene Relief Extension
    P.O. Box 1115
    Richmond, VA 23218-1115

    The Department of Taxation will work with taxpayers in the affected areas to minimize the impact of any collection enforcement activities that may be initiated between Aug. 27, 2011, and Sept. 15, 2011. Taxpayers notified of pending actions should contact the Tax Department at (804) 367-8045 to discuss relief from actions that will create additional hardship in their recovery from the effects of the storm damages. The suspension of enforcement actions, however, will not stop the accrual of interest on delinquent accounts.

    Customers are welcome to use Live Chat on The Department of Taxation's website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov to discuss account-specific questions.  If customers prefer asking questions by telephone, then individual income tax filers should call (804) 367-8031; business taxpayers should call (804) 367-8037 for assistance. Tax Bulletin 11-9 and other information is also available through the agency's website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/.

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