Top Federal Tax Issues for 2020 CPE Course: Module 1

Author: Greg White

CPE Credit:  8 hours for CPAs
8 hours Federal Tax Related for EAs and OTRPs
8 hours Federal Tax Law for CTEC

This course offers eight CPE hours and reviews the accounting method and taxpayer deduction changes outlined in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, as well as real estate and property tax strategies.

"Hot" tax issues have been selected as particularly relevant to tax practice in 2020 because of their impact on return preparation during the 2020 tax season and also because of the important role they play in developing effective tax strategies for 2020 and beyond.

This module provides strategies for using depreciation to achieve the best tax results on real estate and property used in business, reviews the accounting method changes for small business taxpayers under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), and discusses how the TCJA affects the deductions taxpayers are able to use on their tax returns.

This course is excluded from the following subscription programs:
Value Pass, Self-Study Package, Webinar Package, Self-Study & Webinar Package, and Firm Package.

Publication Date: October 2019

Designed For
CPAs, Tax Professionals

Topics Covered

  • The New World of Depreciation under Tax Reform
  • Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Accounting Method Changes
  • Maximizing Itemized Deductions under the New Law

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the best depreciation method for real estate improvements
  • Identify which cost recovery method is best in specific client situations
  • Apply the more widely available rules for de minimis expensing and for expensing real property under the TCJA
  • Describe the depreciation recapture rules that apply to bonus depreciation, Section 179, and the de minimis rules
  • Determine when a rapid method of cost recovery should not be used
  • Recognize effective years for qualified property placed into service that is not eligible for bonus depreciation based on the new TCJA provisions
  • Identify the maximum depreciation for passenger automobiles placed in service after December 31, 2017
  • Recognize components that are eligible for Section 179 deduction
  • Describe the "surgical" approach to tax planning
  • Recognize which items are eligible for bonus depreciation in various situations
  • Determine how to apply the two new types of inventory methods for small business taxpayers:  The "raw materials" method  The "book conformity" method
  • Differentiate which clients can switch to the cash method
  • Determine how to treat costs of self-constructed assets under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA)
  • Identify and apply the de minimis rules as affected by the TCJA
  • Determine which clients are "tax shelters" and therefore unable to use the new accounting methods
  • Recognize which Code Section can help solve the problem of double-counting income that results from a business switching to the cash method of accounting
  • Describe Revenue Procedure 2004-34
  • Recognize how to maximize itemized deductions under the TCJA
  • Identify the new standard deductions as a result of the TCJA
  • Identify how donor-advised funds and qualifying charitable distributions can maximize deductible charitable contributions at a minimal cost
  • Recognize and apply case law and administrative guidance to increase the deduction for tax preparation fees
  • Understand home mortgage interest deductibility, including the refinancing rules
  • Identify and apply tax regulations to derive benefit from investment advisory fees
  • Recognize and apply elections to increase the deduction for taxes on investment property
  • Recognize the amount to which property taxes are limited for married taxpayers filing jointly, under the new tax rules
  • Describe an example of a prominent miscellaneous itemized deduction that has been suspended through 2025
  • Differentiate correct statements regarding health savings accounts and the impacts from the new tax regulations
  • Identify one of the state tax workarounds with respect to the $10,000 deduction limit
  • Recognize tax deductions that have been eliminated as a result of the TCJA
  • Describe an example of an unreimbursed employee expense that has been suspended from 2018 to 2025 for purposes of tax deduction
  • Recognize the types of tax preparation fees that can no longer be deducted above the line


Instructional Method

NASBA Field of Study
Taxes (8 hours)

Program Prerequisites
Basic understanding of federal taxation concepts, tax depreciation methods, accounting methods and itemized deductions on individual income tax returns.

Advance Preparation

Registration Options
Regular Fee $170

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