Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Estate Tax Back from the Grave? Tax Cuts to Take Its Place?

As the current year quickly comes to a close, so do the Bush administration’s income tax cuts and estate tax exemptions. But Congress will surely fix that.

Maybe, but maybe not. The Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 called for a gradual rise in the estate tax exemption while cutting income tax rates. The increased estate tax exemptions and income tax cuts are both set to expire by the end of 2010.

So what happens if the federal estate tax reemerges come January 1? Estates valued at more than $1 million could be taxed up to 55 percent, plus a possible 5 percent surcharge on certain estates.
While $1 million seems like a lot, houses, retirement funds and other assets add up quickly, which means many more taxpayers could be impacted.

And will the 2003 tax cuts become permanent or will some (or all) expire? Right now it’s hard to say, considering Congress has adjourned without addressing either issue. Meanwhile, CPAs in financial planning and tax preparation are left to continue serving their clients amid this uncertainty.

Check out some recent articles on the topic, and tell us what you think about this issue:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dash for the Cash: VSCPA Members Recruit New Members

You already understand why this community is so important. That’s why you’re a member.

But what about those CPAs who aren’t members? Who don’t directly support the organization that represents them at the Virginia General Assembly? Who don’t understand the value of staying connected to more than 9,000 members across Virginia? Who are missing out on information, discounts and career resources to enhance their professional success and the overall CPA brand? 

Someone needs to tell them — and you are the best advocate for your professional association.

The VSCPA Dash for the Cash member-recruit-a-member campaign is a great opportunity for you to spread the word.

The campaign, which began October 18 and runs until November 30, aims to grow this community — but it could also grow your bankroll.

Here’s how it works:
  • For every licensed CPA member you successfully recruit to join the VSCPA by November 30, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win cash prizes. There are seven chances to win: $1,000 grand prize, one $500 prize, one $250 prize, one $100 prize and three $50 prizes.
  • Recruits must be CPAs licensed in Virginia to count toward your Dash for the Cash. (Although feel free to recruit students and other members, too!)
  • Recruits must officially join by 5 p.m. on November 30.
  • Recruits must include your member ID number on their application. Not sure what your member ID number is? Give us a call at (800) 733-8272 or check your recent Dash for the Cash e-mails.
  • In order for prizes to be awarded, at least 50 new members must be recruited.
  • We will announce prizes in early December — just in time for the holidays!
So begin your Dash for the Cash today, and tell a colleague what your VSCPA membership means to you. Visit http://www.vscpa.com/ for details and updates on how many new members you’ve collectively recruited.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It’s Back to School in Disclosures

I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the September/October Disclosures issue. As in the past, we focused September/October on issues related to accounting education. We also included a special section just for student members.

Since we made VSCPA membership FREE for college students this year, our student membership numbers have exploded. So it makes more sense than ever to include content, at least once a year, for students in the magazine.

But the accounting education issue is not just for students. Our aim is to educate all Virginia CPAs on what accounting students are currently facing — because these are the topics that will shape Virginia’s newest CPAs a few years down the road.

Educators Phil Umansky, CPA, from Virginia Union University, and Gabriele Lingenfelter, CPA, from Christopher Newport University, collaborated on two articles that take a detailed look into what accounting education is like in 2010. “Class Notes: Accounting Education in 2010” focuses on changes to the CPA Exam, teaching International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and more. “The Write Stuff: Improving Accounting Students Writing Skills” dives into a topic worth exploring — how much writing preparation do CPAs really need anyway? Turns out, a lot.

Kudos to both Phil and Gabriele — both articles were reprinted in by AccountingWEB on September 28, 2010, garnering readers nationwide.

Special announcement: We’re excited to announce that the November/December 2010 Disclosures issue is newly redesigned. With a cleaner, sharper, easier-to-read look, and new sections, we hope you’re pleased.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Site to See: Check Out the New VSCPA Website

It's here! The new VSCPA website, www.vscpa.com, was launched today. The site has been completely redesigned and reorganized to better meet members’ needs.

As the final piece of the VSCPA’s recent rebranding project, the VSCPA website now matches the new look of the Society’s communications — simple and member-focused.

Several iterations of the VSCPA website have been rolled out since it first launched in 1996, including the most recent full redesign in 2005. As trends and technology change more rapidly than ever, industry experts now recommend a website overhaul every 24 months. It was certainly time.

Visit www.vscpa.com and take a look at the new look and layout. To become better acquainted with the site:
  • Check out this quick screencast, which tours the site navigation and highlights a few new features.
  • Download this flyer (PDF) with screenshots that call out popular features like the CPE Quick Search and homepage customization tools.
  • Read an article that outlines some of the new tools on the site.
This is your site, so please let us know what you think. If you have any questions, need help locating information on the site or have feedback to offer, don’t hesitate to contact us.