Tagged: CSSI

7 Things a CPA Needs to Consider when Deciding on a Cost Segregation Partner

Posted on June 7, 2016 by - Business Education


Including cost segregation into your CPA practice will benefit you and your clients by expanding your business and offering a service requested by many. It is important to know a few things about your potential cost segregation partner. When looking into firms that specialize in cost segregation, you’ll want to make sure they meet a few requirements before you partner with them. You want them to become an asset to your firm. Below, you’ll find a list of questions that you should ask each cost segregation firm before you commit to anything.

  1. Is the cost segregation firm you are considering an expert in the tangible property regulations? Whether your firm has become highly or only partially educated on the Repair Regulations, your cost segregation partner should be able to calculate complex issues for all of your clients who qualify. When a cost segregation firm is an expert in the repair regulations, they will quickly be able to step in as your calculation experts offering immense savings to your clients and potential consulting fees to your firm.
  2. How long have you been in business and how many cost segregation studies has your firm done? It’s good to know the firm’s history and experience in the industry. You need to know that they will be there for your client if an audit occurs.
  3. Who is performing the study? A cost segregation study is a technical process that requires knowledge in both construction and engineering. It’s important to find a firm that performs every facet of the work in-house that goes into the cost segregation.
  4. Cost segregation studies can be performed using different methodsWhat method does the firm use to perform the cost segregation study? There are several methods that a firm can use to perform a study but not all are created equal. You want to make sure the firm you choose uses an engineering approach to reduce the risk in the event of an audit.
  5. Does the firm provide a complete report? The study needs to offer the preferred 13-point conclusion. It is important to establish that a report will be made and given to both the tax professional and the client when the study is complete. See U.S. Tax Code Guidelines.
  6. In the event of an audit, who will defend the work? This is important for your client’s peace of mind because they’ll know they won’t have to face an audit by themselves and that the firm will defend its study.
  7. Ask for references. As with any important relationship, references will give you the peace of mind knowing that your cost segregation partner provides on time, accurate, and bullet-proof results.

Expanding your services is an important matter. As a professional, you want to maintain the same level of quality your firm has provided for years when adding another service that includes bringing in outside help. These questions will help ensure you find a cost segregation firm that meets your standards and provides a quality service to the customers that trust you.

Should I File Form 3115 or Not?

Posted on August 11, 2015 by - Business Education


Tax season and the days leading up to tax season can be a hectic and stressful time. Every one of your clients is expected to file returns correctly and on time. Making your job more difficult this season is the new Tangible Property Regulations (TPRs) that require some businesses to file a form 3115, a form you have never even seen before.

Well, we’re here to simplify tax jargon so you don’t file a form that doesn’t need to be filed and help you plan ahead if a 3115 is required.

According to U.S. Tax Code, a Form 3115 is a “request to change in either an overall method of accounting or the accounting treatment of any item.” Generally, this form is typically filed by businesses. However, Forbes says that a 3115 form may also apply to individual taxpayers and estates.

Before the new TPRs, Forbes stated that most taxpayers only filed the form when there was a significant change, and that didn’t happen often. The new regulations changed everything.

With the new TPRs, “almost every federal tax return for businesses that own tangible property should have at least one Form 3115 or an election statement that the taxpayers will need to file to adopt the rules under the final regulations,” said Christian Wood in the Journal of Accountancy. Wood, quoted in Forbes, continued to say that this form is required in order to adopt the materials-and-supplies provision, the new Improvement Standards and many of the “Safe Harbors.” If taxpayers with over 10 million in annual receipts do not include this form, their change in accounting methods will not be unauthorized under the law.

There are no IRS fees associated with Form 3115The tax community is split on whether or not all businesses should file at least one 3115, but because there aren’t any fees for filing or risks involved to your client, it doesn’t hurt them if you file one on their behalf. So, if your client can benefit from any of the tax saving opportunities from the new TPRs, a 3115 should be filed in most cases.

Additionally, Form 3115 allows you some audit protection from previous years. By filing, you’re following tax code, and you are compliant with the new TPRs. If you are compliant, the “use it or lose it” regulation (1016-3) will not be imposed on you.

You might have to file more than one 3115 form, which can be time consuming. It would be smart to consult with CSSI so that you can prepare the form correctly the first time and allow us to review other depreciation schedules to ensure no additional opportunities exist.