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Stability for 2016. The passage of a panic-driven tax bill at the end of 2015 may not have seemed like big news to most people, but it will have a huge impact on the next filing season. It broke the pattern of annual year-end tax bills by making the most popular of the chronically expiring tax breaks permanent and, for those not made permanent, renewed them though the end of the 2016 tax year at the minimum. As a result, the tax laws for 2016 are changed very little from those for 2015, with no room for year-end surprises.

How it all affects Tax Preparer. Because the IRS will not have to wait until the end of the year for retroactive reinstatement of expired credits this year, they will be able to give us advance drafts that are uncharacteristically accurate and timely. That will eliminate the habitual time crunch at the end of this year and the start of next year for us to complete our software. We therefore expect a smooth tax season next year with timely, reliable, accurate, and automated software for both us and the IRS.

e-file matures with speed and accuracy. After years of growing pains, the current tax season showed that the IRS's e-file program has finally matured. The format of e-file returns is now stable and very few returns are now ineligible for e-file. But the most significant change seen by preparers is the speed with which they give feedback on submitted returns. Acknowledgements that tell you whether a return has been rejected or accepted is now give within a matter of hours rather than a matter of days. You can now e-file returns and correct them the same day if they have been rejected!

'Early Bird' gets the Discount. For the first 2 weeks of May, you can get set for the next tax season NOW at an unusual 25% discount. But you must place your order with payment by May 15 in order to take advantage of this unprecedented offer. Just click here to order securely on-line.

See the Spring 2016 HowardNews for details.

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American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. This bill was signed into law on October 22, 2004, too late for our Fall, 2004 HowardNews. It includes a sales tax deduction for itemizers, relief from the AMT for farmers who income-average, and a tightening of the SUV loophole for first-year depreciation. Click here for our Special Report on the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.