Skip to main content Skip to search


The Latest News from IRS-

2014 Tax Season to Open Jan. 31; e-file and Free File Can Speed Refunds

IR-2013-100, Dec. 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to receive refunds.

The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.

“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”

The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original opening date from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014. The 2014 date is one day later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on Jan. 30, 2013, following January tax law changes made by Congress on Jan. 1 under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The extensive set of ATRA tax changes affected many 2012 tax returns, which led to the late January opening.

The IRS noted that several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. New year-end tax planning information has been added to this week.

In addition, many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. More details will be available in January.

The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file or Free File with the direct deposit option.

The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place. However, the IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. The request is easily done with Form 4868, which can be filed electronically or on paper.

IRS systems, applications and databases must be updated annually to reflect tax law updates, business process changes and programming updates in time for the start of the filing season.

The October closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year.

About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.

Read more

In The News

Five tips for successful revenue recognition implementation

By Ken Tysiac
December 11, 2013

The top line on financial statements around the world is about to change.

And companies need to move quickly to determine which personnel will be responsible for implementing the new revenue recognition standard, said Dusty Stallings, CPA, a member of PwC’s national professional services group.

“Companies need to get their project management approach in place,” said Stallings, who is serving on an AICPA working group devoted to helping companies implement the standard correctly. “… Get the structure in place that you need to understand the change, and follow that change all the way through.”

Historic changes that will affect revenue recognition for virtually every company that uses U.S. GAAP or IFRS are on the verge of being put into place by FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

A majority of members of both boards have indicated that they will vote later this month to support the converged standard. The standard will include a five-step process for recognizing revenue that will not include much of the industry-specific guidance to which U.S. companies are accustomed.

Companies that use IFRS for their financial reporting also will see a change, as the principle of the standard is focused on control, whereas previous IFRS focused on risks and rewards. Stallings said the effects on different companies and industries will vary widely, but everybody will experience some changes.

“I don’t think there is anyone who will see no change,” Stallings said. “But certainly there are some industries that will have some major changes that they will be facing, such as telecommunications.”

After the boards’ anticipated approvals this month, the final standard is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2014. Initial implementation efforts, Stallings said, should focus on:

  1. Building a team and a plan. Companies need to put a structure into place to analyze the change and follow it through the implementation process, Stallings said. She said the personnel involved will depend a lot on the structure and size of the individual organizations, but the effects on systems, processes, and controls means that personnel from many functions could be involved. These could include:
    • Finance. The change is so important that someone high up in the finance organization should be involved, Stallings said.
    • Sales. The impact the change will have on sales negotiations will need to be considered, she said.
    • Legal. If contracts will change, legal may need to play a role.
    • IT. Companies may need to evaluate whether systems changes are necessary.

    Once the team is built, a timeline with responsibilities and accountabilities can help the transition occur smoothly.

  2. Make sure you understand the standard. This may be particularly difficult for U.S. companies that are accustomed to prescriptive, industry-specific guidance.
    “People are going to have a natural tendency to want to do what they do today … so it’s going to be very important that you understand what’s actually there and not bring along practices in today’s GAAP and superimpose it when it might not belong there,” Stallings said. “Make sure you truly understand the differences that come about as a result of this standard.”
    Getting direction on how to do something new may not be easy, though. FASB and the IASB are creating a Transition Resource Group to help with implementation questions. The AICPA is updating the industry audit and accounting guides to reflect the changes from existing GAAP, as well as issuing an accounting revenue recognition guide that will provide helpful hints for applying the new standard. Comparing notes with peers in industry groups also is a good idea, Stallings said.
  3. Decide on transition. This is where the urgency for implementation may increase for some companies. The standard will take effect for reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2016 (FASB), or reporting periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017 (IASB).
    One transition option is a full retrospective method, which would require public entities to restate comparative years for two fiscal years before the implementation date. An alternative, simpler transition method that would not require two fiscal years of restatement also is available, but Stallings said some companies plan to use the full retrospective method to help investors get a full understanding of trends.
    Many companies that use the full retrospective method will want to have systems in place for dual reporting at the beginning of 2015, she said. That shortens the implementation timeline considerably.
  4. Analyze contracts and revenue streams. Companies are going to have to review their contracts and understand the effects the standard will have, Stallings said.
    “Do you need to review every contract? Not necessarily,” she said. “But you need to review all [different] types of contracts. If you’re in a company where every contract is unique, you probably have a bit more of a challenge on your hands than if you’re at a company where there are a lot of very similar contracts that you typically enter into.”
  5. Consider systems, training, and education implications. Any company that is performing systems upgrades for other reasons will want to take into account the implications of the new standard, Stallings said.
    She said it’s a bit too early to predict, though, whether companies will need massive systems changes or overhauls just to accommodate the new revenue recognition standard. She said the finance department and anyone associated with accounting and the financial statements should be trained on the changes the new standard brings.
    Education should go upward, too, according to Stallings. She said board members should be kept up to date on the changes and their implications.
    “Educating, making sure people understand that this is different and how it’s going to be different is going to be critical to getting it right,” she said. “And it is revenue. It’s the top line. It’s the one area where more education would be better than too little education.”

Ken Tysiac ( is a JofA senior editor.

Read more

Does the New Surtax Apply to You?

As of January 1, 2013, there is a 3.8% net investment income tax on some categories of passive investment income for individuals, trusts and estates that exceed certain income thresholds.  As a result, it is in your best interest to identify these income sources and adopt strategies to lower your modified adjusted gross income or your net investment income to avoid the surtax.  If you think the new tax may apply to you, we can explain your choices and help you pick the best strategy to reduce your tax bill.

Contact us to learn the best steps to limit your tax liability and ensure you’ve taken all allowable deductions and credits. We can help you with all your tax and related financial planning.

Please refer to our Resources and Financial Calculators for further assistance.

Read more

A Simplified Home Office Deduction

Do you work at home or have a home-based business? If so, you should be aware that beginning this year, the IRS has created a simpler option for calculating the deduction for the business use of your home. The new option makes recordkeeping easier because, instead of maintaining records of specific home office expenses, you can use a standard rate per square foot.  The rate is $5 per square foot (up to a maximum of 300 sq. feet or $1,500) for qualifying business use space in place of taking a pro rata percentage of items such as mortgage interest, taxes and repairs.

Keep in mind there are good and bad aspects to this “simpler” method.  The new method gives you back your full interest and tax deduction on schedule A, but you will lose your depreciation and loss carryover deductions. Of course, you must still use your home office regularly and exclusively for business. This may be a welcome relief for some taxpayers, but it might not be the best choice for others. Is it the right choice for you? Please contact us for answers to all your financial questions.

Contact us to learn the best steps to limit your tax liability and ensure you’ve taken all allowable deductions and credits. We can help you with all your tax and related financial planning.

Please refer to our Resources and Financial Calculators for further assistance.

Read more

What to Expect on Your 2013 Business Tax Return

Does your business qualify for the small business health care tax credit? If your company is wrestling with the cost of health care coverage for employers, this tax credit may help you offset your costs. It’s one of the many credits and deductions that business owners should be aware of as they consider this year’s tax return. Don’t miss out on the chance to take the Section 179 and bonus depreciation deduction for 2013, for example. You should also consider how new rates on ordinary income, capital gains and investment income will affect your bottom line.


Contact us to learn the best steps to take in order to limit your tax liability and ensure you’ve taken all the proper deductions and credits. We can help you with all your tax and other business planning questions.



Read more

What to Expect When Filing Your 2013 Tax Return

shutterstock_95278825Did you know that the government shutdown has had an impact on your tax return? Because the shutdown prevented the IRS from doing some of its standard tax season preparation, the tax return filing season will begin a little later and your refund could be delayed a week or two.

There are also numerous changes in tax laws that might affect your tax bill for 2013, including steeper rates, a new tax on investment income, changes in deduction options for higher-income taxpayers and extended tax benefits for those in the middle-income brackets. In addition, new provisions associated with the Affordable Care Act, such as the premium tax credit for some insurance purchases, should be part of your planning.

We are here to help you understand the latest changes in tax law for both the US and California.

Contact us to learn the best steps to limit your tax liability and ensure you’ve taken all allowable deductions and credits. We can help you with all your tax and related financial planning.

Please refer to our Resources and Financial Calculators for further assistance.

Read more

Accounting For Your Business

Pollaro & Associates is a comprehensive local CPA firm. Our core practice includes tax compliance & planning strategies, audit & assurance, management & business consulting, accounting and bookkeeping. We pride ourselves on delivering customized solutions for our clients. With more than 40 years in the accounting industry, we have the knowledge to help you.

At Pollaro and McPherson we believe in the value of building a relationship with our clients.  Our commitment to you is to provide exceptional experience to ensure that our services bring value to you both professionally and individually. Our goal is to personalize services to meet your individual and business needs.  Our vast expertise and wealth of knowledge allows our team to provide you collaborative consulting services.

Business Services

Individual Services

Contact Us

Read more

Business Services

Business owners want a comfortable experience, knowing that their financial and tax needs are being met by qualified and experienced professionals. If your company needs assistance with Accounting Services, Tax ServicesFinancial Statements or Consulting Services, we can provide you with the necessary financial information.


We are a full-service accounting and business consulting firm designed to meet all of your financial needs.

The primary objective of Accounting Services is to provide a structured presentation of the relevant financial data in a simplified manner to assist in understanding the financial performance of a entity.  Accurate, timely, and comparable Financial Statements makes use of key financial data that allows entities to have the necessary tools to make informed decisions.


We provide complete comprehensive tax planning, advice and preparation services to minimize or defer tax liability. Our goal is to provide an in-depth consulting tax service to meet your business needs throughout the year instead of an annual event.  We believe that tax strategies should be a proactive event to ensure your business has the most accurate assessment of their tax liabilities. Our firm keeps up to date on new tax laws and legislation to bring you the best, most accurate service possible.

We provide tax planning and return preparation services for:

  • Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • LLCs/LLPs
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Taxing Authority Representation
  • Buying or Selling a Business


To keep you informed on various areas of your business, we offer three levels of Financial Statements:

  • Audits: The objective of an audit is to provide an opinion about whether the financial statements presented conform with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The process involves evaluating a company and assessing their risk.
  • Audits of Employee Benefit Plans: Regulations surrounding benefit plan compliance becomes increasingly complex each year. Let us provide the expertise required to manage reporting requirements, changes in plan administration, and governmental regulations.
  • Reviews: A review is different than an Audit in that it doesn’t provide an opinion. Instead, a Review is a set of procedures performed to provide limited assurance that we are not aware of any material adjustments that should be made with respect to your financial statements.
  • Compilations: A Compilation is information provided by the client from which we use to prepare financial statements.


As your accounting firm, we offer a full menu of services to meet the needs for your growing business.

Read more

Individual Services

We know that managing your personal finances can be a daunting task. We are here to review and advise you on your taxes and other financial services. We will help you reach your individual ideals of financial objectives.


Like any accounting firm, we provide tax services. Our goal is to help you minimize or defer tax liabilities. We offer tax planning and preparation for:

  • Individuals
  • Estates
  • Trusts
  • Gifts
  • Audit Representation


We also offer services to meet any immediate or future financial need:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Forecasts
  • Personal Financial Statements

Find out how we can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Read more