NCCPAP Takes Its Tax Ideas to Washington

Representatives of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners visited the White House, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service during meetings in Washington, D.C., last week – and they weren’t there for the photo opp.

The 20 members brought with them their ideas on a number of tax-related issues, including identity theft, required minimum distributions, deduction of long-term health care premiums, tax preparation fees, rental deduction parity for S corporations, early retirement plan distributions, and the need for the IRS to have the authority to regulate tax return preparers.

For Sandra Johnson, a Bellmore, NY-based CPA and the immediate past president of NCCPAP, one of the main issues is with retirement plans, specifically in the area of required minimum distributions.

“There are currently more than 15 types of retirement plans,” she noted. “Many taxpayers have more than one type of plan when they reach age 70-1/2, the age at which they must begin taking out a required minimum distribution -- unless they are employed by the organization that is the sponsor of the plan or their account is a Roth IRA. The way that the retirement rules are written, each class of retirement asset has its own RMD requirement. The amount that must be withdrawn is based on the account balance at the end of the immediately preceding calendar year, the plan owner’s age during the current year, and a factor from one of two IRS-approved tables depending on the age of the beneficiary.”

NCCPAP recommends that taxpayers should be able to pool their retirement funds and make one distribution for the entire amount from any of their retirement accounts from which they must make an RMD. In addition, Johnson said, “We’re looking for a way to get rid of the ‘half’ [in age 70-½]. People remember when their birthday is, but very few know when their half birthday occurs.”

“Many of our taxpayers, by the time they turn 69 or 70, may not be as financially savvy as they had been previously in life,” she added. “We’re looking at someone who has saved for retirement and doesn’t understand the rules about their half birthday. They may be subject to a significant penalty if they get it wrong, and it affects other items on the return as well, such as the taxability of Social Security money. If they get hit with a significant excise tax, that’s money that’s now lost that would still be earning them income. These are senior citizens – they don’t have significant years of earning potential ahead of them, and many can’t afford to hire a CPA. We feel the tax system should be rewarding them and making things a bit simpler, rather than making things more complicated.”

NCCPAP members also urged rental deduction parity for S corporations, according to current president Stephen Mankowski.

“I’m passionate about S corporations and their inability to take the home office deduction,” he said. “Our members handle the mom-and-pop shops on Main Street, so we get ‘up close and personal’ with them and see where the inequities lie.”

A self-employed individual and partner in a partnership can deduct the ordinary and necessary business expenses of a qualified home office on their income tax returns, Mankowski observed. “And a C corporation very often has the ability to pay rent to the shareholder. An S corporation doesn’t even have that. An S corporation carrying on a business out of the home really can write off none of the utilities, insurance, or other expenses even though they may operate out of, say, the entire basement of a home. Small-business owners are often very limited in their knowledge of tax matters – they may see their accountant once a year, and may not be getting the advice on ‘choice of entity’ they need.”

Therefore, NCCPAP recommended that a shareholder of an S corporation be afforded the ability to take the exact same deductions for a home office as a business owner of another entity would be able to do.

“The Joint Committee on Taxation was very receptive to the points we brought to them this year,” said Mankowski. “They score different legislation in terms of cost, and very often the issues that cost money never get passed. This one would cost money in terms of scoring because it would give more deductions to the S corporation, but everyone agreed that without it, it is unfair.”

Reprint: Accounting Today, May 23, 2017

Upcoming Meetings

NCCPAP 2017 Summer Conference  Tarrytown, NY
August 9, 10, &11, 2017
DoubleTree Hotel
455 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY  10591
NCCPAP rates: $161.00 (king and double/double)
Reservations: (914) 524-6418 or
Hilton Hotel Tarrytown
Online group code: CPA
Reserve room before July 9, 2017
Complimentary self-parking lot

FYI:  The Texas Association of CPAs next meeting will be August 3 & 4, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Will update with more detailed information on this conference as it becomes available.

NCCPAP 2017 Fall Conference   Dallas, Texas
October 18, 19, & 20, 2017
Embassy Suites Dallas Near the Galleria
14021 Noel Road, Dallas, Texas, 75240
NCCPAP rates:  $149.00 (single & double)
More detailed information on hotel and registration to follow

NCCPAP 2018 Winter Conference  Palm Beach Gardens, FL
January 3, 4 & 5, 2018
DoubleTree Hotel Palm Beach Gardens

NCCPAP 2018 Spring Conference  Bethesda, MD
May 9, 10 & 11, 2018
Hyatt Regency Bethesda

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The National Conference of CPA Practitioners and the Texas Association of CPAs Announced a Strategic Alliance at TACPA’s Spring Meeting on Friday, May 5, 2017
TACPA board secretary M.R. Yousuf, immediate past NCCPAP president Sandra Johnson, current NCCPAP president Stephen Mankowitz, and TACPA vice president Marc Core
The alliance will give TACPA access to NCCPAP’s resources and national reach, while giving the latter a major base in a state it had not been very active in recently. Both groups focus on serving CPAs in public practice at small firms.“In simple terms, they’re going to be functioning similar to our different chapters, except that they’re going to maintain their own identity,” NCCPAP president Stephen Mankowski told Accounting Today. “They want to leverage NCCPAP from an infrastructure perspective – for instance, they’ll be able to make major enhancements on their site, like forums, better calendars, and tracking of continuing education, which are all items we have in place already on our site.”
The advantage to them is that it gives them a little bit more credibility, and larger presence than just a small group in Texas,” he continued. “They can now say, ‘We have NCCPAP -- we all care about small firms, and we’re all going to work together to advocate for small firms.’”
“TACPA has had a working relationship with NCCPAP since 2004. It only makes sense for us that we now have this strategic alliance,” said TACPA president Frank Sands in a statement.
TACPA was formed in 2002 and has approximately 180-200 members across Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin and other major cities. NCCPAP has chapters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as individual members in Chicago and California.

Reprint:  Accounting Today, May 5, 2017

Congressional Agenda and IRS Agenda 2017

At our Spring Quarterly Conference in Washington DC, we represented the membership with our annual visits to Congress and the Internal Revenue Service. On May 11, 2017, we discussed these agenda items with various Congressional representatives and members of the Internal Revenue Service.
Please take a few moments to read the Congressional and IRS Agendas. Thank you.


1st Annual Susan Gallo Blood Drive

Susan Gallo was an active member of NCCPAP and volunteered her time and energy to many committees on both the national and local chapter levels.  In honor of what would have been Susan’s 61st birthday, please join your fellow members for the1st Annual Susan Gallo Blood Drive on July 8, 2017. Susan received many blood transfusions and the Gallo Family would like to give back to the Long Island Blood Service and host a blood drive in her memory. The Gallos have created a website with information and a link to sign up to donate. Go to the website at sites.google.com/view/susangalloblooddrive/home to register.

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May 2017

When:   May 24 - 25, (ET)
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June 2017

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NCCPAP President Stephen Mankowski at the White House with Paul Teller, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs at the White House
Productive Meeting on May 11th with Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen in DC

IRS_Commissioner.jpgNCCPAP's Neil Sullivan and Frank Gallo, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, and NCCPAP's Tax Committee Chair Sanford Zinman

NCCPAP President Stephen Mankowski and members of our Tax Committee at the White House


NCCPAP meeting at IRS with National Public Liaison Martha Tobias 

We also met with Brianne Wilner, IRS, National Public Liaison 


 NCCPAP greatly appreciates all the time that the National Public Liaison's office has afforded us.

Melvin Hardy, Director, National Public Liaison, speaking at our Spring Conference in DC and with our Tax Committee

Scott Cheslowitz, Neil Fishman, Melvin Hardy, Stephen Mankowski, & Sandy Zinman


What's New at NCCPAP!
On Thursday, May 18th, President Stephen Mankowski was in Washington, DC.  He attended a meeting of the National Public Liaison and then was off for the IRS security summits. 
Next week in DC, Executive Vice President Neil Fishman will be attending the IRS Advisory Council meeting. Then Neil is off to visit some Congressional offices that he didn't get to see during our visit to The Hill at the beginning of May.

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