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64th Annual MNCPA Tax Conference

Enjoy key messages from six Tax Conference speakers

| December/January 2018-19 Footnote

Nearly 1,400 professionals from Minnesota and beyond attended the 64th Annual Tax Conference Nov. 12--13 in Minneapolis. Considered a top conference of its kind in the country, the MNCPA's Tax Conference draws speakers and attendees from all across the United States.

Tax and business professionals had the choice of more than 50 sessions aimed at helping them thrive in the ever-changing and challenging tax environment. Topics covered, among others, included myriad issues related to tax reform, bolstering your millennial client base, and how technology will continue to evolve the accounting industry.

Attendees also engaged with dozens of exhibitors, connected with their peers, won giveaways (including Minnesota Lynx tickets) and enjoyed live music during the evening happy hour.

The following is a brief look at some of the sights and takeaways from the Tax Conference. Be sure to visit the links after each speaker for additional insight.

Transcending Technology: Your Path to Tax Innovation

Donny Shimamoto

How can emerging technologies be leveraged to add value to a firm's services?

"When we look at the impact of emerging technologies, often what we're going to see is people saying these are disruptors. I think that's the wrong mindset. These technologies are going to get rid of those rote, boring and menial things our staff often have to do, and it will shift us to do the thinking, the analysis, and why we became CPAs -- to help our clients succeed."

Want to hear more from Donny?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mndonny.

Federal Individual Tax Highlights

Mary Marino

How will tax reform affect how the filing season is approached this year?

"I think the filing season is going to be every bit as hectic as it has been in the last few years. We've had information reporting deadlines that have moved back, the IRS is now grappling with implementing the changes of the law on forms, and the software manufacturers are right behind them trying to work that into their software. I would expect that, as practitioners, you're going to have to be very careful that some of these items are correctly captured. All in all, it's just going to be an intense compression of time."

Want to hear more from Mary?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mncpamary.

Update on Section 199A: The 20-Percent Deduction for Pass-Through Entities

Susan Smith

What makes Section 199A the most complex provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?

"199A is probably the most amazing code section we've ever had, which gives tremendous benefits to a whole range of people. The reason it's so complex is that there are different rules for different income levels. You could actually have somebody in one income level one year subject to certain rules and a different one in the next year subject to different rules."

Want to hear more from Susan?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mnsusan.

Tax Considerations for the Gig Economy

Chris Wittich

What tax implications related to the gig economy do practitioners need to be aware of and should convey to their clients?

"Practitioners need to be aware of the basics and be sure they're capturing them and taxing them properly on income tax returns -- understanding which things are self-employment, which things are not self-employment, and, certainly with 2018, you need to be understanding which things are eligible for QBI deductions and understanding how all of those play together."

Want to hear more from Chris?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mnchris.

Bonus Session -- Minnesota Department of Revenue Update: 2019 Filing Season

Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly

What's a message you'd like to send to tax practitioners as they prepare for the 2019 filing season?

"We want you to have the confidence to know the information you need to help all of your customers to file successfully in 2019. So, we hope you will take us up on the information we provided on our website, reach out to us through our taxpayer liaison and make sure we can answer any of the questions you have. We want you to know we are here for you in answering the questions that you have to make the filing season a success."

Want to hear more from Commissioner Bauerly?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mncynthia.

Engaging NextGen Clients

Tamera Loerzel

What do firms need to do to ensure their relevancy as millennials and Gen Y become potential clients?

"Everything mobile. You have to have a mobile website, mobile service, portals and access to communication. You have to have flexibility in how we text and interchange, flexibility in your communication and the way you work and engage with clients."

Want to hear more from Tamera?

Visit www.tinyurl.com/mntamera.