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The Top Reasons Adults Go Back to School

The Top Reasons Adults Go Back to School

Young professionals and adults of all ages are going to back to school. Whether it’s to finish a bachelor’s degree or start a master’s degree education has become more popular than ever before. There are many reasons students decide to go back to school. We are going to talk about the top reasons adults decide to go back to school and why these reasons are important to them.

One of the main reasons students go back to school is so they can invest in themselves. Education doesn’t depreciate. It only helps you accomplish your goals. Who else would you rather invest in? Are you looking for a promotion or a new job? Higher education will usually put your resume above other candidates with just a bachelor’s degree. So going back to school for an advanced degree can build your self-esteem and also help you land the position of your dreams.

One of the biggest motivators of higher education is earning more money. Typically students with the highest level of education earn the most money. They are usually in managerial or director type positions with employees reporting to them. In many programs you will learn about managing others, budgets, and communication skills to help you be successful. An advanced degree can help you get promoted to earn a higher salary or be recruited by another company with a pay raise.

Another reason adults go back to school is because they want to change their career field. Maybe they have reached the peak in their field and still are not satisfied. Or, maybe their industry is declining. Either way, it is good to have a back-up plan. Students need the knowledge a University can offer to help them succeed in a brand new industry. For example, if someone has been in sales for 10 years but wants to switch to the healthcare field they will need a more formal education to land a job and be successful.

Are you looking to start your own business and don’t know where to start? Have you considered a Masters of Business Administration? More and more students are returning to school for a business degree so they can start their own business. If you think about it, what’s better than being your own boss? A business degree will give you the foundation courses you need to be successful including: marketing, management, accounting, and finance. A general business degree can also land you different positions in different fields if your start-up business does not succeed.…

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CPE for CPA’s: Continuing Education Requirements for Ohio CPAs

CPE for CPA’s: Continuing Education Requirements for Ohio CPAs

There are two types of licenses issued by the Ohio Accountancy Board: the Ohio CPA permit and the Ohio CPE registration.

1) The Ohio CPA permit

The Ohio CPA permit is required of all certified public accountants and public accountants who:

practice public accounting services or

perform regulated services

What are Public Accounting Services?

Public accounting services are services performed while employed by a public accounting firm.

What are Regulated Services?

Regulated services are performed in an organization other than a public accounting firm.

2) The Ohio CPA Registration

The Ohio registration is only for CPA’s who are not employed in public accounting and do not perform regulated services. Ohio CPA licensee who uses the Ohio registration must use the term “Inactive” after the CPA designation. When used in print, this designation must be at least as prominent as the “CPA” designation.

“Out of State” Status

“Out-of-state” status is for licensees that no longer live in Ohio. To obtain this status, the Ohio CPA must live, work, and be licensed to practice public accounting in another state. If the CPA sends the Ohio Board acceptable verification of the valid license in the other state, he or she may keep the Ohio license status in good standing. A copy of the other state’s license with an expiration date is considered to be acceptable verification. “Out-of-state” status does not require a fee to the Ohio Board, if the CPA holds a valid license in the other state.

“Retired” Status

A licensee who retires can use the term “Retired” after the CPA designation, after informing the Ohio Board of retirement status in writing. If used in print, the term “Retired” must be at least as prominent as the term “CPA.” There is no fee to keep “retired” status.

Ohio CPA License Renewal and CPE Requirements

The Ohio CPA license renewal period begins in October or each year and ends on December 31.

Continuing education is required for the renewal of the Ohio permit and for Ohio registration holders who desire to obtain an Ohio permit. The Ohio board requires 120 CPE credits in the three years preceding application for the Ohio permit. Credit earned for obtaining the Ohio permit may be used again to qualify for license renewal.

Continuing Education Requirements

To obtain or renew the Ohio permit requires 120 CPE credits over a three-year period. Continuing education is due on the license renewal date for all Ohio permit holders.

To obtain a New CPA permit requires 40 CPE credits over a two-year period.

All continuing education reporting periods, whether 2 years or 3 years, begin on January 1 and end on December 31.

CPE Fields of Study

Continuing education may be earned in any field that contributes to a licensee’s professional competence.

The CPA is responsible for retaining appropriate documentation for all CPE credit claimed. This includes adequate support for:

(1) Program attendance and/or completion, and

(2) CPE credit claimed.

A certificate of completion or transcript can serves as documentation when issued by the program sponsor as proof of attendance/completion.

Specific CPE Topics Required of CPAs by Type of Engagement

Ohio CPA’s who perform financial reporting engagements or financial reporting work outside public accounting while using the CPA designation (“regulated services”) must earn 24 CPE credits in accounting or auditing:

Ohio permit holders who who perform taxation engagements or provide tax advice to clients or who perform tax work outside public accounting while using the CPA designation must earn 24 CPE credits in taxation:…

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Required Continuing Education and Licensing Regulations – Debated

Required Continuing Education and Licensing Regulations – Debated

Not long ago, I was talking to an acquaintance of mine at the local Starbucks here, and he was going after many financial planning type degrees, and taking lots of ongoing education classes in order to fill up his business card with lots of letters next to his name. There was a method to his madness because he wanted to sell financial instruments and products to various investors who he would be advising.

This brings up a long standing debate; are you sure it makes sense to spend all the time it takes and continuing education to get those letters next to your name, are you sure it will help you in your career? And mind you it doesn’t have to be financial planning as it could be any profession, and also realize anytime you get a license there are more regulations to deal with and more restrictions place upon you. There is also more scrutiny, and chances that you might make a mistake, or be accused by someone of not following the rules, whether such accusations are factual or not.

You see, it appears to me that the only reason that licenses are issued is so they can be taken away if you don’t follow the rules. Unfortunately, you don’t know the future rules that may come forth, because regulations in the United States are quite unpredictable and are causing conflict, and even job losses due to the uncertainty principle.

Take my acquaintance here for instance who is studying to be a financial planner – did you know between 2006 and 2009 the SEC made one new rule in his industry every single week on average? One year the average was one new rule every 4-days. Imagine that, your ongoing education and licenses subjects you to future over-regulation bureaucracy.

At some point you have to ask yourself; is it really worth it, is it really good help me make more money, or is it just going to complicate my life, my profession, and my future earnings. This is something I’d like you to think about before you spend lots of money, and lots of time in your ongoing education process. Please consider all this.…

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Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

Ten Tax Benefits for Parents

It is received wisdom that come tax time children can bring benefits beyond those traditionally associated with raising a family. Taxpaying parents are indeed eligible for a slew of child-related tax benefits if they approach IRS rules and regulations knowledgeably, meaning with help and guidance from tax professionals, such as an enrolled agent or CPAs, who understand how to maximize these rules. Studies suggest that when families consult tax professionals over how best to leverage these special tax breaks they can save on-average $3,500 per tax year. This is not surprising since a tax enrolled agent is required to take continuing education tax courses in order to meet EA CPE requirements, which is essential for maintaining EA certification and the EA license. Enrolled agents are consequently some of the most informed tax professionals on the subject of tax breaks for parents.

Below are ten tax benefits that the IRS recommends tax professionals encourage their clients who are parents to consider when filing tax returns this coming year.

# 1-Dependents

In majority of cases, a parent can claim a child as a dependent in the year that the child was born. For more information, tax professionals should consult IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

# 2-Child Tax Credit

Parents may be eligible for the child tax credit for every child under age 17. Clients who are not able to take advantage of the full amount of this credit may wish to consider the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more information, see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

# 3-Child and Dependent Care Credit

One of the most commonly leveraged tax breaks for parents is the child and dependent care credit. Eligibility hinges on whether or not a client pays someone to care for a child under age 13 so that they can either work or job hunt. For more information, see IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

# 4-Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The EITC is a benefit specifically for working individuals who claim earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. The advantages of this credit include reducing the amount of tax a client owes and possibly even bringing a refund. For more information, see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

# 5-Adoption Credit

One of the more overlooked tax breaks for new parents is the adoption credit, a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt a child. Tax professionals should advise qualifying individuals to file a paper tax return because adoption-related documentation must be included. For more information, see the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.

# 6-Children with Earned Income

When children have earned income from a job, parents should be advised that these minors may be required to file a tax return. For more information, see IRS Publication 501.

# 7-Children with Investment Income

Enrolled agents and CPAs should also inform parents that under certain circumstances, a child’s investment income may be taxed at the parent’s tax rate. For more information on this rule, and the circumstances that may warrant this action, see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.

# 8-Higher Education Credits

Education tax credits are designed to help parents offset the expenses associated with educating their children. Two of the most popular such credits-the American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credit-reduce a parent’s federal income tax dollar-for-dollar, unlike a deduction, which reduces taxable income. For more information, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

# 9-Student loan Interest

Tax Professionals have even greater news for parents with children in college. They may be able to deduct interest paid on qualified student loans. In this scenario, the deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income. eliminating the need to itemize deductions. For more information, see IRS Publication 970.

# 10-Self-employed health insurance deduction

Finally, there is good news for the self-employed who pay for health insurance. People in this category may be able to deduct any premiums paid for coverage (after March 29, 2010) on children under age 27 (at the end of 2010), even if the child was not the person’s dependent. For more information, see the IRS website.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.…

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Continuing Education – Insurance

Continuing Education – Insurance

Insurance agents owe a lot to their clients. What they recommend a client can really impact their lives and their family’s lives. Agents must be knowledgeable with the products they are selling and also the ones they are not. They have to be able to distinguish the differences between different policies and their offerings. All insurance agents must pass an exam to receive their license. The exam is typically online and covers broad topics in whatever subject they are being licensed in. For instance, if you are becoming a life and health insurance agent you will learn about annuities, long-term care, HIPPA, and whole life policies. Once the agent receives their license they must keep it active by completing a certain amount of continuing education credits every 1-2 years depending on their state’s requirements. In this article we are going to discuss some of the various ways an agent can renew their license and suggest the best method available.

Insurance continuing education can either be a very tedious process or be very easy, depending on your state and how you are able to complete your continuing education. Online education is usually the fastest and easiest way to complete your hours. Online classes typically require reading a short book and taking an online exam. It is very stress free and easy to complete. Another method of attaining your credits is traveling to a live class. Depending on where the lectures are being offered this could be a hassle to drive to and it also requires you to be present at a certain time for the entire class. If you are completing your work online you can take a break and come back to the course. For instance, if you are taking an eight hour annuity course in a classroom, you have to sit in the classroom for an entire eight hour period. For agents with families they typically like their weekends to themselves. They do not want to have to worry about continuing education taking up an entire weekend. Another method to complete their educational requirements is a webinar. These are a mix of online and classroom courses. You can view the webinar from the comfort of your own home, but you do have to sit and listen to a presenter for a specific amount of time.

As you can see the insurance agent has some options when they are completing their credit requirements. One thing to make sure is you complete the state’s requirement before your license expires.…

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Healthcare Changes Become Hot Continuing Education Topic

Healthcare Changes Become Hot Continuing Education Topic

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes changes in the delivery of health insurance and several new income tax provisions. The implementation of these new rules over several years is a major focus of continuing education for Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals.

Coverage Changes

Starting in 2010, an adult child up to age 26 who is unable to obtain health insurance from an employer may remain covered by the employer plan of a parent. This replaces the common insurance company provision of not covering any child who reaches age 19 and is not a full time CPE courses address how this provision may affect claiming older children as dependents.

Also new for 2010 is a provision that health insurance coverage for children cannot be denied solely because of pre-existing health conditions. In addition, health insurance coverage for anyone can no longer be terminated as a consequence of illness.

Policy maximums have also been eliminated beginning in 2010. Insurance companies are barred from instituting lifetime caps on coverage.

Starting in 2014, insurance companies cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. This provision requires a pooling of risk involving mandatory coverage for everyone. Failure to obtain coverage beginning in 2014 will incur fines based upon individual incomes. Financial assistance will become available for families earning up to $88,200 per year. State operated insurance exchanges in 2014 will provide coverage options in addition to private insurers.

For those who have been denied coverage in 2010 due to pre-existing conditions, coverage is available through state-operated high-risk pools. The maximum out-of-pocket cost under this coverage is $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.

Starting in 2010, Medicare beneficiaries no longer have out-of-pocket cost for preventative care such as physical exams, testing for treatable conditions, and laboratory work. In addition, the federal government will send $250 to those covered by Medicare to cover prescription drug costs not currently covered by Medicare Part D.

However, those with annual incomes of $85,000 ($170,000 on joint returns) incur a reduced prescription drug subsidy in 2010. In addition, government subsidies for Medicare Advantage plans are being reduced so those covered by such programs face higher premiums. To assist in tax return preparation, a registered tax agent must inquire about whether clients received their $250 checks.

Tax Provisions

Continuing professional education (CPE) has several areas to address relating to changing health care CPE courses include information on the new tax credits and additional tax assessments.

Tax credits are available for individuals who purchase health insurance through a state-operated exchange. The tax credit program begins in 2014, when each state is required to have established an exchange. The premium assistance credit is available for households with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the annual poverty level. Upon enrollment, individuals will report income to the exchange. A premium assistance credit is then calculated and paid by the federal government to the state. The insured individual then pays the difference between the premium and the credit.

Individuals who fail to maintain health insurance coverage in 2014 will be subject to tax penalties. Tax professionals will learn in their CPE ethics course that, beginning in 2014, an employer with at least 50 full-time employees during the preceding year must offer all full-time employees and their dependents minimum essential coverage under an employer-sponsored plan. Failure to meet this requirement results in a fine for the employer if any eligible employee enrolls in coverage under a state exchange for which a premium tax credit is allowed to the employee.

To assure coverage exists from employer-provided plans, annual W-2 reporting beginning for the 2011 tax year requires disclosure of the value of each employee’s health insurance provided by the employer.

Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees and average wages of less than $40,000 are eligible for tax credits beginning in 2010. The credit is up to 50 percent of employer contributions for health insurance premiums. Employers with fewer than 10 employees and average wages of less than $20,000 receive a 100 percent credit. Wages paid to five-percent owners of a business (or 2 percent of S corporation shareholders) are excluded from the average calculation.

In addition, business are required beginning in 2012 to report on Form 1099 all payments aggregating $600 or more in a calendar year to a single payee, including corporations (other than a payee that is a tax-exempt corporation).

For 2010, the maximum adoption credit is increased to $13,170 per eligible child. This increase applies to both non-special needs adoptions and special needs adoptions. Also, the adoption credit is made refundable. The new dollar limit and phase-out of the adoption credit are adjusted for inflation in tax years beginning in 2011.

The tax on distributions from a health savings account (HSA) or an Archer …

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Online Continuing Education for Psychologists: Branches of Study

Online Continuing Education for Psychologists: Branches of Study

When it comes to online continuing education for psychologists, there is almost no limit to what is possible. With new advances in technology, learning has left the classroom and entered the world of cyberspace. Today, mental health professionals can take additional coursework throughout their career without ever leaving the comfort of their home office. Depending on what field of psychology you’re interested in, you are almost certain to be able to find subjects that pertain to your practice and can help you achieve your professional goals. Although these classes, if they come from a reputable source, do offer academic accreditation, there are also many who can boast a genuine furtherance of knowledge as well. There are few subjects as broad as that of psychology, and most classes-whether online or offline-break down their coursework into the various branches of study.

One interesting branch of study is that of marriage and family therapy. Online continuing education for psychologists often includes at least hints from this branch, as so many therapists are called upon to address relationship issues. The family structure is a fragile one and many families come near the breaking point before they enlist the help of a counselor. The counselor in turn must be prepared to bring the family back from the brink using not only tried and true methods, but the latest advances in therapies. Only by keeping up with the latest research and science can a therapist be expected to provide the best service possible to their clients. In this regard, a webpage can be an even better resource than a textbook, as it is continually updated with new articles and information every day they become available.

Some online continuing education for psychologists is in the field of forensic psychology. This branch of the traditional field puts mental health professionals in the legal arena. Though it may have little in common with the trade of fictional forensic psychologist Alex Cross (from Along Came a Spider and other James Patterson novels and movies), it can be an exciting, rewarding field of study. This field has a lot of practical application potential and can result in rewarding and exciting knowledge that transcends simple criminal pursuit. Classes in this arena are designed to prep the professionals with more information about the treatment of patients, both criminal and noncriminal. Often, workers in this field are called upon to testify in court, whether it be for malpractice suits or criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Anyone interested in online continuing education for psychologists should look at their state’s requirements and make sure their shore up those needed credits before anything else. Once this is taken care of, professionals can (and probably should) look to further their research into the field through their own means, as increased education can only mean a better understanding of the profession and of the science. Many find that easy Internet access to this wealth of reputable information increases their pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. Online courses are more available than ever before, giving students a wealth of opportunities from which to choose.…