Friday, July 13, 2012


The last day of the NATP National Conference in Baltimore turned out to provide the best content – at least from my perspective.  I attended one morning session and two in the afternoon.

The morning class was “Form 4797 Basics” taught by Chris Bixby, EA.

I admit that I, like many other preparers, have always been somewhat confused by aspects of Form 4797.  I have taken several 4797 CPE classes over the years, but always have my Taxfinder Handbook in front of me when completing the form.

Chris did a great job of explaining the concepts of Sections 1231, 1245 and 1250 property and recapture, unrecapture, and nonrecapture in such a way that I do believe, by Jove, I have finally got it!

I spent the afternoon with Larry Gray, CPA, a 35-year veteran tax pro and long-time NATP instructor (and former President).  Larry led back-to-back “Did You Know?” sessions on Form 1041 and the dreaded Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). His format was unique, and, rather than working his way down the individual forms, dealt with specific questions clients might have about differing 1041 and dreaded AMT situations. 

While I have no desire to prepare 1041s, I am occasionally forced to prepare one for a long-time client who has gone to his/her final audit.  Larry gave me some new insights.

His dreaded AMT class demonstrated what a real monster the parallel tax system truly is – and why it should be destroyed.  It also discussed tax planning suggestions and alternatives for various dreaded AMT scenarios.

These classes reinforced that no taxpayer faced with Forms 4797, 1041, or 6251 should attempt to prepare his/her own tax return – and should certainly not rely on a “box”. 

As usual NATP did a good job offering some great education.  While no longer really cost effective for me, the National Conference is still a good value for most other tax pros.

Unfortunately I am heading back to New Jersey as you read this – although thankfully not for long.  I close on my condo in PA next Tuesday!


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