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If you’ve recently inherited a little money from a deceased relative, please accept our condolences. Then accept our advice, which might help you navigate this tricky area without ending up in the IRS penalty box and/or screwing yourself later on down the road.
Special thanks due to Allen DeLeon, CPA, PFS of DeLeon and Stang, who gave me good advice when I found myself in this situation with no clue how to handle it and some pointers for this article. If you are in Maryland and need an expert to help with your inheritance (Fluffy Mattress, CPA is not taking on new clients at this time), hit up the firm and they’ll be happy to help. The following is not presented as tax advice and is not meant as a substitute for a professional assessment of your personal situation.
First, you might be a CPA but that doesn’t mean you are an expert in personal financial planning, estate rules and tax law. So unless you happen to be a partner with 20 years experience handling inherited IRAs and pension plans, find yourself a qualified CPA from whom you can get a little advice. Maybe there is a partner in your office who you trust that knows a thing or two about this area but absent that, check with your state society of CPAs to see if they have a recommendation. It shouldn’t be hard to find someone in your state.
Second, get any real estate or other property valued and save all documentation. You aren’t taxed on the receipt of property, so if your grandma leaves you her house, you don’t have $200,000 in income to claim but you will have a gain (or loss) to report later (should you sell this property) that is based on its value at the time of the owner’s death. If you end up never valuing it and renting it out for a decade and then want to sell it, you’ll be ass out if you don’t have a baseline value. This goes for stocks too but you should have no problem figuring out what those are worth.
On the federal level, the only initial tax you have to worry about is on inherited IRAs and pension plans, which are taxed as income (meaning at your normal tax rate – be wary of a large sum changing your tax bracket). If you cash these out, you can elect to have the tax withheld or pay it directly to the IRS yourself after distribution but keep in mind there could be penalties associated with that option.
Currently, most inheritance is not subject to income tax. The second Congress reads this article, however, that could change so again, talk to someone who actually knows the rules and keeps us with any changes if you are at all unsure how to proceed.
Just a quick reminder gang – the deadline for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship is tonight at midnight. So if you or anyone you know might be interested in winning some free money for college, I suggest you get on this ASAP.
We now return to your regularly scheduled inflammatory nonsense.
The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.
If you know an accounting student, or if you are an accounting student, get busy and get writing. The deadline for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship is midnight Thursday, March 31.
The clock is ticking, but there is still a window of opportunity for accounting students to compose an essay of no more than 500 words with the topic, “There’s an App for That.” Essays will be judged on creativity, innovation, quality of writing, structure, logic, and, where applicable, sources and research.
Participation in the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship program is open to U.S., Canadian, and Mexican citizens who are students attending colleges, universities, and professional schools of accounting in North America. Students applying for the AccountingWEB Accounting Student Scholarship must have already completed at least one semester or two trimesters of full-time college and must be declared accounting majors, effective for the fall of 2011. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to enter.
The scholarship is a $1,000 one-time award, payable to the educational institution where winning students are in attendance as full-time students, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent, and who are declared accounting majors. Transcripts are required as evidence of this status. More details and a link to the online application are available in the Scholarship Rules.
Students can submit their application online or by U.S. mail. All applications must be postmarked or submitted by midnight Eastern time, March 31, 2011.
Click here to forward this message to your favorite accounting student!
Let’s be serious for a moment, who doesn’t want free money? And if you could also advance your own knowledge base, further your career and benefit the profession in the process, why wouldn’t you take it?
The fact that we are facing a shortage of accounting faculty to teach future beancounters is not newsworthy as the AICPA is now in its fourth year of the Accounting Doctoral Scholars program. Launched in July of 2008, ADS provides funding for four years for up to 30 new candidates each year, incubating a total of 120 newly educated PhDs in audit and tax. Thirty candidates with an average GMAT of 718 were selected for funding in 2009 and 2010, with twenty-seven candidates placed in 2009 and 29 in 2010. If you are interested in taking advantage of some $17 mi S will begin providing information on applying for fall 2012 in May of this year, stay tuned to their website for more details.
But we aren’t all cut out to be accounting professors. Many of you know this because you learned accounting from folks who had no business teaching. Did you know the AICPA also provides scholarships to minorities, those with little accounting education seeking to get into the industry and outstanding accounting students with a 3.0 GPA or better?
From This Way to CPA, we have four major scholarship programs and deadlines are fast approaching so you better get it together if you want some of this. Each scholarship has different requirements so please read them carefully before applying and you must be an AICPA student affiliate member to qualify. If you haven’t yet joined, you may do so here.
Held June 2-4, 2011 at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham, NC on the Duke University campus, the AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop is an annual invitational program for minority accounting students who plan to pursue the CPA designation. This event aims to strengthen students’ professional skills and understanding of the limitless possibilities and benefits of earning the CPA credential.
Participants will gain confidences and an enhanced understanding of the varied accounting career paths to help them make better career decisions after graduation. An all-expenses paid event, the AICPA covers the cost of student attendees’ transportation, hotel accommodation and meals.
Deadline to apply:
Fri, May 6 2011
The John L. Carey Scholarship was established by members of the accounting profession to honor John Carey upon his retirement from the AICPA in 1969. During his 40-year tenure at the AICPA, Mr. Carey served as administrative vice president; executive director; and as editor and publisher of the Journal of Accountancy. Mr. Carey dedicated his entire career to serving the accounting profession and made it a priority to encourage outstanding students to become CPAs.
Recipients receive $5,000 for one year. Scholarship aid may be used only for the payment of expenses that directly relate to obtaining an accounting education (e.g.; tuition, fees, room and board, and/or books and materials only).
Deadline to apply:
Fri, Apr 1 2011
The AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students provides financial awards to outstanding minority students to encourage their pursuit of accounting as a major and their ultimate entry into the profession. Scholarship funding is provided by the AICPA Foundation, with contributions from the New Jersey Society of CPAs and Robert Half International.
The AICPA Minority Scholarship was created in 1969 with the purpose to increase the representation of ethnically diverse CPA professionals. For over four decades, this program has provided over $14.6 million in scholarships to over 8,000 accounting scholars.
Recipients receive individual awards of $3,000 per academic year.
Deadline to apply:
Fri, Apr 1 2011
The AICPA/Accountemps Student Scholarship program provides financial assistance to outstanding accounting students who demonstrate potential to become leaders in the CPA profession.
Recipients receive $2,500 for one year.
Deadline to apply:
Fri, Apr 1 2011
We already did a series on credentials for accountants if you’re looking for add letters to the end of your name but if you’re not looking to take that route or looking to get out of it after you’ve gotten some experience under your belt, you may want to look into a PhD in accounting. We’re serious.
The Accounting Doctoral Scholars program, a joint project by 70+ accounting firms, several state societies of CPAs and the AICPA, wants to help you. $15 million has gone into their efforts to fill a much-needed gap in accounting education and if you don’t quite fit in to the cube, you may be one of the chosen ones.
That means they have money to help you through school so get in touch with them if this sounds like you:
If you are someone who loves learning, generating new ideas, and setting your own agenda you may want to seriously consider pursuing a doctoral degree in accounting. While all academicians can make their mark in a field, those with a Ph.D. in accounting have the opportunity to influence both accounting education and public accounting practice.
The ADS Program will provide funding for selected individuals, with recent meaningful experience in public accounting in auditing and tax, to help them make a permanent transition to teaching and research at the university level. The funding will support application to doctoral programs in accounting and also provide a stipend of $30,000 per year for up to four years of enrollment to individuals committed to teaching and research in auditing and tax—the areas of greatest need—upon completion of their doctorates. The Program will support its third class of Accounting Doctoral Scholars for Fall 2011.
No one can tell you how far to take your education. We know CPAs with PhDs who love teaching and we know teachers who have their CPA and don’t realize they practice education. It is difficult enough to decide between a Masters in Accounting and an MBA (or so we hear), how many of you are really thinking of a PhD?
If just one of you are, hopefully this helps. We’d be curious to hear what career paths you plan to take if you are and always defer you to friend of Going Concern Professor David Albrecht if you want to talk to someone who does it for a living.
Last year, AccountingWEB identified 5 reasons why we’re so desperate for PhDs in Accounting including the lifestyle change required to pursue one and the economic cost of funding it.
The New York Society of CPAs’ CPA Journal gets into what is required and what to expect if you take this route here and you can check out earlier posts that GC did on the pros and cons of the career move into academia. Good luck!