Question: Isaac is an independent insurance agent who sells various insurance products to his clients. He doesn’t provide consulting services. His taxable income for 2019 is $450,000. Does he qualify for the qualified business income deduction (QBID)?
Answer: Yes, Isaac qualifies for QBID. An insurance agent is specifically excluded from the definition of a specialized service trade or business (SSTB) and is not subject to the phase out [§1.199A-5(b)(2)(x)]. The IRS noted that, while the term “broker” is sometimes used in a broad sense to include anyone who facilitates the purchase and sale of goods for a fee or commission, the term “brokerage services” is most commonly associated with services, such as those provided by brokerage firms, involving the facilitation of purchases and sales of stock and other securities [TD 9847, 2/8/2019].
The past year has been a doozy.
The IRS introduced sweeping changes to the 2018 tax code that created a need to take a longer look at the tax situations of all your clients. One tax preparer joked with us that she wishes she had retired last year.
NATP was there for you right from the start with a webinar included with membership at the beginning of the year summarizing the updates.
The tax law changes necessitated more research to provide accurate and timely filings. NATP was there for you again, supporting your research the way YOU want to handle it:
- Roughly 24,000 questions researched and answered for members
- TheTaxBook WebLibrary Plus offered at cost (significantly reduced pricing) to Professional members and included as part of Premium level membership to enable your own cost-effective research.
The IRS sent hundreds (felt like thousands) of rule changes, clarifications and updates throughout the year. We worked to review and brief members of these updates via email alerts, newsletters and blog articles.
On top of all that, you need to find time for continuing education hours. We not only offered more CPE courses than ever before, but also provided those courses in more convenient ways, including in-person sessions and on-demand webinars.
Making Your Membership Invaluable
Member feedback from face-to-face or e-mail conversations, surveys and focus groups informed us that our existing membership structure was too “one-size-fits-all.” Most members wanted a more tailored approach, so we revamped the membership options and introduced tiered membership levels, including:
- Professional Associate (for additional members at the same firm)
- Premium (an all-inclusive approach)
This more personalized way lets members choose the benefits that make sense for them. We want to fit your needs rather than force you into a predetermined set of benefits.
Our goal with this restructuring process was to make your membership – as VISA® would say – priceless by not only offering more customized levels, but also by adding value at each level, such as:
- 8 hours of business practice education
- 2 CPE webinar of choice (pro & premium members)
- An ethics webinar for 2 CPE
- Discounts on education
- EA Part I review course
- 1-5 research questions (depending on membership level)
- Research library access + membership for less than the cost of the research library alone
- Legislative advocacy for the profession as a whole – not just one credential
“We didn’t want people to ask why they should be a member,” explained Scott Artman, NATP Executive Director. “We wanted people to ask why WOULDN’T they be a member!”
NATP Board President Gerard (Jerry) Cannito agreed. “It was easy for us as a Board to figure out what benefits might be of value to membership because we are members. We are each tax preparers. We are 11 people who represent 22,000 – but we know you because we are you. We are never satisfied with the easy answer…we’re always searching for the best answer.”
Looking Ahead to Even More
With membership benefits tackled and a watchful eye trained on the IRS for additional changes, we turn our energy to providing members with more relevant content distilled to your personal interests.
It’s a big undertaking, but we are in the process of enabling members to opt in and/or out of interest areas so the content you receive matches your personal preferences. Are you just starting out or a seasoned professional? Do you want info about expanding your practice beyond tax preparation? Are you working toward a new credential? Get the information that matters most to you individually.
For the biggest impact in tailored content, we need to increase our overall content available. NATP is introducing a comprehensive blog in late 2019 to meet your information needs.
“The catch 22 when it comes to raising expectations is that we need to keep upping our game,” Artman said, “but we have a group of people here at headquarters who are always moving forward and pushing for the next level. I’m really proud to be part of a staff and Board of Directors who never say that a good idea is too hard or too much work. Everyone here is committed to giving their best to make life better for our members.”
If you want to help our efforts to provide the best content in the industry, consider sharing your expertise:
- Serve as a webinar or course instructor
- Write an article or offer to be interviewed for an article
- Share your story as a case study (we can help!)
- Let us know what issues you’re struggling with or would like more information about (it can be as simple as an e-mail or phone call)
- Consider running for your Chapter or the National NATP Board of Directors
“What nine years on the Board of Directors has shown me is that there is a definite need for what this organization is providing,” shared Cannito. “Plus, the camaraderie is so rewarding. I have a group of members who I never would have met that I now call friends. The biggest qualifications are a willingness to really listen and to take action.”
For more information about your benefits, visit natptax.com or speak with one of our member service specialists at 800.558.3402.
As Hurricane Dorian heads towards the Carolinas, it is a good reminder that all tax professionals should have an emergency preparedness plan. It is recommended that your plan includes securing and duplicating essential documents, creating lists of property and knowing where to find information once a disaster has occurred. The IRS has additional recommended steps for tax professionals.
Whether you’re a tax professional just starting out in your career or an experienced expert, NATP believes in you and the work you do to help your clients. We take pride in providing you with resources you won’t find anywhere else, and helping you succeed in the ever-growing and changing industry.
As tax laws change, you can rely on NATP for professional advocacy within the government, guidance on how to apply updated federal tax code to your clients’ unique situations and relationships with communities of other tax professionals to help foster your career. Explore NATP
If you’re a taxpayer looking for an expert to help you with your tax planning and preparation, look to the industry’s top preparers. Choose an NATP member.