The COVID-19 crisis is changing the way business and personal activities are conducted in the U.S. Certainly, the IRS isn’t immune. Accordingly, on May 21 the agency announced that its 2020 Nationwide Tax Forums will be held virtually through a series of live-streamed webinars kicking off on July 21 (IR-2020-10, 5/21/20).
“Given restrictions on large gatherings and difficulties with travel, we’ve made the decision to present the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums in a virtual format this year,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a press release. “While we’re unable to meet in person, tax professionals will still be able to choose from a wide variety of virtual seminars on tax law. Many will be able to fully satisfy their annual continuing education requirements by registering and attending.”
For the past 30 summers, the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums have been the IRS’ marquee outreach event to the tax professional community. In past years, these forums were scheduled to take place in six cities around the country this summer. With the ongoing health issues, however, those in-person events were canceled.
The switch to a virtual format allows experts from the IRS and its association partners to continue to educate and inform members of the tax community. The webinars will cover the tax law, cybersecurity, ethics and a wide range of other topics. Some topics will be spread out over the course of multiple sessions. The presentations will be made by both IRS experts and partner associations.
The 2020 Nationwide Tax Forums will continue through August 20 with live-streamed webinars broadcast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Registered attendees will be able to participate in all of the live webinars and earn up to 30 Continuing Education Credits at one price.
As with previous years, the Nationwide Tax Forums agenda will feature a plenary session with a tax law and publications update. What’s more, the plenary session and several other sessions will be provided in Spanish. More details, including course titles, dates and times, will become available in early June.
The IRS has also released information relating to the registration process and fees for the 2020 Nationwide Tax Forums. Tax professionals who register by June 15 at 5 pm EST qualify for an “Early Bird” rate of $240 per person. Starting June 16, the standard rate is $289.
Initial registration for the in-person 2020 forums began in March. Those who have already registered can transfer their registration to the virtual format at no additional cost. Refunds are available if you decide to opt out.
Finally, be aware of discounts for certain national association members. Members of the following groups qualify for a discount of $10 off the Early Bird rate, but only if they register by June 15.
- American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)
- National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)
- National Society of Accountants (NSA)
- National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP)
- Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC)
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Participating association members should contact their association directly for more information. The regular registration information, as well as information on transfers and cancelations, is available at www.irstaxforum.com.