Tax Update 2016 for Individuals & Businesses, Including ACA

This program was recorded live on Tuesday, January 24, 2017
You have one year from airing date to use this course as credit.

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Continuing Education

CPE Program Knowledge Level: Update
3 CPE Credit; NO prerequisites or advance preparation
CTEC Course #: 3022-CE-0114
IRS/RPO Approved Program
#7ZBUJ-U-00055-16-O (Online/Group) Live (Group-Internet Based)
#7ZBUJ-U-00055-16-S (QAS Self Study) Archive
Federal Tax Law Update (3 Hours)

Special 3 CPE credit - Federal Tax Law Update - 3 hour program

Program Content

This online learning program, presented as a live webcast, will be also archived for QAS Self Study. The program will be available for viewing for 12 months after the live webcast. A panel of IRS and industry experts will present the content during a live, interactive discussion, where participant questions can be submitted. Questions will be answered live on the program or posted on the Resources page. Former Director of Internal Communications for the IRS, Les Witmer, moderates the program. Among the topics our expert panel will take up are the administrative and legislative changes affecting the filing of both individual and business returns for the 2016 tax year. Panelists will provide updates on the start of the current filing season, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act individual and employer mandates, and IRS oversight of return preparers. Panelists will also look at tax provisions that are expiring and the prospects for extending those provisions. Panelists will discuss recent legislative and administrative developments relating to filing 2016 tax returns to ensure complete understanding.

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Identify who funds the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a program.
  2. Identify a form used to determine if a taxpayer has healthcare.
  3. Identify a Future State Initiative program that is already operating in January, 2017.
  4. Identify the form used to report a college student's tuition expenses.

Program Outline

*Note: The Return Prepare Update and IRS Security Partnership Program will be covered with detailed background material on the Resource Page.


Les Witmer, APR
Communications Consultant

Les Witmer has served as the moderator for Tax Talk Today since 2001. He is a Communications Consultant in Atlanta. He retired after a distinguished career of 34 years with the Federal Government serving the last 23 years with the Internal Revenue Service. He held various positions with the IRS in Communications and Taxpayer Information and retired during the stand-up of the Wage and Investment Division as the Director of Communications. He also was periodically assigned by the U.S. Treasury Department to the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to be a member of an international team that advised and conducted seminars on Taxpayer Information and Customer Service programs to tax and ministry of finance officials from Russia and other Eastern European Countries. Preceding IRS, he served on active duty with the U.S. Army including as an infantry officer in Vietnam. He had other active duty and reserve assignments culminating with being activated during Desert Storm. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi and an M.S. in Public Administration from the American University.

IRS Panelists


Jeffrey Wallbaum
Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement

Jeff will discuss the IRS Future State. Prior to this assignment, Jeff was on the staff of the IRS Chief Financial Officer, including a period as the acting CFO in FY 2016. Jeff first joined the IRS in 1996 and has also held leadership roles in Research, Applied Analytics and Statistics, and in Tax Exempt and Government Entities.


Curtis Freeman
Senior Technical Advisor, Tax Forms and Publications division in IRS

Curtis is responsible for overseeing the development of over 1,100 IRS tax forms, instructions, and publications. Curtis serves as the division liaison with other IRS functions and with external organizations, such as the tax software community. Curtis has been with the Tax Forms and Publications division since 1989, working in positions of increasing responsibility, including initiating Form 1040 and its instructions for eight years during the 1990's. Prior to that, he spent 4 years as a IRS Revenue Agent in Austin Texas. An Ohio native, Curtis received an accounting degree from the University of Akron in 1985.

Richard G. Furlong, Jr.
Senior Stakeholder Liaison

Communications and Stakeholder Outreach
IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division
Mr. Furlong is a Senior Stakeholder Liaison in the Mid-Atlantic Area Stakeholder Liaison office of the Internal Revenue Service Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Stakeholder Liaison serves as the primary IRS liaison office to tax practitioner organizations throughout the country. For the past three years he has been a member of the IRS Affordable Care Act outreach speaker cadre and has conducted numerous ACA presentations, including IRS sponsored national webinars.

Mr. Furlong coordinates the annual IRS Eastern Pennsylvania "Working Together" Conference. "Working Together" is a joint effort of public and private tax professionals to enhance the level of communication, education, and trust between these organizations and individuals. Mr. Furlong is also a member of the PA IRS/Practitioner Liaison Council which provides a structured forum for Pennsylvania accounting and tax professional organizations to meet periodically with IRS managers and employees to discuss current IRS program issues.

Each year, Mr. Furlong represents IRS at practitioner CPE sessions throughout Pennsylvania where he discusses IRS policies and procedures, tax law updates, Affordable Care Act tax issues, and IRS electronic tax administration.
Mr. Furlong is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

Industry Panelists

David Mellem, EA
Partner, Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals

David Mellem has 32 years of experience in income tax preparation and 31 years experience as a tax seminar lecturer and CPE instructor. He is a partner of Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals and also provides research and consulting services to other tax professionals on federal tax matters. He has served as a resource for many publications including and

During 2009 David appeared on NBC's Today Show as part of a tax panel. An enrolled agent since 1982, he has a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and Associate Degrees in Accounting and Data Processing. David is an active member of he National Association of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professional.

Mary R. Mellem, EA

Partner, Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals

Mary is a Tax Professional from Green Bay WI who has been in the tax business for 33 years. She and her husband David operate Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals. In addition to servicing 1,200 tax and accounting clients during the year, their business includes tax consulting for other tax professionals as well as teaching tax seminars around the country.

The year 2016 will be Mary's 26th year of teaching tax programs throughout the country.

Prior to working full-time at Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals, Mary was a member of the staff of the National Association of Tax Professionals for 13 1/2 years. While on staff she was involved in writing and teaching seminars throughout the country in all aspects of the tax field from individual issues to entity issues. Her experience with NATP also included service as part of the research department.

Mary received a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin in the field of Mathematics and Economics. 

In 1990 she earned the Enrolled Agent designation. She is a member of NATP and NAEA and an NTPI Fellow.  Mary has written the Client Newsletters for the NAEA Journal for several years, served on the Public Relations Committee, and is currently a member of the NAEA Education Foundation.  Mary has also been a guest on the Larry Meiller Show on Wisconsin Public Radio several times the past two tax season to answer call in questions from the listening audience.

Content Consultant

David F. Windish, J.D., LL.M
Content Consultant

David F. Windish, J.D., LL.M. in taxation, is a tax attorney and consultant. He has served as an instructor of tax-advantaged investments at the New York Institute of Finance; an Instructor of business law at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y.; and an adjunct professor at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. He has also served as executive editor for Tax Analysts; managing editor for Business Strategies, published by CCH; and senior editor for the
Institute for Business Planning.

Mr. Windish is the author of Practical Guide to Real Estate Taxation, published by CCH and currently going into its sixth edition. Earlier works include Tax Advantaged Investments and Investor's Guide to Limited Partnerships, both published by the New York Institute of Finance. Through the Center for Video Education, he authored continuing education courses dealing with real estate and closely held corporations. Those courses included readings, case studies, and videotape segments.

Mr. Windish is a graduate of Rutgers University Law School and the New York University School of Law, Graduate Division. He has been heard as a guest speaker at professional meetings and seminars and on popular radio programs.