By Somdatta Basu
The IACCGH Tax Seminar: Staying Ahead of the Curve
February 18, Houston, TX: – On February 18, 2023, the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) hosted its annual IACCGH Tax Seminar at India House, Houston. The attendees gaining valuable insights into the latest tax regulations, strategies, and solutions. The eminent panel of experts Mahesh Desai CPA, Rimple Mashruwala CPA, and Kershaw Khumbatta CPA, were moderated by IACCGH past President and current Board member Swapan Dhairyawan CPA. The seminar was a must-attend event for anyone seeking to stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving tax landscape.
Jagdip Ahluwalia, Executive Director of the IACCGH, highlighted the importance of attending tax seminars as a way to learn from experts, network, and experience personal and professional growth. “Today’s seminar will help attendees find out more about how best they can address various tax and accounting issues and bring a fresh perspective back into the office,” said Ahluwalia. He made the usual disclaimer that the seminar was for information purposes only. “Please consult your own tax advisors before making any transactions or tax filings,” he said. Saturday’s seminar began with an opening address from Rajiv Bhavsar, President of IACCGH, who kicked off the proceedings by welcoming moderator Swapan Dhairyawan. Next, Arlene Good, a senior stakeholder liaison officer from the IRS, in her speech gave the audience some very important resources and navigating the IRS website. Mahesh Desai, CPA, spoke on various topics, including the obligation when they file U.S. taxes for U.S. residents, green card holders, and senior citizens, and to remember to include their worldwide income. He also discussed the requirement to report foreign bank accounts and other assets purchased in foreign countries. Mahesh emphasized the need to file form 5471 for investors who become 10% or more owners of businesses or holdings in foreign countries. The moderator of the seminar and eminent accounting and tax consultant, Swapan Dhairyawan, encouraged attendees not to get overwhelmed by the technicalities of the tax system. Instead, he suggested asking their tax consultants the right questions. Rimple Mashruwala, CPA, covered the Secure Act of 2019 and the newly introduced Secure 2.0 Act. She emphasized the importance of record-keeping and highlighted the changes in the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age limit. Rimple also talked about the penalty for failing to take RMD, which was 50%. However, with the introduction of Secure 2.0, the penalty has been reduced to 25% and will further be reduced to 10% moving forward.Kershaw Khumbatta, CPA, emphasized the importance of Entity selection and having a will. He discussed the intestate process and how it could be an expensive and time-consuming process. Kershaw encouraged attendees to write their own will (holographic), even by hand, and give it to their family members to avoid any legal complications.
Attendees left the seminar with a fresh perspective on addressing various tax and accounting issues and how to benefit from understanding and controlling their taxes. As one attendee said, “The seminar has helped me understand the best practices and also take back some tips. It is in our best interest to know the rules of paying taxes because that will mean that we know how best to do it,” said one of the guests at the event.