IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS
►UPCOMING WEB CONFERENCES
None scheduled for August at this time. Please check Webinars for Tax Practitioners later.
The Tax Reform page has been re-designed. Much easier to navigate!
Tax Reform: Updates on Like-Kind Exchanges and Rehabilitation Credit
- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed like-kind exchanges to apply only to exchanges of real property and not exchanges of personal or intangible property.
- The Act also affects the Rehabilitation Tax Credit for amounts that your clients pay or incur for qualified expenditures after Dec. 31, 2017.
- The IRS sends a variety of surveys to certain segments of the population. Taxpayers want to know if the surveys are legitimate and not part of a tax scam.
- IRS surveys are conducted by mail, telephone and online. They provide the name of an IRS contact person and/or a helpline contact phone number. If you question the authenticity of the survey in any collection format, please review this page.
- The IRS is advising certain veterans who received disability severance payments after January 17, 1991, and included that payment as income that they should file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to claim a credit or refund of the overpayment attributable to the disability severance payment.
- Most veterans who received a one-time lump-sum disability severance payment when they separated from their military service will receive a letter from the Department of Defense with information explaining how to claim tax refunds they are entitled to; the letters include an explanation of a simplified method for making the claim. The IRS has worked closely with the DoD to produce these letters, explaining how veterans should claim the related tax refunds.
- Taxpayers who have tax questions should check out the Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov. This tool provides answers to several tax law questions. It covers a wide range of topics, including what income is taxable, tax credits, filing status and who can be claimed as a dependent on a tax return. (It’s a helpful tool for tax professionals, too!)
►IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS
- This is the second message in this series.
- The “Security Six” protections fall into several major security categories. The Security Summit partnership urges tax professionals across the nation to avoiding overlooking these basic security details as identity thieves increasingly target practitioners in search of valuable taxpayer data.
- There is a dizzying array of cyber threats that confront tax professionals and many others. It’s not easy to keep up with all the viruses, worms, Trojan horses, bots – or even the terminology. That’s why it’s essential that all tax professionals deploy strong security software that will do the job for you.
- This is the third message in this series.
- In recent months, cybersecurity experts’ recommendations on what constitutes a strong password has changed. They now suggest that people use word phrases that are easy to remember rather than random letters, characters and numbers that cannot be easily recalled.
- For example, experts used to suggest something like “PXro#)30” but now suggest a phrase like “SomethingYouCanRemember@30.” By using a phrase, you don’t have to write down your password and expose it to more risk. Also, people may be more willing to use strong, longer passwords if it’s a phrase rather than random characters.
IRS Letter CP3219A: Statutory Notice of Deficiency
- Need to know what to do when your client receives a CP3219A statutory notice of deficiency from the IRS
- Find out in this new YouTube video.
►EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:
- Many employers hire third-party payroll service providers to perform their payroll processing functions and tax-related duties, including making employment tax deposits.
- Share this two-minute YouTube video, Monitoring your outsourced payroll duties on EFTPS with clients and other interested parties. They’ll learn about:
- Using an EFTPS Inquiry PIN to monitor tax deposits
- The benefits of creating a separate EFTPS account
- Setting up EFTPS notifications
►TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS
- Revenue Procedure 2018-38 modifies the information to be reported to the IRS by organizations exempt from tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, other than organizations described in section 501(c)(3), that are required to file an annual Form 990 or Form 990-EZ information return.
- These organizations are no longer required to report the names and addresses of their contributors on the Schedule B of their Forms 990 or 990-EZ. However, they must continue to collect and keep this information in their books and records and to make it available to the IRS upon request.
►THE BEST OF IRS.GOV (In this new section, we highlight what’s available on IRS.gov)
Check out this page!
- Information You Need to File Returns for Your Clients
- Due Diligence
- Confirming Payment/Credits on Tax Account
- Tax Payment Alternatives
- Your Responsibilities as A Tax Professional
- Campus Responsibilities and Operations
- Reference Materials
- Representing Your Client Before the IRS After Returns Have Been Filed
- IRS Collection Tools and Your Clients’ Rights
- Requesting Transcripts and Other IRS Information on Clients
- Criminal Investigation Division and Enforcement Initiatives
- Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
- Frequently Used Telephone Numbers for Practitioners
Preparers can register to get this electronic newsletter. It’s one of the best ways for tax professionals to get the latest national and local IRS news. (Editor’s note: most of the articles in this monthly newsletter come from e-News for Tax Professionals.)
►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES
From the Federal Trade Commission
- Small business keeps America in business. But while you have your shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone, it can be tough to keep an eye out for scammers. That’s why the FTC and law enforcement partners across the country have your back. Just one example is Operation Main Street: Stopping Small Business Scams, a coordinated initiative involving 24 civil and criminal actions against B2B fraudsters.
From the SBA
- Choosing which business structure is right for you is a crucial step when starting a business. The entity you select has legal, financial and operational implications. Here are three factors to consider when choosing a business structure.