First Thursday Minutes September 6, 2018

Tax Professionals Stakeholder Liaisons
Velma Bjorgum Karen Brehmer
Jacob Borash Alan Gregerson
Carrie Christensen Mike Mudroncik
Zachary Froelich
Jessica Gatzke Stakeholder Liaison Manager
Ruth Graff Kristen Hoiby, Area 6 Manager
Steff Haring
Carrie Houchins-Witt
Terry Johnson Stakeholder Liaison Director
Bill Kelly Shane Ferguson
Todd Koch
Judy Lashinski
Ken Larsen Departments of Revenue
Ruth Ann Michnay Lorie Bowker – ND
Jodee Paape John Fuller – IA
JoAnn Schoen Mark Krause – MN
Mike Scholz
Will Wallace
Jon Wendorf


None scheduled at this time.

Discussion items

FAQs on Section 199A

Regs are in the Federal Register. Comment period ends October 1, 2018.

Notice 2018-64 provides methods for calculating Form W-2 wages for purposes of the limitations on this deduction.

  • Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101

 IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) in June noted that they believe “far fewer than half of tax professionals are aware of their responsibilities under the FTC Safeguards rule and that even fewer professionals …have implemented required security practices.”

All ten messages are here: Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself: Tax Security 101

  • Please encourage your members to read the messages, and TAKE ACTION!

 Comments from attendees:

  • Do unlicensed tax preparers receive IRS emails? At times I am concerned that the IRS is not reaching the audience that is needed. Suggestion would be to have alerts on all tax software. The preparers who are in business only from January to April must use some type of software. Would this be a way to reach them?
  • To truly have an impact on identity theft, the IRS needs to be allowed to wait to send out refunds until payments claimed on the returns have been verified.
  • IRS to introduce new tax transcript to better protect taxpayer data

IRS to introduce new tax transcript to better protect taxpayer data

About the New Tax Transcript: FAQs

Sample Transcript

This topic generated a lot of conversation!

Question: Will the transcripts we request using Transcript Delivery System be redacted also?  Answer: Yes.

Question: Can the IRS Wage and Income Transcript include the state tax withheld on Form W-2?  Answer: It is not included. We will see if we can find why not. And we will try to find out if it can be added.

Comments:  Why is the EIN of the taxpayer’s W-2 redacted on the Wage and Income Transcript?  This means that the delinquent tax return must be paper filed and mailed in.

Most (or all?) tax software requires the tax preparer to enter the EIN from Form W-2.      A workaround is that a tax preparer can enter a “fake EIN” while doing the return in software. Then, at least, the return can be done using software.

But the return can’t be e-filed because the preparer knows the EIN is not correct. Instead, the preparer will print the return and mail it in.

Some preparers commented that they can often find the EIN by searching the internet.

Someone asked why the IRS didn’t ask preparers about this before taking this action? One attendee said she was part of a focus group of preparers and they did weigh in on this issue. The focus group understood the need for redacting information on transcripts, however the focus group asked the IRS to NOT redact EINs of W-2s. And yet this is what the IRS did. Why? Can it be changed now?

This issue has been submitted to the IRS using the Issue Management Resolution System. Many other tax professionals across the country have the same concerns. We will keep you posted on what we find out.

 NEW since the date of our meeting:   Coming soon: A new tax transcript to better protect taxpayer data

  • Calling the IRS

 We asked for your experiences when you call the IRS. Is it difficult to authenticate the taxpayer? Is it difficult for the IRS to authenticate you, the power of attorney?


  • It can be difficult to authenticate the taxpayer when it’s an estate or trust.
  • What information is the IRS allowed to ask me in order to authenticate me?
  • If the IRS always asks for my date of birth and SSN, the fraudsters will pick up on that. They will get my DOB and SSN and then they can pretend to be me.
  • I haven’t had any problems. I expect to get the questions and it goes quickly.
  • I know now not to call the IRS when the client is in the room. I don’t want to give that information within earshot of the client.
  • I wish the assistors would say their name and badge number slowly and clearly. Most of them are happy to repeat it for me, which is appreciated.

We will work on getting answers to these questions.

When you call the IRS, and you have an especially good experience, or a poor experience, please let us know. You can email your comments to your local Stakeholder Liaison. Include the date and time you called. Include the name and badge number of the assistor. Explain what was good or bad about the call. DO NOT include any taxpayer information. Our manager will share your feedback with the assistor’s manager.

Transfer PIN

When a taxpayer calls the IRS, we need to make sure we are talking to the taxpayer, not a fraudster. Once the taxpayer is authenticated, they can be given a Transfer PIN. This is helpful if they need to be transferred to another department during the call. The Transfer PIN means they do not have to be authenticated again.

Can a POA be given a Transfer PIN?  That way, the POA would not need to be authenticated again when they are transferred to another department.

This issue will be researched in the IRM, and submitted to the IRS using the Issue Management Resolution System. We will keep you posted on what we find out. It generally takes 2 to 4 months to get a response.

Your issues and questions:

  1. When I call PPS, why do they ask me for my callback number if they are not going to call me back? If the phone call is disconnected, I’ve never had anyone call me back.
  2. Are there certain letters that sent to the taxpayer but not sent to the POA? Recently, Letter 3500 was sent to the taxpayer but not to the POA. Was this an oversight, or is Letter 3500 never sent to the POA? If there are letters that are not sent to the POA, can preparers get a list?  (Letter 3500 informs a taxpayer that the IRS needs extra time to review the correspondence sent in by the taxpayer. Letter 3500 reminds the taxpayer that the last date to petition the tax court can’t be extended.)

We will work on getting answers to these issues.

State Departments of Revenue

 Lorie Bowker – ND

  • All Payments require a voucher – including paper filed returns.
  • Make electronic payments at
    • Free with a checking account
    • Fast
    • Secure
  • Use TAP to file Withholding and Sales & Use tax returns.
  • There are form changes – sign up to receive emails when they are posted to the web site.
  • New – Schedule QEC Qualified Endowment Fund Tax Credit form for
    • Form 40 C-Corp,
    • Form 60 S-Corp,
    • Form 58 Partnership and
    • Form 38 Fiduciary returns.

 John Fuller – IA

 John introduced himself. He is the Public Information Officer for the Iowa Department of Revenue. He looks forward to being on the call each month.

Mark Krause – MN

  • No updates this month.

Next Call

The next call will be on October 4, 2018. We’ll send out the WebEx link closer to that date.

Meetings are now one hour long. Come when you can, leave when you must.

Thank you to everyone who attended. We appreciate your time and input!