First Thursday Minutes – August 1, 2019

Tax Professional Attendees:

Gail Bates
Darrel Beadle
Velma Bjorgum
Carrie Christensen
Tracy Danzer
Brad Decker
Jodi Eckhout
Jessica Gatzke
Jacen Gondringer
Cindy Hockenberry
James Hockenberry
Carrie Houchins-Witt
Todd Koch
Rick Kollauf
Nathaniel Krautkramer
Ken Larsen
Lief Mattila
Ruth Ann Michnay
Sandra Newman
Christopher Olson
Darian Panasuk
Kathy Reiniger
Vincent Schamber
William Schmidt
Barbara Steponkus
Dianna Lynn Streed
Donna Tuke
Jill Wrensch

Stakeholder Liaisons
Doug Blade
Karen Brehmer
Kathleen Fox
Alan Gregerson
Eden Holsman
Mike Mudroncik

Stakeholder Liaison Managers
Kristen Hoiby, Area 6 manager

Departments of Revenue
IA – John Fuller
MN – Mark Krause
WI – Nate Weber


August 15, 2019: Understanding Form 2290 – Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax

Check Webinars for Tax Practitioners regularly for upcoming webinars.

Videos recently added to the IRS Video Portal:

  • Determining Tax Residency Status This webinar provides an overview of the impact of residency status on U.S. taxation, differentiate residency status under U.S. immigration law versus U.S. tax law, and more.


Discussion items

1) Is Modernized e-file up or down?

Modernized e-File (MeF) Operational Status.

Note the unique URL

For more information regarding MeF, please see Modernized e-File (MeF) Program Information.

2) Tax transcripts and FAFSA

Tax transcript tips for those filing a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 college semesters

3) Tax Security 2.0

“Opening Day Announcement”: Tax Security 2.0 The Taxes-Security-Together Checklist

Tax Security 2.0 – A “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist – Step 1

IRS, states and industry outline ‘Security Six’ protections to help tax professionals and taxpayers be safer online

Tax Security 2.0 – A “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist – Step 2

IRS, Security Summit partners remind practitioners that all “professional tax preparers” must create a written data security plan to protect clients

Tax Security 2.0 – A “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist – Step 3

IRS, Security Summit partners alert tax professionals to the risks posed by phishing emails; education key to protecting taxpayer data

All messages will be here when all steps are released: Tax Security 2.0

4) NTA Report – EITC

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson releases comprehensive report intended to improve EITC administration; publishes “subway map” of taxpayer’s journey through the tax system

Please see the report to view her recommendations to improve EITC.

5) NTA Report – Subway Map

TAS is releasing a “subway map” that illustrates, at a very high level, the stages of a taxpayer’s journey through the tax system – from getting answers to tax law questions through audits, appeals, collection and litigation. The map makes clear the complexity of tax administration, with its many connections, overlaps, and repetitions between stages. Notably, it shows why the road to tax compliance isn’t always easy to navigate.

Because of the complexity and number of steps at each stage, the original roadmaps simplified certain processes by omitting multiple sub-steps and detours that in some situations can be significant.

To provide a more complete picture, TAS will be working to develop a fully interactive version of the subway map in the coming year. When the interactive map is completed, a taxpayer or representative will be able to enter into it at any step and learn more about that step and the surrounding steps. TAS envisions that a taxpayer or representative will be able to input the number of an IRS letter or notice and generate a pop-up window that provides key relevant information, including where in the process the taxpayer is and what the next steps will be.


  1. Some tax pros use the Subway Map to show their clients the process, and to show where they are in the process.
  1. Tax pros asked if they could be involved in providing feedback on the interactive version of the Subway Map, and they want to be informed when the final product is available. We will keep you posted.

6) Comments on Forms and Pubs

Slight correction to what we told you last month:

If you want to make a comment on a CURRENT form, instruction or publication, use this link:

If you want to make a comment on a DRAFT form, instruction, or publication, go to DRAFT FORMS.

  • Select and open the draft form or instruction. The first page will tell you where to send your comments.
    • Sometimes you are directed to send in comments using the link provided above.
    • Other times you are given an email address and you send your comments to that email address.

Your issues and questions:

1) VPN issues

Brad Decker asked: One of the “Security Six” steps of the Tax Security 2.0 Checklist Step 1 is to “create and secure Virtual Private Networks”. When I turn on my VPN, I am unable to access certain critical sites – the Illinois Department of Revenue is a notable one – and also receive constant e-mails from my e-mail provider stating that I am logging in from an unrecognized computer, etc. Has anyone else experienced these problems? If so, does anyone have any suggestions to mitigate them?

We will work on this and see what we can find out.

2) DPAD and Social Security

Jodi Eckhout asked: We received two notices for farmers that are receiving social security – the IRS notice indicated we had incorrectly calculated the taxable SS. However, the notice was wrong – the IRS allowed DPAD as a reduction (according to the instructions, this is not allowed as a deduction). This resulted in the IRS sending refunds (a few hundred dollars each) Has anyone else run into this situation? Does the IRS know about this error — will they be sending new notices asking for the refund back?

Kathleen Fox is working on this issue. We will keep you updated.

State Departments of Revenue

Mark Krause – MN

  • Based on the tax bill signed into law in May, final draft forms have been released for 2017 & 2018 and near final draft forms have been released for 2019. To find these forms, go to Tax Law Changes on our website and click on draft forms and instructions under resources at the bottom of the page.
  • Individuals with questions can also call us directly as well, 7:30 am – 6 pm, M-F at 651-284-5075.

Next Call

The next call will be on September 5. We’ll send out the WebEx link closer to that date.

In the meantime, enjoy the STATE FAIR in your state! 😊

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

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