IRS Tax News

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  • 21 Jun 2017 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    The Internal Revenue Service reopened its Preparer Tax Identification Number system Wednesday after closing it earlier this month because it lost a lawsuit over registration and renewal fees. 

    On June 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the IRS’s authority to require the use of a PTIN by tax preparers, but told the IRS it couldn't charge a user fee for issuing and renewing PTINs.  As a result, the IRS suspended PTIN registration and renewal on June 2 (see IRS loses lawsuit over PTIN fees, suspends PTIN system, and may be forced to refund preparers).

    The IRS said Wednesday it is working with the Department of Justice and considering how to proceed, but meanwhile it will make PTINs available while deciding how to address the court order. 

    The IRS said it is resuming the issuance of PTINS, without charge, Wednesday. As more information becomes available, it will be posted on the IRS's Tax Pros page.

    IRS building sign

    Source: https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/irs-reopens-ptin-system 
    Obtained: Jun 21, 2017

  • 21 Jun 2017 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    On June 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. As a result of this order, PTIN registration and renewal was suspended.

    Breaking News: As of 8am ET this morning, the IRS will re-open the PTIN registration system. Tax Pros can apply for a PTIN at no charge.

    Learn more at IRS Reopening PTIN System (FAQs) 


  • 15 Jun 2017 5:24 PM | Anonymous

    IRS YouTube Videos:

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today warned people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details.

    In the latest twist, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the card is linked to the EFTPS system when, in fact, it is entirely controlled by the scammer. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax payment is made.

    “This is a new twist to an old scam,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Just because tax season is over, scams and schemes do not take the summer off. People should stay vigilant against IRS impersonation scams. People should remember that the first contact they receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call.”

    EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically using the Internet or by phone using the EFTPS Voice Response System. EFTPS is offered free by the U.S. Department of Treasury and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Since EFTPS is an automated system, taxpayers won’t receive a call from the IRS. In addition, taxpayers have several options for paying a real tax bill and are not required to use a specific one.

    Tell Tale Signs of a Scam:

    The IRS (and its authorized private collection agencies) will never:

    • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties.
    • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
    • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
    • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

    For anyone who doesn’t owe taxes and has no reason to think they do:

    • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
    • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. Alternatively, call 800-366-4484.
    • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the FTC Complaint Assistant on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

    For anyone who owes tax or thinks they do:

    The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on IRS.gov. Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos.

  • 06 Jun 2017 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    On June 1, 2017, the United States District court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. In accordance with this order, PTIN registration and renewal is currently suspended.

    The IRS, working with the Department of Justice, is considering how to proceed. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted at www.irs.gov/taxpros.


  • 08 May 2017 8:04 AM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded small business owners who work from a home office that there are two options for claiming the Home Office Deduction. The Home Office Deduction is often overlooked by small business owners.

    As part of National Small Business Week (April 30-May 6), the IRS is highlighting a series of tips and resources available for small business owners.

    Regular Method

    The first option for calculating the Home Office Deduction is the Regular Method. This method requires computing the business use of the home by dividing the expenses of operating the home between personal and business use. Direct business expenses are fully deductible and the percentage of the home floor space used for business is assignable to indirect total expenses. Self-employed taxpayers file Form 1040, Schedule C , Profit or Loss From Business (Sole Proprietorship), and compute this deduction on Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

    Simplified Method

    The second option, the Simplified Method, reduces the paperwork and recordkeeping burden for small businesses. The simplified method has a prescribed rate of $5 a square foot for business use of the home. There is a maximum allowable deduction available based on up to  300 square feet. Choosing this option requires taxpayers to complete a short worksheet in the tax instructions and entering the result on the tax return. There is a special calculation for daycare providers. Self-employed individuals claim the home office deduction on Form 1040, Schedule C , Line 30; farmers claim it on Schedule F, Line 32 and eligible employees claim it on Schedule A, Line 21.

    Regardless of the method used to compute the deduction, business expenses in excess of the gross income limitation are not deductible. Deductible expenses for business use of a home include the business portion of real estate taxes, mortgage interest, rent, casualty losses, utilities, insurance, depreciation, maintenance and repairs. In general, expenses for the parts of the home not used for business are not deductible.

    Deductions for business storage are deductible when the dwelling unit is the sole fixed location of the business or for regular use of a residence for the provision of daycare services; exclusive use isn't required in these cases.

    Further details on the home office deduction and the simplified method can be found in Publication 587 on IRS.gov. 

  • 19 Apr 2017 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    IRS YouTube Videos:

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has created a special new page on IRS.gov to help taxpayers determine if a person visiting their home or place of business claiming to be from the IRS is legitimate or an imposter.

    With continuing phone scams and in-person scams taking place across the country, the IRS reminds taxpayers that IRS employees do make official, sometimes unannounced, visits to taxpayers as part of their routine casework. Taxpayers should keep in mind the reasons these visits occur and understand how to verify if it is the IRS knocking at their door.

    Visits typically fall into three categories:

    IRS revenue officers will sometimes make unannounced visits to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed or tax returns due. Revenue officers are IRS civil enforcement employees whose role involves education, investigation, and when necessary, appropriate enforcement.

    IRS revenue agents will sometimes visit a taxpayer who is being audited. That taxpayer would have first been notified by mail about the audit and set an agreed-upon appointment time with the revenue agent. Also, after mailing an initial appointment letter to a taxpayer, an auditor may call to confirm and discuss items pertaining to the scheduled audit appointment.

    IRS criminal investigators may visit a taxpayer’s home or place of business unannounced while conducting an investigation. However, these are federal law enforcement agents, and they will not demand any sort of payment. Criminal investigators also carry law enforcement credentials, including a badge.

    For more information, visit “How to know it’s really the IRS calling or knocking on your door” on IRS.gov.

    The IRS reminds people who owe taxes – or think they do – to stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more information, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.

    Taxpayers have a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore these rights and the agency’s obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

  • 10 Apr 2017 8:40 AM | Anonymous

    The fax number for Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization, has been changed to 855-214-7523. Forms recently sent to the previous number, 801-620-4142, have been received. But this number will soon be deactivated.

    Remember: When faxing Forms 8655, send no more than 25 forms in a single transmission. Also, consider sending faxes directly from your computer rather than a fax machine – the generally improved legibility makes the forms easier to process.


  • 10 Apr 2017 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    Do you need more time to file a client’s return? This new YouTube video explains how to get an extension.

    Also, if you work with international tax issues, another YouTube video explains how to determine the form 1099 foreign tax withholding that is eligible for the Foreign Tax Credit.

  • 10 Apr 2017 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    To help meet the high demand to its toll-free call center that typically comes as the tax deadline nears, the Internal Revenue Service is extending its customer service hours on Saturday, April 15.

    The Practitioner Priority Service, 866-860-4259, will be open from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. local time.

  • 10 Apr 2017 8:37 AM | Anonymous
    The IRS reminds taxpayers that unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return. But time is running out. To claim this money, taxpayers must file a 2013 federal tax return by April 18.
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