IRS Tax News

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  • 07 Aug 2017 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    Just in time for those who need to file the FBAR by the Oct. 15 extended due date, the IRS offers this webinar on Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. ET.

    Topics include:
    • Identifying who must file the FBAR
    • Determining what accounts must be reported on the FBAR
    • Knowing when to file the FBAR
    • Explaining how to file the FBAR
    • Sharing answers to frequently asked questions

    The webinar will feature a live question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

  • 07 Aug 2017 8:52 AM | Anonymous

    Ransomware attacks are on the rise worldwide as bad actors here and abroad infiltrate computer systems and hold sensitive data hostage.

  • 07 Aug 2017 8:51 AM | Anonymous

    Time is running out to register for the National Harbor (Washington, D.C.) and Las Vegas Nationwide Tax Forums. The standard rate of $255 expires two weeks before each Forum – Aug. 8 for National Harbor and Aug. 15 for Las Vegas. Registration after those dates will still be available but at a higher rate of $370. The National Harbor Forum is scheduled for Aug. 22-24, while the Las Vegas Forum takes place Aug. 29-31.

    Each IRS Nationwide Tax Forum offer practitioners continuing education seminars, case resolution and an exhibition featuring dozens of vendors and service providers. To register, visit irstaxforum.com.

  • 07 Aug 2017 8:50 AM | Anonymous

    The IRS is in the final stages of a technology upgrade for e-Services. Please plan ahead as there will be some temporary use issues that will occur as we make this transition:

    1. There will be a complete outage of all e-Services tools, including Registration, Transcript Delivery System (TDS), and TIN Matching, from 6 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 17, until 6 a.m. EDT, Monday, Aug. 21. Applications also will be offline and resume Aug. 22, except for state users. E-Services must be taken offline to complete the platform transition and to perform testing. This outage will affect all users, including bulk users such as IVES and TIN Matching.

    2. All State tax agency users will be unable to submit new e-file and TDS applications for state coordinators or change existing e-file and TDS applications for state coordinators from Aug. 17 until late October. This temporary issue will not affect state access to transcripts. If there is a critical need to add or remove an individual from a state application, states may contact their IRS government liaison representative who will notify appropriate IRS personnel.

    3. Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) filers may resume submission of applications for Transmitter Control Codes starting on Aug. 22. The application process for AIR users has been offline since July because of the e-Services platform transition.

    4. A redesigned e-Services landing page will launch Aug. 21.

  • 04 Aug 2017 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam impersonating tax software providers and attempting to steal usernames and passwords.

    This sophisticated scam yet again displays cybercriminals’ tax savvy and underscores the need for tax professionals to take strong security measures to protect their clients and protect their business. This is the time of year when many software providers issue software upgrades and when tax professionals are working to meet the Oct. 15 deadline for extension filers.

    These types of phishing scams are why the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry, acting as the Security Summit, launched the 10-week Don’t Take the Bait campaign currently underway. This awareness effort highlights the many tactics of cybercriminals as well as the steps tax professionals can take to protect their clients and themselves.

    This latest scam email variation comes with a subject line of “Software Support Update” and highlights an “Important Software System Upgrade.” It thanks recipients for continuing to trust the software provider to serve their tax preparation needs and mimics the software providers’ email templates.

    The e-mail informs the recipients that due to a recent software upgrade, the preparer must revalidate their login credentials. It provides a link to a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider’s actual login page.

    Instead of upgrading software, the tax professionals are providing their information to cybercriminals who use the stolen credentials to access the preparers’ accounts and to steal client information.

    The Security Summit reminds tax professionals that software providers do not embed links into emails asking them to validate passwords. Also, tax professionals and taxpayers should never open a link or an attachment from a suspicious email.

    Tax professionals can review additional tips to protect clients and themselves at Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself on IRS.gov.

    Tax professionals who receive emails purportedly from their tax software providers seeking login credentials should send those scam emails to their tax software provider. 

    For Windows users, follow this process to help the investigation of these scam emails:

    1. Use “Save As” to save the scam. Under “save as type” in the drop-down menu, select “plain text” and save to the desktop. Do not click on any links.
    2. Open a new email and attach this saved email as a file.
    3. Send a new email containing the attachment to the tax software provider, as well as a copy to Phishing@IRS.gov.
  • 24 Jul 2017 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    IR-2017-122, July 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals will soon pilot a new web-based virtual conference option for taxpayers and their representatives. This virtual face-to-face option will provide an additional option for taxpayer conferences. The IRS expects it to be especially useful for taxpayers located far from an IRS Appeals office.

    Each year, the Office of Appeals hears appeals of more than 100,000 taxpayers attempting to resolve their tax disputes without going to court. Currently, taxpayers involved in the appeals process can meet with an Appeals Officer by phone, in person or virtually through videoconference technology available only at a limited number of IRS offices.

    While a phone call works well for most taxpayers, others prefer face-to-face interaction. Appeals’ pilot program will use a secure, web-based screen-sharing platform to connect with taxpayers face-to-face from anywhere they have internet access. Similar to popular screen-sharing programs used on phones and home computers, this technology may also be a way for the IRS to provide greater access, efficiency and flexibility to taxpayers. This web-based model is more convenient and has more features than the existing video-conferencing technology.

    “Taxpayers who choose the web-based option will be able to get face-to-face service remotely,” said IRS Chief, Appeals Donna Hansberry. “In the future, the technology may give taxpayers greater options in engaging with Appeals and could allow us the flexibility to serve taxpayers virtually from any location using mobile devices or computers.

    “We hope this is one more option to enable IRS employees to provide timely, efficient and effective service to taxpayers,” said Hansberry.

    Appeals plans to start the pilot Aug. 1, 2017 and will assess the results, including taxpayer satisfaction with the technology.  

    The IRS reminds taxpayers that their right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum is one of 10 key rights guaranteed to taxpayers under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Other rights especially relevant to the appeals process include the right to quality service, the right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax, the right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard and the right to retain representation. For a complete list of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, see Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, available on IRS.gov. 

  • 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.


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