IRS Tax News

  • 04 Nov 2016 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today issued an urgent alert to tax professionals who use IRS e-services to beware of an email asking them to update their accounts and directing them to a fake website.

    The subject line for the fraudulent email is “Security Awareness for Tax Professionals.” The “From” line is “Your e-Services Team.” It has both an IRS logo and an e-services logo that hyperlinks to a URL verified as a phishing site. The spoofing site poses as an e-services registration page.

    The scammers are attempting to exploit current IRS efforts to strengthen the e-services authentication process and its ongoing communications with tax professionals about their accounts. Scammers are attempting to steal e-services usernames and passwords or additional personal data through a registration page.

    If e-services users have already clicked on the fake logo and provided their username and password, they should contact the e-services help desk to reset their accounts. If the same password is used for other accounts, these should be changed as well. As an extra precaution, users should perform a deep security scan on their computers, re-evaluate their security controls and be alert to any other signs of identity theft or data compromise.

    Tax professionals should always go directly to IRS.gov to access e-services and never click on any links provided in emails.

    Tax professionals who receive a suspicious email should send it as an attachment to Phishing@irs.gov and then delete it. Recipients should not click on any links.

    The scammer email tells recipients that information was stolen from certain user accounts in 2015 from a state-sponsored actor. It says users are being asked to upgrade their e-service account to ensure protection of their information. It asks them to click on the login to access their accounts for security upgrade.

    The IRS is in the process of upgrading e-services security and has been in communication with tax professionals about updating their accounts.

    The IRS, state tax agencies and tax industry partners working together through the Security Summit have an awareness campaign underway called Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself. The objective is to remind tax professionals they increasingly are the targets of identity thieves seeking ever larger amounts of taxpayer data to file fraudulent tax returns.

    Security Summit partners recommend tax professionals:

    • Always use robust security software
    • Use encryption software to protect taxpayer data
    • Use strong passwords and change them often
    • Learn to recognize phishing emails attempting to steal data
    • Never click on links or download attachments from suspicious emails
    • Beware of any communications claiming to be the IRS that are outside normal channels

    Review Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself for various steps you can take to protect your customers’ information and your business. 


  • 03 Nov 2016 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and industry partners today finalized plans for 2017 to improve identity theft protections for individual and business taxpayers after making significant inroads this year against fraudulent returns.

    Public and private sector leaders announced today that their collective efforts through the Security Summit initiative have led to a marked improvement in the battle against identity theft during 2016. This is highlighted by the number of new people reporting stolen identities on federal tax returns falling by more than 50 percent, with nearly 275,000 fewer victims compared to a year ago.

    At a Washington press conference, Summit leaders also detailed new and expanded safeguards for taxpayers in the upcoming 2017 tax season. The 2017 focus revolves around “trusted customer” features that will help ensure the authenticity of the taxpayer and the tax return - before, during and after a tax return is filed. The additional protections will build on the 2016 successes that prevented fraudulent returns and protected tax refunds.

    “We’ve made remarkable progress this year in our efforts to protect taxpayers following the unprecedented coordination with the states, the tax industry and the financial sector,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Working together, this coalition has expanded its activities in many different areas, and we are focused on strengthening our systems and processes even more for the upcoming tax season.”

    “It is gratifying to see how many different ways we have already identified and begun to implement changes,” said Dawn Cash, Commissioner, Oklahoma Tax Commission and President, Board of Trustees of the Federation of Tax Administrators. “Taxpayers in states across the country are benefiting from this important work.”

    Summit Helps Produce Successes in 2016 Against Identity Theft; Victims Down by Half

    Security Summit initiatives put in place in 2016 had a dramatic impact on the collective ability to identify and stop fraudulent returns. Key IRS statistics show decreases because Summit efforts were successful at preventing fraudulent returns from entering tax processing systems. This meant fewer bad returns, fewer bad refunds and fewer taxpayers becoming victims.

    Among the examples seen by the IRS:

    • Identity theft affidavits fell sharply. The number of people who filed affidavits with the IRS saying they were victims of identity theft dropped 50 percent during the first nine months of this year compared to 2015. The number of new affidavits filed fell to 237,750 compared to 512,278 for the first nine months of 2015.
    • More fraudulent returns stopped before processing. IRS statistics show a nearly 50 percent drop in the number of fraudulent returns that made it into the IRS tax processing systems– another sign the Summit efforts are working up front in the tax process. Through September of this year, the IRS stopped 787,000 confirmed identity theft returns, totaling more than $4 billion. For the same nine-month period in 2015, the IRS stopped 1.2 million confirmed identity theft returns, totaling about $7.2 billion.
    • Fraudulent refunds fell. The number of bank partners grew to 620 institutions from 514 institutions in 2015, enabling internal processes to continue improving. The number of suspect refunds stopped by banks and returned to the IRS dropped by more than 50 percent, to 108,539 in 2016 compared to 243,361 in 2015, demonstrating our improved ability to stop fraudulent returns before refunds are paid. The dollar amount of suspect refunds dropped to $239 million from $829 million in 2015.
    • Shared information stopped more bad returns. Industry and state partners provided information that helped improve IRS fraud filters and stop additional bad tax returns, including 57,000 that would have bypassed IRS processing filters without Summit assistance.
    • Shared data elements helped identify new areas. Several new data elements shared on tax returns from Summit partners helped the IRS stop over 74,000 suspicious returns, representing over $372 million in refunds that were prevented from being paid.

    “We've come a long way in a short time following the creation of the Security Summit,” Koskinen said. “But much more work remains to be done, and the partnership has agreed to take even more steps to protect taxpayers in 2017.”

    More Steps Planned for 2017 Tax Season

    For the 2017 filing season, the IRS and Summit partners will take additional actions. As with 2016, many of the new features will not be visible to taxpayers but will provide the IRS and states with the information they need to identify and stop fraudulent identity theft returns.

    Among the new or expanded features for 2017 that will protect taxpayers and the tax system:

    • New data elements transmitted by the tax industry with every tax return have been updated and expanded. In all, 37 new data elements will be added for 2017, providing additional information to strengthen the authentication that a tax return is being filed by the real taxpayer.
    • The tax industry will share with the IRS and states 32 data elements from business tax returns – extending more identity theft protections to business filers as well as individuals.
    • More than 20 states are working with the financial services industry to create their own version of a program that allows the industry to flag suspicious refunds before they are deposited into taxpayer accounts. Also, private sector partners are enhancing efforts to identify the “ultimate bank account” to ensure that the refunds go into the true taxpayers’ accounts – not fraudsters.
    • The Form W-2 Verification Code initiative started by the IRS last year will expand to 50 million forms in 2017 from 2 million in 2016. When completing a tax return, the 16-digit verification code should be entered when prompted by tax software used by both individuals and tax professionals to validate the information on the Form W-2. The IRS anticipates the verification code will be expanded in future years for all Forms W-2.
    • The software industry will continue to enhance software password requirements for individuals and tax professional users – providing additional safety prior to filing.

    Taken together, these “trusted customer” features will help the IRS and states do an even better job of detecting fraudulent returns and protecting taxpayers.

    As part of that effort, the Summit partners will launch a new Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC. This project, in its initial stages for 2017, will serve as an improved early warning system – identifying emerging identity theft schemes and quickly sharing that information among Summit partners so that all of the participants can enact safeguards.

    Summit partners believe an ISAC ultimately promises significant gains in detecting and preventing identity theft refund fraud and will provide better data to law enforcement to investigate and prosecute identity thieves. This effort will provide all Summit partners with a threat assessment capability, early warnings about problems and insights about identity theft fraud schemes through nimble and agile information sharing.

    Education Campaign Continues for Taxpayers, Tax Professionals

    The Security Summit will continue its campaigns to increase awareness about data security to both taxpayers and tax preparers. Last year, the Summit partners launched the “Taxes.Security. Together.” campaign to encourage taxpayers to take greater data security precautions and to learn how to recognize and avoid phishing emails that seek to trick people into providing sensitive data such as Social Security or credit card numbers.

    This year, the Summit partners expanded the campaign to include tax professionals, who increasingly are being targeted by criminal syndicates. Summit partners initiated a new campaign called “Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself” and urge tax professionals to use the best security practices available. Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, to see an action check-list for ensuring data security.

    As tax season approaches, the IRS and Summit partners will share more tips for tax professionals in upcoming weeks. And for taxpayers, the “Taxes.Security.Together” campaign will resume for a second year in the weeks leading up to the opening of the 2017 filing season in January with important information that taxpayers can use to protect their sensitive taxpayer and financial data.


  • 28 Oct 2016 3:23 PM | Anonymous

    IR-2016-143, Oct. 28, 2016

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers and small businesses of a new Jan. 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2. The IRS must also hold some refunds until Feb. 15.

    A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will accelerate the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31. For similar reasons, the new law also requires the IRS to hold refunds involving two key refundable tax credits until at least Feb. 15. Here are details on each of these key dates.

    New Jan. 31 Deadline for Employers

    The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers. They are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by Jan. 31. The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

    In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms. In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available and this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but by January 31. Please carefully review the instructions for Form 8809, for more information.

    "As tax season approaches, the IRS wants to be sure employers, especially smaller businesses, are aware of these new deadlines," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We are working with the payroll community and other partners to share this information widely."

    The new accelerated deadline will help the IRS improve its efforts to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers. Having these W-2s and 1099s earlier will make it easier for the IRS to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. In many instances, this will enable the IRS to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.

    The Jan. 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees and that date remains unchanged.

    Some Refunds Delayed Until at Least Feb. 15

    Due to the PATH Act change, some people will get their refunds a little later. The new law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.

    Even with this change, taxpayers should file their returns as they normally do. Whether or not claiming the EITC or ACTC, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations. Though the IRS issues more than nine out 10 refunds in less than 21 days, some returns are held for further review.


  • 28 Oct 2016 2:56 PM | Anonymous

    IR-2016-142, Oct. 28, 2016

    WASHINGTON –– The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the nation’s more than 725,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2017. All current PTINs will expire Dec. 31, 2016.

    Anyone who prepares or helps prepare any federal tax return, or claim for refund, for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on returns prepared.

    “We ask that you renew your PTIN as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute rush,” said Carol A. Campbell, Director, IRS Return Preparer Office. “It’s easy to let this slip as the holiday season approaches.”

    For those who have a 2016 PTIN, the renewal process only takes a few moments online. The renewal fee is $50. If you cannot remember your user ID and password, there are online tools to assist you. Preparers can get started at www.irs.gov/ptin. If you are registering for the first time, the PTIN application fee is $50.00 and the process may also be completed online.

    Paper Form W-12, IRS Paid Preparer Tax Identification Number Application and Renewal, is available for paper applications and renewals, and takes four to six weeks to process. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties. All enrolled agents, regardless of whether they prepare returns, must have a PTIN in order to maintain their status.

    Annual Filing Season Program Participation Kicks Off

    The voluntary IRS Annual Filing Season Program is intended to encourage non-credentialed tax return preparers to take continuing education (CE) courses to increase their knowledge and improve their filing season readiness. Participation generally requires 18 hours of CE, including a course in basic tax filing issues and updates, ethics, as well as other federal tax law courses. More information on the types and amounts of CE required for the program is available at www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Annual-Filing-Season-Program.

    Preparers desiring to receive an Annual Filing Season Program - Record of Completion for 2017, must (1) complete their continuing education requirements by Dec. 31, 2016; (2) have a valid 2017 PTIN; and (3) consent to adhere to specific practice requirements in Treasury Department Circular No. 230.

    The IRS has a video to demonstrate how to sign the Circular 230 consent and print the Record of Completion.

    Enrolled Agent Credential

    The Annual Filing Season Program is a filing season qualification while an enrolled agent license provides professional status. The enrolled agent credential is an elite credential issued by the IRS to tax professionals who demonstrate special competence in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation and representation matters.  Enrolled agents have unlimited representation rights; allowing them to represent any client before the IRS on any tax matter.  As non-credentialed return preparers consider the next steps in their professional career, the IRS encourages them to consider becoming an enrolled agent.

    Enrolled agents and participants in the Annual Filing Season Program are included in the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications created on IRS.gov to help taxpayers make wise decisions when choosing tax return preparers.

    The directory also contains information on attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), enrolled retirement plan agents (ERPAs) and enrolled actuaries who are registered with the IRS.

    IRS.gov has a page that explains the various tax return preparer credentials and qualifications, as well as a page with information regarding how to become an enrolled agent.


  • 27 Oct 2016 4:14 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017.  The IRS today issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2016-62.

    Highlights of changes for 2017

    The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs, and to claim the saver’s credit all increased for 2017.

    Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions.  If during the year either the taxpayer or their spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income. (If neither the taxpayer nor their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-outs of the deduction do not apply.)    Here are the phase-out ranges for 2017:

    • For single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $62,000 to $72,000, up from $61,000 to $71,000.
    • For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $99,000 to $119,000, up from $98,000 to $118,000.
    • For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $186,000 and $196,000, up from $184,000 and $194,000.
    • For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

    The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $118,000 to $133,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $117,000 to $132,000.  For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $186,000 to $196,000, up from $184,000 to $194,000.  The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

    The income limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contributions credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $62,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $61,500; $46,500 for heads of household, up from $46,125; and $31,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $30,750.

    Highlights of limitations that remain unchanged from 2016

    • The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000.
    • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.
    • The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged at $5,500.  The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.

    Detailed description of adjusted and unchanged limitations

    Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans.  Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases.  Other limitations applicable to deferred compensation plans are also affected by these adjustments under Section 415.  Under Section 415(d), the adjustments are to be made following adjustment procedures similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under Section 215(i)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.

    Effective January 1, 2017, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.  For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2017, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2016, by 1.0112.

    The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2017 from $53,000 to $54,000.

    The Code provides that various other dollar amounts are to be adjusted at the same time and in the same manner as the dollar limitation of Section 415(b)(1)(A).  After taking into account the applicable rounding rules, the amounts for 2017 are as follows:

    The limitation under Section 402(g)(1) on the exclusion for elective deferrals described in Section 402(g)(3) remains unchanged at $18,000.

    The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $265,000 to $270,000.

    The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan is increased from $170,000 to $175,000.

    The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a 5 year distribution period is increased from $1,070,000 to $1,080,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5 year distribution period is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.

    The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $120,000.

    The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(i) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $6,000.  The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $3,000.

    The annual compensation limitation under Section 401(a)(17) for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed cost of living adjustments to the compensation limitation under the plan under Section 401(a)(17) to be taken into account, is increased from $395,000 to $400,000.

    The compensation amount under Section 408(k)(2)(C) regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) remains unchanged at $600.

    The limitation under Section 408(p)(2)(E) regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts remains unchanged at $12,500.

    The limitation on deferrals under Section 457(e)(15) concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations remains unchanged at $18,000.

    The limitation under Section 664(g)(7) concerning the qualified gratuitous transfer of qualified employer securities to an employee stock ownership plan remains unchanged at $45,000.

    The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations concerning the definition of “control employee” for fringe benefit valuation remains unchanged at $105,000.  The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(iii) remains unchanged at $215,000.

    The dollar limitation on premiums paid with respect to a qualifying longevity annuity contract under Section 1.401(a)(9)-6, A-17(b)(2)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations remains unchanged at $125,000.

    The Code provides that the $1,000,000,000 threshold used to determine whether a multiemployer plan is a systemically important plan under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(aa) is adjusted using the cost-of-living adjustment provided under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(bb).  After taking the applicable rounding rule into account, the threshold used to determine whether a multiemployer plan is a systemically important plan under Section 432(e)(9)(H)(v)(III)(aa) remains unchanged for 2017 at $1,012,000,000.

    The Code also provides that several retirement-related amounts are to be adjusted using the cost-of-living adjustment under Section 1(f)(3).  After taking the applicable rounding rules into account, the amounts for 2017 are as follows:

    The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for married taxpayers filing a joint return remains unchanged at $37,000; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $40,000; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $61,500 to $62,000.

    The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for taxpayers filing as head of household remains unchanged at $27,750; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $30,000; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $46,125 to $46,500.

    The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for all other taxpayers remains unchanged at $18,500; the limitation under Section 25B(b)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $20,000; and the limitation under Sections 25B(b)(1)(C) and 25B(b)(1)(D) is increased from $30,750 to $31,000.

    The deductible amount under Section 219(b)(5)(A) for an individual making qualified retirement contributions remains unchanged at $5,500.

    The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(i) for determining the deductible amount of an IRA contribution for taxpayers who are active participants filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) increased from $98,000 to $99,000.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(ii) for all other taxpayers who are active participants (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) increased from $61,000 to $62,000.  If an individual or the individual’s spouse is an active participant, the applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(3)(B)(iii) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 219(g)(7)(A) for a taxpayer who is not an active participant but whose spouse is an active participant is increased from $184,000 to $186,000.

    The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(I) for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for married taxpayers filing a joint return or for taxpayers filing as a qualifying widow(er) is increased from $184,000 to $186,000.  The adjusted gross income limitation under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(II) for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is increased from $117,000 to $118,000.  The applicable dollar amount under Section 408A(c)(3)(B)(ii)(III) for a married individual filing a separate return is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0.

    The dollar amount under Section 430(c)(7)(D)(i)(II) used to determine excess employee compensation with respect to a single-employer defined benefit pension plan for which the special election under Section 430(c)(2)(D) has been made is increased from $1,106,000 to $1,115,000. 


  • 02 Oct 2016 3:23 PM | Anonymous

    The IRS next spring will begin to use private contractors to collect overdue federal tax debts. Four companies have been selected to implement the new program.


  • 02 Oct 2016 3:22 PM | Anonymous

    The IRS is answering questions from practitioners following announcement that e-Services is migrating to the Secure Access authentication process. Frequently asked questions and answers are available on IRS.gov.

    E-Services users can find out more about Secure Access, which goes into effect Oct. 24, at Important Update about Your e-Services Account. Step-by-step instructions are available at Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.


  • 26 Sep 2016 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

    The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress last December, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

    CBE Group 1309 Technology Pkwy Cedar Falls, IA 50613

    Conserve 200 CrossKeys Office park Fairport, NY 14450

    Performant 333 N Canyons Pkwy Livermore, CA 94551

    Pioneer 325 Daniel Zenker Dr Horseheads, NY 14845

    These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases.

    The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.

    Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

    The IRS will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion and understand their rights and tax responsibilities, particularly in light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment.

    Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS.gov/Pay Your Tax Bill. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency. 

    The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips for protecting themselves. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page.

    For more information visit the Private Debt Collection page on IRS.gov.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The IRS is testing expanded criteria for streamlined processing of taxpayer requests for installment agreements. The test runs through Sept. 30, 2017. During this test, more taxpayers will qualify to have their installment agreement requests processed in a streamlined manner.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Do you have a client who filed for an extension and faces an Oct. 17 filing deadline? The adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from the client’s 2014 return may be needed to electronically file a tax return.


©2018, Virginia Society of Tax & Accounting Professionals, formerly The Accountants Society of Virginia, 
is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

PO Box 3363 | Warrenton, VA 20188 | Phone: (800) 927-2731 | Fax: (888) 403-0920 | asv@virginia-accountants.org

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software