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IRS, Security Summit Partners Warn of New Twist on Phone Scam;  Crooks Direct Taxpayers to IRS.gov to “Verify” Calls The Internal Revenue Service today warned of a new twist on an old phone scam as criminals use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills.   The IRS and its Security Summit partners – the state tax agencies and tax industry – urge taxpayers to remain alert to tax scams year-round, especially immediately after the tax filing season ends. Even after the April deadline passes, the tax scam season doesn’t end.   In the latest version ...
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IRS provides additional day to file and pay for taxpayers through Wednesday, April 18; IRS processing systems back online The IRS announced today that it is providing taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes following system issues that surfaced early on the April 17 tax deadline. Individuals and businesses with a filing or payment due date of April 17 will now have until midnight on Wednesday, April 18. Taxpayers do not need to do anything to receive this extra time. The IRS encountered system issues Tuesday morning. Throughout the system outage, taxpayers were still able to file their tax returns electronically through their software ...
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Today, Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ranking Member John Lewis (D-GA) released a discussion draft entitled “The Taxpayer First Act.” This bipartisan legislation will propose ways to redesign the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the first time since 1998. Chairman Jenkins said: “I ran for Congress to reform our broken tax code and I am honored to have played a part in the most significant tax reform in 30 years. However, tax reform was only half of our promise. Our attention must now turn to modernizing the IRS and improving the taxpayer experience.  “As a CPA, I know from experience the IRS can be very frustrating to deal ...
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NSA leadership today sent a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner, David Kautter requesting an extension of the time by which a corporation must elect to be treated as an S corporation. The request is made due to the lack of clarity in Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The letter is copied below: We are writing to request a six month extension of the time by which a corporation must make an election to be treated as a S corporation for the current calendar year.   As you know, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December of 2017 made substantial changes to the tax law as it relates to passthrough entities, including S corporations, with the introduction ...
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Updated Withholding Calculator, Form W-4 Released; Calculator Helps Taxpayers Review Withholding Following New Tax Law The IRS released an updated Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov and a new version of Form W-4 to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. The IRS and NSA urge taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks. “Following the major changes in the tax law, the IRS encourages employees to check their paychecks to help ensure they’re having the right amount of tax withheld for their personal situation,” said Acting IRS Commissioner ...
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Wyden Update

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NSA Executive Vice President John Ams discussed the prospects for tax preparer regulation with Sen Ron Wyden and two members of the Senate Finance Committee staff at an event over the weekend. EVP Ams reminded Sen. Wyden that NSA and the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation have been long time supporters of such regulation but that any legislation should not require any further examinations for any preparer that has already taken and passed any competency examination that has been recognized by the IRS for purposes of the agency’s Annual Filing Season Program.  Ams mentioned that qualified examinations recognized by the IRS included the tests ...
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NSA Executive Vice President John Ams discussed the prospects for tax preparer regulation with Sen Ron Wyden and two members of the Senate Finance Committee staff at an event over the weekend. EVP Ams reminded Sen. Wyden that NSA and the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation have been long time supporters of such regulation but that any legislation should not require any further examinations for any preparer that has already taken and passed any competency examination that has been recognized by the IRS for purposes of the agency’s Annual Filing Season Program.  Ams mentioned that qualified examinations recognized by the IRS included the tests ...
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Inappropriate referrals to the IRS e-help Desk are causing longer hold times Each filing season, the e-help Desk receives phone calls from taxpayers because their tax preparer referred them for assistance resolving rejected returns, tax law and tax account matters. This increases the taxpayer’s burden and causes lengthier delays for everyone. The e-help desk cannot help these callers and must direct them to other sources for assistance – typically IRS.gov including Publication 5136 , IRS Services Guide. The EPSS e-help Desk is intended specifically to assist tax professionals (Enrolled Agents, Reporting Agents, Electronic Return Originators, Certified Public ...
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NSA Executive Vice President Discusses IRS Budget and Tax Reform Changes on Federal News Radio NSA Executive Vice President John Ams will discuss the Administration’s proposed IRS budget in a segment on Federal News Radio. The interview, which was taped yesterday, will be broadcast next week. In the discussion, Ams also pointed out that the IRS is still forecasting it will only be able to answer 60% of filing season phone calls but that the proposed budget would cut another $108.7 million, or 4.6%, from Taxpayer Services, with the likely result that the touted benefits of the tax reform law will not be realized until taxpayers and tax professionals are ...
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Tim Sundstrom, a member of the NSA Federal Taxation Committee and John Ams , NSA Executive VP, met with IRS officials including Acting Commissioner Dave Kautter to urge them to issue guidance on issues raised in the tax reform bill as soon as possible, particularly with respect to the much-discussed Section 199A. Sundstrom raised a number of technical issues about the application of the 20% rule as well as how to determine whether an entity’s principal asset is the skill or reputation of one or more of its owners or employees.  Ams pointed out that many small businesses could be disqualified from claiming the deduction unless the determination of skill ...
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Early this morning, the President signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which primarily served as a vehicle to extend funding for government operations through March 23, but which also includes more than 50 tax provisions, including extensions of expired tax incentives and various other tax policy changes and provides $90 million to the IRS to implement the tax reform act. A summary of the Act's tax provisions is available here
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Seeing the emergence of a new filing season scam, the IRS and NSA urge tax professionals to step up security and beware of phishing emails that can secretly download malicious software that can help cybercriminals steal client data. Only a few days into the filing season, the IRS has already identified a new scam that began with cybercriminals stealing data from several tax practitioners’ computers and filing fraudulent tax returns. In a new twist, the fraudulent returns in a few cases used the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the deposit. A woman posing as a debt collection agency official then contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error ...
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued  Notice 2018-14 , which provides additional guidance to employers on withholding changes in response to the enactment of the  "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" (P.L. 115-97) . As described by the IRS, Notice 2018-14: extends the effective period of Forms W-4 furnished to claim exemption from income tax withholding under § 3402(n) for 2017 until February 28, 2018 and temporarily permits employees to claim exemption from withholding under § 3402(n) for 2018 by using 2017 Form W-4; suspends the requirement that employees must furnish their employers new Forms W-4 within 10 days of changes of ...
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Proposed IRS budget appropriation under consideration will not adequately serve the needs of individual and small business taxpayers.   ALEXANDRIA, VA, January 25, 2018 — The National Society of Accountants (NSA) expresses its continuing disappointment with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) budget appropriation under consideration and its belief that the proposed budget is a disservice to the many individual and small business taxpayers for whom NSA members provide tax services. “The IRS Division responsible for responding to taxpayer telephone calls estimates that it would be able to respond to only 60 percent of calls during the 2018 filing season, ...
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President Trump will soon nominate Charles P. Rettig to become the next Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to a reliable media report .  If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Rettig's initial term would run through November 12, 2022. He would relieve David Kautter , who is currently working as Acting Commissioner while also serving in his permanent position as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy. ​The term of office for IRS Commissioner runs in five-year increments that are fixed by date rather than by the date of swearing in. The current five-year term for Commissioner started on November 13, 2017. The President ...
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Today the FASB issued Proposed Accounting Standards Update, Income Statement—Reporting Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income .  The Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) today issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to help organizations reclassify certain stranded income tax effects in accumulated other comprehensive income resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide comments on the proposed improvements by February 2, 2018. “After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted, stakeholders expressed ...
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Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February The IRS today released Notice 1036 , which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law. The updated withholding information, posted today on IRS.gov, shows the new rates for employers to use during 2018. Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Feb. 15, 2018. They should continue ...
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Security Summit Partners Warn Tax Pros of Heightened Fraud Activity as Filing Season Approaches The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals of early signs that cybercriminals already are at work as the nation’s tax season approaches. Fraudsters are using a new round of emails posing as potential clients or even the IRS to trick tax practitioners into disclosing sensitive information. The Security Summit partners encourage tax practitioners to be wary of communicating solely by email with potential or even existing clients, especially if unusual requests are made. Data breach thefts have given ...
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2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29, Tax Returns Due April 17; Help Available for Taxpayers The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits that refunds won’t be available before late February. The IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 29, with nearly 155 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2018. The nation’s tax deadline will be April 17 this year – so taxpayers will have two additional days to file beyond April 15.  Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before Jan. 29 and ...
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IRS withholding update

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The IRS is working to develop withholding guidance to implement the tax reform bill signed into law on December 22.  We anticipate issuing the initial withholding guidance in January, and employers and payroll service providers will be encouraged to implement the changes in February. The IRS emphasizes this information will be designed to work with the existing Forms W-4 that employees have already filed, and no further action by taxpayers is needed at this time.    Use of the new 2018 withholding guidelines will allow taxpayers to begin seeing the changes in their paychecks as early as February.  In the meantime, employers and payroll service providers should ...
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