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A House panel on June 29 approved a bill calling for an additional $149 million cut to the IRS budget. The proposal would also limit the agency's oversight of conservation easements, tax-exempt organizations, and estate taxes. The bill protects "the rights and privacy of taxpayers" and "ensures that the IRS is using its funds appropriately," Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said at the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee markup. The subcommittee approved the bill by a voice vote. The full appropriations panel is expected to take up the legislation when Congress returns from its July ...
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The IRS is now accepting renewal applications for the ITINs set to expire at the end of 2017. The agency urges taxpayers affected by changes to the ITIN program to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible to avoid the rush. In the second year of the renewal program, the IRS has made changes to make the process smoother for taxpayers. The renewal process for 2018 is beginning now, more than three months earlier than last year. "This is an important program, and the IRS is opening the renewal process several months earlier to help taxpayers and make the process smoother," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We encourage taxpayers affected ...
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The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to beware of phishing emails purporting to be from a tax software education provider and seeking extensive amounts of sensitive preparer data. The email’s origin is unknown but likely issued by cybercriminals who could be operating from the U.S. or abroad. The email is unusual for the amount of sensitive preparer data that it seeks. This preparer information will enable the thieves to steal client data and file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS reminds all tax professionals that legitimate businesses and organizations never ask for usernames, passwords or sensitive data via email. ...
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Thirty students have earned scholarships from the National Society of Accountants (NSA) Scholarship Foundation. Together, they will receive $37,950 in scholarship awards. The Foundation has provided more than $1 million since 1969 to deserving undergraduate and graduate students who are committed to pursuing a career in accounting, helping to develop more qualified young accountants. The scholarships range from $500 - $3,000. Recipients were selected on the basis of an overall outstanding academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, stated goals and aspirations, and financial ...
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The IRS has announced it will begin issuing new and renewal PTINS at no cost beginning today. The change follows the suspension of the PTIN program as a result of the June 1 court decision in Steele v. United States , where the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled the IRS can require tax return preparers to obtain and use a preparer tax identification number, but that it does not have the authority to make them pay for it. Furthermore, the Court ordered the IRS to provide tax professionals “with a full refund of all PTIN fees paid.” IRS officials noted that the PTIN is now used for a number of purposes in addition to the submission ...
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If it seems there is a new tax scam every week, that is because there is. This week's scam is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. The IRS says 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 ...
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PTIN Litigation

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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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The Administration's budget proposal released on Tuesday, May 22, includes two provisions that may affect NSA members. In the section of the budget proposal related to reducing improper payments, there is a proposal to increase oversight of paid tax return preparers as well as a proposal to provide more flexible authority for the IRS to address correctable errors. According to the budget documents, the preparer oversight provision is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by $439 million during the ten year budget window, whereas correctable error authority is expected to reduce the budget deficit by $655 over the same timeframe. NSA Executive ...
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Over 66 million people in the United States are currently receiving Social Security or SSI benefits, yet the Social Security system is one of the most complicated retirement plans in the world. Unfortunately, most clients on their own do not know how to maximize Social Security benefits, and Social Security Administration employees are prohibited from providing advice to clients. Worse yet, beginning to receive Social Security retirement benefits early and then going back to work can subject the worker to a reduction in benefits, and an unnecessarily high AGI level on Form 1040 can cause up to 85% of the Social Security retirement benefits received to be taxed ...
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There are various factors that may lead to an IRS audit (e.g., 1099 matching, high Discriminant Inventory Function (DIF) score, whistleblower, etc.). The easy answer to avoiding an IRS audit is to report all items on the return properly and file all forms timely.  Review all Forms 1099 that you receive to make sure the bank or other reporting party accurately reflects your income.   That said, this alone may not be enough.  Depending on the size of the business or the individual’s AGI, the IRS may end up auditing the taxpayer simply to ensure that everything matches up as reported.  Over the last few years, there has been a decrease in IRS enforcement, generally; ...
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) announced dates for its series of four webinars to help accounting and tax professionals prepare for and pass the Enrolled Agent (EA) exam. The webinar series is useful for accounting professionals who are beginning their studies or just need a refresher before they take the exam. Four webinars are offered in the series covering the three parts of the EA exam – take the complete series or any of the three parts. Part 1: Individuals – Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2-4 pm EDT Part 2: Businesses (two webinars cover Part 2) – June 8, 2017; 1-3 pm EDT & June 14, 2017; 1-3 pm EDT Part 3: Representation, ...
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In recognition of National Small Business Week -- April 30 to May 6 -- the National Society of Accountants (NSA) is highlighting IRS products to help small business owners and self-employed individuals understand and meet their tax obligations. Some of these tools focus on an emerging area of business activity -- the sharing economy – also referred to as the on-demand, gig or access economy. People involved in the sharing economy engage in activities such as renting a spare bedroom, providing car rides or offering a number of other goods or services. Because there are tax implications for companies providing the services and individuals performing the services, ...
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IRS Sees Millions of Tax Returns Last Days of Tax Filing Season The IRS today announced that the agency has received 135.6 million returns this year following a late surge of filings last week. During the week ending April 21, the IRS received more than 17 million tax returns. The vast majority, 13.6 million returns, were filed through IRS e-file.  Looking at the entire tax filing season, the IRS has received 135.6 million tax returns through April 21. With the influx of returns last week, the number of filings is now close to the number of returns from last year’s filing season. With the mid-April filings, the number of refunds issued this year ...
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Registration deadline is May 30, 2017 Registration for the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation® (ACAT) exam to obtain ACAT Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor, Accredited Tax Preparer and Accredited Tax Advisor credentials is now open and the Summer exam testing window is June 1-July 15, 2017. The registration deadline is May 30, 2017. Accredited Tax Preparers (ATP) and Accredited Business Accountant/Advisors (ABA) are exempt from taking the Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course and exam that is part of the new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) and automatically qualify for the IRS ...
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The Internal Revenue Service spotted $961 million in fraudulent refund claims on tax returns through early March, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in a report released April 7. The report provides interim results of the 2017 tax filing season and is available here . "This period is critical for the IRS, because during this time, most individuals file their income tax returns and contact the IRS if they have questions about specific laws or filing procedures," TIGTA said. The IRS confirmed identity theft cases involving 14,068 fraudulent tax returns as of March 2. Overall, the agency has received fewer returns at this ...
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NSA and other tax professional groups wrote to members of Congress last week urging a comprehensive set of recommendations designed to improve services provided by the IRS to taxpayers and tax practitioners. The groups called for an improved governance and oversight structure for the IRS and proposed a new unit within the IRS that would centralize the agency's services to tax practitioners. A copy of the group's report is available here . Also available are the group's letter to congressional tax writers and NSA's press release accompanying the publication of the group report. The recommendations were developed by the groups over several months and are ...
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The IRS's private debt collection program is set to begin this week, with four private companies trying to collect overdue taxes on the government's behalf. The IRS debt collection program is a new version of a program established in 2006 that was shut down in 2009 because it wasn't profitable. The new program was mandated by Congress in the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and the agency is under pressure to make it work this time around. According to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, the IRS has significantly reduced oversight in order to bring down costs. In addition, she said that the rollout of the new program will ...
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Taxpayers usually will have taxes withheld from their pay if they are an employee. However, if a person doesnt have taxes withheld, or they dont have enough tax withheld, they may need to make estimated tax payments. Taxpayers that are self-employed normally have to pay their taxes this way. Here are five tips about making estimated tax payments: When the tax applies. Taxpayers should pay estimated taxes if they expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2017 after subtracting their withholding and refundable credits. Special rules apply to farmers and fishermen. How to figure the tax. Taxpayers need to estimate the amount of income they expect ...
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The National Society of Accountants (NSA) and other tax practitioner-related associations have formed a coalition to call for massive improvements in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The coalition issued a report, Ensuring a Modern-Functioning IRS for the 21st Century , that outlines the framework for these improvements and a range of recommendations. NSA Executive Vice President John Ams, who serves on the IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) and chairs one of the ETAAC subgroups, explained, We have spent years calling for these improvements and better funding for the IRS to serve the needs of American taxpayers, yet funding ...
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Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam; Urged to be Wary of Schemes as Filing Season Deadline Approaches The IRS, NSA, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to beware of phishing email scams claiming to be from IRS e-Services and of schemes in general as the April 18 deadline nears. Acting as the Security Summit, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry warned that this time of year is the high season for identity thieves scams to steal sensitive data from tax professionals. All tax preparers and their employees must be on guard against phishing activities. The IRS noted a particular surge in the past ...
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