The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, January 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds.The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software. The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns that day, with more than 153 million individual tax returns expected to be filed in 2017. The IRS again expects more than four out of five tax returns will be prepared electronically using tax return preparation software.Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before January 23 Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before January 23rd and then will submit the returns when IRS systems open. The IRS will begin processing paper tax returns at the same time. There is no advantage to filing tax returns on paper in early January instead of waiting for the IRS to begin accepting e-filed returns.The IRS reminds taxpayers that a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds … Read More
IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) has announced that it has issued new internal guidance for its agents on issuing information document requests (IDRs). IRS issues IDRs to gather information during an examination. The new process will go into effect on April 1, 2017. Background. As part of the information-gathering phase of an IRS audit, IRS auditors make formal requests to taxpayers for information relevant to the audit by issuing IDRs. IRS announcement. The IRS announcement contains guidance for two internal documents and summarizes the new process. Under the new process: Taxpayers will be involved in the IDR process. Examiners will discuss the issue being examined and the information needed with the taxpayer before issuing an IDR. The IDR must clearly state the issue and the relevant information that the examiners are requesting. If the taxpayer does not timely provide the information requested in the IDR by the agreed upon date, including extensions, the examiner will issue a delinquency notice. If the taxpayer fails to respond to the delinquency notice or provides an incomplete response, the examiner will issue a pre-summons notice to advise the taxpayer that IRS will issue a summons unless the missing items are fully provided. A … Read More
On Nov. 18, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70, which extends the due date for the 2016 requirement for employers and insurance providers to issue Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees and covered individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have additional time to provide health coverage information for 2016 to individual taxpayers in 2017. The deadline to issue these forms to individuals was January 31, 2017, but has been extended 30 days to March 2, 2017. While the due date to issue these forms to individuals is now later, the IRS encourages employers and other coverage providers to furnish statements as soon as they are ready. Important information for taxpayers: Due to these extensions, some individual taxpayers may not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2016 tax return. While the information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, they are not required. Taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health insurance. Individuals do not have to wait for their Form 1095-B or 1095-C in order to file. The IRS has not extended the due dates for employers and providers to file Form 1095-B … Read More
The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry urged taxpayers to take steps to protect themselves online to help in the fight against identity theft. Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are looking to steal taxpayer’s personal information and ultimately their money. But, there are simple steps taxpayers can take to help protect themselves, like keeping computer software up-to-date and being cautious on giving out their personal information. This is the first reminder to taxpayers during “National Tax Security Awareness Week,” which runs through Friday. This week, the IRS, states and the tax community are joining together to send out a series of reminders to taxpayers and tax professionals as a part of the ongoing Security Summit effort. Here are some best practices taxpayers can follow to protect their tax and financial information: Understand and Use Security Software. Security software helps protect computers against the digital threats that are prevalent online. Generally, the operating system will include security software or you can access free security software from well-known companies or Internet providers. Essential tools include a firewall, virus/malware protection and file encryption if you keep sensitive financial/tax documents on your computer. Do not buy security software offered as an … Read More
The Internal Revenue Service has created a new Fast Track Mediation program to resolve collection cases and issues more quickly for taxpayers with outstanding tax debts. Revenue Procedure 2016-57, issued by the IRS last week, replaces the IRS’s Fast Track Mediation procedure with a new program, Fast Track Mediation—Collection (FTMC). The FTMC program provides taxpayers who had cases in the IRS’s Small Business/Self-Employed division with an opportunity to resolve certain offer-in-compromise and trust fund recovery penalty issues and cases worked on by the IRS’s Collection function on an expedited basis, with an Office of Appeals mediator acting as a neutral party. The new FTMC program gives taxpayers the opportunity to resolve certain case and issue disputes on an expedited basis with an Appeals mediator acting as a neutral party. The Appeals mediator in the new FTMC program, as in the older FTM program, does not have settlement authority and cannot render a decision on any issue in dispute. Although Collection is an operating unit of the IRS’s SB/SE division, all kinds of collection cases, regardless of the type of taxpayer, are handled by Collection. Thus, any type of taxpayer can participate in the FTMC program, not just small businesses and … Read More
The IRS is sending letters to tax return preparers who do not have an active PTIN account, but have signed returns in 2016. There are three different letters depending on the situation: Letter 4966 – Expired PTIN Letter 4732 – SSN used Letter 4731 – Legacy PTIN used A contact number for the Return Preparer Office (RPO) is included on the letters if the tax return preparer has questions or concerns.