IRS Field Revenue Officers and How to Confirm Their Identity If They Come Knocking at Your Door: a TAS Tax Tip The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun conducting face-to-face meetings with individual and business taxpayers as a part of a special compliance effort entitled Revenue Officer Compliance Sweep (ROCS). This is an extremely high priority effort where IRS field revenue officers (RO’s) will be working to resolve compliance issues, including missing tax returns and taxes owed, with a special emphasis on payroll taxes. The RO’s will visit areas where there is little to no IRS presence. They will interview taxpayers while gathering financial information to help them become compliant now and remain so in the future. The new effort began Wisconsin, Texas, and Arkansas and will eventually rollout nationwide. To avoid confusion with IRS scam artists and other imposters, the IRS will announce general details about these efforts in specific locations as an important step to raise community awareness around IRS activity during a specified time. Visits from IRS agents shouldn't be confused as a scam. Here’s what to look for: Taxpayers may receive an appointment letter requesting certain information and providing an opportunity to call the IRS to … Read More
Form 1040-SR, Alternative Filing Option Available for Seniors The Internal Revenue Service wants seniors to know about the availability of a new tax form, Form 1040-SR, featuring larger print and a standard deduction chart with a goal of making it easier for older Americans to read and use. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 required the IRS to create a tax form for seniors. Taxpayers age 65 or older now have the option to use Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors. Form 1040-SR, when printed, features larger font and better readability. Taxpayers who electronically file Form 1040-SR may notice the change when they print their return. More than 90% of taxpayers now use tax software to prepare and file their tax return. Taxpayers born before January 2, 1955, have the option to file Form 1040-SR whether they are working, not working or retired. The form allows income reporting from other sources common to seniors such as investment income, Social Security and distributions from qualified retirement plans, annuities or similar deferred-payment arrangements. Seniors can use Form 1040-SR to file their 2019 federal income tax return, which is due April 15, 2020. All lines and checkboxes on Form 1040-SR mirror the … Read More
Form 1023 Electronic Filing Submission Now Available As part of an ongoing effort to improve service for the tax-exempt community, the Internal Revenue Service has revised Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(C)(3) of The Internal Revenue Code, to allow electronic filing for the first time starting later this month. “Filing electronically reduces errors, and we believe this will help provide a smoother application process for those seeking tax exemption,” said Tammy Ripperda, Commissioner of the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities division. “As we’ve seen with the 1023-EZ, we believe this change will help with application processing time and help with our wider efforts to improve our work with the tax-exempt community.” The IRS expects the electronic Form 1023 benefits to mirror those realized when Form 1023-EZ went online in 2014. IRS statistics show the 1023-EZ improved application processing time for both the Form 1023 and 1023-EZ while maintaining similar approval and rejection rates between the two forms. Beginning January 31, 2020, applications for recognition of exemption on Form 1023 must be submitted electronically online at www.pay.gov. The IRS will provide a 90-day grace period during which it will continue to accept paper versions of Form … Read More
Final Reminder for PTIN Renewal With the launch of filing season, the IRS Return Preparer Office has sent PTIN expiration letters to those return preparers who have not yet renewed their PTINs. Following is a copy of the letter: Dear Tax Professional, As of January 27, 2020, our records indicate that you have not renewed your IRS preparer tax identification number (PTIN) for 2020. Your PTIN expired on December 31, 2019. If you renewed your PTIN after January 27, 2020 or recently sent a paper renewal, you may disregard this letter. If you do not renew your PTIN, you can no longer prepare federal tax returns for compensation. If you intend to renew your PTIN for 2020, you can renew online or submit a paper application. Online Renewal You can renew online at www.irs.gov/ptin. Paper Renewal If you prefer, you can renew by paper using Form W-12, available at www.irs.gov, and checking the “renewal” box. It will take 4-6 weeks to process. You should not prepare returns until you receive notification that your PTIN renewal is complete. We monitor expired PTINs. If you continue to prepare returns, you may be subject to penalties or other actions imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. If you … Read More
NSTP, Tax Stakeholder Organizations Provide Recommendations to IRS on the Implementation of the Taxpayer First Act Washington, D.C. (January 30, 2020) – The NSTP has joined a group of stakeholder organizations to provide the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with recommendations as it prepares reports to Congress as mandated by the Taxpayer First Act. In the letter, the group notes that they are providing “collective input” as the IRS prepares these reports and “most importantly,” recommend the IRS establish a new Practitioner Services Division as an integral part of the organizational modernization. “The IRS…needs to adopt a visionary approach looking beyond immediate constraints to develop long-term goals…The IRS should provide flexibility in its design to ensure the agency will continue to evolve,” the group said. In their feedback, the tax practitioners highlighted key priorities in each of the three areas in which reports are being submitted to Congress. The letter outlines recommendations for providing taxpayers access to empowered IRS employees, timely information and tailored resources; placing greater emphasis on customer-focused employee training; and improving the technological and organizational infrastructure.
Ghost Tax Return Preparers With the start of the 2020 tax filing season near, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers to avoid unethical “ghost” tax return preparers. According to the IRS, a ghost preparer does not sign a tax return they prepare. Unscrupulous ghost preparers will print the return and tell the taxpayer to sign and mail it to the IRS. For e-filed returns, the ghost will prepare but refuse to digitally sign as the paid preparer. By law, anyone who is paid to prepare or assists in preparing federal tax returns must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on the return. Not signing a return is a red flag that the paid preparer may be looking to make a fast buck by promising a big refund or charging fees based on the size of the refund. Ghost tax return preparers may also: Require payment in cash only and not provide a receipt. Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits. Claim fake deductions to boost the size of the refund. Direct refunds into their bank account, not the taxpayer’s account. The IRS urges taxpayers to choose … Read More