Drought-Affected Farmers and Ranchers Have Extra Time to Sell Livestock Drought can be devastating to farmers and ranchers. Those who were forced to sell livestock due to drought may get extra time to replace the livestock. They may also have more time to defer tax on any gains from the forced sales. Here are some facts to help farmers understand how the deferral works and if they are eligible. The one-year extension gives eligible farmers and ranchers until the end of the tax year after the first drought-free year to replace the sold livestock. The farmer or rancher must be in an applicable region. An applicable region is a county designated as eligible for federal assistance, as well as counties contiguous to that county. The farmer’s county, parish, city or district included in the applicable region must be listed as suffering exceptional, extreme or severe drought conditions by the National Drought Mitigation Center. All or part of 32 states, plus Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, are listed. The list of applicable regions is in Notice 2019-54 on IRS.gov. The relief applies to farmers who were affected by drought that … Read More
Enrolled Agent Renewal Application Period Started November 1 Enrolled Agent News- Annual Enrollment Renewal Application Period for EAs The renewal application period for enrolled agents (EAs) opened November 1, 2019 and will continue through January 31, 2020. EAs with Social Security Numbers (SSNs) ending in 4, 5 or 6 are required to renew their enrollment during this period or their EA status will expire on March 31, 2020. Background—EAs. Section 10.4(a) of Circular 230 authorizes the IRS to grant EA status to individuals who demonstrate special competence in tax matters by passing A written examination (Special Enrollment Examination) and A background check that shows they have not engaged in any conduct that would justify suspension or disbarment under Circular 230. EAs are eligible to practice before the IRS and are subject to the rules in Circular 230. Once an individual becomes eligible for EA status by passing the written exam and background check, the individual must file an application for enrollment with the IRS and pay a nonrefundable user fee. (31 CFR 10.5) To maintain active status and ability to practice before the IRS, every three years EAs must complete continuing education requirements, file an application to renew their enrollment and … Read More
Taxpayers Encouraged by IRS in New Campaign to be ready for Tax Filing Season Get Ready for Taxes: Get ready today to file 2019 federal income tax returns The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to act now to avoid a tax-time surprise and ensure smooth processing of their 2019 federal tax return. This is the first in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. To that end, a special page, newly updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines things taxpayers can do now to prepare for the 2020 tax season ahead. Adjust withholding; Make estimated or additional tax payments The IRS urges everyone to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to perform a paycheck or pension income checkup. This is even more important for those who received a smaller refund than expected or owed an unexpected tax bill last year. It’s also a good idea for anyone who had a key life event, such as getting married, getting divorced, having or adopting a child, retiring, buying a home or starting college. If the Tax Withholding Estimator recommends a change, an employee can then submit a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to … Read More
NSTP Federal Tax Update and Review Courses – Register Today! For the information you need this upcoming tax season, whether you are setting up appointments for 2019 tax planning or preparing for the 2020 tax filing season, the NSTP Federal Tax Update And Review Courses will get you ready. The sessions will include the information you need to help your clients prepare for filing their 2019 tax returns. And, as always, the Federal Tax Update and Review courses all include a networking lunch in your registration fee. Following is a sampling of the topics we will be covering: Educator expenses. For 2020, eligible elementary and secondary school teachers can claim an above-the line deduction for up to $250 per year of expenses paid for books and certain other supplies used in the classroom (same as for 2019). Interest exclusion for higher education. For 2020, the phase-out for excluding interest on U.S. savings bonds redeemed to pay qualified higher education expenses will begin at modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) above $82,350 ($123,550 on a joint return). For 2019, the corresponding figures were $81,100 and $121,600. Qualified transportation fringe benefits. For 2020, an employee will be able to exclude up to $270 (up from $265 … Read More
IRS 1040 E-File System Shutdown November 16 The IRS has announced that the 1040 e-file system will be taken off-line to perform annual system maintenance in preparation for the upcoming filing season. The last day in 2019 to e-file 2018 Federal and State Individual tax returns is Saturday, November 16, 2019. Check with your software company for the transmission deadline to process returns – the IRS cutoff time is 10:00 pm ET. It is strongly suggested that you submit your final transmissions at least one hour before the cutoff time. Taxpayers required to file during this shutdown period will have to file paper returns. The IRS has not yet released the shutdown schedule for business returns; however, an announcement with the dates and times is expected in early December. The date to start filing 2019 returns in January 2020 will be released by the IRS. When the system re-opens you will be able to electronically file 2019, 2018, and 2017 individual income tax returns. Any returns for 2016 and prior will need to be paper filed.
Tax Professionals Urged to Renew PTINS Now for 2020 by IRS Tax return preparers are urged to start the upcoming 2020 filing season smoothly by renewing their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers now. All current PTINs will expire December 31, 2019. “Last year we issued more than 813,000 PTIN’s and are asking tax preparers to renew now to avoid a last-minute rush,” said IRS Return Preparer Office Director Carol Campbell. “Having this essential element done now will make the transition to tax season much easier.” Anyone who prepares or helps prepare a federal tax return for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS before preparing returns, and they need to include the PTIN as the identifying number on any return filed with the IRS. Tax preparers with a 2019 PTIN should use the online renewal process, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. Form W-12, along with the instructions, provides a paper option for PTIN applications and renewals. However, it can take four to six weeks to process. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties. To renew a PTIN online: Start at IRS.gov/tax-professionals. Select the “Renew or Register” button. Enter the user ID and … Read More