TIGTA Releases Spring Semiannual Report

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

TIGTA Releases Spring Semiannual Report

TIGTA releases spring semiannual report “January 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of TIGTA’s establishment as an independent organization. In July of 1998, Congress approved and the President signed into law the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. In January 1999, TIGTA became operational as a newly formed Office of Inspector General, and for 20 years now it has faithfully served the American people by providing fair, effective, and efficient oversight of the IRS and the Nation’s tax administration system. I am confident that TIGTA will continue to successfully carry out its mission in 2019 and beyond.” J. Russell George, Inspector General On June 3, 2019, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its spring semiannual report to Congress. The report, covering the period of October 2018, through March 2019, has identified challenges faced by the IRS between October and March and focused their audits in those areas. These management and performance challenges fell into these categories: Security over taxpayer data and protection of IRS resources; Implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other tax law changes; Identity theft and impersonation fraud; Improving tax reporting and payment compliance; And achieving program efficiencies and cost savings. TIGTA's Spring … Read More

Divorce and Separation Information Request Added to Form 1040

NSTPForm 1040, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Divorce and Separation Information Request Added to Form 1040

The Internal Revenue Service plans to add a question regarding divorce and separation information to Schedule 1 of the Form 1040 next year asking taxpayers who claim a deduction for paying alimony to provide the date of their divorce or separation agreement, according to a new report. The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, is mainly devoted to assessing the IRS’s overall implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It includes a single recommendation, suggesting the IRS revise Schedule 1 of the 1040 to obtain additional information regarding divorce or separation agreements for tax year 2019 and later. IRS management agreed with TIGTA’s recommendation and plans to program and use filters to select tax returns for audit to determine if taxpayers are eligible for the deduction for alimony payments, and to revise Form 1040, Schedule 1 to request the date of divorce or separation agreements. The 2017 tax overhaul eliminated or sharply limited various traditional tax deductions, including the alimony deduction. Only taxpayers who make payments under divorce or separation agreements entered into prior to January 1, 2019, can continue to claim a deduction for payments made, and individuals who receive alimony pursuant to these agreements … Read More

IRS Annual List of Most Prevalent Tax Scams

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Scams

IRS Kicks Off Annual List of Most Prevalent Tax Scams

Kicking off the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of the most prevalent tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers of the ongoing threat of internet phishing scams that lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. The IRS warns taxpayers, businesses and tax professionals to be alert for a continuing surge of fake emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts to steal personal information. These attacks tend to increase during tax season and remain a major danger of identity theft. To help protect taxpayers against these and other threats, the IRS highlights one scam on 12 consecutive week days to help raise awareness. Phishing schemes are the first of the 2019 “Dirty Dozen” most prevalent tax scams. “Taxpayers should be on constant guard for these phishing schemes, which can be tricky and cleverly disguised to look like it’s the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Watch out for emails and other scams posing as the IRS, promising a big refund or personally threatening people. Don’t open attachments and click on links in emails. Don’t fall victim to phishing or other common scams.” The IRS also urges taxpayers to learn how to protect themselves by reviewing safety tips prepared by … Read More

PRIVATE TAX BILL COLLECTORS ALREADY BREAKING RULES SAYS TIGTA

NSTPTreasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

There has been general concern that there would be challenges with the third attempt at utilizing private collection agencies (PCAs), however, it was not suspected it would happen so soon. “It” is apparent disregard by some private debt collectors of the rules established in connection with the collection agencies’ latest congressionally mandated foray into federal tax collection. Private collection agencies are approving installment agreements with delinquent taxpayers beyond what the law provides, according to J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Payment plan limits: There is a statutory limit as to how long an Internal Revenue Service installment loan is available, George told Representatives at a May 23 hearing of the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, “and we are finding initially that these debt collectors are not abiding by that.” IGeorge did not provide any additional details to the House panel. But the mere fact that the federal office charged with oversight of the IRS already has concerns about the private tax collectors is seen as, well, concerning. Spotty PCA tax collection history: While George did not offer any details on just how private collection agencies, or PCAs as they typically are referred to … Read More

TIGTA FINDS THAT IRS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED TIME CLOSING IDENTITY THEFT CASES

NSTPIdentity Theft, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

In a June 8 release from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), TIGTA announced that the IRS significantly reduced the time frames to close taxpayer identity theft cases by centralizing victim assistance into a single organizational directorate and by improving its processes and procedures. TIGTA’s report on their review of 51,749 taxpayer-initiated identity theft refund cases closed by the Identity Theft Victim Assistance (IDTVA) Directorate between August 1, 2015, and May 25, 2016, indicated that cases were closed in an average of 166 days. This finding indicated that cases closed 112 days sooner than the 278 days reported in TIGTA’s previous review in March 2015 (a 40 percent improvement in timeliness closing cases). Not only did timeliness improve because of clearer lines of responsibility in the IDTVA and improved processing guidance, but IRS also reduced the number of identity theft resolution errors (victims receiving incorrect refund amounts) by seven percent. TIGTA noted these findings, but made one recommendation that IDTVA managers should be more consistent when conducting required monthly reviews of employees’ identity theft casework.