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News & Press: Federal Tax News

IRS News for Tax Professionals - July 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018  
Posted by: Linda Keast
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IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS - July 2018

Submitted by Brian Wozniak, IRS Stakeholder Liaison

 

►TAX REFORM

Tax reform allows people with disabilities to put more money into ABLE accounts, expands eligibility for Saver’s Credit

  • People with disabilities can now put more money into their tax-favored Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts and may, for the first time, qualify for the Saver’s Credit for low- and moderate-income workers.

 

►OTHER NEWS

Do's and Don’ts for Taxpayers Who Get a Letter from the IRS

  • Every year the IRS mails millions of letters to taxpayers for many reasons. Here are some tips and suggestions for taxpayers who receive one:
    • Don’t ignore it.
    • Don’t panic.
    • Do take timely action.
    • Do review the information.
    • Don’t reply unless instructed to do so.
    • Do respond to a disputed notice.
    • Do remember that there is usually no need to call the IRS.
    • Do avoid scams.

What taxpayers should know about tax return copies and transcripts

  • The IRS recommends that taxpayers keep a copy of tax returns for at least three years. Doing so can help taxpayers prepare future tax returns or even assist with amending a prior year’s return. If a taxpayer is unable to locate copies of previous year tax returns, they should check with their software provider or tax preparer first.
  • Even though taxpayers may have a copy of their tax return, some taxpayers need a transcript. These are often necessary for a mortgage or college financial aid application.

Charities can visit IRS.gov for tools and resources about taxes

  • Charitable organizations and other tax-exempt groups can visit IRS.gov for resources that will help them meet their tax obligations.

Disaster Resources:

  • After a disaster strikes:

The Disaster Assistance Self-Study provides the basic information needed to assist taxpayers in a disaster. It provides the volunteer practitioner disaster representative member with information on distributing Disaster Kits, computing gains/losses as the result of a disaster, information about administrative tax relief and information about the psychological effects of a disaster on its victims.

More than 2 million ITINs to expire this year; Renew soon to avoid refund delays

  • Taxpayers whose ITIN is expiring and who need to file a tax return in 2019 must submit a renewal application. Others do not need to take any action.
  • ITINs with the middle digits 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81 or 82 (For example: 9NN-73-NNNN) need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years.
  • ITINs with middle digits of 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80 have previously expired. Taxpayers with these ITINs can still renew at any time.

 

IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS

If / Then Scenarios for Taxpayers Who Get Phished

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or text messages to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar information for credit cards, banks and other financial accounts.
  • This is important for everyone to remember because thieves often pose as the IRS to get taxpayers to turn over personal information in a scam called phishing. Phishing is typically carried out through unsolicited emails or websites.

 

►YOUR PRACTICE

Tax Security 101 – IRS, Security Summit partners launch new awareness campaign; Urge tax professionals to step up protections for client data

  • The IRS and its Security Summit partners kicked off a summertime security awareness campaign for tax professionals with a new, expanded guide providing critical steps to protect client data and highlighting available resources.
  • The new effort by the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation's private-sector tax industry follows continued security threats to tax and financial data held by tax professionals. Data thefts at tax practitioners’ offices continue to rise and result in fraudulent tax returns that can be especially difficult for the IRS and states to detect.

 

EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:

 

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

From the SBA in ND: Profiting from Tax Compliance

  • Small businesses spend more than 5.5 billion hours fulfilling their income tax obligations.
  • You have spent your hard-earned dollars and time assembling the paperwork and filing out the forms. What are you doing with the information? Do you stick it in a file drawer and hope that you do not have to pull it out in response to an audit a few years into the future? Or do you use the information it contains to increase the efficiency and profitability of your business?

 

►IN EVERY ISSUE

 

Tools for Tax Professionals

Preparers can register to get this electronic newsletter. It’s one of the best ways for tax professionals to get the latest national and local IRS news. (Editor’s note: most of the articles in this monthly newsletter come from e-News for Tax Professionals.)

Want to see if the letter your client got is really from the IRS? Many (but not all) IRS letters and notices listed here.

Hours? Who can use it? What are the menu options?

             If you're an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to view:

    • Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
    • The balance for each tax year for which you owe
    • Up to 18 months of your payment history
    • Key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.

             How to get information? How to file? How to get the refund? Form 1310, 56 and 2848.

             So. Many. Things.

We send out emails each time there’s a new tax scam. It gets confusing to remember all of them. You don’t have to! This page lists ALL scams targeting taxpayers, tax professionals and others

Loads of info here, including:

 

Federal Trade Commission:


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