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News & Press: Federal Tax News


Wednesday, October 31, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Linda Keast
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November 2018

Submitted by Brian Wozniak, IRS Stakeholder Liaison
C&L: SL: Area 6



November 14:  Practicing Before the IRS - Circular 230 A to Z Rebroadcast

Racing Towards Year End: Employment Tax Updates & Reminders

Join the IRS and the Social Security Administration representatives for a webinar on employment tax updates and reminders. These tips will help save money by avoiding errors when doing year-end employment taxes.

November 6:

December 4:

Please check Webinars for Tax Practitioners for upcoming webinars.



IRS resources can help small businesses better understand how tax reform affects their bottom line

Small business owners can visit for a wide range of resources that will help them better understand tax reform. Last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes tax law changes that may affect small businesses’ bottom line.

The Highlights of Tax Reform for Businesses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a few dozen tax law changes that affect businesses. Most of the changes in the new law take effect in 2018 and will affect tax returns filed in 2019.

This fact sheet summarizes some of the changes for businesses and gives resources to help business owners find more details.

 Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Businesses


Tax Reform Resources

Get free materials you can use to share with your customers, employees, volunteers, etc. about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Please feel free to use these items for your websites, in electronic products, publications, etc. as needed. More items will be added as they become available.


Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 199A - Qualified Business Income Deduction FAQs

Here are answers to some basic questions about the new 20-percent deduction for pass-through businesses. Also known as the section 199A deduction or the deduction for qualified business income, the deduction was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


IRS issues guidance on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes on business expense deductions for meals, entertainment

The IRS issued guidance on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following law changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The 2017 TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation.

Taxpayers may continue to deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer (or an employee of the taxpayer) is present and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. The meals may be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant or similar business contact.

Food and beverages that are provided during entertainment events will not be considered entertainment if purchased separately from the event.


New 100-percent depreciation deduction benefits business taxpayers

Tax reform legislation passed in December 2017 includes changes that affect businesses. One of these changes allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they place them in service.


Tax reform brings changes to real estate rehabilitation tax credit

The rehabilitation tax credit offers an incentive for owners to renovate and restore old or historic buildings. Tax reform legislation passed in December 2017 changed when the credit is claimed and provides a transition rule.




Election Workers: Reporting and Withholding

 Each election year, state and local government entities hire temporary workers to conduct primary and general elections. Election workers are subject to unique reporting and withholding requirements and may be covered by a Section 218 Agreement.

Video: Payroll Reporting for Election Workers


Low-income housing units nationwide may be offered to displaced victims of Hurricanes Michael and Florence, other recent disasters

The IRS has provided temporary relief from certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code to allow owners and operators of low-income housing projects located anywhere in the United States and its territories to provide temporary emergency housing to individuals who are displaced by a major disaster from their principal residences, regardless of income.


Disaster Resources:

 Disaster Relief Resource Center for Tax Professionals

Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

Lien Resources:

 Understanding a Federal Tax Lien

 What if there is a federal tax lien on my home?

Videos about Liens on the IRS Video Portal


New on

Notice 931, Deposit Requirements for Employment Taxes



IRS Impersonator Scam Leader Sentenced to 135 Months in Prison After Stealing Millions of Dollars; Co-Conspirators Also Imprisoned

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and the Social Security Administration announced today the sentencing of five defendants involved in an IRS impersonation scheme that netted millions of dollars from unsuspecting victims.




Annual Filing Season Program

The Annual Filing Season Program aims to recognize the efforts of non-credentialed return preparers who aspire to a higher level of professionalism.

Those who choose to participate can meet the requirements by obtaining 18 hours of continuing education, including a six hour federal tax law refresher course with test.


2019 PTIN renewal period underway for tax professionals

The IRS reminds the nation’s more than 768,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2019. All current PTINs will expire Dec. 31, 2018.

Anyone who prepares or helps prepare any federal tax return, or claim for refund, for compensation must have a valid PTIN from the IRS. The PTIN must be used as the identifying number on returns prepared. Failure to have and use a valid PTIN may result in penalties.

“We ask that you renew your PTIN as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute rush,” said Carol A. Campbell, director, IRS Return Preparer Office. “It’s easy to let this slip as the holiday season approaches.”


Seminars from the 2018 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums available online now

Tax professionals can earn continuing education credits beginning today with the 2018 launch of the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online (NTFO).

Fourteen new self-study seminars, recorded at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums last summer, are now available. The seminars instruct participants with interactive video, PowerPoint slides and transcripts.

For a fee, CPAs, Enrolled Agents and Annual Filing Season Program participants can earn continuing education credits. To earn credit, users must create an account, answer review questions throughout the seminar and pass a short test at the end of each seminar.

The seminars can also be audited cost-free. Individuals who audit a seminar will not have access to the review questions or final examination and will not receive continuing education credit.


Tax preparers should look out for these signs that a criminal stole information


·         Tax professionals should be alert to the subtle signs of data theft. The IRS and its Security Summit partners note that there are many cases where preparers are victims of theft and don’t even know it.


·         Cybercriminals often leave very few signs of their intrusion. A tax preparer might not even realize that the cybercriminal stole client data until a fraudulent tax return was filed with the information, and their client becomes an ID theft victim. This is one more reason tax professionals should use strong security protections to prevent data theft from occurring.


After a data theft, preparers should take these steps

Tax preparers who experience a data theft should report it immediately and should also follow an established process to protect their clients. If notified timely, the IRS can help stop fraudulent tax returns from being filed in taxpayers’ names.

When a tax professional experiences a data compromise, there are certain basic steps they should take. They should take these steps whether the compromise is caused by cybercriminals, theft or accident.




Treasury, IRS issue proposed regulations on new Opportunity Zone tax incentive

The Treasury Department and the IRS issued proposed regulations and other published guidance for the new Opportunity Zone tax incentive.

Opportunity Zones, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, were designed to spur investment in distressed communities throughout the country through tax benefits. Under a nomination process completed in June,  8,761 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories were designated as qualified Opportunity Zones. Opportunity Zones retain their designation for 10 years. Investors may defer tax on almost any capital gain up to Dec. 31, 2026 by making an appropriate investment in a zone, making an election after December 21, 2017, and meeting other requirements.


Reduced 24-percent withholding rate applies to small businesses and other payers; Revised backup withholding publication features helpful FAQs

The IRS urges small businesses and other payers to check out the agency’s newly-revised backup withholding publication, now available on

 Publication 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing and Incorrect Name/TIN(s) has been updated to reflect a key change made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As a result of this change, effective Jan. 1, 2018, the backup withholding tax rate dropped from 28 percent to 24 percent.

In general, backup withholding applies in various situations including, but not limited to, when a taxpayer fails to supply their correct taxpayer identification number (TIN) to a payer.

Backup withholding also applies, following notification by the IRS, where a taxpayer underreported interest or dividend income on their federal income tax return.




Revoked? Reinstated? Learn More

Most tax-exempt organizations other than churches and certain church-related organizations are required to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS.

Organizations that do not file for three consecutive years automatically lose their tax-exempt status




Forms, Instructions & Publications

 List all current forms and instructions

 Browse by topic (IRS Tax Map)

Other Options

Accessible versions for people with disabilities

 Read eBooks

 Find prior years forms, instructions & publications

Read publications online in a browser-friendly format





Subscribe to e-News 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.)

Subscribe to e-News for Payroll Professionals




From the SBA: Introduction to Human Resources

 Human resource management plays a critical role for small businesses, so as a small business owner it is important that you understand the main human resource management issues. This course will provide an overview of human resource management for entrepreneurs. It describes the important principles and processes used in human resource management.


more Calendar

Mid-Columbia Chapter Roundtable: Social Security Income, Retirement Planning, OR Revenue Online

Jackson Co. Chapter Education: Military Pay Issues After TCJA (2 hrs CE)

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