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News & Press: Federal Tax News

IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS - Dec 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
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IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS

December 2018

Submitted by 
Brian Wozniak, IRS Stakeholder Liaison
C&L: SL: Area 6
Brian.Wozniak@irs.gov

 

►UPCOMING WEB CONFERENCES

December 13: Tax Reform Due Diligence Requirements

Check Webinars for Tax Practitioners for upcoming webinars.

►Recently added to the IRS Video Portal https://www.irsvideos.gov/

This webinar gives an overview of Tax Reform changes for Employers. Topics include changes to Employer Credit Family and Medical Leave, Employee Achievement Awards, Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits, and others.

 

This webinar addresses Tax Reform changes related to Individual Taxpayers. Topics include changes to standard deductions, personal exemptions, itemized deductions, child tax credit, and other changes.

 

►TAX REFORM - Individuals 

Get Ready for Taxes: Learn how the new tax law affects tax returns next year

  • The IRS is advising taxpayers about steps they can take now to ensure smooth processing of their 2018 tax return and avoid surprises when they file next year.
  • The IRS has recently updated a special page on its website with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Tax reform affects if and how taxpayers itemize their deductions

 

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the standard deduction. TCJA changed several itemized deductions that can be claimed on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.
  • This means that many individuals who formerly itemized may now find it more beneficial to take the standard deduction. Taxpayers may only do one or the other. They either take the standard deduction or claim itemized deductions.

Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents at a Glance

  • You may able to claim the Child Tax Credit if you have a qualifying child under the age of 17 and meet other qualifications. The maximum amount per qualifying child is $2,000. Up to $1,400 of the credit can be refundable for each qualifying child as the Additional Child Tax Credit. A refundable tax credit may give you a refund even if you don’t owe any tax.
  • Your qualifying child must have a Social Security Number issued by the Social Security Administration before the due date of your tax return (including extensions) to be claimed as a qualifying child for the Child Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.
  •  Credit for Other Dependents: Dependents who can’t be claimed for the Child Tax Credit may still qualify you for the Credit for Other Dependents. This is a non-refundable tax credit of up to $500 per qualifying person. The qualifying dependent must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.

 

►TAX REFORM - Business

CHECK THIS OUT!  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: A comparison for businesses

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed deductions, depreciation, expensing, tax credits and other tax items that affect businesses. This side-by-side comparison can help businesses understand the changes and plan accordingly.

After tax reform, many corporations will pay blended tax rate

  • Last year’s tax reform legislation replaced the graduated corporate tax structure with a flat 21 percent corporate tax rate. This new maximum tax rate for corporations is effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.
  • A corporation with a fiscal year that includes Jan. 1, 2018, will pay federal income tax using what is called a blended tax rate. They will not use the flat 21 percent tax rate for their entire fiscal year.

Some S corporations may want to convert to C corporations

  • After last year’s tax reform legislation, some S corporations may choose to revoke their      S-Corp election to be a C corporation because of the new, flat 21-percent C corporation tax rate. Before taking any action, S corporations should consult their tax advisors.

Here’s how tax reform changed accounting methods for small businesses

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts allows more small business taxpayers to use the cash method of accounting. Tax reform now defines a small business taxpayer as a taxpayer that has average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less for the three prior tax years and is not a tax shelter.

Here’s how tax reform affects farmers and ranchers

  • Many farmers and ranchers will benefit from tax law changes brought about by last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here are some of those changes along with details about how they will affect farmers and their bottom line.

Like-kind exchanges now limited to real property

  • The IRS reminds taxpayers that like-kind exchange tax treatment is now generally limited to exchanges of real property.
  •  Effective Jan. 1, 2018, exchanges of personal or intangible property such as machinery, equipment, vehicles, artwork, collectibles, patents, and other intellectual property generally do not qualify for nonrecognition of gain or loss as like-kind exchanges. However, certain exchanges of mutual ditch, reservoir or irrigation stock are still eligible.

 

EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS

WARNING!  IRS warns of “Tax Transcript” email scam; dangers to business networks

  • The IRS and Security Summit partners today warned the public of a surge of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware.
  •  The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because this malware can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove.

Employers should be aware of W-2 scam, protect employee information

  • Small businesses should be on-guard against a growing wave of identity theft and W-2 scams. Employers hold sensitive tax data on their employees – such as Form W-2 data – which is highly valued by identity thieves.
  • All employers are targets for the W-2 scam. This scheme has become one of the more dangerous email scams.

 

►OTHER NEWS

IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2019

  • The IRS announced the tax year 2019 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2018-57 provides details about these annual adjustments. The tax year 2019 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2020.

401(k) contribution limit increases to $19,000 for 2019; IRA limit increases to $6,000

  • The IRS announced the cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2018-83.

IRS Criminal Investigation Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report

  •  The IRS released the Criminal Investigation Division’s annual report, reflecting significant accomplishments and criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2018.
  • A major focus of CI in fiscal 2018 was traditional tax cases, including international tax enforcement, employment tax, refund fraud and tax-related identity theft. Other areas of emphasis included public corruption, cybercrime, terrorist financing and money laundering.

 

►THE BEST OF IRS.GOV

 

Let Us Help You

  •  Before you call, check out the topics people ask about most. We have high call volumes and encourage you to click on one of these hot topics for faster service.

o    Online Tools and Resources

o    Telephone and Local Assistance

 

 

IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS

National Tax Security Awareness Week 2018, December 3 - 7, 2018

  • The IRS, State Tax Agencies and the Tax Industry announced a National Tax Security Awareness Week, to encourage both individual and business taxpayers to take steps to protect their tax data and identities in advance of the 2019 filing season.

 

►YOUR PRACTICE

Business MeF Production Shutdown/Cutover Schedule

  • Shutdown for "Send Submissions" only is scheduled to begin at 11:59 a.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2018, to prepare the system for the upcoming 2019 Filing Season.
  • Transmitters can continue to use the other service requests except "Send Submissions" until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

 

IRS issues final regulations, expanding paid preparer due diligence requirement to head of household filers

  • The Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations expanding the long-standing paid preparer due diligence requirement to include individual income tax returns claiming the head of household filing status.
  • Paid preparers must submit Form 8867, Paid Preparer’s Earned Income Credit Checklist, with every tax return claiming any of the covered tax benefits. The form is designed as a checklist to help paid preparers meet the requirement by obtaining eligibility information from their clients.

 

TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS

Latest webcasts for charities and nonprofits

  •  Four new presentations are available for 501(c)(3) organizations. Additional charities and nonprofits topics are on IRSvideos.gov.

o    Charities and Nonprofits: A Quick Resource Guide

o    Did you lose your tax-exempt status? Why it happens and how to fix it

o    Easy Form 1023-EZ

o    File Error-Free Forms 990

 

Subscribe to Exempt Organization Update

 

►SUBSCRIPTIONS

 

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 Small Businesses

  • e-News for Small Businesses is a free electronic mail service designed to provide tax information for small business owners and self-employed individuals.
  •  Sign-up and you will receive information about:

o    Important upcoming tax dates for SB/SE customers

o    What's new for small businesses on the IRS website

o    Reminders and tips to assist small businesses/self-employed with tax compliance

o    IRS News Releases and special IRS announcements that pertain to SB/SE customers

o    Tax-related information from other federal agencies

  • When you subscribe, you will receive a confirmation message by e-mail. Remember, you must respond to this email in order to verify your subscription.

Subscribe to e-News for Payroll Professionals

 

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

Healthcare.gov

  •  2019 Open Enrollment is here – and ends Dec 15

more Calendar

3/18/2019
Clackamas Chapter Education: Timber Tax (2 hrs CE)

3/25/2019
Westside Chapter - Tax Roundtable

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