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News & Press: Federal Tax News

IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS June 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020  
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Submitted by Brian Wozniak
IRS Stakeholder Liaison C&L: SL: Area 6
Brian.Wozniak@irs.gov

IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS

June 2020

►UPCOMING WEBINARS

June 4, 2020: 

·         The Office of Professional Responsibility: Circular 230 & Practicing Before the IRS

·         Two CE for Ethics.

·         Register here: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/34673

Please check Webinars for Tax Practitioners for updates.

SCAM ALERT

Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments

 

·         The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit IRS.gov. People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information.

 

►FILING AND PAYMENT DEADLINE

Schedule and electronically pay federal taxes due by July 15

·         Filing and paying federal taxes due July 15

·         Scheduling or rescheduling a payment

·         Need more time to file?

·         Estimated tax payments

 

►COVID-RELATED NEWS

BUSINESSES:

IRS provides guidance under the CARES Act to taxpayers with net operating losses

·         The IRS issued guidance providing tax relief under the CARES Act for taxpayers with net operating losses. Recently the IRS issued tax relief for partnerships filing amended returns.

Notice 2020-32

·         This notice provides guidance regarding the deductibility for Federal income tax purposes of certain otherwise deductible expenses incurred in a taxpayer’s trade or business when the taxpayer receives a loan pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program.

Notice 2020-35

·         Notice 2020-35 postpones deadlines for certain specified time-sensitive actions.

INDIVIDUALS:

IRS provides tax relief through increased flexibility for taxpayers in section 125 cafeteria plans

·         The IRS released guidance to allow temporary changes to section 125 cafeteria plans. These changes extend the claims period for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs and allow taxpayers to make mid-year changes.

IRS retools Settlement Days program in response to COVID-19 pandemic; allows unrepresented taxpayers to settle their cases virtually and reach finality

·         The IRS Office of Chief Counsel announced the Settlement Days program will continue remotely enabling unrepresented taxpayers to work towards resolving their pending United States Tax Court case despite "stay-at-home" orders in many jurisdictions.  The first two events are for docketed cases with place of trial in Detroit or Atlanta.  Future events may be scheduled in other cities throughout the United States.

FAQs for Individuals Claiming the Medical Condition Exception in 2020

·         The virus that causes COVID-19 has created a global outbreak during which some alien individuals, who are present in the United States, have fallen or may fall ill with COVID-19 or experience other medical conditions or medical problems. Some of these individuals may have intended to leave the United States but were unable to leave due to a medication condition or problem. These individuals may be eligible to claim the medical condition exception to exclude certain days of U.S. presence from the substantial presence test.

Treasury, IRS provide safe harbor for taxpayers that develop renewable energy projects

·         Because COVID-19 has caused industry-wide delays in the supply chain for components needed to complete renewable energy projects otherwise eligible for important tax credits the IRS has issued Notice 2020-41 to provide tax relief to affected taxpayers.

 

►ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

Economic Impact Payments: Partner and Promotional Materials

Recent News Releases

·         Why the Economic Impact Payment amount could be different than anticipated

·         Calculating the Economic Impact Payment

·         Economic Impact Payments being sent by prepaid debit cards, arrive in plain envelope

·         Economic Impact Payment FAQs updated on IRS.gov

·         IRS adds phone operators to answer Economic Impact Payment questions

·         IRS expands partner materials for Economic Impact Payments; continues sweeping effort to share details in multiple languages

·         Treasury, IRS release latest state-by-state Economic Impact Payment figures for May 22, 2020

EIP RESOURCES

·         Economic Impact Payment Information Center (EIP FAQs)

·         Get My Payment FAQs

TIP: When a question is added or updated, it will say “added May 6”, or “updated May 14”. Use Ctrl F to search for the words “added” or “updated”. This will help you find new or updated questions.

As we add new questions, sometimes an FAQ gets a new number. Use Ctrl F to find the FAQ using key words for that topic.

 

►IRS OPERATIONS AND SERVICES

IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue

This page is updated as IRS operations and services change. Please check back often.

Updated May 19, 2020:

·         Telephone Options: Automated phone lines which handle most taxpayer calls - also remain available. Some tax compliance lines also remain available and some IRS phone lines supported by customer service representatives for both taxpayers and tax professionals including the EIP phone line for those who received an EIP letter (Notice 1444) are open with limited staffing at this time, however callers should expect long waits. To check on regular tax refund status via automated phone, call 800-829-1954. (This line has no information on Economic Impact Payments.)

·         Practitioner Priority Service (PPS): The Practitioner Priority Service line is open with limited service due to continued staffing limitations. The IRS is unable to process Centralized Authorization File (CAF) requests at this time.

·         Taxpayers who mail correspondence to the IRS during this period should expect to wait longer than usual for a response. Once normal operations resume it will take the IRS time to work through any correspondence backlog.

 

►FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)

New credits fund employers for Coronavirus-related paid leave

·         The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides tax credits to reimburse employers for the costs of providing paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave to employees unable to work because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These credits are refundable. That means if the amount of the credit exceeds the amount of tax owed, the remainder is refunded to the business or organization.

 

►EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

New Employee Retention Credit helps employers keep employees on payroll

·         Eligible employers can claim this credit for wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.

 

►YOUR PRACTICE

IRS announces Form 1040-X electronic filing options coming this summer; major milestone reached for electronic returns

·         The IRS announced that later this summer taxpayers will for the first time be able to file their Form 1040-X, Amended Individual Income Tax Return, electronically using available tax software products.

·         Making the 1040-X an electronically filed form has been a goal of the IRS for a number of years. It's also been an ongoing request from the nation's tax professional community.

·         When the electronic filing option becomes available, only tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns can be amended electronically. In general, taxpayers will still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form. Additional enhancements are planned for the future.

IRS Nationwide Tax Forums go virtual in 2020

·         The 2020 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums will be held virtually in 2020 with a series of live-streamed webinars beginning this July.

·         The 2020 Nationwide Tax Forums will begin on July 21 and continue through Aug. 20 with live-streamed webinars broadcast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Registration enables attendees to participate in all of the live webinars and earn up to 30 Continuing Education Credits at one price.

·         Tax professionals who register by June 15 at 5 p.m. ET qualify for an Early Bird rate of $240 per person. The standard rate, starting June 16, will be $289.

 

►TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS 

 

Treasury, IRS issue final regulations providing relief for certain tax-exempt organizations

·         The final regulations help tax-exempt organizations generally find the reporting requirements in one place.

 

►TCJA (Remember that?)

 

IRS provides guidance on income tax withholding on certain periodic retirement and annuity payments

·         Per Notice 2020-03: For 2020 the default rate of withholding on periodic payments will continue to be based on treating the taxpayer as a married individual claiming three withholding allowances when no withholding certificate is in effect.

IRS provides guidance on the deductibility and reporting of certain amounts paid to, or at the direction of, governments

·         TCJA disallows a deduction for the payment of fines, penalties, and certain other amounts. The proposed regulations describe how taxpayers may meet these requirements and define key terms and phrases such as restitution, remediation, and paid to come into compliance with a law.

IRS provides guidance for estates and trusts for itemizing deductions

·         TCJA prohibits individual taxpayers from claiming miscellaneous itemized deductions for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

·         The IRS issued proposed regulations that provide guidance for estates and trusts clarifying that certain deductions of estates and non-grantor trusts are not miscellaneous itemized deductions.

 

►e-NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA

 

e-News Subscriptions

·         The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Click above for information about subscribing.

IRS Social Media

·         The IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, products and services. Connect with the IRS through social media tools.

 

►HOW TO SHARE IRS INFO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

When you find an article you want to share, click on the “Share” link. Like so:

  • Scroll to the bottom of any page on IRS.gov. Look for “Share / Print”
  • Click on Share
  • You can share on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. 

 


more Calendar

7/1/2020 » 10/8/2020
ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Ethics (2 hrs CE)

9/8/2020 » 12/31/2020
ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Rendezvous 2020: "All Tax Things COVID" (12 hrs CE)

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