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That’s the title of a paper co-authored by NAEA’s very own outside counsel, Jeff Trinca. Jeff and his co-authors, Jason Fichtner of the Bipartisan Policy Center and Bill Gale of the Tax Policy Center, explore how to make tax administration more efficient and equitable in a time of shrinking resources. The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Tax Foundation, and Prosperity Now will host a conference on March 8 on the topic here in Washington, D.C. Don’t fret if you can’t make it in person, it will be webcast!
| || LEGISLATIVE & TAX ADMINISTRATION NEWS|
All Aboard…The Train Is Leaving the Station
The House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to markup a tax bill next week. The two main components of the legislation are the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (the bipartisan, bicameral IRS reform bill negotiated at the end of last Congress and reintroduced yesterday) and a bill to boost retirement savings. Participants from last year’s Congressional Fly-In will be pleased to know the Taxpayer First Act includes the e-signatures provision that you advocated for in your meetings on Capitol Hill (Sec. 2302).
The bill includes a number of other reforms NAEA outlined in its IRS Reform White Paper, such as providing comprehensive training services to IRS personnel, authorizing IRS to work with financial institutions to recover misdirected refunds, and clarification of innocent spouse relief. Assuming the tax package remains non-controversial and the markup is successful, the House could consider and pass the legislation by April 15, just in time for the end of filing season.
Legislation to extend expired provisions will not be included in the markup next week. Issues related to EITC expansion and TCJA technical corrections need to be resolved. Chairman Neal (D-MA) has indicated these provisions could be combined with extenders in a bill for consideration later in April.
What is clear: Congress will not pass legislation to extend any expiring provisions before the end of filing season. What is less clear: whether retroactive extenders will be passed, when, what provisions will be included, and what that means for TY18 returns.
Advising and Consenting
The Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Courtney Dunbar Jones to the U.S. Tax Court on Tuesday, March 26.
Meanwhile at IRS….
Staffing shortages have become so dire that the office tasked with fixing IRS staffing issues has had to abandon much of its plan because of personnel problems, according to a GAO Report released this week. Btw, enforcement saw the largest staffing decline (a 27 percent reduction).
Efforts to Improve Security Continue
As of May 13, only a “responsible party” who has a social security number or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The purpose of the change is to enhance security by prohibiting entities from using their own EINs to obtain additional EINs.
What About Refunds?
According to the most recent filing season statistics, the percentage of filers receiving refunds this year is about the same as last year and the average refund has decreased by only $10. However, payment processing is down 3 percent from the same time in 2018.
Internal Revenue Bulletin
The latest Internal Revenue Bulletin was published on Monday.
Plan Your Purchases Accordingly
General Motors has sold 200,000 electric plug-in cars which has triggered the phase-out of the tax credit for purchases of new GM electric cars starting on April 1, 2019.
Expanded Penalty Relief
IRS has expanded penalty relief to taxpayers who paid at least 80 percent (rather than 85 percent) of their total liability through withholding or estimated tax payments.
Practice Unit on Competent Authority
The Large Business and International Unit has released a new practice unit regarding foreign-initiated adjustments. Reminder – these practice units are not considered reliable authority.
An additional twenty counties have been added to those areas qualifying for state tax filing extensions due to the recent flooding. Additionally, IRS announced it would provide federal tax filing relief for individuals who reside in or have a business in the following five counties: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury.
Kentucky has updated its tax laws to conform to the Internal Revenue Code through December 31, 2018.
The latest tax newsletter for tax professionals from the Department of Revenue was released on Wednesday and includes an announcement for their new industry webpage.
| || EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK|
Sometimes You Need an Expert
Consumer Reports researched four popular online tax preparation services (H&R Block Deluxe, TaxAct Online Deluxe+, TaxSlayer Premium, and TurboTax Deluxe) and found at least one glitch in each, two of which could cost taxpayers. As a result, Consumer Reports decided not to recommend any without reservation.
And Sometimes You Really Need an Expert
Stephen Moore, President Trump’s recent pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve owes $75,000 in unpaid taxes, according to the IRS. A lien was entered on January 29, 2019 but Moore disputes the claim.
For Policy Wonks
The Joint Committee on Taxation issued its analysis of the distributional effects of the TCJA for the Wednesday Ways and Means Committee hearing on the same.
Best Laid Plans
The first all-female spacewalk was scratched this week because of a wardrobe malfunction.
IRS Tax Forums Early Registration Promo Code Available
Join your colleagues for three days of informative education sessions, training, and networking featuring a full agenda of the latest tax law information, networking opportunities, and exhibits of the latest products and services for your business needs. The Partner Association Members code is ONLY VALID FOR EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION. Early Bird Registration is from 3/1/19 – 6/15/19. Contact NAEA to request your discount code.
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
| || |
NAEA E@lert | Volume 1: Issue 20
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