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| || LEGISLATIVE & TAX ADMINISTRATION NEWS|
Houston, We Have a Problem. The IRS reform bill, the Taxpayer First Act of 2019, has stalled in the Senate after a
ProPublica story yesterday alleged Intuit and H&R Block purposefully misdirected taxpayers who qualified for “Free File” programs away from the free versions of their software. These new allegations fanned the flames against a provision in the bill which, according to another
ProPublica article, would prevent the IRS from developing its own Free File program. Democrat objections to this provision almost derailed the bill in the House and it now appears the newest article has likely derailed the bill in the Senate, at least temporarily. The latest news has also prompted New York Governor Cuomo to launch a
state investigation into the tactics used by Intuit and H&R Block.
Looking Ahead. Ways and Means Chairman Neal
announced the panel will hold a hearing Thursday, May 9 on the tax gap and taxpayer noncompliance. Expect questions regarding IRS audit rates of both high and low income taxpayers.
Next Week is Small Business Week. As both small business owners and tax professionals who may also represent small businesses, the
new materials released by the IRS might have a little something for everyone.
Money, money, money. Applications for IRS
matching grants for Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics are now being accepted. The deadline for qualifying organizations to apply for up to $100,000 in annual matching grants to develop, expand or maintain an LITC is June 17, 2019.
Casting Call. It is your time to shine on the IRS Advisory Committee.
Apply now to join the illustrious ranks of fellow NAEA and IRSAC representatives. The deadline is June 10. If you are more technologically inclined, IRS is also seeking volunteers for the
Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). ETAAC applications are due by May 29.
Stay on Target. A
TIGTA audit report released last week indicates the Small Business/Self Employed Division’s criteria for selecting returns to audit should be improved. According to the TIGTA audit, those returns that were scored high for potential tax non-compliance did not result in larger net tax assessments than those returns with lower scores. SB/SE disagrees (see page 51).
Expanded Retirement Plan Determination Letter Program. The IRS will now issue determination letters to requesting plan sponsors on statutory hybrid plans and plan mergers.
Collection Activity in Case of Divorce/Separation. An Interim Guidance Memo instruct employees on what types of collection activity information can, and cannot, be disclosed after a couple divorces, separates or no longer reside in the same household. IRS states this guidance supersedes current IRM 126.96.36.199.1 instructions.
In Delaware, the Division of Revenue issued an
alert focused on a new taxpayer scam, in the form of a letter that threatens property seizure or wage garnishment unless they call a toll-free number, designed to trick taxpayers into believing they have received official correspondence from the Division.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has declared a
state of disaster for nine counties due to severe weather that began on April 12, 2019. Extensions on filing and payment are available on request only and granted in 30-day increments.
| || EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK|
Mint Juleps with a Side of Tax? Tax, a 3-year-old dark bay gelding will start from the second position at Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Perhaps the julips are deductible after all?
Taxpayers with Attitude. IRS released the executive report for the
2018 Comprehensive Taxpayer Attitude Survey (CTAS) last week. It is a treasure trove of interesting data points, e.g. slightly more taxpayers favored increased IRS enforcement over improved customer service in 2018 but a majority of taxpayers support increasing IRS funding for both enforcement and customer service.
Brave New World. A new
joint venture would allow taxpayers to convert their federal and/or state tax refund into bitcoin. Why do we feel so old-fashioned for carrying cash?
Eavesdropping. It’s not actually eavesdropping, but seeing what the
IRS is saying to Congress provides an interesting perspective for those of us on the “outside.”
Better Late than Never. A recent IRS news release provides
advice to taxpayers who failed to file by the April filing deadline and provides details on what happens to those who wait to file. EAs know this already, yet the link may be useful to provide to clients.
Food for Thought. Here’s a list of
eight core values to live by—not necessarily your eight, but interesting because of the focus on self-knowledge.
| || |
NAEA E@lert | Volume 1: Issue 25
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