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Julie Dale, CPA
Julie Dale, CPA, chair, Federal Tax Policy Communications Subcommittee
Recent Activity
After Aug. 15, 2017, will be the required payment method for certain types of ruling fees. These rulings include private letter rulings, closing agreements and rulings using: Form 1128 Application to Adopt, Change or Retain a Tax Year, Form 2553 Election by a Small Business Corporation, Form 3115 Application for Change of Accounting Method, or Form 8716 Election to Have a Tax Year Other than a Required Tax Year. Determination letters are not affected since they are addressed to a different division. Below is a link to the payment form listing information needed to process payment and a second... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
By Federal Tax Policy Committee Last month, Jim Smith, CPA-Dallas, TSCPA Chairman Jim Oliver, CPA-San Antonio, and TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Committee Chair Christi Mondrik, JD, CPA-Austin, met with Rostylslav Shiller and Michael Baillif with the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues raised in recent TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Committee letters to the IRS. Focus was primarily on IRS appeals and the “Future State” initiative. The committee members expressed to Shiller and Baillif that the committee shares National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson’s concerns regarding IRS funding, the funding of the Taxpayer Advocate’s Office and the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
IRS Notice CP148 came about as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. Beginning in 2015, address changes made on the Business Master File (BMF) entity with open employment tax filing requirements generates two notices to the taxpayer confirming the change: CP148A is mailed to the taxpayer's new address, and CP148B is mailed to the taxpayer's previous address. Any change to the taxpayer’s address will generate the notices including minor changes such as changing “suite” to “ste.” If the address change is correct, no follow-up action is necessary. If it is not correct, the taxpayer should return the notice... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
On June 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the IRS’ authority to require the use of a preparer tax identification number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. The court decided that after the Loving decision took away the IRS’ authority to set criteria for becoming a registered return preparer, there was no longer any rationale for charging a fee because anyone could get a PTIN and obtaining one did not provide a “service or thing of value” for which the IRS could charge... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The Texas Society of CPAs’ Federal Tax Policy Committee issued a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen regarding preliminary proposed rules for the centralized partnership audit regime (REG 136118-15). As the IRS moves toward reintroducing proposed rules, the committee encourages the IRS to make necessary modifications to reduce the administrative burdens on both the IRS and taxpayers and to balance consistency with flexibility. Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The Texas Society of CPAs’ Federal Tax Policy and Relations with IRS Committees provided feedback on preliminary notices related to the IRS’ “future state” plans and requested again that the Treasury Department and the IRS expose those plans for general public and practitioner review and comments. As the IRS moves toward increased use of technology to serve taxpayers, stakeholders should have an opportunity to assist with identifying situations where technology will both benefit taxpayers and make IRS operations more efficient. Doing so would help ensure resources are applied to tools taxpayers and practitioners are likely to use to improve tax... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
Today, the Texas Society of CPAs issued letters to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz in strong support of S. 540, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act. This legislation would enhance compliance with state personal income tax and ease the onerous burdens placed on employees who travel outside of their resident states for temporary periods and on employers who have corresponding withholding and reporting requirements. TSCPA and other state CPA societies hope to garner enough support for both the Senate and House version (H.R. 1393) to pass this year. Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
Effective last month, the IRS once again will refer certain federal tax debt to private collectors. Congress enacted this legislation in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act). The IRS will send letters to affected taxpayers that their accounts have been assigned to one of the four authorized agencies. Refer to IRS Publication 4518, What You Can Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency, for what the agencies can and cannot do. Practitioners should be aware that the IRS anticipates more email and phone tax scams as a result of this program.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
By Kenneth M. Horwitz, JD, CPA-Dallas; Christina A. Mondrik, JD, CPA-Austin; and William R. Stromsem, JD, CPA IRC section 7345, enacted in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST), provides for revocation of passports or denial of passport applications or renewals for taxpayers who are certified by Treasury to the U.S. State Department to owe more than $50,000 in “seriously delinquent” federal tax debt. The Treasury Department plans to implement the provision this year without requesting public comments. Representing CPAs in a border state, TSCPA’s Federal Tax Policy (FTP) Committee felt compelled to submit two comment letters to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
Guide to Bond Premium & Market Discount Get the entire article (.PDF) By Corey Junk, Carol Warley, and Stefan Gottschalk, RSM US LLP March 2017 For Publication (by RSM US LLP and on the Federal Tax Policy Blog of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants) Introduction: Market Purchases of Bonds, Adjustments to Taxable Income, and Forms 1099. For taxpayers who purchase bonds or other debt instruments (“Bonds”), the Tax Code1 may require adjustments to ordinary interest income. This guide addresses two types of adjustments – bond premium and market discount. Where they apply, the bond premium and market discount... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
In an effort to improve compliance, the Large Business and International Division (LB&I) has announced 13 initiatives where they will focus resources and training. 1. Energy Credits – to verify that the credits are only claimed for energy projects approved by the Department of Energy on which the IRS has approved the allocation of the credit; 2. OVDP Declines-Withdrawals – to identify taxpayers who have misapplied the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) because they either were denied access to the program or withdrew from the program; 3. Domestic Production Activities Deduction – a review of multi-channel video programming distributors and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
By Julie Dale, CPA-Austin As CPAs wishing to assist our clients in the most efficient manner, we often are thwarted with issues in responding to IRS correspondence. One such hurdle is with delays in the IRS’ processing of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. The IRS must have a valid Form 2848 on file for us to obtain the data on our client’s account to resolve a tax notice. The IRS recommends that we fax the Form 2848 to 855-214-7522 (for Texas residents) to expedite processing rather than mailing it. However, even fax is proving to be... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The new president has issued numerous executive orders during the first weeks of his term. Although these directives commonly occur when the administration changes party affiliation, tax professionals are left wondering if or how they should react. The White House issued a memorandum on Jan. 20, 2017, temporarily freezing new or pending regulations that have not yet become effective. Regulations sent to, but not published in the Federal Register were immediately withdrawn. Regulations published, but not effective were postponed for a 60-day review. The section 385 debt-equity regulations were finalized before the regulatory freezes, so for now, those rules stand.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
In 2015, TSCPA’s Federal Tax Policy Committee initiated several advocacy efforts for relief of the $100 per day per affected employee penalty to small businesses for health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that did not qualify under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform. Two months ago, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act which granted partial relief, the establishment of HRAs for qualified small employers for reimbursements of health insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs (cannot exceed $4,950 individual or $10,000 family) as long as the employee demonstrates to his/her employer that he/she has essential minimum coverage. Reimbursement of Medicare-eligible employees’... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The IRS has a pilot program for expanded streamline installment agreements that runs September 2016 to September 2017. The SB/SE Campus Collection Operations, including the Automated Collection System (ACS), has expanded installment agreement criteria for individual taxes, self-employment taxes and out-of-business sole proprietors with assessed tax, penalty and interest between $50,000 and $100,000 and from 72 to 84 months automatic installment (if proposed monthly payment is the greater of their total assessed balance divided by 84 months or amount necessary to satisfy the liability before the collection statute expires). If the test is successful, it will provide easier access to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
We all know that tax preparer firms are under attack from felonious hackers. A security breach can destroy your professional reputation with affected clients and businesses, and possibly your livelihood. If you handle taxpayer information, you may be subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Financial Privacy and Safeguards Rules, which require that you assess the risks to taxpayer information in your office and have a plan of appropriate protections of that information. Texas also mandates under penalty of law that businesses secure personal data and activate a plan if that data is compromised. The crime... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The PATH Act of 2015 extended Form 8867, the Paid Preparer’s Due Diligence Checklist, to include not only claims for earned income tax credit (EITC), but also the child tax credit (CTC), the additional child tax credit (ACTC) and the American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) for the 2017 tax filing season. During a recent joint meeting, IRS representatives recommended that tax professionals access the IRS’ EITC Central and view the training module for clarification such as the definition of “interview” for checklist purposes. (A very general interpretation is that an interview can be conducted via written correspondence, email and telephone... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The IRS has expanded its testing of the Forms W-2 authentication code for this tax season to combat return identity theft and refund fraud. The IRS collaborated with certain payroll service providers to include a 16-digit code and a new verification code field on approximately 50 million W-2 copies provided to employees. Tax professionals are urged to look for the verification code field because its location on the form will vary. The code will be displayed in four groups of four alphanumeric characters, separated by hyphens: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX. Some W-2s will have an empty verification code box where no action is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
In December 2015, Congress reauthorized under federal law the IRS’ use of third-party debt collection procedures. Four agencies have been contracted to pursue inactive delinquent accounts. The IRS will notify the taxpayer in writing (and their representative with a valid Form 2848) that the account has been referred to a collection agency, providing the name of the agency and a 10-digit identifying code. The agency will issue a separate letter to the taxpayer and any representative that the account has been transferred before making contact by phone. The collector calling has the same 10-digit code along with the taxpayer’s Social... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina Olson recently released her 2016 Annual Report to Congress. In the report, Olson recognized the quality work of TSCPA’s Federal Tax Policy (FTP) Committee by referencing its appeals letter to the IRS in May and specific FTP committee member testimony from the NTA San Antonio public forum in August. TSCPA members Jaime Vasquez, CPA-San Antonio, and Jim Smith, CPA-Dallas,* were both quoted in the annual report from their public forum testimony regarding problems within the Taxpayer Advocate Centers and the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Congratulations to the FTP Committee on this well-deserved recognition from the NTA!... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The IRS is warning of a new phishing scheme targeting accounting and tax preparation firms nationwide. These latest phishing emails come in typically two stages. The first email may appear to be from a taxpayer shopping for professional services, such as "I need a preparer to file my taxes." If the preparer or staff responds, the cybercriminal sends a second email with an embedded web address or a PDF attachment that has an embedded web address. Emails may also appear to come from a legitimate sender or organization (perhaps even a friend or colleague) because they also have been victimized.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
Last month, the IRS released Notice 2017-6 to extend the dates for making the automatic accounting method changes required under IRC section 263(a), the tangible property regulations, to include tax years beginning before Jan. 1, 2017. This allows taxpayers that have not made these changes to do so and comply with the final tangible property regs. This also allows taxpayers to comply without incurring the user fees that would otherwise be required. (2017-3 IRB) Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
The new annual due date for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), FinCEN Form 114, for foreign financial accounts is April 15. This date change was mandated by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-41. Specifically, section 2006(b)(11) of the Act changes the FBAR due date to April 15 to coincide with the federal income tax filing season. It also mandates a maximum six-month extension of the filing deadline. FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR annual due date of April 15 an automatic extension to Oct.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
Last month, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other things, permits certain employers to offer health reimbursement arrangements to employees without running afoul of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's market reform provisions. TSCPA’s Federal Tax Policy and IRS committees have been involved in commenting on this issue. In April 2015, they sent a letter to the Treasury and prepared letters sent on behalf of TSCPA to Congress in September 2015. Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog
During a recent conference call that included representatives from TSCPA’s Relations with IRS Committee, the local IRS stakeholder liaison addressed Letter CP 5747C and discussed that a number of tax preparers’ clients are receiving this new letter requiring them to physically go to a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) to authenticate their identity. Some preparers have questioned the legitimacy of the letter and why, with a Power of Attorney on file, they could not conduct the validation on behalf of their clients. The CP 5747C is a legitimate IRS letter issued as part of the Taxpayer Protection Program. Because these taxpayer... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at TSCPA Federal Tax Policy Blog