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IRS States Failure To Report Offshore Funds Remains A Crime

IRS - Report Offshore Accounts

Hiding money or assets in unreported offshore accounts remains on the Internal Revenue Service’s “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for 2019, the agency said.

Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter anytime, including offshore schemes. Many of these peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns or seek help with their taxes.

Taxpayers should remain wary of offshore avoidance schemes. Following the IRS intensifying efforts on offshore issues in recent years, many taxpayers have already voluntarily disclosed their participation in these schemes. The IRS conducted thousands of offshore-related civil audits that resulted in the payment of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes. The IRS has also pursued criminal charges leading to billions of dollars in criminal fines and restitution.

“Offshore evasion remains a primary focal point of overall IRS enforcement efforts,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our Criminal Investigation and civil enforcement teams work closely with the Justice Department in the international arena to ensure our nation’s tax laws are followed. Taxpayers considering hiding funds or assets offshore should think twice; the civil penalties and criminal sanctions can be severe.”

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Understanding Your IRS Notice Or Letter

IRS Notices

Your IRS notice or letter will explain the reason for the contact and give you instructions on how to handle the issue.

If you agree with the information, there is no need to contact us.

Enter your notice or letter number above to get more information on IRS notices and letters, along with answers to many notice-related questions. If your notice or letter doesn’t return a result using the Notices & Letters Search on this page, contact us at the toll-free number 800-829-1040.

Why Was I Notified By The IRS?

The IRS sends notices and letters for the following reasons:

  • You have a balance due.
  • You are due a larger or smaller refund.
  • We have a question about your tax return.
  • We need to verify your identity.
  • We need additional information.
  • We changed your return.
  • We need to notify you of delays in processing your return.

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Recent Tax Law Changes Affecting Small Business

IRS - Tax Law Changes Affecting Small Business

The Internal Revenue Service wants business owners and the self-employed to know that a publication on IRS.gov has information they can use to learn which recent tax-law changes impact their bottom line.

This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and the tax reform information page.

Publication 5318, Tax Reform: What’s New for Your Business, is a 12-page electronic document. Pub. 5318 provides a general overview of many of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes enacted in December 2017 that impact business taxes.

Publication 5318 Includes Sections On:
  • Qualified Business Income Deduction
  • Depreciation
  • Business related losses
  • Business related exclusions and deductions
  • Business credits
  • S corporations
  • Farm provisions
  • Miscellaneous provisions
A Few Key Provisions Include:
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Taxpayers Must Report Healthcare Coverage On 2018 Tax Return

IRS And Healthcare

As taxpayers are completing their 2018 tax returns this year, they must complete the lines related to health care.

For tax year 2018, the IRS will not consider a return complete and accurate if individuals do not do one of the following on their return:

  • Report full-year health coverage
  • Claim a coverage exemption
  • Report and make a shared responsibility payment for everyone on the tax return

The law continues to require taxpayers who do not qualify for an exemption to maintain health care coverage in 2018 or make a shared responsibility payment when they file their tax return.

Most taxpayers have qualifying health coverage or a coverage exemption for all 12 months in the year and will check the box on the front of their tax return. Taxpayers who can check the box don’t have to file Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, to claim any coverage exemptions. This includes the coverage exemption for household income below the filing threshold.

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IRS Issues Proposed Regulations: Deduction For Foreign-Derived Intangible Income

IRS LOGO March 6

The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations under section 250 of the Internal Revenue Code, which offers domestic corporations deductions for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income. Section 250, as well as section 951A dealing with global intangible low-taxed income, was added by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

These proposed regulations provide guidance on both the computation of the deductions available under section 250 and determination of FDII. In addition, the proposed regulations provide rules for the computation of FDII in the consolidated return context. Proposed guidance on the computation of global intangible low-taxed income was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 10, 2018.

New reporting rules requiring the filing of Form 8993, Section 250 Deduction for Foreign-Derived Intangible Income and Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income, are also described in the proposed regulations.

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Seniors Who Turned 70½ Last Year Must Start Receiving Retirement Plan Payments By April 1, 2019

IRS On Required Minimum Distributions

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers that, in most cases, Monday, April 1, 2019, is the date by which persons who turned age 70½ during 2018 must begin receiving payments from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans.

This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and the tax reform information page.

Two Payments In The Same Year

The payments, called required minimum distributions (RMDs), are normally made by the end of the year. Those persons who reached age 70½ during 2018 are covered by a special rule, however, that allows first-year recipients of these payments to wait until as late as April 1, 2019, to get the first of their RMDs. The April 1 RMD deadline only applies to the required distribution for the first year. For all following years, including the year in which recipients were paid the first RMD by April 1, the RMD must be made by Dec. 31.

A taxpayer who turned 70½ in 2018 (born July 1, 1947, to June 30, 1948) and receives the first required distribution (for 2018) on April 1, 2019, for example, must still receive the second RMD by Dec. 31, 2019.  To avoid having both amounts included in their income for the same year, the taxpayer can make their first withdrawal by Dec. 31 of the year they turn 70½ instead of waiting until April 1 of the following year.

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Individuals Who Need Passports For Imminent Travel Should Contact IRS Promptly To Resolve Tax Debt

IRS - Tax Returns And Passports

The Internal Revenue Service reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues.

In January of last year, the IRS began implementing new procedures affecting individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” These new procedures implement provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The law requires the IRS to notify the State Department of taxpayers the IRS has certified as owing a seriously delinquent tax debt, which is $52,000 or more. The law also requires State to deny their passport application or renewal. If a taxpayer currently has a valid passport, the State Department may revoke the passport or limit ability to travel outside the United States.

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IRS Guidance On Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Changes On Business Expense Deductions For Meals And Entertainment

IRS- Business Meals And Entertainment

The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following law changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The 2017 TCJA eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation.

Taxpayers may continue to deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer (or an employee of the taxpayer) is present and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. The meals may be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant or similar business contact.

Food and beverages that are provided during entertainment events will not be considered entertainment if purchased separately from the event.

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IRS Most Frequently Asked Questions On Opportunity Zones

IRS Opportunity Zones FAQ
Q. What is an Opportunity Zone?

A. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service.

Q. How were Opportunity Zones created?

A. Opportunity Zones were added to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017.

Q. Have Opportunity Zones been around a long time?

A. No, they are new. The first set of Opportunity Zones, covering parts of 18 states, were designated on April 9, 2018. Opportunity Zones have now been designated covering parts of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

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Learn How To Obtain Prior Years IRS Tax Returns

Request Prior Years IRS Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers who need their prior-year tax records to either complete their 2018 tax return or to validate their income can use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail.

Taxpayers often call or visit the IRS seeking their prior-year tax transcript, which is a record of their tax return. But the days around Presidents Day mark the busiest time of the year for the IRS. Taxpayers can avoid the rush by using online options that are faster and more convenient.

It’s always a good idea to keep copies of previously-filed tax returns. That recommendation is more important this year because, for some taxpayers, certain data from the 2017 tax return – the adjusted gross income — will be required to validate their electronic signature on their 2018 tax return due April 15 for most filers. This is especially true for taxpayers who have switched tax software products this year.

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Depreciation Limitations On Luxury Automobiles And Personal Use Property

IRS- Deduction On Luxury Automobiles And Computers

The TCJA changed depreciation limits for passenger vehicles placed in service after December 31, 2017. If the taxpayer doesn’t claim bonus depreciation, the greatest allowable depreciation deduction is:

  • $10,000 for the first year,
  • $16,000 for the second year,
  • $9,600 for the third year, and
  • $5,760 for each later taxable year in the recovery period.

If a taxpayer claims 100 percent bonus depreciation, the greatest allowable depreciation deduction is:

  • $18,000 for the first year,
  • $16,000 for the second year,
  • $9,600 for the third year, and
  • $5,760 for each later taxable year in the recovery period.

The TCJA also removes computer or peripheral equipment from the definition of listed property. This change applies to property placed in service after December 31, 2017.

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Tax Reform Creates Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive

IRS Opportunity Zones

Qualified Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities. Taxpayers may defer tax on eligible capital gains by making an appropriate investment in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and meeting other requirements.

In the case of an eligible capital gain realized by a partnership, the rules allow either a partnership or its partners to elect deferral. Similar rules apply to other pass-through entities, such as S corporations and its shareholders, as well as estates and trusts and its beneficiaries.

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