TaxConnections

 
 

Access Leading Tax Experts And Technology
In Our Global Digital Marketplace

Please enter your input in search

Archive for IRS

Two Updated IRA publications, Other Online Resources Can Help Anyone Planning For Retirement

IRS LOGO - BLOG

The Internal Revenue Service has updated two comprehensive publications designed to help anyone making IRA contributions or receiving IRA distributions for tax year 2019 or considering making retirement donations before April 15, 2020.

The 2019 editions of Publication 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) and Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), are both now available on IRS.gov. Both publications address the unique features of both Roth and traditional IRAs.

Most people who work can make contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA. Contributions to a traditional IRA are usually tax deductible and distributions are generally taxable. On the other hand, contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, but qualified distributions are tax-free. Taxpayers can make contributions until April 15, 2020, and count them on their 2019 tax returns.
Read more

Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver’s Credit)

IRS On Retirement Savings Allowances

You may be able to take a tax credit for making eligible contributions to your IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan. And, beginning in 2018, if you’re the designated beneficiary you may be eligible for a credit for contributions to your Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account.

Who’s eligible for the credit?
You’re eligible for the credit if you’re:

Age 18 or older;
Not a full-time student; and
Not claimed as a dependent on another person’s return.
See the instructions for Form 8880, Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions (PDF), for the definition of a full-time student.

Amount of the credit
The amount of the credit is 50%, 20% or 10% of your retirement plan or IRA or ABLE account contributions depending on your adjusted gross income (reported on your Form 1040 series return). The maximum contribution amount that may qualify for the credit is $2,000 ($4,000 if married filing jointly), making the maximum credit $1,000 ($2,000 if married filing jointly). Use the chart below to calculate your credit.
Read more

IRS Criminal Investigation Veteran Selected As New Fraud Enforcement Director

IRS Criminal Investigation

As part of a continuing focus on compliance issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that Damon Rowe will serve as the agency’s director of the newly created Fraud Enforcement Office beginning in mid-March.

Rowe and the new office will reside in the IRS Small Business/Self Employed Division and work on agency-wide compliance issues. He will serve as the principal advisor and consultant to IRS Division Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners on all issues involving Fraud Enforcement strategic plans, programs and policy.

A veteran of IRS Criminal Investigation, he will also provide agencywide executive leadership and direction in the design, development and delivery of major activities within the Fraud Enforcement office in support of IRS efforts to detect and deter fraud while strengthening the National Fraud Program.

In addition to leveraging existing law enforcement relationships, Rowe will have a continued focus on unscrupulous activities of taxpayers and professional enablers that undermine our Federal Tax Laws in a manner that is consistent and fair to the American public. With additional training, resources and applied analytics, SB/SE will thwart emerging threats as it relates to fraudulent filings and related activities.
Read more

Popular Tax Benefits Renewed For 2019; IRS Publication 17

Tax Benefits

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that it is processing tax returns claiming benefits extended or changed by recent legislation. Most taxpayers can file when they are ready – and as they normally would – if they are eligible for one or more of these benefits and claim them on their 2019 federal tax return.

Taxpayers can get the most out of various tax benefits and get useful tips on preparing their 2019 federal income tax returns by consulting a free, comprehensive tax guide available on IRS.gov. Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, features an in-depth look at on tax changes for 2019 including recent legislative changes and covers the general rules for filing a federal income tax return. It supplements the information contained in the tax form instruction booklet. This 277-page guide – available online as a PDFHTML or eBook− also provides thousands of interactive links to help taxpayers quickly get answers to their questions.

Read more

Avoid Scams: Know The Facts On How The IRS Contacts Taxpayers

IRS Scams

Crooks impersonating the IRS either by phone, email or in person cost people their time and money. The IRS urges people to stay vigilant against schemes and scams and avoid becoming a victim.

Here are some important tips for taxpayers to keep in mind to avoid scams:

How the IRS initiates contact
The IRS initiates most contacts with taxpayers through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as:

When a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill,

To secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or

To tour a business, for example, as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.

Read more

The Taxation Of Capital Gains Of Nonresident Alien Students, Scholars and Employees Of Foreign Governments

Taxation Of Capital Gains For Foreigners

The capital gains income of: nonresident alien students, scholars, and employees of foreign governments and international organizations may be taxed in a different way than the capital gains income of other nonresident aliens.

The following discussion assumes that the capital gains in question are not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States.

Most foreign students, foreign scholars, and alien employees of foreign governments and of international organizations in the United States are considered to be “exempt individuals.” That is, they are exempt for extended periods of time from counting days of presence in the United States for the purposes of determining whether they are resident aliens of the United States.

Thus, most foreign students, foreign scholars, and the alien employees of foreign governments and of international organizations in the United States remain nonresident aliens in the United States for extended periods of time.

A flat tax of 30 percent was imposed on U.S. source capital gains in the hands of nonresident alien individuals physically present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year. This 183-day rule bears no relation to the 183-day rule under the substantial presence test of IRC section 7701(b)(3).
Read more

IRS Updates Guidance On Business Expense Deductions For Meals And Entertainment

IRS On Business Expense Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations on the business expense deduction for meals and entertainment following changes made by 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. It also limited the deduction for expenses related to food and beverages provided by employers to their employees.

These proposed regulations address the elimination of the deduction for expenditures related to entertainment, amusement or recreation activities and provide guidance to determine whether an activity is considered to be entertainment. The proposed regulations also address the limitation on the deduction of food and beverage expenses.

The proposed regulations affect taxpayers who pay or incur expenses for meals or entertainment. These proposed regulations generally follow Notice 2018-76 (PDF), issued on October 15, 2018, which provided transitional guidance on the deductibility of expenses for certain business meals.

Taxpayers affected by this change and other interested parties may submit comments on the proposed regulations. The IRS will hold a public hearing on these proposed regulations on April 7, 2020.

IR-2020-39

J5 Tax Chiefs Closing The Net On Global Tax Evasion

Global Tax Evasion

Leaders from five international tax organizations came together in Sydney, Australia, this week to review the J5’s progress in their fight against transnational tax crime and set priorities for the year ahead.

The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) was formed in 2018 after a call to arms from the OECD Taskforce on Tax Crime and has been working together to gather information, share intelligence and conduct coordinated operations, making significant progress in each country’s fight against transnational tax crime.

The J5 includes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from the UK, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigations from the US, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD).

Together, each country is better equipped in the fight against those who commit, promote and enable international tax crimes and money laundering.

Last month, the group executed a globally coordinated day of action against an international financial institution suspected of facilitating money laundering and tax evasion. Evidence, intelligence and information collection activities such as search warrants, interviews and subpoenas were undertaken in each country and significant information was obtained and shared as a result.
Read more

IRS Increases Visits To High-Income Taxpayers Who Haven’t Filed Tax Returns

IRS Visits Taxpayer Homes

As part of a larger effort to ensure compliance and fairness, the Internal Revenue Service today announced that it will step up efforts to visit high-income taxpayers who in prior years have failed to timely file one or more of their tax returns.

Following the recent and ongoing hiring of additional enforcement personnel, IRS revenue officers across the country will increase face-to-face visits with high-income taxpayers who haven’t filed tax returns in 2018 or previous years. These visits are primarily aimed at informing these taxpayers of their tax filing and paying obligations and bringing these taxpayers into compliance.

“The IRS is committed to fairness in the tax system, and we want to remind people across all income categories that they need to file their taxes,” said Paul Mamo, Director of Collection Operations, Small Business/Self Employed Division. “These visits focusing on high-income taxpayers will be taking place across the country. We want to ensure taxpayers know their options to get right with their taxes and avoid bigger issues later.”
For the current tax season, the IRS reminds taxpayers that everyone should file their 2019 tax return by the April 15 filing deadline regardless of whether they can pay in full. Six-month filing extensions are also available, although that does not extend the April deadline for paying any taxes owed.
Read more

Taxpayers Must Reconcile Marketplace Advance Payments And File Form 8962

Health Care And Taxes

Failing to file Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to reconcile 2019 advance payments of the premium tax credit may affect return processing, and delay the taxpayer’s refund. It may also affect their ability to get advance payments of the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reductions. Taxpayers who don’t file and reconcile their 2019 advance credit payments may not be eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit in the future.

What is the premium tax credit?

The premium tax credit helps pay for health insurance coverage bought from the Health Insurance Marketplace. When the taxpayer or their family member applies for coverage, the marketplace estimates the amount of the premium tax credit they may be able to claim. This estimate is based on information the taxpayer provides about family size and projected household income. The taxpayer can then decide if they want to have all, some, or none of the credit paid directly to their insurance company. This option will lower their monthly payments.
Read more

IRS Urges Tax Professionals, Taxpayers To Protect Tax Software Accounts With Multi-Factor Authentication

Security For Tax Professionals And Taxpayers

The IRS and its Security Summit partners today called on tax professionals and taxpayers to use the free, multi-factor authentication feature being offered on tax preparation software products.

Already, nearly two dozen tax practitioner firms have reported data thefts to the IRS this year. Use of the multi-factor authentication feature is a free and easy way to protect clients and practitioners’ offices from data thefts. Tax software providers also offer free multi-factor authentication protections on their Do-It-Yourself products for taxpayers.

“The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry have worked together as the Security Summit to make sure the multi-factor authentication feature is available to practitioners and taxpayers alike,” said Kenneth Corbin, Commissioner of the IRS Wage and Investment division. “The multi-factor authentication feature is simple to set up and easy to use. Using it may just save you from the financial pain and frustration of identity theft.”
Read more

IRS Helps Workers, Businesses With New Gig Economy Tax Center

Gig Economy Tax Center

The Internal Revenue Service launched a new Gig Economy Tax Center on IRS.gov to help people in this growing area meet their tax obligations through more streamlined information.

“The IRS developed this online center to help taxpayers in this emerging segment of the economy,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Whether renting out a spare bedroom or providing car rides, we want people to understand the rules so they can stay compliant with their taxes and avoid surprises down the line.”

The gig economy is also known as the sharing, on-demand or access economy. It usually includes businesses that operate an app or website to connect people to provide services to customers. While there are many types of gig economy businesses, ride-sharing and home rentals are two of the most popular.
Read more