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Archive for IRS Notice

IRS Unveils ‘Dirty Dozen’ List Of Tax Scams For 2020

IRS unveils ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of tax scams for 2020; Americans urged to be vigilant to these threats during the pandemic and its aftermath The Internal Revenue Service announced its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments.

IRS unveils ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of tax scams for 2020; Americans urged to be vigilant to these threats during the pandemic and its aftermath

The Internal Revenue Service announced its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments.

This year, the Dirty Dozen focuses on scams that target taxpayers. The criminals behind these bogus schemes view everyone as potentially easy prey. The IRS urges everyone to be on guard all the time and look out for others in their lives.

“Tax scams tend to rise during tax season or during times of crisis, and scam artists are using pandemic to try stealing money and information from honest taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “The IRS provides the Dirty Dozen list to help raise awareness about common scams that fraudsters use to target people. We urge people to watch out for these scams. The IRS is doing its part to protect Americans. We will relentlessly pursue criminals trying to steal your money or sensitive personal financial information.”

Taxpayers are encouraged to review the list in a special section on IRS.gov and be on the lookout for these scams throughout the year. Taxpayers should also remember that they are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. Consumers can help protect themselves by choosing a reputable tax preparer.

The IRS urges taxpayers to refrain from engaging potential scammers online or on the phone. The IRS plans to unveil a similar list of enforcement and compliance priorities this year as well.
An upcoming series of press releases will emphasize the illegal schemes and techniques businesses and individuals use to avoid paying their lawful tax liability. Topics will include such scams as abusive micro captives and fraudulent conservation easements.

Here are this year’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ scams:
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J5 Reflects On Two-Years Pursuing Global Tax Cheats

J5 Reflects On Two-Years Pursuing Global Tax Cheats

Leaders from five international tax organizations are marking the two-year anniversary of the formation of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) this week.
The J5 includes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO, the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from the UK and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) from the US.

Taking advantage of each country’s strengths, the J5’s initial focus was on enablers of tax crime, virtual currency and platforms that enable each country to share information in a more efficient manner. Within the framework of each country’s laws, J5 countries shared information and were able to open new cases, more completely develop existing cases, and find efficiencies to reduce the time it takes to work cases. Operational results have always been the goal of the organization and they have started to materialize.

“While operational results matter, I’ve been most excited at the other benefits that this group’s existence has provided,” said Don Fort, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “In speaking with law enforcement partners domestically and abroad as well as stakeholders in various public and private tax organizations, there is real support for this organization and tangible results we have all seen due to the cooperation and global leadership of the J5.”
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IRS Finalizes Guidance On Deduction For Foreign-Derived Intangible Income And Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income

IRS Finalizes Guidance On Deduction For Foreign-Derived Intangible Income And Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income

The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations that provide guidance on deductions for foreign-derived intangible income (FDII) and global intangible low-taxed income allowed to domestic corporations under the Internal Revenue Code.

These final regulations provide guidance on both the computation of the deductions available and the determination of FDII.

In addition, the guidance provides rules for the computation of FDII in the consolidated return context.

The guidance published today also finalizes the reporting rules requiring the filing of Form 8993, Section 250 Deduction for Foreign-Derived Intangible Income and Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income.

For more information about this and other Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.

The Postponed Federal Tax Deadline Applies To Taxpayers Living Overseas

The Postponed Federal Tax Deadline Applies To Taxpayers Living Overseas

Taxpayers who live and work abroad have until Wednesday, July 15, 2020 to file and pay their 2019 federal income taxes.

U.S. citizens and resident aliens generally have the same filing and payment requirements regardless of where they live. The July 15 postponed deadline also applies to nonresident aliens and foreign entities with a U.S. filing and payment requirement.

Taxpayers who still owe 2019 income tax, as well as estimated tax for 2020, must make two separate payments on or by July 15, 2020: One for their 2019 income taxes owed and one for their 2020 estimated tax payments. The two estimated tax payments can be combined into a single payment.
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IRS Unclaimed Refunds Waiting For Taxpayers Face July 15 Deadline

IRS Unclaimed Refunds Waiting For Taxpayers Face July 15 Deadline

IRS unclaimed refunds of $1.5 billion waiting for tax year 2016; taxpayers face July 15 deadline

Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion await an estimated 1.4 million individual taxpayers who did not file a 2016 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are owed refunds but haven’t filed their 2016 tax returns yet,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on July 15. To claim the refund, a return for tax year 2016 must be filed by July 15, 2020.”

In Notice 2020-23 (PDF), the IRS extended the due date for filing tax year 2016 returns and claiming refunds for that year to July 15, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the IRS is issuing Economic Impact Payments to Americans, the agency urges taxpayers who haven’t filed past due tax returns to file now to claim these valuable refunds.

To collect refunds for tax year 2016, taxpayers must file their 2016 tax returns with the IRS no later than this year’s extended tax due date of July 15, 2020.
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IRS Announces Rollover Relief For Required Minimum Distributions From Retirement Accounts

IRS Announces Rollover Relief For Required Minimum Distributions From Retirement Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service announced that anyone who already took a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020 from certain retirement accounts now has the opportunity to roll those funds back into a retirement account following the CARES Act RMD waiver for 2020.

The 60-day rollover period for any RMDs already taken this year has been extended to August 31, 2020, to give taxpayers time to take advantage of this opportunity.

The IRS described this change in Notice 2020-51 (PDF), released today. The Notice also answers questions regarding the waiver of RMDs for 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act.

The CARES Act enabled any taxpayer with an RMD due in 2020 from a defined-contribution retirement plan, including a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or an IRA, to skip those RMDs this year. This includes anyone who turned age 70 1/2 in 2019 and would have had to take the first RMD by April 1, 2020. This waiver does not apply to defined-benefit plans.
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Taxpayers Should Be Aware Of Myths About Tax Refunds

About IRS Tax Refunds

Now that many taxpayers have filed their federal tax returns electronically and the IRS is back to processing paper tax returns sent by mail, they’re eager for details about their refund. When it comes to refunds, there are several common myths.

Getting A Refund This Year Means There’s No Need To Adjust Withholding For 2020

To help avoid a surprise next year, taxpayers should make changes now to prepare for next year. One way to do this is to adjust their tax withholding with their employer. This is easy to do using the Tax Withholding Estimator. This tool can help taxpayers determine if their employer is withholding the right amount. This is especially important for anyone who got an unexpected result from filing their tax return this year. This could have happened because the taxpayer’s employer withheld too much or too little tax from the employee’s paycheck in 2019.

Calling The IRS Or A Tax Professional Will Provide A Better Refund Date

Many people think talking to the IRS or their tax professional is the best way to find out when they will get their refund. The best way to check the status of a refund is online through the Where’s My Refund? tool or the IRS2Go mobile app.
Taxpayers can call the automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954. This hotline has the same information as Where’s My Refund? and IRS telephone assistors. There is no need to call the IRS unless Where’s My Refund? says to do so.

Ordering A Tax Transcript Is A Secret Way To Get A Refund Date

Doing so will not help taxpayers find out when they will get their refund. Where’s My Refund? tells the taxpayer their tax return has been received and if the IRS has approved or sent the refund.

Where’s My Refund? Must Be Wrong Because There’s No Deposit Date Yet

Updates to Where’s My Refund? ‎on both IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app are made once a day. These updates are usually made overnight. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a refund may take longer. If the IRS needs more information to process a tax return, the agency will contact the taxpayer by mail. Taxpayers should also consider the time it takes for the banks to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account. People waiting for a refund in the mail should plan for the time it takes a check to arrive.

Where’s My Refund? Must Be Wrong Because A Refund Amount Is Less Than Expected

There Are Several Factors That Could Cause A Tax Refund To Be Larger Or Smaller Than Expected. Situations That Could Decrease A Refund Include:

• The taxpayer made math errors or mistakes
• The taxpayer owes federal taxes for a prior year
• The taxpayer owes state taxes, child support, student loans or other delinquent federal non-tax obligations
• The IRS holds a portion of the refund while it reviews an item claimed on the return

The IRS will mail the taxpayer a letter of explanation if these adjustments are made. Some taxpayers may also receive a letter from the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service if their refund was reduced to offset certain financial obligations.

Tax Tip 2020-72

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I Got A Notice From The IRS

I Got A Notice From The IRS

What Should I Do?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will send a notice or a letter for any number of reasons. It may be about a specific issue on your federal tax return or account, or may tell you about changes to your account, ask you for more information, or request a payment.

You can handle most of this correspondence without calling or visiting an IRS office if you follow the instructions in the document.

Before you proceed, check where the notice came from.
The first thing to do is to check the return address to be sure it’s from the IRS and not another agency.

If it’s from the IRS, the notice will have instructions on how to respond. If you want more details about your tax account, you can order a transcript.

If it’s from another agency, such as a state tax department, you’ll need to call that office for an explanation.
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IRS Provides Relief To Retirement Plan Participants To Sign Elections Remotely

IRS - Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service provided temporary administrative relief to help certain retirement plan participants or beneficiaries who need to make participant elections by allowing flexibility for remote signatures.

The change relates to signatures of the individual making the election to be witnessed in the physical presence of a plan representative or notary public, including a spousal consent (“the physical presence requirement”).

Notice 2020-42 provides participants, beneficiaries, and administrators of qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored retirement arrangements with temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for any participant election (1) witnessed by a notary public in a state that permits remote notarization, or (2) witnessed by a plan representative using certain safeguards. The guidance accommodates local shutdowns and social distancing practices and is intended to facilitate the payment of coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans to qualified individuals, as permitted by the CARES Act.
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IRS Willing To Consider Requests For Relief From Double Taxation Related To Repatriation

IRS On Repatriation and Double Taxation

The IRS announced that the agency has become aware of limited circumstances in which it may be appropriate to provide relief from double taxation resulting from application of the repatriation tax under section 965, as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

The IRS has determined that in unique circumstances, such as where a corporation paid an unusual dividend for business reasons, not because of the enactment of TCJA, it may be appropriate to provide relief from double taxation. When the same earnings and profits of foreign corporations are taxed both as dividends and under section 965, double taxation could result.

The IRS is open to considering relief from such double taxation where there is no significant reduction in the resulting tax by application of foreign tax credits, such that the taxpayer would be required to pay more tax than it would have if the dividend had not been paid.

Taxpayers who have fact patterns that may fit these limited circumstances may raise them with the IRS by contacting the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International) at 202-317-3800.

 

IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates For 2020

2020 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 57.5 cents per mile driven for business use, down one half of a cent from the rate for 2019,
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down three cents from the rate for 2019, and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate decreased one half of a cent for business travel driven and three cents for medical and certain moving expense from the rates for 2019. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

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Important Things To Know About IRS Tax Refunds

IRS

As tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving their refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some tax returns may require additional review and those refunds may take longer.

Many Factors Affect Refund Timing

Just as each tax return is unique and individual, so is each taxpayer’s refund. Here are a few things taxpayers should keep in mind if they are waiting on their refund but hear or see on social media that other taxpayers have already received theirs.

Different factors can affect the timing of a refund. The IRS, along with its partners in the tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud.

Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a particular taxpayer’s refund may take longer. Some tax returns require additional review and take longer to process than others. It may be necessary when a return has errors, is incomplete or is affected by identity theft or fraud. The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail when more information is needed to process a return.

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