The IRS has published the 2016 version of its annual IRS Data Book, which contains statistical information about the IRS and taxpayer activities during the previous year. The IRS Data Book helps illustrate the breadth and complexity of the U.S. tax system. According to the Data Book, during fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016), the IRS collected overall more than US$ 3.3 trillion from taxpayers, processed more than 244 million tax returns and other forms, and issued more than $426 billion in tax refunds.
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One of the email alerts I received from the IRS recently was Tax Tip 2017-48, Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When Amending Your Tax Return. I want to focus on tip #1 of the nine provided. Here it is:
Starting in the mid-1970s, and continuing through the UPS case, the IRS fought captives tooth and nail. Over the course of these cases, they advanced three different legal arguments against captive insurance: the economic family argument, the nexus of contracts and the assignment of income doctrine.
If you’ve never been audited, you may not know that when the IRS audits you, it could take up to a year or more to complete the audit.
If you have been audited you know that audits are time consuming and fraught with endless worries.
Years ago, the IRS had about 104,000 employees. Today it is around 83,000. Certainly, they don’t need as many people to open envelopes due to e-filing, but this change results in a big drop in taxpayer services and audits. A common lament I hear from tax practitioners is the challenge of having to deal with notices from the IRS. It is difficult to get to talk to someone from the IRS who has the knowledge and file access needed to resolve the issue and you likely need to wait 30 minutes or more to talk to someone.
The IRS announced that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program. Starting April 2017, the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies.
Chief Counsel Advice 201710027 (3/10/17) states that determination letter requests, such as on Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding, cannot be faxed to the IRS because an original signature is required.
The 2016 IRS Data Book describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, the IRS budget and workforce as well as other data. This edition contains charts that show trends such as increases in telephone service and declines in enforcement activities when compared to 2015.
According to IRS Rev Proc 2017-29 (assuming IRC 168(k) applies) 1st year magic numbers are:
- $11,160 for passenger autos
- $11,560 for Trucks and Vans
The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2017-21, which contains the updated withholding foreign partnership (WP) agreement and withholding foreign trust (WT) agreement.
The revenue procedure provides information on submitting an application or request for renewal of a WP or WT agreement.
We previously discussed that IRS employees could be in for a rocky ride if President-elect Donald Trump and Congress move forward with sweeping pledges to rein federal employee benefits and cripple unions.