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IRS Large Examination Audits – Best Practices Working With Remote IRS Employees

IRS- Large Examination Audits - Best Practices Working With Remote IRS Employees

Executive Summary

Expanding the use of “remote work” for IRS examinations and projects offers many benefits to both the IRS and taxpayers.  The IRS has for many years used remote work concepts for deploying its international and engineering specialists on large examinations as an adjunct to a larger onsite examination.  In 2006, the IRS expanded the use of remote/offsite examinations as an alternative to the full scope examination for a limited number of pre-identified significant issues.  Targeted use of remote work concepts helps to better deploy IRS resources, especially for special projects requiring the use of limited resources. Read more

Appealing The Findings Of Your IRS Examiner: Should You Appeal?

Venar Ayar-Appealing The Findings Of Your IRS Examiner

All you need to know about appealing your IRS findings

The Internal Revenue Service better known as the IRS is the governmental agency that ensures that you “give Caesar what belongs to Caesar”. In other words, it conducts the fundamental function of tax collection on a nationwide scale. And so given the importance of the functions performed by such an agency it is typical that such an organization would keep records, records that may in the future be used for reference when the need arises. Read more

IRS To Highlight Tax Reform Changes Affecting Small Businesses

IRS to highlight tax reform changes affecting small businesses

Small business owners, self-employed should plan now for new changes

With just a few months left in tax year 2018, the Internal Revenue Service today urges small business owners to learn about how the new tax law changes may affect them.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, made tax law changes that will affect virtually every business and individual in 2018 and the years ahead. Among other things, the new law may change their tax rates and impact the quarterly estimated tax payments they are required to make during the year. Read more

The IRS Refuses To Provide Mandatory Employee Training On Taxpayer Rights

Nina Olson The IRS Refuses To Provide Mandatory Employee Training

For many years, I urged the IRS to adopt a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) and for Congress to add the list of fundamental taxpayer rights to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). In addition to its legal significance, a thematic, principle-based list of core taxpayer rights is an important source of foundational principles to guide IRS employees in their dealings with taxpayers, and provide information to taxpayers to assist them in their dealings with the IRS. A TBOR also serves as an organizing principle for tax administrators in establishing agency goals and performance measures. A TBOR also helps the IRS to restore trust in the tax system and ensure taxpayers know their rights and are able to avail themselves of those rights. Read more

For Many Business Taxpayers, Time Is Running Out To Elect Out Of New 100-Percent Depreciation Deduction For 2017

IRS Time Is Running Out To Elect Out Of New 100 Depreciation Deduction

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds business taxpayers who placed qualifying property in service during 2017 but choose not to claim the new 100-percent depreciation deduction, that they have a limited time to file the required election with the IRS.

In general, individuals and calendar-year corporations must file the election with the IRS by Oct. 15, 2018. The new 100-percent deduction allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service. Read more

The IRS’s Level Of Service Measure Fails To Adequately Show The Experience Of Taxpayers Seeking Assistance Over The Phone – Part 2

Nina Olson Measuring the Taxpayer Experience

In last week’s blog, I discussed how the Level of Service (LOS) measure used by the IRS paints a misleading picture of the taxpayer experience because it does not fully reflect taxpayers’ ability to speak with a telephone assistor and get the answer they need. The high LOS reported by the IRS masks its weaknesses in providing a high-quality customer experience, and reliance on this measure causes these weaknesses to go unaddressed. Similarly, the IRS reports an impressive overall toll-free customer satisfaction rating of 90 percent for fiscal year 2017; however, the response rate for the survey that is the basis for this measure has been low in previous years, and the measure only accounts for those callers that were able to speak with a telephone assistor. In this week’s blog, we will take a closer look to see how this rating stacks up against external evaluations and to understand the drivers of a successful taxpayer experience communicating with the IRS, regardless of the channel chosen or utilized. We will also examine how the IRS compares to other federal agencies and private sector companies, and identify practices the agency can adopt to prioritize the taxpayer experience. Read more

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

IRS Issues Guidance On Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Changes

The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance today 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. Read more

The IRS’s Level of Service Measure Fails to Adequately Show the Experience of Taxpayers Seeking Assistance Over the Phone

Nina Olson, taxpayer, taxpayer advocate service, customer service

In a series of blogs I published earlier this year, Telephone Service in an Omnichannel Environment – The IRS Must Make Communicating with the IRS Over the Phone Easier for Taxpayers and Telephone Service in an Omnichannel Environment – The IRS Must Ensure Taxpayers Are Getting the Assistance They Need Over the Telephone, I explained why telephone communication is still an important way for taxpayers to get assistance from the IRS, even as the IRS expands its online self-help service options. In these blogs, I discussed how the IRS is failing to develop its telephone service as a vital part of an omnichannel communication environment, and thus failing to recognize the needs and preferences of taxpayers. In my 2017 Annual Report to Congress, I identified the limitations of the IRS’s telephone service as one of the Most Serious Problems encountered by taxpayers, and highlighted my concern that the IRS’s operational measures are overly focused on efficiency rather than the taxpayer experience. In this blog, I will further detail my concerns about the IRS’s reliance on the Accounts Management (AM) Customer Service Representative (CSR) Level of Service (LOS) as the benchmark measure to evaluate its phone service, as it can mask the struggles faced by taxpayers seeking assistance.   Read more

Your FATCA Registration Must Always Be Updated

IRS, FATCA, IRS News, FATCA Registration

Your FATCA registration must always be updated with the current name and email address of your responsible officer and point of contact(s) as soon as there is a change.

When you complete a FATCA registration, you are asked to include the name and contact information of (1) a Responsible Officer (“RO”) and (2) a Point of Contact (“POC”).  Specifically, among other information, you must provide their mailing and email addresses as well as their telephone numbers.  Read more

How To Get An IRS Levy Released

IRS Levy, Tax Help, Venar Ayar

To get a levy released, you’ll need to contact the IRS and give them an acceptable reason for releasing the levy. Generally, you can request a levy release if you’ve worked out a payment arrangement, are experiencing an economic hardship due to the levy, or the IRS failed to follow the correct procedures.

Releasing Continuous Levies

Levies can be continuous or one-time events. Bank account levies are one-time only. Wage garnishments and levies of certain federal payments, including Social Security retirement benefits, are continuous.

Read more

New Employer Tax Credit For Paid Family And Medical Leave

Tax Credit, Paid medical leave, Paid Family Leave, tax reform

Today the IRS announced that eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees may qualify for a new business credit for tax years 2018 and 2019.

In addition, eligible employers who set up qualifying paid family leave programs or amend existing programs by Dec. 31, 2018, will be eligible to claim the employer credit for paid family and medical leave, retroactive to the beginning of the employer’s 2018 tax year, for qualifying leave already provided. Read more

2018 Employer Reimbursements For Employees’ 2017 Moves Are Generally Tax-Free

Employer payments or reimbursements in 2018 for employees’ moving expenses incurred prior to 2018 are excluded from the employee’s wages for income and employment tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) suspended the exclusion from income for moving expenses reimbursed or paid by an employer for most employees starting in 2018, making these amounts taxable, except for amounts for active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces whose moves relate to a military-ordered permanent change of station. Read more

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