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Tag Archive for IRS

Signs Of Identity Theft Tax Pros Should Watch Out For

Signs Of Identity Theft Tax Pros Should Watch Out For

With identity thieves continuing to target the tax community, Internal Revenue Service Security Summit partners today urged tax professionals to learn the signs of data theft so they can react quickly to protect clients.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry – working together as the Security Summit – reminded tax professionals that they should contact the IRS immediately when there’s an identity theft issue while also contacting insurance or cybersecurity experts to assist them with determining the cause and extent of the loss.

“Tax pros must be vigilant to protect their systems from identity thieves who continue to look for ways to steal data,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Practitioners can take simple steps to remain on the lookout for signs of data and identity theft. It’s critical for tax pros to watch out for these details and to quickly take action when tell-tale signs emerge. This can be critical to protect their business as well as their clients against identity theft.”

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Treasury General For Tax Administration: Ongoing Threat Of IRS Impersonation Scams

Tax Scams

WASHINGTON – J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, announced the release of new public service announcements (PSAs) to educate taxpayers about the continuing threat of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation scams.

The English and Spanish-language PSAs are available on TIGTA’s YouTube Channel.

“IRS impersonation scams continue to plague Americans and have claimed victims in every State,” George said. “TIGTA’s new public service announcements share advice on how to recognize these scams. If you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, just hang up.”

Scammers undermine Federal tax administration by impersonating IRS employees in an effort to obtain personally identifiable information (PII) from unsuspecting taxpayers or to steal their money. Such impersonators may claim to be IRS employees on the telephone or may misuse IRS logos, seals, or symbols to create official-looking letters and e-mails.

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The IRS And Nominee Liability

The IRS And Nominee Liability

Nominee Liability

Under the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS can satisfy a tax deficiency by imposing a lien on any “property” or “rights to property” belonging to the taxpayer.  The statutory language is broad and reaches virtually every interest in property that a taxpayer might have, with limited exceptions.  In fact, the IRS’s legal ability to reach “property” and “rights to property” can include not only property and rights to property owned by the taxpayer in the taxpayer’s name, but also property held by a third party if the third party is holding the property as a nominee of the delinquent taxpayer.

What is a nominee?

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IRS Highlights Special Charitable Tax Benefit

IRS Highlights Special Charitable Tax Benefit

Special rule helps most people get a deduction of up to $300 per individual, $600 for couples for gifts to charity; National Council of Nonprofits and Independent Sector highlight how donations can help the nation’s charitable community.

The Internal Revenue Service joined with several leading nonprofit groups to highlight a special tax provision that allows more people to deduct donations to qualifying charities on their 2021 federal income tax return.

The Independent Sector and National Council of Nonprofits joined with the IRS to highlight this pandemic-related provision where married couples filing jointly can deduct up to $600 in cash donations and individual taxpayers can deduct up to $300 in donations.

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IRS Issues Guidance Regarding The Retroactive Termination Of The Employee Retention Credit

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding The Retroactive Termination Of The Employee Retention Credit

The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance for employers regarding the retroactive termination of the Employee Retention Credit. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was enacted on Nov. 15, 2021, amended the law so that the Employee Retention Credit  applies only to wages paid before October 1, 2021, unless the employer is a recovery startup business.

Notice 2021-65 applies to employers that paid wages after September 30, 2021, and received an advance payment of the Employee Retention Credit for those wages or reduced employment tax deposits in anticipation of the credit for the fourth quarter of 2021, but are now ineligible for the credit due to the change in the law. The notice also provides guidance regarding how the rules apply to recovery startup businesses during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Employers Who Received Advance Payments
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Giving Tuesday: Important Charitable Giving Reminders For Taxpayers

Giving Tuesday: Important Charitable Giving Reminders For Taxpayers

Giving Tuesday is the kickoff of the season of charitable giving. The IRS encourages taxpayers to research charities before donating and to familiarize themselves with the expanded tax benefits that may come with giving to causes that mean something to them.

Taxpayers may be able to deduct donations to tax-exempt organizations on their tax return. As people are deciding where to make their donations, the IRS has a tool that may help. Tax Exempt Organization Search on IRS.gov is a tool that allows users to search for charities. TEOS provides information about an organization’s federal tax status and filings.

Here are some facts about the Tax Exempt Organization Search tool:

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Pre-Marital Agreements And The IRS

Pre-Marital Agreements And The IRS

It is certainly not uncommon for one taxpayer with significant federal tax debts to want to marry another taxpayer without any tax debts at all.  In these instances, both taxpayers may naturally desire to enter into a pre-marital agreement to ensure that their respective assets and debts (including federal tax debts) are kept separate.  This is particularly so in so-called “community property states” where the presumption is that each taxpayer is deemed to have rights to one-half of the other taxpayer’s community property income and assets.

Taxpayers in these circumstances should understand that the IRS will not always respect a pre-marital agreement.  Rather, the IRS will, in many cases, carefully scrutinize the agreement itself and the surrounding circumstances to determine whether it can pierce through the agreement and reach the liable spouse’s community property share of assets.  Accordingly, taxpayers should, where warranted, consult with a tax professional to determine whether the pre-marital agreement complies with federal tax law and IRS guidance.

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IRS Releases Reporting Guidance For Partnership Interests Held In Connection With The Performance Of Services

IRS Releases Reporting Guidance For Partnership Interests Held In Connection With The Performance Of Services

The Internal Revenue Service posted detailed reporting directions for certain passthrough entities and taxpayers reporting of partnership interests held in connection with the performance of services, often referred to as “carried interests,” in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

The FAQs contain sample worksheets that certain passthrough entities and taxpayers may be required to use in reporting “carried interests,” partnership interests held in connection with the performance of services for tax returns, filed after December 31, 2021 in which a passthrough entity applies the final regulations.

In addition, the FAQs contain additional instructions for certain passthrough entities and taxpayers who though not required to file the sample worksheets must provide similar information and must disclose whether the information was determined under the proposed regulations or another method for tax returns filed after December 31, 2021 for a taxable year beginning before January 19, 2021.

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Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) Or Employee?

Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) Or Employee?

It is critical that business owners correctly determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors.

Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

Select the Scenario that Applies to You:

  • I am an independent contractor or in business for myself
    If you are a business owner or contractor who provides services to other businesses, then you are generally considered self-employed. For more information on your tax obligations if you are self-employed (an independent contractor), see our Self-Employed Tax Center.
  • I hire or contract with individuals to provide services to my business
    If you are a business owner hiring or contracting with other individuals to provide services, you must determine whether the individuals providing services are employees or independent contractors. Follow the rest of this page to find out more about this topic and what your responsibilities are.

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New IRS $67 User Fee Applies To Estate Tax Closing Letters

Estate Tax Closing Letter

The Internal Revenue Service announced that starting Oct. 28, a new $67 user fee will apply to any estate that requests a closing letter for its federal estate tax return.

The new user fee was authorized under final regulations, TD 9957, available today in the Federal Register. Closing letter requests must be made using Pay.gov. The IRS will provide further procedural details before the user fee goes into effect.

By law, federal agencies are required to charge a user fee to cover the cost of providing certain services to the public that confer a special benefit to the recipient. Moreover, agencies must review these fees every two years to determine whether they are recovering the cost of these services.

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What Is IRS Notice Of Deficiency?

What Is IRS Notice Of Deficiency?

Ordinarily, taxpayers file their income tax returns each year with the IRS and hear nothing more.  Rather, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) simply processes the tax return, assesses the reported amount of tax due, and accepts and credits the taxpayer’s payment against the reported tax amount.  In this manner, life moves on until the same process is repeated again the next year.

But, there are times in which the IRS disagrees with the amount of tax reported on a taxpayer’s return.  In these instances, the IRS must utilize so-called “deficiency procedures” to communicate to the taxpayer the IRS’ belief that adjustments should be made to the return.  These deficiency procedures provide taxpayers with significant procedural rights to contest the IRS’ determinations.  This article discusses the deficiency procedures including the Notice of Deficiency (“NOD”) the IRS must issue prior to making an assessment of federal tax.  This article also discusses the taxpayer’s right to challenge the IRS’ determinations in the NOD through filing a petition with the United States Tax Court (“Tax Court”).

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IRS States Abusive Trust Tax Evasion Schemes

Trust Tax Evasion Schemes
Accessing The Offshore Funds

How do taxpayers involved in these schemes enjoy the fruits of their abusive scheme since their funds are offshore? There are several methods to repatriate the taxpayer’s funds to the U.S. All of these methods, at some point, involve the opening of foreign bank accounts. Two examples are described below:

  • A bank account is opened in the tax haven country and a debit or credit card is issued from the account. These cards are used by the taxpayer in the U.S. to withdraw cash and to pay for everyday expenses. Since the cards are issued by banks located in tax haven countries, it is very difficult for the IRS to trace these transactions back to the taxpayer.
  • An International Business Corporation (IBC) is established. Funds are transferred from the foreign trusts to the IBC via foreign bank accounts. Fraudulent loans are set up from the IBC to taxpayers and funds are wired back to the taxpayers in the U.S. Because loans are generally not taxable, the repatriation of funds is not reported on a U.S. tax return. In addition, because the ownership of IBCs is documented with bearer shares and IBCs are located in tax haven countries, it is very difficult for the IRS to prove that fraudulent loans are actually the taxpayer’s income.

IRS