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
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
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that income from virtual currency transactions is reportable on their income tax returns.
Virtual currency transactions are taxable by law just like transactions in any other property. The IRS has issued guidance in IRS Notice 2014-21 for use by taxpayers and their return preparers that addresses transactions in virtual currency, also known as digital currency. Read More
When a taxpayer changes their name, that change can affect their taxes. All the names on a taxpayer’s tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here’s what a taxpayer should do if anyone listed on their tax return changed their name:
- Reporting Taxpayer’s Name Change. Taxpayers who should notify the SSA of a name change include:
- Taxpayers who got married and use their spouse’s last name.
- Recently married taxpayers who now use a hyphenated name.
- Divorced taxpayers who now use their former last name.
If you’re an American taxpayer who gets a paycheck, I imagine you’re pretty anxious to see how the new tax code is going to put more money into your pockets each pay period.
The IRS says they should have everything ready to reflect the changes by February. So, you could be seeing extra cash if you are in the top five tax brackets with your February paycheck. Read More
Spring and summer in some areas of the country are prime times to sell a home.
In warmer climates like Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and the Carolinas, the home buying/selling season is less defined. In more temperate climates it rarely matters when you put you home on the market. Read More
Timing of year-end contributions:
Contributions made by check are deductible in 2015 if the check is mailed by year-end. If payment is made by bank credit card, it is deductible in 2015 if the charge is made by year-end. It doesn’t matter when the credit card payment is made. If the donation is made with a retail store credit card, the deduction cannot be taken until the card is paid, even though it was charged in 2015.
Donations of securities and other property:
This is an excellent way to make a contribution without paying cash. Taxpayers can deduct the fair value of the securities on the date of the gift. Donating appreciated securities is a good move because if you sold the securities Read More
Below is a CRA confirmation of this.
Numerous immigrants to Canada or those residing in Canada but have worked for say U.S. employers have entitlements to U.S. pensions such as 401K plans and in some circumstances they have U.S. IRAs. The Income Tax Act has provisions to allow transfers including a claim for any U.S. withholding tax or for applicable early withdrawal penalties.
Examination of both the U.S. and Canadian tax provisions should be dealt with before any transfer takes place to ensure the rollover is available in Canada.
TRANSFER OF SWISS PENSION TO AN RRSP Read More
I am pleased to announce another successful settlement for a client.
IRS denied a big deduction based on a Ponzi type investment stating the taxpayer had claimed the deduction in the wrong year. It must be the year it came to his attention and only up to the amount lost especially if there is a chance to recover some in the future.
The matter was set to go to trial in Miami, but I reached agreement he would deduct 80% in the year the loss was claimed and 20% in the year in which there was certainty he had lost everything. That year is still open to claim the 20%. Protective filings were made by his accountant.
The turning point was making clear the evidence we would present to back-up the client’s claim. This convinced the Read More
Go To This Link To Register For A Free Ticket To TaxConnections Internet Tax Summit>>>
We have received many calls regarding TaxConnections Internet Tax Summit September 21-23rd 2015. For the very first time in history, we are inviting Tax Experts to educate taxpayers and businesses on very important tax issues most people have no knowledge of these days. The information we are receiving from leading tax experts is Read More