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  • 06/21/2017 4:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    IRS NEWS FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS

    July 2017

    ►UPCOMING WEBINARS

    July 19, 2:00 p.m. (ET), 1:00 p.m. (CT), 12:00 p.m. (MT), 11:00 a.m. (PT)

    The Office of Professional Responsibility: What You Need to Know About Practicing Before the IRS

    • This FREE 2-hour broadcast is for all tax professionals.
    • Topics include:
    • Regulations governing tax practice before the IRS (Circular 230, Rev. 6/2014)
    • Due diligence obligations of tax professionals
    • Overview of other key Circular 230 provisions
    • Practitioner responsibilities to their clients and to the tax administration system
    • Best practices for all tax professionals
    • Office of Professional Responsibility policies and procedures
    • Certificates of completion are being offered. Earn 2 CE credits of Ethics.
    • Click HERE for National and Local webinars for Tax Professionals.
    • Click HERE for webinars and videos recently posted to the IRS Video Portal.

    ►NEWS

    Follow @IRStaxpros on Twitter

    ·       @IRStaxpros is an IRS Twitter feed offering daily news and guidance for tax professionals. Follow it at https://twitter.com/irstaxpros.

    For Letter Rulings and Similar Requests: Electronic Payment of User Fees Starts June 15; Replaces Paying by Check

    ·       Beginning June 15, taxpayers requesting letter rulings, closing agreements and certain other rulings from the Internal Revenue Service will need to make user fee payments electronically using the federal government’s Pay.gov system.

    What's New - Estate and Gift Tax

    ·       Revenue Procedure 2017-34 provides a simplified method to obtain an extension of time under § 301.9100-3 to file a return to elect portability of the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount pursuant to § 2010(c)(5)(A).

    ·       For additional topics, see What's New - Estate and Gift Tax on IRS.gov

    Interest Rates Remain the Same for the Third Quarter of 2017

    ·       Interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2017. The rates will be:

    o   four (4) percent for overpayments (three (3) percent in the case of a corporation);

    o   1 and one-half (1.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding
         $10,000;

    o   four (4) percent for underpayments; and

    o   six (6) percent for large corporate underpayments. 

    ·       Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. For taxpayers other than corporations, the overpayment and underpayment rate is the federal short-term rate plus 3 percentage points.

    ►Your Practice

    PTIN System Down

    ·       On June 1, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s authority to require the use of a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN), but enjoined the IRS from charging a user fee for the issuance and renewal of PTINs. As a result of this order, PTIN registration and renewal is currently suspended.

    ·       The IRS, working with the Department of Justice, is considering how to proceed. As additional information becomes available, it will be posted on our Tax Pros page.

    RPO to Inactivate/Terminate Enrolled Agents Who Haven't Renewed

    ·       Beginning in June 2017, the Return Preparer Office (RPO) will send letters to enrolled agents whose enrollment status is being inactivated or terminated because of failure to renew.

    Opportunity Coming to Participate in New Correspondence Examination Digital Pilot Program

    ·       The IRS Taxpayer Digital Communications (TDC) Secure Messaging pilot program has started with correspondence examinations involving Schedule A and has expanded to include some other issues. During the pilot the IRS will invite approximately 8,000 taxpayers under correspondence examinations to communicate with the Service using secure messaging through digital communication channels.

    ·       The pilot program is by invitation only. Taxpayers and their tax professionals with valid powers of attorney (POA) can participate only if the client receives a marketing insert or letter saying they are eligible.

    ·       If your client is invited, encourage him or her to volunteer for this pilot program. Your POA must already be on file and showing on the Centralized Authorization File (CAF) system before you as a tax professional can participate.

    ·       After your client receives an invitation and registers via IRS Secure Access, you must also authenticate via IRS Secure Access under your own SSN and complete the “Request Access” verification process. After IRS verifies the POA is authorized, you will have access to your own secure message mailbox in TDC to receive copies of messages and communicate with IRS.

    ·       The tax professional community is an important part of our process for improving customer service. We appreciate and value your input.

    TAXES. SECURITY. TOGETHER. (Identity Theft)

    • IRS Offers Help to Students, Families to Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications
    •     The U.S. Department of Education today announced the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is now available for borrowers applying for an income-driven repayment plan. New encryption protections have been added to the Data Retrieval Tool to further protect taxpayer information. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will return Oct. 1, 2017, on the online 2018–19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.

    ►Employers

    IRS Approves First Group of Certified Professional Employer Organizations; More Expected in Coming Months

    ·       The IRS issued notices of certification to 84 organizations that applied for voluntary certification as a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO).

    ·       After the IRS receives the required surety bond from an approved CPEO applicant, the IRS will publish that CPEO’s name, address, and effective date of certification on IRS.gov.

    ·       Under legislation enacted in late 2014, the IRS established a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations (PEOs). These organizations typically handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients.

    ·       Certification affects the employment tax liabilities of both the CPEO and its clients.  A CPEO is generally treated as the employer of any individual performing services for a client of the CPEO and covered by a CPEO contract between the CPEO with the client, but only for wages and other compensation paid to the individual by the CPEO.

    ·       To become and remain certified under the new program, CPEOs must meet tax compliance, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding, and other requirements.

    ►TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS

    ·       Go to Stay Exempt on IRS.gov https://www.stayexempt.irs.gov/ to see Issue Podcasts on:

    ·       When are Commercial-Type Activities a Substantial Nonexempt Purpose for an IRC 501(c)(3) Organization?

    o   Learn about determining when commercial-type activities further a substantial nonexempt purpose for an IRC 501(c)(3) organization

    ·       IRC 501(c)(3) Proposing Denial

    o  Learn about the five-step roadmap the IRS uses to determine whether proposing denial is appropriate for an organization requesting recognition of tax exemption under IRC 501(c)(3)

    ·       What is an Issue Podcast?

    o   An Issue Podcast is a resource the IRS uses for sharing technical knowledge.

    o   An Issue Podcast is a short (approximately 15 minute), on-demand audio and visual presentation that includes:

    o   A brief summary and analysis of an issue

    o   References to key resource materials

    ►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

    ·       Four Resources to Help You Create a Safe Workplace

    o   When was the last time you revisited your workplace safety plan? Not only is it the law, but it also can ensure that you and your employees are always safe.

    o   We would like to highlight four resources that will help you identify unsafe behaviors, create opportunities for improvement and help you (and your employees) make well-informed safety decisions on a daily basis.

    ·       Savings Plans for Small Businesses

    o   This self-paced training exercise will give you an overview of savings plans and strategies for your small business.

    o   Learn about the contingency and long-term savings, tax breaks, retirement savings and much more.

    ►IN EVERY ISSUE

    Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

    Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

    Basic Tools for Tax Professionals

    Recent Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts

    Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

    Federal Trade Commission:

    Business:https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/privacy-and-security/data-security
  • 06/21/2017 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Tax Professional,

    We have three Small Business/Self-Employed Collection messages that I want to share with you. These messages are: (1) Payment Options and Other Online Tools; (2) Offer-In-Compromise which include important initial payment changes; and (3) Private Debt Collection.

    Payment Options and Other Online Tools:

    • Apply for an Online Payment Agreement for Individuals and Businesses
    • This application allows a qualified taxpayer or authorized representative (Power of Attorney) the opportunity to avoid long telephone wait times or the need to visit or write to an IRS office to apply for an installment agreement. Once you complete the online process, you will receive immediate notification of whether your agreement has been approved.

                If you're financially unable to pay your tax debt immediately, you can make monthly payments through an installment agreement. As long as you pay your tax debt in full,  

                you can reduce or eliminate your payment of penalties or interest, and avoid the fee associated with setting up the agreement.

    • IRS Direct Pay! - Use this secure service to pay your individual tax bill or estimated tax payment directly from your checking or savings account at no cost to you. You'll receive instant confirmation that your payment has been submitted.
    • Check Your Balance and View Your Payment History – You can view your balance online or refer to the information in the notice you received to determine the amount you owe.  When you access your tax account you can also view your recent payment history.

    Offer In Compromise:

    • Offer-In-Compromise - An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe.

    New Change:

    Beginning with Offer applications received on or after March 27, 2017: The IRS will return any newly filed Offer in Compromise application if you have not filed all required tax returns. Any application fee included with the OIC will also be returned. Any initial payment required with the returned application will be applied to reduce your balance due. This policy does not apply to current year tax returns if there is a valid extension on file.

    • OIC Pre-Qualifier Tool Before you complete the OIC application, use this tool to see if you may be eligible for an offer in compromise.

    Private Debt Collection:

    • Private Debt Collection - The Internal Revenue Service plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts in April 2017 and has selected four contractors to implement the new program. These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working them.
    • Scam Phone Calls - Stay Vigilant Against Scams.  IRS urges you to be on the lookout for unexpected scam phone calls from anyone claiming to be collecting on behalf of the tax agency.
    • TIGTA Office of Investigations - To report a threat, assault or attempted assault by a private collection agency employee, contact the TIGTA Office of Investigations with responsibility for your geographic area.


  • 04/18/2017 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Central NoDak Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors will be presenting, "Consulting: Activities, Skills, Attitudes" on May 17-18 in Bismarck.  Thanks to a partnership with that organization, ND CPA Society members can attend for the member price of $350 for (1-day cost) and $525 (2-day cost).  Groups of 3 or more individuals will receive a 10% discount. Click here to download the brochure.

  • 04/18/2017 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NEWS

    Private Collection of Some Overdue Federal Taxes Starts in April; Those Affected Will Hear First From IRS; IRS Will Still Handle Most Tax Debts

    • The IRS is 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.
    • Taxpayers being assigned to a private firm would have had multiple contacts from the IRS in previous years and still have an unpaid tax bill.
    • As always, the IRS encourages taxpayers behind on their tax obligations to come forward and either pay what they owe or set up a suitable payment plan. This means there’s no need to wait for a phone call or letter from the IRS or any of its contractors.
    • The IRS reminds taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers posing as private collection firms.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    • Your clients can make Estimated Tax Payments using Direct Pay.
    • Your clients can look up their Estimated Tax Payments using:

    View Your Account Balance and Payment History

    •  If you're an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to find out:
    • Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
    • The balance for each tax year for which you owe
    • Up to 18 months of your payment history (NEW!)

    Helpful tools when your client gets a notice or letter from the IRS

    Helpful tools for your clients with a balance due

    National Small Business Week

    In recognition of National Small Business Week, April 30 to May 6, the IRS is highlighting products to help small business owners and self-employed individuals understand and meet their tax obligations:                  

    Offers in Compromise – New Policy

     Beginning with Offer applications received on or after March 27, 2017: The IRS will return any newly filed Offer in Compromise application if you have not filed all required tax returns. Any application fee included with the OIC will also be returned. Any initial payment required with the returned application will be applied to reduce your balance due. This policy does not apply to current year tax returns if there is a valid extension on file.

     Form 656-B, revised March 2017  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f656b.pdf 

    ►Employers

    No news this month.

    ►AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

    No news this month.

    TAXES. SECURITY. TOGETHER. (Identity Theft)

    Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

    •  This is the main page for ID Theft. Check out resources for you and your clients.

    ►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

    From USA.gov

     As part of your estate and advance health care planning, having a power of attorney is a critical component of protecting your interests. Unlike a will which outlines your wishes, and how your wealth and property will be distributed after you are gone; this legal document authorizes another person to act on your behalf when you are not able to manage your affairs on your own.

     Documenting your requests can be difficult to address but doing so could resolve certain legal issues if done in advance. By designating someone to make decisions for you means your wishes will be carried out when you may not have a voice. Take action on this vital document today.

    Access our Power of Attorney Guide

    ►IN EVERY ISSUE

    Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

    Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

    Basic Tools for Tax Professionals

    Recent Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts

    Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

    Federal Trade Commission:

    ►UPCOMING WEBINARS

    *Closed captioning offered for afternoon web conferences ONLY.

    Understanding Payment Options – Part II – 75 minutes

    Working with the IRS Office of Appeals -- What to Expect – 90 minutes

    • May 3, 2017 –1:00 pm Central, 12:00 Mountain
    • Register&Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/445/19764 
    • Topics include information on the role of Appeals, an overview of Appeals policies and procedures, and an outline of case procedures for examination and collection cases.

    Understanding Correspondence Examinations – 75 minutes

    Understanding the Automated Underreporter Program – 75 minutes

    Understanding Form 8300 – 75 minutes

    (Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business)

    Continuing Education:

    All participants who qualify will receive a Certificate of Completion.

    Tax Professionals – Earn 1 CE Credit Category: Federal Tax

    •   Click HERE for National and Local webinars for Tax Professionals.
    •   Click HERE for webinars and videos recently posted to the IRS Video Portal.
  • 04/02/2017 7:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Red River Valley Institute of Internal Auditors will be presenting, "Leadership, Influence and Collaboration Skills for Auditors and Accountants on April 25, 2017.  Thanks to a partnership with that organization, ND CPA Society members can attend for the member price of $250.  Click here to download the brochure. 

  • 02/06/2017 8:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nichols Patrick Current Federal Tax Developments Weekly Update Podcast

    with Ed Zollars, CPA

    ·  Download podcast

    ·  Download citations

  • 01/24/2017 2:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    W-2 Filing Deadline Changes

    (Please click each heading for more information)


    Employers Face New Jan. 31 W-2 Filing Deadline

    A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will accelerate the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31

    Some Refunds Delayed Until Feb. 15

    A new federal law moves up the W-2 filing deadline for employers and small businesses to Jan. 31. The new law makes it easier for the IRS to find and stop refund fraud. It also delays some taxpayer refunds. Those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit won’t see refunds until Feb.15, at the earliest.

    Employment Tax Due Dates

    Generally, employers must report wages, tips and other compensation paid to an employee by filing the required form(s) to the IRS. You must also report on the taxes you deposit.


    General Instructions for W-2 and W-3

    Instructions for reminders, help and assistance with completing the W-2 and W-3.

    Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE)

    By transmitting your Information Returns through the FIRE system, your files are processed faster with fewer errors.

    ALERT! Extension information effective tax year 2016: Requests for an Extension of Time for Form W-2 must be submitted on paper Form 8809. Requests for an Additional Extension of Time must be submitted on paper Form 8809. Extension of Time for Recipient Copies of Information Returns must be requested on paper.

    Tax Topics - Topic 301 When, How, and Where to File

    Helpful information on tax return due dates and where to file.

     

    Contact: Alan Gregerson

    Phone: 651-726-1589

    Email: Alan.J.Gregerson@irs.gov

     

    Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts

     

     

    Issue Management Resolution System (IMRS): IMRS is an internal IRS system that captures, develops and responds to significant national and local stakeholder issues. When stakeholders notify the IRS of concerns about systemic problems or IRS policies, practices and procedures, analysts research and respond to the issues. For additional information, see link to IMRS. Tax professionals should forward significant issues regarding IRS policies, practices and issues to their Stakeholder Liaison (SL) Local Contacts

     

    You may prefer to share ideas for reducing taxpayer burden directly with the Taxpayer Burden Reduction (TBR) Program using Form 13285A, Reducing Tax Burden on America’s Taxpayers.

  • 01/24/2017 2:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Refundable Credits Resources

    (Please click each heading for more information)


    Other Refundable Credits Toolkit

    The toolkit brings you tools and resources for other refundable credits along with the Additional Child Tax Credit refundable portions. But, we also provide resources for Lifetime Learning Credit and the Child Tax Credit.

     

    Understanding Who is a Qualifying Child

    Learn the basic tests a child must meet under the Uniform Definition of a Qualifying Child and then each credit has additional rules the child and the person claiming the child must meet.

     

    What You Need to Know about CTC and ACTC

    Here's what you need to know about the CTC, Child Tax Credit, and the refundable portion, the ACTC, Additional Child Tax Credit.


    Child-Related Tax Benefits Comparison

    This chart shows some of the basic eligibility requirements for tax benefits available to those with a qualifying child.

     

    Webinar: Not just college credits, it's tax credits too!

    Learn about education credits and eligibility requirements along with information about the American Opportunity Tax Credits, Form 1098-T and much more.

     

     

    Contact: Alan Gregerson

    Phone: 651-726-1589

    Email: Alan.J.Gregerson@irs.gov  

     

    Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts

     

     

    Issue Management Resolution System (IMRS): IMRS is an internal IRS system that captures, develops and responds to significant national and local stakeholder issues. When stakeholders notify the IRS of concerns about systemic problems or IRS policies, practices and procedures, analysts research and respond to the issues. For additional information, see link to IMRS. Tax professionals should forward significant issues regarding IRS policies, practices and issues to their Stakeholder Liaison (SL) Local Contacts

     

    You may prefer to share ideas for reducing taxpayer burden directly with the Taxpayer Burden Reduction (TBR) Program using Form 13285A, Reducing Tax Burden on America’s Taxpayers.

  • 01/24/2017 2:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    EITC Due Diligence Resources

    (Please click each heading for more information)


    EITC CENTRAL

    The resources on this site will assist you in reaching those eligible workers who qualify for the credit and preparing accurate returns which reduces claims made in error.

    EITC Tax Preparer Toolkit

    This toolkit has everything you need for helping you with the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit claims.

    Form 8867: Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist

    Beginning with tax year 2016, the form has been expanded and revised to include the Child Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

    Hot Topics for Return Preparers & Penalties

    Learn more about the Path Act, refunds and expanded due diligence requirements. Penalties will apply to each credit incorrectly submitted on a tax return and is now indexed for inflation.

    EITC Training Course

    This module covers the technical parts of the Due Diligence must do's and contains scenarios to walk you through examples of applying due diligence requirements. You may also receive one Continuing Education credit for this course. Be sure you follow the steps to determine if you will qualify to take the credit.

     

    Webinar: Keeping Up with Earned Income and Refundable Tax Credits

    Get the information you need to get EITC correct for your clients and avoid EITC due diligence consequences. For more webinars throughout the year, please check www.irs.gov (key word search “webinars”).


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Contact: Alan Gregerson

    Phone: 651-726-1589

    Email: Alan.J.Gregerson@irs.gov

     

    Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts

     

    Issue Management Resolution System (IMRS): IMRS is an internal IRS system that captures, develops and responds to significant national and local stakeholder issues. When stakeholders notify the IRS of concerns about systemic problems or IRS policies, practices and procedures, analysts research and respond to the issues. For additional information, see link to IMRS. Tax professionals should forward significant issues regarding IRS policies, practices and issues to their Stakeholder Liaison (SL) Local Contacts

     

    You may prefer to share ideas for reducing taxpayer burden directly with the Taxpayer Burden Reduction (TBR) Program using Form 13285A, Reducing Tax Burden on America’s Taxpayers.

  • 01/19/2017 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tax Steps Now for the Tax Filing Season article….. 

    https://www.irs.gov/individuals/steps-for-tax-filing-season

    The Taxpayer Advocate Service has developed several tools for individuals and employers to help determine how the Affordable Care Act might affect them and to estimate ACA related credits and payments. 

    Individuals

    Because these tools provide only an estimate, you should not rely upon them as an accurate calculation of the information you will report on your tax return. You should use these estimators only as a guide to assist you in making decisions regarding your tax situation.

    The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help you estimate how your premium tax credit will change if your income or family size changes during the year. This estimator tool does not report changes in circumstances to your Marketplace. To report changes and to adjust the amount of your advance payments of the premium tax credit you must contact your Health Insurance Marketplace. Be sure to report all changes directly to that Marketplace because they can affect both your coverage and your final credit when you file your federal tax return.

    The Individual Shared Responsibility Payment Estimator can help you estimate the amount you may have to pay if you did not have minimum essential coverage during the year. This tool can only provide an estimate of your individual shared responsibility payment. To determine the payment when you file your tax return, use the Shared Responsibility Payment Worksheet in the instructions for Form 8965.

    Employers

    The Employer Shared Responsibility Provision Estimator can help employers understand how the provision works and how it may apply. If you are an employer, you can use the estimator to determine:

    ·       The number of your full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees,

    ·       Whether you might be an applicable large employer, and

    ·       If you are an applicable large employer, an estimate of the maximum amount of the potential liability for the employer shared responsibility payment that could apply to you based on the number of full-time employees that you report if you fail to offer coverage to your full-time employees.

    This tool can only provide an estimate of the maximum amount of potential liability for the employer shared responsibility payment. Estimates are based upon information you enter into the system and, therefore, IRS cannot validate specific payment amounts.  

    The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Estimator can help you determine if you might be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and how much credit you might receive. This tool provides you with an estimate for tax year 2014 and beyond. However, some figures used in determining the credit are indexed for inflation. Because of this, for future years, the estimator cannot provide a detailed estimate.

    Additional Information

    By clicking on these links, you will enter the Taxpayer Advocate Service website.  The Taxpayer Advocate Service created, operates, and maintains this website and is solely responsible for the content.  

    The calculations provided by the TAS Estimator Tools are only estimates and may not match the actual credits or payments you will report on your tax return. IRS cannot validate the accuracy of the estimator calculations for your specific circumstance.

    To demonstrate how the estimators may help you, TAS has created two YouTube videos –

    ·        Individuals - Individual Shared Responsibility Payment and Premium Tax Credit estimators

    ·        Employers - Small Business Health Care Tax Credit and Employer Shared Responsibility Provision estimators.

    TAS is an independent organization within the IRS whose job is to ensure every taxpayer is treated fairly and that taxpayers know and understand their rights.

     

    Reminder: Employers Face New Jan. 31 W-2 Filing Deadline; Some Refunds Delayed Until Feb. 15

    IR-2016-143, Oct. 28, 2016                                                                           Español

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers and small businesses of a new Jan. 31 filing deadline for Forms W-2. The IRS must also hold some refunds until Feb. 15.

    A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud, will accelerate the W-2 filing deadline for employers to Jan. 31. For similar reasons, the new law also requires the IRS to hold refunds involving two key refundable tax credits until at least Feb. 15. Here are details on each of these key dates.

    New Jan. 31 Deadline for Employers

    The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December, includes a new requirement for employers. They are now required to file their copies of Form W-2, submitted to the Social Security Administration, by Jan. 31. The new Jan. 31 filing deadline also applies to certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.

    In the past, employers typically had until the end of February, if filing on paper, or the end of March, if filing electronically, to submit their copies of these forms. In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file the Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available and this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809 Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns must be completed as soon as you know an extension is necessary, but by January 31. Please carefully review the instructions for Form 8809, for more information.

    "As tax season approaches, the IRS wants to be sure employers, especially smaller businesses, are aware of these new deadlines," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We are working with the payroll community and other partners to share this information widely."

    The new accelerated deadline will help the IRS improve its efforts to spot errors on returns filed by taxpayers. Having these W-2s and 1099s earlier will make it easier for the IRS to verify the legitimacy of tax returns and properly issue refunds to taxpayers eligible to receive them. In many instances, this will enable the IRS to release tax refunds more quickly than in the past.

    The Jan. 31 deadline has long applied to employers furnishing copies of these forms to their employees and that date remains unchanged.

    Some Refunds Delayed Until at Least Feb. 15

    Due to the PATH Act change, some people will get their refunds a little later. The new law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC.

    Even with this change, taxpayers should file their returns as they normally do. Whether or not claiming the EITC or ACTC, the IRS cautions taxpayers not to count on getting a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations. Though the IRS issues more than nine out 10 refunds in less than 21 days, some returns are held for further review.


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Grand Forks, ND 58201

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