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Congress Adjourns After Passing Tax Credit Extensions



Two-Week Extension of Some Tax Credits

The 113th Congress adjourned in the late hours of December 16 after approving a handful of judicial appointments and several pending bills. The bill, H.R. 5771, was approved by a vote of 76 – 16.

Bills passed include a two-week extension of $42 billion in tax credits that included the extension of the production tax credit for wind energy; accelerated depreciation for motorsports tracks; three charitable contributions; as well as guidance on the establishment of ABLE long-term care accounts by parents of disabled children.  The extension was only until December 31, setting up another battle over the credits next year.

Left without consideration was the terrorism risk insurance bill, which will now be taken up by the next Congress.  The program provides federal assurances for insurance companies, enabling the insurers to cover major venues, such as the Super Bowl, against acts of terrorism.

Congress now stands adjourned until Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.

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Post-Appeals Mediation For Offers in Compromise Available Nationwide



WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is releasing a revenue procedure today providing rules for the nationwide rollout of post-Appeals mediation for Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) cases. The IRS Office of Appeals originally launched post-Appeals mediation for OIC and TFRP cases as a pilot program available in certain cities in December 2008.

Post-Appeals mediation is available to help resolve disputes after unsuccessful negotiations with the IRS Office of Appeals and is available for both factual and legal issues. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in reaching their own agreement collaboratively, but the mediator does not have settlement authority over any issue. Appeals Officers trained in mediation techniques will serve as mediators at no cost to taxpayers. Taxpayers also have the option of paying for a qualified non-IRS co-mediator.

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Technical Guidance



On Tax Issues

The Internal Revenue Service has issued technical guidance on three tax issues: [Read more…]

New IRS Notices and Forms



  • A new revision of the Form 656-B booklet, with forms and instructions for submitting an Offer in Compromise (OIC), will be available on IRS.gov in January. The use of earlier versions after Jan. 1 will delay the processing of OIC applications.
  • Notice 2014-78 provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates, and the 24-month average segment rates.  In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities.
  • Notice 2014-81 establishes the Section 48B Phase III program of the qualifying gasification project program to reallocate the Section 48B Phase I credits that are available for allocation after the conclusion of the Section 48B Phase I program.

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ACA Basics – IRS Resources and Best Practices for Tax Preparation Professionals



New Documents Help Tax Preparers

The Internal Revenue Service has released three documents designed to assist tax preparers in working with their clients, and best practices with regard to Individual Shared Responsibilities and Premium Tax Credits.

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Illinois Moves To Regulated Tax Return Preparers



Public Accounting Act Determines Qualifications for Illinois Tax Preparers

The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate have now approved legislation that will set the foundation for a program to regulate professional tax return preparers in that state.

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Tips from IRS for Year-End Gifts to Charity



Important Tax Law Provisions Have Taken Effect in Recent Years

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today reminded individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years. Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include: [Read more…]

NYS Tax Department Launches NY’s First Tax Preparer Continuing Education Program



Consumer Protection Initiative Aims to Train Tax Preparers

Continuing education is phase two of New York’s first tax preparer regulations; training is vital because 70% of New Yorkers hire tax preparers each year.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today launched the continuing education component of New York’s historic regulations to protect consumers who hire tax preparers.   The training program builds on the first phase of the regulations – tax preparer registration, which began in 2010 and impacts 40,000 preparers annually.

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House Passes ABLE Act



Legislation to Provide Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

The US House of Representatives has passed H.R. 647, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act’.  The Act is designed to provide individuals and families with the opportunity to save for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities in maintaining their health, independence, and quality of life.

The measure, which passed by a vote of 404 to 17, was the first major legislative act for disabled persons since the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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IRS Publishes Technical Guidance on Five Issues



The IRS recently released information about a number of announcements, rulings, and notices. Five of those items, Announcement 2014-34, Revenue Ruling 2014-29, Announcement 2014-38, Announcement 2014-41, and Notice 2014-77,  are listed below.

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