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IRS Refunding $10 Million

Since the DC Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling in Loving v. IRS – which determined that the IRS does not have the authority to require certification exams of tax preparers – the IRS will issue refunds to those who took the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) test. The IRS will mail a letter on May 28 followed by checks on June 2; they estimate $10,324,000 will be refunded.

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2016 Tax Day Moves

According to Revenue Ruling 2015-13, April 18 will be the filing deadline for most of the country in 2016. Since Emancipation Day – a legal holiday in D.C. – falls on a Saturday, it will be observed on the preceding Friday, which just so happens to be April 15. Tax Day is further delayed in Massachusetts and Maine, since they observe Patriot’s Day on April 18: meaning that most residents of those states have until April 19 to file income tax returns next year.

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Upgrading Hardware and Software for Tax Season

It’s an annual ritual for tax and accounting firms after the end of one tax season and before training begins for the next: replacing obsolete hardware and software, investing in new technologies, and preparing additional workstations if plans call for a staff expansion in the year ahead. 

But the process isn’t as easy as it used to be.  Legions of local computer shops run by knowledgeable entrepreneurs have largely disappeared from the marketplace, leaving tax professionals with a choice of ordering computers, peripheral devices, and software from online sites or a handful of high-volume retail stores. 

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Rethinking Your Vacation Plans

For many tax preparers and CPAs, the post-tax season vacation is a family ritual.  Plans and reservations are made far in advance, and may involve a return to a familiar destination – from the Hamptons or Florida to San Antonio’s River Walk or Seattle.

But for others, this vacation is a time of exploration to new places to unwind.  Tax season is over, the last of the stragglers and state taxes complete, and the corporate and nonprofit clients safely filed away. In years past, modest revenues and future uncertainty have largely limited such travels to local destinations.

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TIGTA Takes IRS to School: Education Credits Wrongly Issued

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration identified $5.6 billion in credits from 2012 that were wrongly issued to taxpayers who failed to file Form 1098-T, attended schools that weren’t eligible for the credit, and didn’t meet the criteria to be considered “half-time” students.

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IRS Deadline: Forms 990 Due May 15

Yesterday, the IRS issued a reminder to some tax-exempt organizations: May 15 is the deadline to submit Forms 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF. If those affected miss this deadline, it could result in the loss of tax-exempt status.*

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IRS Reports On 2014 Criminal Investigations

The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2014 Annual Business Report of its Criminal Investigation Division, which chronicles the priorities, staffing, and organization of the division as well as a review of the criminal investigations that were opened and the prosecutions that resulted. 

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IRS Commissioner: Customer Service Issues Stem from Budget Cuts

On Wednesday, April 22, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen submitted written testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee assessing the IRS’s performance during filing season. He opened his report by citing $230 billion in refunds issued from roughly 70% of the – currently – 120 million processed returns. This success, he admits, is marred by customer service troubles.

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ACA Has Day in Court

At any time in the next 10 weeks – probably on a Monday or Thursday – the US Supreme Court will announce its decision in the case of King v. Burwell, the current challenge by opponents to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This is not the first court challenge to the ACA, nor is it likely to be the last. 

King v. Burwell is the latest in four cases that challenge US Treasury regulation, 26 C.F.R. § 1.36B-2(a (1) as implemented by the Internal Revenue Service.  The regulation provides for subsidies on health insurance sold by state-run exchanges, and also on the federal exchange.  The challengers in all four cases claim that the IRS exceeded the authority Congress gave it by including subsidies for, citing the language of the ACA. 

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Strike That: IRS Guidance for Amending a Return

Yesterday, the IRS released advice for amending a federal tax return. Among the ten tips, the article highlights the circumstances necessitating an amended return, the number of forms needed, how long to wait before filing, when owed taxes should be paid, and more.

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