Provided by Drake Software

IRS Releases Draft Versions of New Affordable Care Act Forms



IRS Releases Draft Versions of New Affordable Care Act Forms

As a tax software company, we get excited when the IRS releases a new form for the upcoming season.  Forms drive our development cycle, and the earlier we can get our hands on them, the better.

The Affordable Care Act forms have created heightened anticipation this year, and when the draft versions were finally posted to IRS.gov late last week, our developers and analysts were buzzing. [Read more...]

Part I: Representation- Questions from the IRS



Part I: Representation- Questions from the IRS

© Ben A. Tallman EA

 If you think about the characteristics and skills that separate Circular 230 Practitioners from the rest of the tax industry; representation is near the top of the list.  Even if you are not credentialed, you still have the right to represent your client in the initial examination or audit of a tax return you prepared.  If you have not become a Circular 230 Practitioner, let’s see if we can get you started on the pathway to “fulfillment”. [Read more...]

IRS Budget Sliced 13% as U.S. House Constrains Tax Agency



IRS Budget Sliced 13% as U.S. House Constrains Tax Agency

 The US House of Representatives voted to cut the Internal Revenue Service’s budget by $1.14 billion in an effort to rein in unnecessary audits and enforcement actions the Congress deems inappropriate.

 The vote came Wednesday in a pair of amendments offered by Republicans Paul Gosar of Arizona and Bill Huizenga of Michigan. Both proposals were passed by voice vote.  The changes would leave the IRS with a budget of $9.8 billion for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 — 13 percent below the current year  funding level and 21 percent below the level the administration has requested. [Read more...]

National Taxpayer Advocate Identifies Priority Areas and Challenges in Mid-Year Report to Congress



National Taxpayer Advocate Identifies Priority Areas and Challenges in Mid-Year Report to Congress

 WASHINGTON — National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has released her statutorily mandated mid-year report to Congress that identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year. The report emphasizes the importance of taking concrete steps to give meaning to the recently adopted Taxpayer Bill of Rights, issuing refunds to victims of return preparer fraud, continuing to make improvements in the Exempt Organizations area and expanding the recently announced voluntary return preparer certification program to include competency testing.  [Read more...]

AICPA Sues IRS Over “Voluntary” Program For Preparers



AICPA Sues IRS Over “Voluntary” Program For Preparers 

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service and John A. Koskinen, in his capacity as Commissioner of the IRS, seeking declarative and injunctive relief from the IRS’s recently issued rule entitled the “Annual Filing Season Program” (“AFS rule”).  [Read more...]

Treasury Inspector General: IRS Could Lose Billions on Amended Returns



Treasury Inspector General:  IRS Could Lose Billions on Amended Returns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should revise Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to allow for corrections to original tax return filings and expand e-filing to include amended tax returns, according to a new report publicly released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Taxpayers currently file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct previously filed income tax returns. Claims filed on an amended tax return can relate to any item of income, loss, exclusion, deduction, or credit and may result in a tax refund. The IRS received more than four million amended tax returns in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012. [Read more...]

New IRS Filing Season Program Unveiled for Tax Return Preparers Voluntary Program to Focus on Continuing Education for Unenrolled Preparers



The Internal Revenue Service has announced that guidance will soon be issued outlining a new voluntary program designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers. The program will be in place to help taxpayers during the 2015 filing season. [Read more...]

IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program



IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program

What is the Annual Filing Season Program?

The IRS’s recently announced Annual Filing Season Program provides a means by which unenrolled return preparers can obtain a ”record of completion” and get included in the IRS’s public directory of credentialed tax professionals when they voluntarily complete a required amount of continuing education. To earn a “record of completion” for the 2015 filing season, preparers must do the following:
– Complete a filing season refresher course*
– Earn specified continuing education (CE) credits (prorated for the 2015 filing season)
– Have an active PTIN by December 31, 2014 [Read more...]

New IRS Filing Season Program Unveiled for Tax Return Preparers



New IRS Filing Season Program Unveiled for Tax Return Preparers

Voluntary program to focus on continuing education for unenrolled preparers

WASHINGTON —  The Internal Revenue Service announced today that guidance will soon be issued outlining a new voluntary program designed to encourage education and filing season readiness for paid tax return preparers. The program will be in place to help taxpayers during the 2015 filing season.

The Annual Filing Season Program will allow unenrolled return preparers to obtain a record of completion when they voluntarily complete a required amount of continuing education (CE), including a course in basic tax filing issues and updates, ethics, and other federal tax law courses.

“This voluntary program will be a step to help protect taxpayers during the 2015 filing season,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “About 60 percent of tax return preparers operate without any type of oversight or education requirements. Our program will give unenrolled return preparers a way to stay to up-to-date on tax laws and changes, which we believe will improve service to taxpayers.” [Read more...]

IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are Right Around the Corner



IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are Right Around the Corner

Summertime is here, so the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are right around the corner.  For many tax professionals, the Forums are an affordable way to stay up-to-date on tax law changes and earn continuing education credits.  Here’s a summary of what to expect and a few tips to help you get the most out of your Forum experience.
There are five Forums this year, starting in Chicago (July 1-3) and ending in Orlando (August 26-28).  Stops in between are San Diego (July 15-17), New Orleans (July 22-24) and Washington, DC (August 19-21). 

The main draw for most participants is continuing education, and those attending every session over the three day period can earn 18 credits.  There is also a keynote address and a plenary session, usually featuring a high-ranking IRS official.  Currently, new IRS commissioner John Koskinen is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Chicago Forum. 
[Read more...]