The following information was contained in the February 2020 IRS News for Tax Professionals newsletter. Click on the headline links to read the full article.
For questions or more details on these topics, contact Senior Stakeholder Liaison Evette Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Refunds | The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time. You should only call if it has been:
- 21 days or more since you e-filed
- 6 weeks or more since you mailed your return, or when
- “Where’s My Refund” tells you to contact the IRS
- The IRS has provided relief to financial institutions that were expected to provide required minimum distribution (RMD) statements to IRA owners by January 31,
- Notice 2020-6 clarifies that if an RMD statement is provided for 2020 to an IRA owner who will turn age 70½ in 2020, the IRS will not consider the statement to be incorrect, but only if the financial institution notifies the IRA owner no later than April 15, 2020, that no RMD is due for 2020.
- The IRS and Department of the Treasury issued Revenue Procedure 2020-11 that establishes a safe harbor extending relief to additional taxpayers who took out federal or private student loans to finance attendance at a nonprofit or for-profit
- Relief is also extended to any creditor that would otherwise be required to file information returns and furnish payee statements for the discharge of any indebtedness within the scope of this revenue procedure.
The Tax Withholding Estimator incorporates the changes from the redesigned Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, that employees can fill out and give to their employers this year.
Acting National Taxpayer Advocate Bridget Roberts released her 2019 Annual Report to Congress. Key challenges highlighted in the report include implementation of the Taxpayer First Act, inadequate taxpayer service and limited funding of the agency.
Roberts also released the third edition of the National Taxpayer Advocate’s “Purple Book,” which presents 58 legislative recommendations designed to strengthen taxpayer rights and improve tax administration.
The IRS released a new annual report highlighting accomplishments across the nation’s tax agency during Fiscal Year 2019.
“Internal Revenue Service Progress Update/Fiscal Year 2019 – Putting Taxpayers First” provides an overview of a variety of operations across taxpayer service, compliance and support areas. The 41-page document is built around the agency’s six strategic goals.
Focus on Opportunity Zones
- Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions
- About Form 8997, Initial and Annual Statement of Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) Investments
- Use Form 8997 to inform the IRS of the QOF investments and deferred gains held at the beginning and end of the current tax year, as well as any capital gains deferred by investing in a QOF and QOF investments disposed of during the current tax
- About Form 8996, Qualified Opportunity Fund
- Use Form 8996 to certify that the corporation or partnership is a qualified opportunity fund (QOF). It is also used to annually report whether the QOF met the investment standard during its tax
► TAX TIPS to share with clients
Gig economy work can affect a taxpayer’s bottom line | Taxpayers who work in the gig economy need to understand how their work affects their taxes. A little pre-planning can help make sure gig economy workers are prepared when it’s time to file their tax return.
► EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
What’s new for QBID/Sec 199A?
- QBID – main page
- QBID FAQs – 59 questions now!
- Forms 8995, 8995-A and 8995-A schedules A-D. This link goes to the instructions, also.
FTDs for a fiscal year taxpayer
Q: When using EFTPS to make an FTD for a fiscal year taxpayer, what year do you use? Is it the year when the fiscal year starts, or the year when the fiscal year ends?
A: Use the year for when the fiscal year ends.
- See IRM 3.17.277.15 (12-13-2019). Go to this link https://www.irs.gov/irm/part3/irm_03- 017-277#idm140363642054672 Then scroll down to (88).
- (88) TAX PERIOD – The month and year in which the length of liability ends for a particular return or payment transaction. For Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return, the tax period is the beginning month of For Form 706, U.S. Estate Tax Return, the tax period is 000000. The tax period cannot be later than the current year/month plus one year.
► YOUR PRACTICE
If you need to mail in a tax return or payment:
- Where to File Tax Returns – Addresses Listed by Return Type
- Where to File Paper Tax Returns With or Without a Payment
Clarification on Lockboxes
- Per “e-News for Small Business Issue 2020-2,” lockboxes in Cincinnati and Hartford are closing on July
- The lockboxes that are closing do not relate to 1040 estimated tax payments. They relate to business
- Publication 3891 has all the lock box addresses for 2020
- Understanding IRS Guidance – A Primer
- Tax Code. Federal tax law begins with the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), enacted by Congress in Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U.S.C.). (Note: The IRC materials in the link are provided as a public service by The Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School, not the )
- Treasury regulations (26 C.F.R.) — commonly referred to as Federal tax regulations — pick up where the Internal Revenue Code leaves off by providing the official interpretation of the IRC by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
- Internal Revenue Bulletins
- Rev Procs, Revenue Rulings, Notices, Treasury Directives
► TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS
Charities and Nonprofits home page
► IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS
- Identity Theft Central
- Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals
- Identity Theft Information for Businesses
► UPCOMING WEBINARS
► THE BEST OF IRS.GOV
The Taxpayer First Act page on IRS.gov has been updated. Check it out!
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► NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Federal Trade Commission
Small Business Cybersecurity: Protect Your Small Business | Learn the basics for protecting your business from cyberattacks. These business cybersecurity resources were developed in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.