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Sacramento Tax Law Blog

Applicants Sought for IRS Advisory Committee

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is seeking applicants for places on its Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT), specifically to assist with the employee plans, exempt organizations, and tax exempt bonds segments. The Department of the Treasury appoints members for three-year terms. Applications are accepted through September 18, 2017.

New Scam Targets Professionals' Tax Software Passwords, Security Summit Warns

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a warning to tax professionals to be alert to a new e-mail scam that impersonates tax software providers and attempts to steal usernames and passwords.  Recipients of these e-mails are told that, due to a recent software upgrade, the tax preparer must revalidate their login credentials. It provides a link to a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider's actual login page. However, instead of upgrading software, the tax professionals are providing their information to cybercriminals who use the stolen credentials to access the preparers' accounts and steal client information.

FTB Rules on Market-Based Sourcing of Non-Marketing Services

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) issued Chief Counsel Ruling 2017-01 on August 2, 2017, regarding market-based sourcing rules for performance of "non-marketing" services. Where a subcontractor performed administrative or non-marketing business services for a health plan client, the members or sponsors of the health plan are not considered the direct customers of that subcontractor, but rather only the health plan entity.

IRS Sting Operation - Private Citizens Foot Bill

A group of private business owners have filed suit in a dispute with the IRS over reimbursement for their involvement in a sting operation to identify people filing fraudulent tax returns. "I think it is unusual for the IRS to use a private business in a sting operation," Betty Williams wrote. "If the plaintiffs are not made whole, this is simply a very sad story." Learn more in the Northern California Record, here.

FTB Releases Data on 2017 Filing Season

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently released an update on the current state tax filing season. The number of personal returns that were e-filed in 2017 increased by one percentage point as compared to 2016 (88% in 2017, and 87% in 2016). Some 133,400 people used CalFile to file returns this year, and 95% of CalFile users found that the program was easy to use and understand.

IRS Office of Appeals Begins Virtual Conference Pilot Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is launching a pilot program to offer a web-based virtual conference option for taxpayers and their representatives in Appeals cases. The Office of Appeals hears over 100,000 cases each year for taxpayers who would like to resolve their tax disputes outside the Tax Court, and is hoping this new program will be a convenient, efficient, and flexible way to address the needs of taxpayers, particularly those who live far from an IRS Appeals office.

FTB Changes Cost Recovery Fees for Delinquent Returns and Tax Payments

The Franchise Tax Board has updated its cost recovery fees, which are assessed against individuals and business entities when they fail to file tax returns upon demand or fail to pay their delinquent taxes. The filing enforcement fee for individuals and most entities will be $84, and the collection fee will be $287. For corporations and LLC's treated as corporations, the filing enforcement fee will be $85 and the collection fee $374.

DOJ Still Prosecuting Tax Cheats in U.S. and Abroad

Susanne D. Rüegg Meier, a citizen and resident of Switzerland, pleaded guilty on July 19, 2017, to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and other Swiss bankers to defraud the United States as the head of a team of bankers for Credit Suisse AG between 2002 and 2011. She was responsible for the accounts of over 1,000 clients and handled approximately $400 million in assets. Her conduct led to an estimated U.S. tax loss of between $3.5 and $9.5 million. Sentencing in this case is scheduled for early September 2017; Rüegg Meier faces a maximum of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, and restitution penalties.

National Taxpayer Advocate Releases FY 2018 Objectives Report to Congress

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson recently released her FY 2018 Objectives Report to Congress summarizing the recent filing season and future goals to improve Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interactions with US taxpayers.

Montenegro Agrees to Implement FATCA Provisions

On June 1, 2017, U.S. Ambassador Margaret Ann Uyehara and Montenegrin Finance Minister Darko Radunovic signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to combat offshore tax evasion by implementing the provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Banks from Montenegro will be able to share information about financial accounts of U.S. citizens with the IRS.

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