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November 2016 Archives

IRS Advisory Council Releases 2016 Annual Report

The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) released its annual report today for 2016. Based on IRSAC's findings and discussions in 2016, the council made recommendations on topics including:

California Sales and Use Tax Rate to Decrease in 2017

The temporary statewide sales and use tax increase approved through California's Proposition 30 expires on December 31, 2016. Effective January 1, 2017, the state sales and use tax rate in California will decrease by 0.25% to the new rate of 7.25%. The California State Board of Equalization notes, however, that in many cities and counties the total tax rate will be higher due to local voter-approved district taxes.

Bitcoins and Beyond - Recommendations to the IRS to Ensure Taxation of Virtual Currency Transactions

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently issued a report on the IRS' strategy for addressing income produced through virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, litecoin, and dogecoin. Use of virtual currency has grown in recent years, due in part to service benefits such as faster turnaround and lower transaction fees, and in part due to the relative anonymity of the parties involved in such transactions.

Security Summit to Expand Efforts to Protect Taxpayers from Fraud in 2017

The IRS and its Security Summit partners finalized plans on November 3, 2016, to improve identity theft protections in 2017 after the significant success of its 2016 program (and in spite of a growing number of scams). In the first nine months of the current year, identity theft victim claims dropped 50 percent, as compared to 2015. The number of fraudulent returns stopped by the IRS' tax processing systems increased, derailing 787,000 attempts at identity theft return filing, and stopping nearly $600 million more in fraudulent refunds from being paid out to scammers as compared to the previous year.

Tax Professionals Targeted by New E-mail Scam

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an urgent warning to tax professionals regarding yet another e-mail scam, this time involving a fake website related to the IRS' e-Services accounts.

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