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February 2017 Archives

Unreported Offshore Accounts Remains on IRS' "Dirty Dozen" List

The IRS remains committed to stopping the use of offshore accounts to hide money or assets, and has kept the act on its 2017 "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams. "Offshore compliance remains a top IRS priority," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "The IRS receives more foreign account information each year, making it harder to hide income offshore."

U.S. Tax Court Says CalPERS Benefits Excluded From Canceled Debt Insolvency Calculation

On February 9, 2017, the U.S. Tax Court released its opinion in Schieber v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2017-32, ruling that the lump-sum value of CalPERS pension benefits should not be included in asset calculations to determine a taxpayer's ability to immediately pay tax on canceled debt income.

TIGTA Releases Final Report on 2016 Filing Season

On January 31, 2017, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its final report on the results of the 2016 tax filing season. As of early May 2016, the IRS had received 139.6 million individual tax returns, over 88% of which were filed electronically. Almost $277 billion was issued related to 101 million refunds. However, TIGTA identified several areas in which claims and credits were inadequately substantiated.

IRS Begins Publishing 2017 "Dirty Dozen" List

The IRS has begun releasing detailed notices on the top 12 most common tax scams taxpayers may encounter during the 2017 filing season. Included so far are:

Federal Form W-2 Phishing Scam is Growing

The IRS recently alerted employers to a dangerous new e-mail phishing scam involving false requests for payroll information made through "spoof" accounts. This scam "can result in the large-scale theft of sensitive data that criminals can use to commit various crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

FTB Tax Return Due Dates

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) issued a reminder regarding tax return due dates, which have changed for taxable years starting January 1, 2016 going forward. For calendar-year filers, tax returns are due on:

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