The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hosts annual tax forums in various cities around the country throughout the summer months. Betty Williams will be speaking about tax audit triggers and tips at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum held in San Diego, California, from September 12 through 14, 2017.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a final report on May 17, 2016, after auditing the Internal Revenue Service's handling of amended individual tax returns. It found that examinations of such returns "did not always ensure that claims were properly evaluated" and did not always prevent the issuance of inappropriate tax refunds and abatements. Lack of substantiation was the main cause for this issue.
Many individuals come to our firm for assistance handling tax issues after being audited by the IRS. They may need help proving that the tax return they filed was correct, or they may need help arranging an installment agreement, an offer in compromise, or another alternative if they don't dispute that they owe the tax.
On November 2, 2015, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 was signed into law, the text of which can be found here. Among the provisions related to tax compliance, the Act imposes significant changes to the manner in which the IRS will determine audit adjustments related to partnerships.
One IRS official has indicated that the focus of tax audits concerning small businesses may shift from corporations to varying types of partnerships. This is in part because partnerships have grown in number and have also become more complex.
California taxpayers may be interested to know that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its annual report on whether the IRS is in compliance with Section 6501(c)(4)(B) of the Tax Code. The IRS is supposed to give taxpayers and their representatives notice that they can decline an extension of the statute of limitations. In the alternative, the Code section also allows the taxpayer to make a request as to the length of any extension and the issues it may cover. When TIGTA reviewed 51 IRS audits, it found that this Code section had not been adhered to by IRS employees.
The Internal Revenue Service recently released the 2012 IRS Data Book, which is, in essence, a snapshot of IRS's activities for the 2012 fiscal year.
In a recent announcement, the California Controller has indicated his office is broadening a review of public employee retirement accounts. He stated that his office needed further time to complete the audits so they can review all the targeted accounts. These retirement accounts are of state employees who have allegedly been receiving unauthorized raises as they approach retirement age, which has increased their benefit payments.
Tax audits can be time and money consuming, as well as frustrating for all parties involved. In a previous post, we gave California small business owners some tips on responding to tax audits. In today's post, we discuss measures that may help small business owners avoid an audit in the first place.
When it comes to audits, the American taxpayer is not the only one that can face challenges. According to recent news reports, the IRS itself has been audited by the Treasury Department and the results indicate problems. The audit conducted was for the 2011 tax year and documented that over $5 billion in tax refunds may have been delivered to identity thieves. California taxpayers beware!