The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released its annual inflation adjustments for many tax benefits applicable for tax year 2018 (returns filed in 2019). The standard deduction for taxpayers who are married filing jointly will increase slightly to $13,000; for single and separately filing married taxpayers, the standard deduction will also increase slightly, to $6,500. For tax year 2018, the foreign earned income exclusion is $104,100, up from $102,100 for tax year 2017. The annual exclusion for gifts increased to $15,000, an increase of $1,000 from the exclusion for tax year 2017.
On October 6, 2017, Shiv D. Kumar, the sole shareholder of a California transportation company that serves disabled individuals, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for filing false corporate returns. The Department of Justice found that Kumar provided his accountant with false books and records, leading to the underreporting of the business' income to the IRS by over $2 million per year in 2009 and 2010.
California counties will not automatically reassess homes due to the recent fires, because the law requires that the counties first receive an application from the homeowner. Those who lost property will need to file the appropriate county casualty abatement form for the 2016-2017 year.
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.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released some initial statistics about the 2017 tax filing season. In the week ending April 21, 2017, the IRS received over 17 million tax returns, of which 13.6 million were e-filed. The last-minute surge brought the filing season total to 135.6 million, approximately the same as last year.
If your company contracts with the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), you have one more reason to be compliant with your federal tax obligations: Effective September 30, 2016, these agencies will no longer award contracts to corporations having delinquent Federal tax liabilities or a felony conviction under any law. This includes any assessed liabilities such as unpaid income tax, employment tax, payroll withholdings, and social security and Medicare taxes that are not contested or paid on time.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is piloting an expanded program for streamlined processing of taxpayer requests for installment agreements through the end of September 2017. For the next year, the IRS expects more taxpayers to qualify for faster processing of their requests. The expanded criteria do no apply, however, to requests submitted to W&I Accounts Management, SB/SE Field Collection, or through the Online Payment Agreement application form. For details, click here.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will begin private collection of overdue federal tax debts starting in Spring 2017. The IRS will contract with four private agencies to attempt to collect on federal debts owed that the IRS is no longer actively pursuing or for which the IRS does not have sufficient resources to pursue.
What happens when the chief of staff to a Congressman (and former Democratic staff director for the Homeland Security Committee) fails to file or pay income tax for six or more years in a row? It appears, not much.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that Southern Californians affected by the natural gas leak in the Aliso Canyon storage field that was discovered on October 23, 2015, will not be required to include payments or reimbursements made to them by the Southern California Gas Company for temporary relocation in their income calculations for tax purposes. For more information, consult IRS Announcement 2016-25 (here).