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.
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson recently released her 2016 annual report to Congress recommending that the IRS continue its improvements to becoming service-oriented and that the tax code be significantly simplified. According to data the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) analyzed, taxpayers collectively spend about six billion hours per year complying with filing requirements, "the equivalent of three million full-time workers."
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a revised schedule of fees for installment agreements made on or after January 1, 2017. The changes increase the highest possible fee to $225 (up from $120), but reduces fees for certain types of agreements.
Businesses on the cutting edge of technology may kick off the new year with a "sharing economy" workforce approach. Businesses that use a web-based approach to offering services, including the rental of tangible personal property, may qualify for the benefits related to this relatively new classification. Be aware of the IRS' requirements and the related rules for the best business practices and for preparedness in the event of an audit.
The California Franchise Tax Board recently compiled statistics regarding the 2016 tax filing season. It released data regarding individual and business returns, refunds, and taxpayer services. Highlights included:
Registration for the 2016 Internal Revenue Service Nationwide Tax Forums is now open. The forums offer three days of seminars in the fields of tax law, compliance and ethics at multiple locations around the US, including San Diego, California. For more information, click here: https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/irs-nationwide-tax-forum-information
The IRS Office of Chief Counsel recently released a memo from April 14, 2016, regarding the tax treatment of benefits an employee receives through an employer wellness program. Specifically, the Chief Counsel determined that cash benefits paid as a reward for or reimbursements of premiums paid related to participating in such a program may not be excluded from the employee's gross income. Health screenings and medical care provided under the wellness program are excludable.