The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently released an update on the current state tax filing season. The number of personal returns that were e-filed in 2017 increased by one percentage point as compared to 2016 (88% in 2017, and 87% in 2016). Some 133,400 people used CalFile to file returns this year, and 95% of CalFile users found that the program was easy to use and understand.
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.
Ordinarily, the taxpayer has the burden of proving a tax return is accurate. But when the IRS has to produce documents, its record-keeping practices are lacking. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report on July 13, 2017, that found that the IRS' electronic record retention policies do not comply with certain Federal requirements that records remain retrievable and usable for the time period needed. For example, e-mail messages are not automatically archived for all IRS employees, and the manual methods used to counteract this gap are inadequate when computer hard drives are destroyed or damaged as media storage policies and tools change.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as part of the Security Summit, is urging tax professionals to stay vigilant with regard to a variety of e-mail scams and "spear phishing" that aim to steal personal information about clients and companies. Between January and May 2017, some 177 tax professionals or firms reported data thefts involving thousands of clients' information.
Each year, the IRS publishes statistical data regarding tax return filing, revenue collected and refunded, tax law enforcement, taxpayer assistance, and other important information. In fiscal year 2016, the IRS collected over $3.3 trillion and processed over 244 million tax returns and other forms. It also issued over $426 billion in tax refunds. To review the FY 2016 IRS Data Book, click here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-IRS-Data-Book
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hopes that the estimated 1 million taxpayers due a refund for the 2013 tax year will file their delinquent returns by April 18, 2017 - the deadline for them to claim their share of more than $1 billion in potential refunds. In California alone, an estimated 97,200 taxpayers may be able to claim over $93 million, with a median expected individual refund of $696.
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.
The IRS receives confidential information daily from what we in the profession call "The X Factor" - ex-spouses, ex-employees, ex-friends. These are people with whom you may have confided your tax shenanigans, who are sore, and turn you in to the IRS. Those who are bold enough to attach their names to the complaint may receive a reward if the IRS is able to collect taxes based on the information disclosed.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched a new, web-based tool to assist taxpayers with simple balance inquiries. The new feature is one part of the IRS' plans to build a wider platform for taxpayers to more quickly and securely access various aspects of their account information online. A rigorous identity authentication process is required for all new users of this tool.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report that found nearly $9 billion in backup withholding tax was not withheld for 2013 information returns with missing or incorrect taxpayer identification numbers. The IRS should have received nearly $5 billion in backup withholding for payments to these unidentified payees, but payers withheld only $1 million.