The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its final report on the 2018 filing season just before the federal government shutdown. As of May 4, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received over 140 million tax returns, 89% of which were e-filed. The IRS issued over 101 million refunds in 2018, totaling nearly $282 billion.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently posted its contingency plan for managing operations during the federal government shutdown, which includes reducing its available workforce for IRS functions by over 87 percent. Employees may be kept on for half a day to ensure an orderly close-down of operations. After the half-day period, most IRS activities will cease, including the issuing of refunds, processing amended returns, responding to taxpayer phone calls, and providing legal counsel. All audit functions will also stop during the shutdown period.
The California Public Utilities Commission recently released a decision finding that text messaging services could be subject to Public Purpose Program surcharges, as suggested by Commissioner Carla J. Peterman. The proposed decision does not have legal effect at this time, and the Commission is opening an additional phase during which it will consider transparency, competition, and methods to implement the proposed fees. For more information, click here: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M238/K227/238227359.PDF.
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) announced this week that, starting April 1, 2019, out-of-state retailers whose sales for delivery into California exceed $100,000 or 200 deliveries will be required to register with California and collect and pay over sales tax. Businesses that meet these thresholds for a single local jurisdiction will also need to collect and pay over that district's use tax, in addition to the state tax.
A 74-year-old former fund manager who resided in San Francisco was recently sentenced to 30 months in prison for investment adviser fraud and filing a false income tax return that failed to report millions of dollars in illegally diverted funds. The California resident moved funds between several entities related to Burrill Capital, LLC, using advance management fees he was not permitted to draw. His accountant was convicted of assisting with the filing of the false income tax return and will be sentenced soon.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its semi-annual report to Congress on federal tax administration for the period from April 1 through September 30, 2018. A major highlight during this period was TIGTA's success protecting taxpayers from IRS impersonation scams: As of the end of the reporting period, 130 individuals have been charged for their roles in a massive phone scam involving multiple India-based call centers. Twenty-one of those individuals have been sentenced to prison sentences of up to 20 years each, and all are jointly and severally liable for over $8.9 million in restitution.
I often think of the worker classification case I was involved with as a new attorney at the Employment Development Department. One of my witnesses, an independent contractor truck driver, testified that he netted over $30,000 more per year than I was grossing as a state attorney. I realized at that moment that I was involved in restricting this gentleman from engaging in a lawful business which worked very well for him. The California legislature may soon be faced with a similar burden.
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently updated its list of individual and corporate tax rates, exemption credits, and other fees and requirements for 2018, based upon the state rate of inflation. The current California tax rate for corporations (not banks or financials) is 8.84%, and the maximum rate for individuals is 12.3%. For additional details, click here.
The Treasurer of Ohio announced this week that taxpayers in his state will be able to pay business taxes with cryptocurrency - making Ohio the first state in the U.S. to do so.
The California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released a fiscal outlook report recently that indicates California will soon be implementing changes to sales and use tax collection for out-of-state businesses in the wake of the June 2018 Wayfair decision. "The administration plans to start registering out-of-state taxpayers soon," the LAO wrote, and anticipates increases to state revenue from related changes starting around $100 million or more in the next couple years. To read the full report, click here.