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December 2017 Archives

IRS Criminal Investigation Division Releases FY 2017 Report

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released the fiscal year 2017 annual report for its Criminal Investigation Division (CI). During FY 2017, CI initiated over 3,000 cases concerning Title 18 and Title 31 crimes, with 72.5% of its investigation time spent on tax matters such as refund fraud, identity theft, abusive tax schemes, and cyber crimes. Its investigations identified $2.5 billion in funds related to tax fraud, and the division had a 91.5% overall conviction rate.

Great News for California Business Taxpayers: EDD Amends Burdensome Penalty for "Failure to File Worker Information Returns"

Since 1990, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has retained the statutory authority to issue penalties for failure to file Forms W-2 and/or 1099. Until this year, effective January 1, 2018, taxpayers assessed the steepest of those penalties, Unemployment Insurance Code section 13052.5, did not have a right to petition the assessment. However, since enactment of Assembly Bill 1695 on July 24, 2017, and effective January 1, 2018, Section 13052.5 is now petitionable before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Opening a Cannabis Business in California? Learn Your Compliance Requirements!

The California Secretary of State recently launched a new online portal, cannabizfile, for those interested in establishing a cannabis-related business. You will find information on topics including registering your business, trademark, or service mark; searching for business records; licensing; and registering and paying taxes with various state agencies.

TIGTA Releases Semiannual Report to Congress

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its Semiannual Report to Congress for the period April 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017. TIGTA provides oversight for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) activities and Federal tax administration. During the most recent period, TIGTA conducted 61 audits and over 1,400 investigations into issues involving tax fraud, identity theft, and other taxpayer-related issues.

Bitcoin Secrecy a Bust

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently ordered Coinbase Inc., the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange and storage platform, to provide information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about accountholders who have entered into transactions valued at $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015. Cryptocurrency or virtual currency, such as bitcoin, has come under significant scrutiny by the IRS lately.

IRS Updates AFRs; Interest Rates Remain Unchanged

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated its applicable federal rates (AFRs) used for a variety of IRS calculations, such as the minimum interest rate for intra-family loans. For calendar year 2017, AFRs for short-term loans have increased from 0.96 percent to 1.52 percent, AFRs for mid-term loans have fluctuated around 2 percent, and AFRs for long-term loans have fluctuated between 2.6 percent and 2.82 percent. For a detailed list of AFRs by month and year, click here.

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