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IRS Archives

IRS Collection Due Process Program Remains Imperfect

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reviewed the Internal Revenue Serivce's (IRS's) program on Collection Due Process requests, and found it to have similar room for improvement as compared to TIGTA's last review. For instance, the program could be more accurate in classifying requests and providing the correct type of hearing to taxpayers. The IRS also needs to improve how it handles taxpayer requests initially sent to the wrong location, as well as how it calculates statute expiration dates. For more information on the results of this review, click here.

TIGTA Report Finds IRS Private Debt Collection Policies May Be Harmful to Taxpayers

The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently conducted an audit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)'s latest private debt collection program and found much room for improvement. As of May 31, 2018, the private debt collection program had netted $1.3 million, but the private agencies have collected only 1 percent of the $4.1 billion assigned to the program. For reference, the industry average for 2016 was 9.9 percent.

State and Local Tax Deductions Available to Businesses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced this week that business payments to charities that result in state or local tax credits will be deductible expenses in most cases.  This is unlike the manner in which the IRS has said it will treat payments that individuals make to charities (details here).  For more information on SALT deductions available to businesses, click here.

IRS and Treasury Propose Regulations On State and Local Tax Deductions

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 limits the annual federal tax deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000. In response to this limit, some states with higher tax rates (including California) considered programs that would allow taxpayers to characterize tax payments as charitable donations instead.

Pass Through Entities Become Focus of New IRS Compliance Campaign

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently launched a new compliance campaign focused on S corporations and shareholder distributions. The three areas of concern include failure to report gain upon the distribution of appreciated property, failure to correctly determine the taxability of a dividend, and the failure to report non-dividend distributions in excess of their stock basis subject to taxation. The IRS will be conducting issue-based examinations and reaching out to stakeholders on this topic. For more information, click here.

IRS Announces New Virtual Currency Compliance Campaign

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going to be taking a closer look at virtual currency transactions in a new compliance campaign focusing on education and guidance efforts about reporting requirements for convertible transactions involving digital currency such as Bitcoin. "Taxpayers with unreported virtual currency transactions are urged to correct their returns as soon as practical," the IRS said in its press release. For more information, click here.

Plans Underway for New Federal Form 1040

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced plans to consolidate the federal Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ into a single Form 1040 for the 2019 filing season. The shorter form would be supplemented with schedules for more complex tax filing situations. Tax professionals can view the proposed new Form 1040 in draft form here and submit any comments to [email protected].

Taxpayers Now Have More Time to Challenge IRS Levies

Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, taxpayers now have up to two years to file an administrative claim and bring suit for a wrongful levy by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where the IRS has already sold the property it levied. This time limit is a significant extension on the previous nine-month time limit and applies to levies made after December 22, 2017, and on or before that date if the shorter time limit hadn't yet expired.

IRS Supervisor Loses Passport, May Face 10 Years in Prison for Theft and False Statements

An Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supervisor in the Central District of California, Leslie Williams, was arrested this week on charges of theft of government property and making false statements. Williams allegedly embezzled federal funds and lied to obtain death benefit payments related to her former spouse. She continued to lie about her relationship to her deceased former spouse when interviewed in 2017 by special agents for the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA). She was released on a $10,000 appearance bond and had to surrender her passport; Williams could serve up to 10 years in prison for the charges.

IRS Puts Taxpayers on Notice Regarding State and Local Tax Deductions

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a notice about proposed regulations that will address the deductibility of state and local tax payments for federal income tax purposes, specifically reminding taxpayers that the IRS position is that federal law controls the characterization of payments, regardless of the treatment under state law. To read the IRS press release, click here.

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