The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a special landing page to share information with tax professionals concerning the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Click through for the latest press releases, publications, and IRS legal guidance on the changes made by the latest tax reform: www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-reform
The California Tax Education Council (CTEC) began a public awareness campaign for the 2018 tax filing season targeting "ghost tax preparers," meaning paid tax professionals who do not sign the returns they prepare. The Council reminds taxpayers that "tax preparers who charge a fee to do your taxes, but never sign your tax return are breaking the law." Hiring a ghost preparer could lead to tax refund fraud, penalties, or additional taxes. For more information from CTEC on this issue, click here.
If you are a tax professional, take note of recent changes that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) have made to their power of attorney forms that may affect your ability to access client information. The IRS form, found here, has expanded section 5a to include a box you must check if you have intermediaries access client transcripts for you. The FTB has completely rehauled its power of attorney form system --- there is a new form to use for individuals, a separate form for business entities, and a third form to use when you want to revoke your power of attorney. To learn more about the various the changes to the FTB forms, click here.
The IRS Large Business and International division (LB&I) is rolling out a series of campaigns focused on specific compliance issues. The division analyzed extensive data as well as suggestions from IRS compliance employees and the tax community to improve large business compliance activities.
No one is beyond the certainty of taxes, as a priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, California, discovered last week. Hien Minh Nguyen was sentenced to 36 months in prison for taking cash and checks donated to the Diocese by parishioners and depositing them into his personal bank account to pay for personal expenses. The court found that the priest embezzled a total of $1.4 million from the Catholic Church and, by concealing the embezzlement from his return preparer, evaded over $500,000 in income taxes owed to the IRS.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a warning to tax professionals to be alert to a new e-mail scam that impersonates tax software providers and attempts to steal usernames and passwords. Recipients of these e-mails are told that, due to a recent software upgrade, the tax preparer must revalidate their login credentials. It provides a link to a fictitious website that mirrors the software provider's actual login page. However, instead of upgrading software, the tax professionals are providing their information to cybercriminals who use the stolen credentials to access the preparers' accounts and steal client information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hosts annual tax forums in various cities around the country throughout the summer months. Betty Williams will be speaking about tax audit triggers and tips at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum held in San Diego, California, from September 12 through 14, 2017.
The IRS has begun releasing detailed notices on the top 12 most common tax scams taxpayers may encounter during the 2017 filing season. Included so far are:
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has delayed the tax refund process for at least 16,000 state taxpayers in order to complete extra identity verification steps to prevent refund fraud and identity theft. The FTB is sending letters to some taxpayers whose returns were prepared professionally to request confidential information using various form letters to validate their claims for refund.
Filing tax returns can be stressful, which is one reason many taxpayers hire a trusted professional to handle their returns for them. But what happens if your tax preparer turns out to be less trustworthy than you thought?