Tax Alerts
Tax Briefing(s)

Taxpayers who get an unexpected or unsolicited phone call from the IRS should be wary – it’s probably a scam. Phone calls continue to be one of the most common ways that thieves try to get taxpayers to provide personal information. These scammers then use that information to gain access to the victim’s bank or other account. 


The IRS released the optional standard mileage rates for 2022. Most taxpayers may use these rates to compute deductible costs of operating vehicles for:

  • business,

  • medical, and

  • charitable purposes

Some members of the military may also use these rates to compute their moving expense deductions.


The IRS has encouraged taxpayers to take important actions this month to help them file their tax returns in 2022, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments and advance Child Tax Credit payments. As a part of a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season, the IRS highlighted a special page the outlines the steps taxpayers can take to make the tax filing season easier.


The IRS has extended the availability of electronic signatures on certain audit and non-audit forms. Through October 31, 2023, taxpayers and their authorized representatives may electronically sign documents and email documents to the IRS. This is an exception to normal policy. Previously, the IRS had allowed e-signatures through the end of 2021.


The IRS has issued guidance for employers on the retroactive termination of the COVID-19 employee retention credit against the employer's share of Medicare tax. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (P.L. 117-58) amended Code Sec. 3134 so that for most employers the credit applies only to wages paid before October 1, 2021. If the employer is a recovery startup business, the credit continues to apply to wages paid before January 1, 2022.


The IRS has reminded tax professionals and taxpayers that they can use digital signatures on a variety of common IRS forms and access a secure online platform to view and make changes to their account. The IRS has balanced the e-signature option with critical security and protection needed against identity theft and fraud.


The IRS has reminded taxpayers that they can get extra protection starting in January by joining the Service's Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program. The IRS has made recent changes to the program to make it easier for more taxpayers to join. The fastest and easiest way to receive an IP Pin is by using the Get an IP PIN tool.


A. Mcnulty, 157 TC —, No. 10, Dec. 61,950

Delivery of coins to the owner of a self-directed "Check Book IRA" was taxable income even though she took the coins as manager of the IRA’s LLC. While an IRA owner may act as a conduit or agent of the IRA custodian, she may do so only as long as she is not in constructive or actual receipt of the IRA assets. The fact that the Check Book IRA website said this would not be treated as a taxable distribution did not constitute reasonable cause for escaping understatement penalties.


The Internal Revenue Service is keeping the pressure on high income taxpayers who do not file their taxes as well as other high wealth taxpayers who may otherwise be hiding their earnings to avoid paying taxes.

And while agents are actively pursuing these people, Darren Guillot, Commissioner of the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed – Collection division said the goal is to avoid as much as possible escalating a case to enforcement proceedings.

His message on November 15 to attendees of the AICPA & CIMA National and Sophisticated Tax Planning Conferences in Washington, D.C., was a simple one: "Just tell the truth. We want to get you in compliance. We want you to file on time and pay what you owe. Every case is not criminal. We don’t want any case to be criminal, or enforcement or a seizure."


The IRS has released the 2021-2022 special per diem rates. Taxpayers use the per diem rates to substantiate certain expenses incurred while traveling away from home.


The IRS and the Treasury Department have issued guidance to employers about reporting the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees for leave taken in 2021 on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.


The IRS reminded taxpayers that their website (www.irs.gov) provides millions of visitors with the answers they need to fit their busy summer schedules.


The IRS reminds taxpayers that May includes National Hurricane Preparedness Week and National Wildfire Awareness Month. It urges taxpayers to create or review emergency preparedness plans for surviving natural disasters.


The termination date for an empowerment zone designation under Code Sec. 1391 is generally deemed to extend until December 31, 2025. However, the state or local government that nominated the zone may decline the deemed extension.


IRS Commissioner Charles "Chuck" Rettig told Congress on February 23 that the backlog of 20 million unopened pieces of mail is gone.


The IRS has released new Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals. The form allows eligible self-employed individuals to calculate the amount to claim for qualified sick and family leave tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ( P.L. 116-127). They can claim the credits on their 2020 Form 1040 for leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, and on their 2021 Form 1040 for leave taken between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021.


The IRS is urging employers to take advantage of the newly-extended employee retention credit (ERC), which makes it easier for businesses that have chosen to keep their employees on the payroll despite challenges posed by COVID-19. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Division EE of P.L. 116-260), which was enacted December 27, 2020, made a number of changes to the ERC previously made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) ( P.L. 116-136), including modifying and extending the ERC, for six months through June 30, 2021.


The IRS has adopted previously issued proposed regulations ( REG-106808-19) dealing with the 100 percent bonus depreciation deduction. In addition, some clarifying changes have been made to previously issued final regulations ( T.D. 9874). Changes to the proposed and earlier final regulations are largely in response to various comments submitted by practitioners, and generally relate to:


The 2017 tax filing season launched on January 23. The IRS predicted a few speedbumps for taxpayers, especially for taxpayers who file early in anticipation of early refunds. The agency expects to receive more than 150 million individual income tax returns. The vast majority of individual income tax returns will be filed electronically and the IRS has extra safeguards in place to protect taxpayers from cybercrime.


An S corporation can own an interest in another business entity. It can also be a partner in a partnership or a member of a limited liability company (LLC). An S corporation can own 80 percent or more of the stock of a C corporation, which can elect to join in the filing of a consolidated return with its affiliated C corporations. However, an S corporation is ineligible to be a member of the affiliated group and to join in the election to file a consolidated return.


Foreign travel expenses may be subject to allocation if the taxpayer engages in personal activities while traveling on business. A portion of the foreign travel expenses may be nondeductible if the individual engages in substantial nonbusiness activity. The allocation rules apply where the individual engages in substantial nonbusiness activity at, near, or beyond the business destination; or, when the personal destination is en route to and from the business destination.


An employer must withhold income taxes from compensation paid to common-law employees (but not from compensation paid to independent contractors). The amount withheld from an employee's wages is determined in part by the number of withholding exemptions and allowances the employee claims. Note that although the Tax Code and regulations distinguish between withholding exemptions and withholding allowances, the terms are interchangeable. The amount of reduction attributable to one withholding allowance is the same as that attributable to one withholding exemption. Form W-4 and most informal IRS publications refer to both as withholding allowances, probably to avoid confusion with the complete exemption from withholding for employees with no tax liability.


Taxpayers who are self-employed must pay self-employment tax on their income from self-employment. The self-employment tax applies in lieu of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes paid by employees and employers on compensation from employment. Like FICA taxes, the self-employment tax consists of taxes collected for Social Security and for Medicare (hospital insurance or HI).


The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013, extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit through (and including) the 2017 tax year. The credit, which is an enhanced version of the Hope tax credit for tuition, allows taxpayers to claim a credit against federal income taxes for costs of tuition and other qualified educational expenses paid for the taxpayer, his or her spouse, or a dependent claimed on the tax return who is enrolled at an eligible educational institution. An eligible educational institution would include any accredited public, nonprofit, or private college, university, vocational school, or other post-secondary institution.


Taxpayers with children should be aware of the numerous tax breaks for which they may qualify. Among them are: the dependency exemption, child tax credit, child care credit, and adoption credit. As they get older, education tax credits for higher education may be available; as is a new tax code requirement for employer-sponsored health care to cover young adults up to age 26. Employers of parents with young children may also qualify for the child care assistance credit.

Often, individuals end up with an unexpected tax liability on April 15. There are several options available to pay off your tax debt, stop accruing penalties and interest and secure peace of mind. Each payment method has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your financial, and personal, circumstances, and each option should be discussed with a tax professional prior to making a decision. Our office would be glad to answer any questions you have about each payment method.

No. Even though trash pickup and neighborhood oversight provided by a governmental entity such as a town or county can be figured into the amount of deductible property taxes paid by a homeowner, a payment to a nongovernmental entity is not a deductible tax.

Do you know where your 401(k) plan funds are? Errors can and do occur, sometimes with devastating results. By taking an active role in the management of your account, you can quickly uncover any errors, make good investment choices, and ascertain a secure, comfortable retirement. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of your 401(k) plan.


Maintaining good financial records is an important part of running a successful business. Not only will good records help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your business' operations, but they will also help out tremendously if the IRS comes knocking on your door.


After your tax returns have been filed, several questions arise: What do you do with the stack of paperwork? What should you keep? What should you throw away? Will you ever need any of these documents again? Fortunately, recent tax provisions have made it easier for you to part with some of your tax-related clutter.


With home values across the country at the highest levels seen in years, you may find that you could actually have a gain from the sale of your home in excess of the new IRS exclusion amount of $500,000 ($250,000 for single and married filing separately taxpayers). In order to determine your potential gain or loss from the sale, you will first need to know the basis of your personal residence.


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