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IRS News Releases, Headliner, and additional information

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  
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IRS NEWS

 

Free File Launches Today; Helps Taxpayers with New Health Care Law The Internal Revenue Service and the Free File Alliance today announced the launch of Free File, which makes brand-name tax software products and electronic filing available to most taxpayers for free.

 

IRS Starts 2015 Tax Season; Free File Opens Tomorrow, E-File Tuesday; Expanded Online Services Enable People to Learn About New Health Care Provisions The Internal Revenue Service announced the on-time opening of the nation’s 2015 filing season and highlighted a growing array of online services, including features that help taxpayers understand how the Affordable Care Act will affect them at tax time, along with the availability of the Free File program.

 

National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress; Focuses on Taxpayer Service and Taxpayer Bill of Rights National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released her 2014 annual report to Congress, which expresses concern that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since at least 2001 when the IRS implemented its current performance measures.  The report recommends that Congress enact a principles-based Taxpayer Bill of Rights, adopt additional safeguards to make those rights meaningful, and provide sufficient funding to make the “Right to Quality Service” a reality.

 

IRS Launches International Data Exchange Service; Supports Reporting under FATCA and Intergovernmental Agreements The Internal Revenue Service announces the opening of the International Data Exchange Service (IDES) for enrollment.  Financial institutions and host country tax authorities will use IDES to securely send their information reports on financial accounts held by U.S. persons to the IRS under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or pursuant to the terms of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA), as applicable.

 

Tax Season Opens As Planned Following Extenders Legislation Following the passage of the extenders legislation, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it anticipates opening the 2015 filing season as scheduled in January.

 

The Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Employers that are considered “applicable large employers” are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In general, an applicable large employer is an employer with at least 50 full-time employees or an employer with both full-time and part-time employees whose hours add up to the equivalent of at least 50 full-time employees

 

Additional Information

 

  • The following IRS webinar is now archived and available for viewing in the IRS Video Portal: 

    Topic:    "Appeals: Overview of Recent Policy Changes" 

Aired:     Wednesday, December 10, 2014
View:      
IRS Video Portal

  • Return Integrity and Compliance Services message:  Recently, a link to an article appeared on the Iowa Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation Facebook page titled, “Education Credit to Delay Refunds?” The article refers back to information contained in SERP Alert 15A003 dated Jan. 12, 2015 about –R freeze holds on American Opportunity Tax Credit refunds.

 

The director of the Refund Integrity and Compliance Services has clarified the meaning of the AOTC refund holds and approves the following reactive statement for questions by your clients on this topic:

 

The vast majority of returns claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit will process normally.

 

The Service’s processing filters will only hold refunds claiming the credit that display characteristics of fraud.

 

Once the credit is verified by a Form 1098-T from the accredited institution, the refund will issue or the taxpayer will receive a letter 4800C informing them that further documentation is required to allow the education credit.  

 

and

Choosing a Tax Professional A tax return preparer is trusted with your most personal information. They know about your marriage, your income, your children and your social security numbers – the details of your financial life

  • Revenue Procedure 2015-14 (RP 2015-14) provides the List of Automatic Changes to which the automatic change procedures in Rev. Proc. 2015-13, 2015-5 I.R.B., (or successor) apply.  The definitions in section 3 of Rev. Proc. 2015-13 apply to this revenue procedure.

 

  • Revenue Procedure 2015-13 (RP 2015-13) updates and revises the general procedures under § 446(e) of the Internal Revenue Code and § 1.446-1(e) of the Income Tax Regulations to obtain the consent of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner) to change a method of accounting for federal income tax purposes.  Specifically, this revenue procedure provides the general procedures to obtain the advance (non-automatic) consent of the Commissioner to change a method of accounting and provides the procedures to obtain the automatic consent of the Commissioner to change a method of accounting described in Rev. Proc. 2015-14, 2015-5 I.R.B., (or successor) (List of Automatic Changes).

 

  • Revenue Ruling 2015-2 (Rev Rul 2015-02) sets forth the prevailing state assumed interest rates that are used by insurance companies to determine their reserves under section 807 for contracts that are issued in 2014 and 2015.  The ruling supplements, in part, Rev. Rul. 92-19

 

  • Notice 2015-06 (n-15-06) describes the rules for filing Form 8922, Third-Party Sick Pay Recap, an annual form filed with the Internal Revenue Service, which replaces third-party sick pay recaps that were filed with the Social Security Administration.  Form 8922 is used to report total amounts of certain sick pay paid to employees by a third party (an entity other than the employee’s employer).  Form 8922, which applies with respect to sick pay paid on or after January 1, 2014, must be filed if liability for the payment and reporting of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes with respect to third-party sick pay is split between the employer and a third party under applicable regulations.  The notice also describes the requirements for payment and reporting of FICA taxes, Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes, and income tax withholding with respect to sick pay.

 

  • Notice 2015-3 (Notice2015-3) provides rules for claimants to make one-time claims for the retroactively extended 2014 biodiesel mixture and alternative fuel excise tax credits.  It also provides guidance for claimants to claim the other retroactively extended credits for 2014, including the alternative fuel mixture excise tax credit

 

  • Notice 2015-02 (n-15-02) provides guidance with respect to issues related to the retroactive increase in the monthly transit benefit exclusion under section 132(f)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code from $130 per participating employee to $250 per participating employee for the period from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.  Due to the timing of the statutory change and in order to reduce administrative burden, the Service is providing a special administrative procedure for employers that treated excess transit benefits as wages and that have not yet filed their fourth quarter Form 941 for 2014 to make necessary corrections on their fourth quarter Form 941.

 

  • Attached is Announcement 2015-03 (a-15-03), which provides guidance on the automatic approval of a change in funding method for single-employer defined benefit plan under certain circumstances in which the change in method results from a change in the plan’s enrolled actuary

 

 

For the latest information on the Affordable Care Act, visit IRS on YouTube or follow IRS on Twitter.

 

 


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