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Tax Briefing(s)

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.


The Internal Revenue Service is now allowing taxpayers who have had an offer in compromise accepted by the agency to keep their tax refunds instead of the previous policy of having those refunds applied to their outstanding tax debt.


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."


Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig praised the work of agency employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but stated that there simply are not enough of them as the agency is slowly working through the backlog the pandemic caused.

Rettig used that as the foundation to call for not only more funding for the agency, but to encourage people to apply for open positions within the agency, especially as it is facing significant employee shortages in the coming years.


Before the fast-approaching new year, it’s important to take some time and reflect on year-end tax planning. The weeks pass quickly and the arrival of January 1, 2015 will close the doors to some tax planning strategies and opportunities. Fortunately, there is still time for a careful review of your year-end tax planning strategy.


Taxpayers will receive some modest relief for the 2015 tax year, thanks to the mandatory annual inflation-adjustments provided under the Tax Code. When there is inflation, indexing of brackets lowers tax bills by including more of people’s incomes in lower brackets—for example by placing taxpayers’ income in the existing 15-percent bracket, rather than the existing 25-percent bracket.


As January 1, 2015 draws closer, many employers are gearing up for the “employer mandate” under the Affordable Care Act. For 2015, there is special transition relief for mid-size employers. Small employers (employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees) are always exempt from the employer mandate and related employer reporting.


Every year the IRS publishes a list of projects that are currently on its agenda. For example, the IRS may indicate through this list that it is working on a new set of procedures relating to claiming business expenses. The new 2014–2015 IRS Priority Guidance Plan, just released this September, has indicated that IRS is working on guidance relating to whether employer-provided meals offered on company premises are taxable as income to the employee. In the Priority Guidance Plan’s Employee Benefits Section B.3, the IRS listed: "Guidance under §§119 and 132 regarding employer-provided meals" in its list of projects for the upcoming year.


Under the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) (which is more commonly known as depreciation), a half-year timing (i.e., averaging) convention generally applies to the depreciation deduction for most assets during anytime within the year in which they are purchased. That is, whether you purchase a business asset in January or in December, it’s treated for depreciation purposes as being purchased on July 1st. However, a taxpayer who places more than 40 percent of its depreciable property (excluding residential rental property and nonresidential real property) into service during the last three months of the tax year must use a mid-quarter convention – decidedly less advantageous. Because of the 40 percent rule, the purchase of a vehicle or other equipment in the last month of the tax year might, in itself, trigger imposition of the mid-quarter convention. Businesses should keep in mind the 40 percent rule especially for year-end tax planning purposes.


As an individual or business, it is your responsibility to be aware of and to meet your tax filing/reporting deadlines. This calendar summarizes important tax reporting and filing data for individuals, businesses and other taxpayers for the month of October 2014.


Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, several key requirements for employers have been delayed, including reporting of health coverage offered to employees, known as Code Sec. 6056 reporting. As 2015 nears, and the prospects of further delay appear unlikely, employers and the IRS are preparing for the filing of these new information returns.


As the 2015 filing season approaches, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is bracing taxpayers for more reductions in customer service unless the agency receives more funding. According to Koskinen, the IRS is facing its biggest challenge in recent years. Koskinen, who spoke at the annual conference of the National Society of Accountants in August, also predicted that taxpayers will have to wait until after the November elections to learn the fate of many popular but expired tax incentives.


Life expectancies for many Americans have increased to such an extent that most taxpayers who retire at age 65 expect to live for another 20 years or more. Several years ago, a number of insurance companies began to offer a new financial product, often called the longevity annuity or deferred income annuity, which requires upfront payment of a premium in exchange for a guarantee of a certain amount of fixed income starting after the purchaser reaches age 80 or 85. Despite the wisdom behind the longevity annuity, this new type of product did not sell especially well, principally for tax reasons. These roadblocks, however, have largely been removed by new regulations.