The 2019 tax season is now officially upon us. Plus, the federal government is at least temporarily reopened, although the IRS workers had been called back to work. The season will be noteworthy for the above issues as well as the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act that revamped the rules for determining one’s tax obligation. Nonetheless, one trend that continues is the fact that the IRS continues its downward trend of auditing fewer and fewer filers.
The government shutdown continues with many of the 880,000 federal workers still on furlough. Many news reports claim, however, that the IRS is preparing for the beginning of the tax filing season on January 28 by recalling 46,052 workers (or 57 percent of the 80,265 workers on staff) to work. Much to the consternation of many including the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), most of these workers will not be paid until the government reopens. The IRS has previously been operating with only 12.5 percent of its staff, which is less than 10,000 employees.
The federal government remains in a partial shutdown as the president and congress go toe to toe over border security. This means that 880,000 federal employees are currently on furlough, including seven in eight of those at the Internal Revenue Service. Experts believe that there will be no delays in the processing and issuing of returns as long as the shutdown does not drag on past the middle of January. It should also be noted that tax payers can file online or submit them via the mail even if the government is shut down.
Most of us think of the IRS as that government organization that collects taxes from individuals and organizations. However, the IRS does other work as well. This includes keeping tax information safe from fraudsters and thieves. Thus the IRS has a new press release from the Security Summit during Tax Security Week (Dec. 3-7) entitled “It’s shopping season for identity thieves, too.”
The end of the year tends to be a flurry of closing out the books, managing holiday staffing and panicking about the New Year. Most businesses have already dealt changes in the new tax plan, but there are several useful tips from financial experts that can enable owners to enter the new year with a running start.
The Internal Revenue Service recently released its annual report on criminal enforcement in fiscal 2018, which ended September 30. The announcement touted that the Criminal Investigation team is using “cutting-edge technology combined with sophisticated investigative work.”
The last quarter of the year is upon us. This makes it the perfect time to discuss changes to tax obligations under the Tax Cut and Jobs Creation Act signed at the end of 2017. There are changes that directly address business owners and freelancers.
The scammers come out around tax time. For many tax-paying Americans that means April 15, but those who filed an extension must pay by October 15. According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers need to be on the lookout for scammers who use this date as an excuse to try and steal money or personal information from unsuspecting victims.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Boston-based Wayfair Inc. in 2018, determining that states could levy sales tax upon internet retailers who are based in other states. The court also suggested that there should be a checklist of rules that go with this new tax law.
The IRS provides a lot of helpful information, but it is not always clear whether making certain tax deductions are legitimate. The web site is a good place to start, but it does not provide all the answers. Smart filers want to get the maximum number deductions to reduce the amount they are obligated pay but there are ground rules.