e-News for Tax Professionals Issue 2018-4

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e-News for Tax Professionals January 26, 2018

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Issue Number:  2018-4

Inside This Issue

  1. Filing Season Opens Monday, Jan. 29
  2. Today is EITC Awareness Day
  3. YouTube: Client Claiming EITC or ACTC? Refunds May Be Delayed
  4. Wage Statements and Independent Contractor Forms Due Jan. 31
  5. Data Security Email from the Return Preparer Office
  6. IRS Whistleblower Office Saw 50 Percent Increase in Section 7623(b) Awards in 2017
  7. Technical Guidance


1.  Filing Season Opens Monday, Jan. 29

The 2018 tax filing season officially opens on Monday, Jan. 29, and will close on Tuesday, April 17, when individual tax returns and payments are due to the IRS.

Bookmark Basic Tools for Tax Professionals for filing instructions, access to forms, publications and reference materials, and information on power of attorney, transcripts, representation, due diligence, professional responsibility and more.

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2.  Today Is EITC Awareness Day

Friday Jan. 26 marks the twelfth annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. There are more than 250 total outreach events and activities scheduled to promote EITC Awareness around the country. The campaign aims to reach millions of low- and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on this significant tax credit.

If you have clients with disabilities, or if your clients are parents of children with disabilities, they may be eligible for the EITC. Help them claim it if they qualify. See Publication 4808 for more.

In addition, victims of last year’s hurricanes, especially those who lived in areas affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria may qualify for the EITC.

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3.  YouTube: Client Claiming EITC or ACTC? Refunds May Be Delayed

If you file early for your client and claim the Earned Income or the Additional Child Tax Credits, your client can expect his or her refund to arrive beginning Feb. 27. This new YouTube video has more details.

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4.  Wage Statements and Independent Contractor Forms Due Jan. 31

This is a reminder that wage statements and independent contractor forms must be filed with the government by Jan. 31. This date applies to both electronic and paper filers. Federal law requires employers file their copies of Form W-2 and Form W-3 with the Social Security Administration by the end of January and others who paid compensation file Form 1099-MISC with the IRS to report non-employee compensation.

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5.  Data Security Email from the Return Preparer Office

The IRS Return Preparer Office will send the fourth and final email of its data security series to professional tax identification number (PTIN) holders on Monday. Following is the text of the message:

“Filing season has now arrived and we thank you for all you will do for taxpayers and tax administration. Over the last two months, we have shared information about the importance of protecting your systems and client data from cyber intruders and identity thieves. Today, we want to provide a little information on what to do if the worst happens -- your client information is compromised or your data system is breached.

“We hope you never experience a data compromise – whether by cybercriminals, theft or accident – but if it happens there are certain steps you should take. These include notifying law enforcement, your local IRS stakeholder liaison, the Federation of Tax Administrators (who will assist in notifying all the states in which you prepare state returns), your clients, your insurer, the credit bureaus, and others. (For those who have employers or hold franchises, please ensure you know what is required by your employer or your contract.)

“For a complete list of who to contact, visit IRS.gov, keyword: Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals."

“For a list of local stakeholder liaison contacts, search: Stakeholder Liaison Local Contacts. Wishing you a productive, successful and safe filing season!”

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6.  IRS Whistleblower Office Saw 50 Percent Increase in Section 7623(b) Awards in 2017

In Fiscal Year 2017, the IRS Whistleblower Office paid 242 awards to whistleblowers totaling $33.9 million (before sequestration). This amount includes 27 awards under Internal Revenue Code Section 7623(b), which is a 50 percent increase and represents the highest number of Section 7623(b) awards issued. Learn more in the 2017 Annual Report to Congress.

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7.  Technical Guidance

Revenue Procedure 2018-12 provides safe harbors that taxpayers may use to value stock for purposes of the continuity of interest requirement        

Revenue Procedure 2018-13 prescribes the unpaid loss discount factors and salvage discount factors for the 2017 accident year. 

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