e-News for Tax Professionals Issue 2018-10

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e-News for Tax Professionals March 9, 2018

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Issue Number:  2018-10

Inside This Issue


  1. Unclaimed Refunds Worth $1.1 Billion Awaiting Those Who Have not Filed 2014 Federal Income Tax Returns
  2. Tax Pros: Don’t Fall Prey to the Dirty Dozen
  3. Tax Time Guide: IRS Publication 17 a Resource for Tax Professionals
  4. Tax Relief for Victims of Tropical Storm Gita in American Samoa
  5. Interest Rates Increase for the Second Quarter of 2018
  6. Technical Guidance

 


1.  Unclaimed Refunds Worth $1.1 Billion Awaiting Those Who Have not Filed 2014 Federal Income Tax Returns

Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling about $1.1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2014 federal income tax return. To collect the money, these 2014 tax returns must be filed with the IRS no later than this year's tax deadline, Tuesday, April 17.

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2.  Tax Pros: Don’t Fall Prey to the Dirty Dozen

Compiled annually, the “Dirty Dozen” lists a variety of common scams that tax professionals and their clients may encounter at any time. Tax professionals should be cautious because many of these schemes peak during filing season.

The series started this week with the spotlight on phishing schemes, phone scams, return preparer fraud and fake charities.

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3.  Tax Time Guide: IRS Publication 17 a Resource for Tax Professionals

IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a 290-page document packed with basic tax-filing information and tips on what income to report and how to report it, figuring capital gains and losses, claiming dependents, choosing the standard deduction versus itemizing deductions and using IRAs to save for retirement.

Publication 17 features a rundown on tax changes for the 2017 tax year and has details on taking advantage of a wide range of tax-saving opportunities. This includes tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit for parents and college students, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income workers.

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4.  Tax Relief for Victims of Tropical Storm Gita in American Samoa

Victims of Tropical Storm Gita that took place beginning Feb. 7 in parts of the Territory of American Samoa may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service. Victims include individuals who reside or have a business in the Territory of American Samoa.

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5.  Interest Rates Increase for the Second Quarter of 2018

The IRS announced that interest rates increased for the calendar quarter beginning April 1. The rates will be: 

  • 5 percent for overpayments (4 percent in the case of a corporation)

  • 2.5 percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000

  • 5 percent for underpayments

  • 7 percent for large corporate underpayments

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6.  Technical Guidance

Notice 2018-21 provides rules claimants must follow to make a one-time claim for payment of the credits and payments allowable under section 6426(c), 6426(d), and 6427(e) of the Internal Revenue Code for biodiesel (including renewable diesel) mixtures and alternative fuels sold or used during calendar year 2017.  This notice also provides instructions for how a claimant may offset its section 4081 liability with the section 6426(e) alternative fuel mixture credit for 2017, as well as instructions for how a claimant may make certain income tax claims relating to biodiesel, second generation biofuel, and alternative fuel.  In addition, this notice provides a temporary modified safe harbor for semimonthly deposits of the oil spill liability tax imposed by section 4611, which was reinstated effective March 1, 2018.

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