e-News for Tax Professionals 2018-42

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e-News for Tax Professionals October 19, 2018

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Issue Number:  2018-42

Inside This Issue

  1. PTIN Renewal Season Underway
  2. Tax Relief and Waivers for Additional Hurricane Victims
  3. IRS Waives Dyed Fuel Penalty in Florida
  4. New Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive
  5. Revised IRS Backup Withholding Publication
  6. Webinars: Tax Reform and Employment Tax Updates
  7. E-Services User Agreement
  8. YouTube: Sharing Economy
  9. Technical Guidance

1.  PTIN Renewal Season Underway

PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) renewal season began Oct. 16 for all return preparers. The IRS Return Preparer Office (RPO) is sending emails to all existing active PTIN holders regarding the required annual renewal.

PTIN Renewal

No major changes exist to the renewal or application process, however, the RPO has made improvements to the look and feel of the system.

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2.  Tax Relief and Waivers for Additional Hurricane Victims

The IRS extended filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers affected by Hurricane Michael in additional counties in Florida and Georgia following Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declarations enlarging the disaster area.

The IRS also extended tax deadlines for additional Hurricane Florence victims covered under FEMA public assistance declarations in several counties in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The IRS will update IRS.gov if FEMA declares additional counties to be disaster areas.

The IRS also took steps to allow owners and operators of low-income housing projects anywhere in the United States or its territories to provide temporary emergency housing to individuals displaced from their principal residences by a major disaster, regardless of income.

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3.  IRS Waives Dyed Fuel Penalty in Florida

In response to shortages of undyed diesel fuel caused by Hurricane Michael, the IRS will not impose a penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for use or used on the highway in emergency response vehicles in Florida. This penalty relief, effective Oct. 12, is available to anyone who sells or uses dyed fuel for highway use.

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4.  New Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive

The Treasury Department and the IRS issued proposed regulations and other published guidance this week for the new Opportunity Zone tax incentive. Opportunity Zones, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, were designed to spur investment in distressed communities throughout the country through tax benefits. Under a nomination process completed in June 2018, 8,761 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories were designated as qualified Opportunity Zones.

For more information or to see a complete list of Opportunity Zones, visit the Tax Reform page on IRS.gov.

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5.  Revised IRS Backup Withholding Publication

Small businesses and other payers should review the revised backup withholding publication, Publication 1281, Backup Withholding for Missing and Incorrect Name/TIN(s). Publication 1281 was updated to reflect the backup withholding tax rate dropping from 28 percent to 24 percent, a key change made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) effective Jan. 1, 2018.

For more information on TCJA provisions, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.

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6.  Webinars: Tax Reform and Employment Tax Updates

Business owners: The recent tax reform legislation could affect the bottom line of your small business. Two upcoming IRS webinars are intended to help small businesses, employers and tax preparers understand the tax reform law.

Tax Reform Basics for Employers on Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. EST will provide an overview of:

  • Employer Credit for Family and Medical Leave
  • Employee Achievement Awards
  • Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits
  • Supplemental Wages
  • Qualified Equity Grants
  • Emerging Employment Tax Issue

Tax Reform Basics for Small Businesses and Pass-Through Entities on Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. EST will provide an overview of estimated taxes, deductions and depreciation.

Additionally, the IRS and the Social Security Administration will present the webinar, Racing Towards Year End: Employment Tax Updates and Reminders, at 1 p.m. EST on Nov. 6 and again at 1 p.m. EST on Dec. 4. The web conference will provide information on:

  • Paycheck Checkup: Federal Withholding and W-4 Update
  • Identity Theft and Tax Related Scams and Schemes
  • The Social Security Number Verification Service

Visit the Upcoming Webinars page on IRS.gov for a complete list of webinars.

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7.  E-Services User Agreement

Effective Oct. 15, e-Services users accessing their accounts will see a notice asking them to accept the terms of the updated user agreement. E-Services users must accept these terms to continue accessing e-Services accounts and tools. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/eservices.

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8.  YouTube: Sharing Economy

Learn what tax issues may affect your clients who participate in the sharing economy in this YouTube video.

Additional tax-related videos are available on the IRS YouTube Channel.

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9.  Technical Guidance

Revenue Ruling 2018-28 provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes including the applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted federal long-term rate and the adjusted federal long-term tax-exempt rate. 

Revenue Procedure 2018-54 provides guidance for taxpayers holding investments in one or more segregated asset accounts on which variable contracts as defined in section 817 of the Internal Revenue Code are based. 

Notice 2018-82 provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under section 430(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.   

Notice 2018-84 provides interim guidance clarifying how the suspension of the personal exemption deduction in section 151(d)(5) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act applies to certain rules under sections 36B and 6011 relating to the premium tax credit, and under section 5000A relating to the individual shared responsibility provision.

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