e-News for Tax Professionals Issue 2018-47

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e-News for Tax Professionals November 21, 2018

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Issue Number:  2018-47

Inside This Issue

  1. National Tax Security Awareness Week Dec. 3-7
  2. Webinar: Understanding the Dark Web
  3. Large Gifts Now Will Not Harm Estates After 2025
  4. "Tax Transcript" Email Scam: Danger to Business Networks
  5. Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents at a Glance
  6. Get Ready: Gather Tax Documents for Upcoming Filing Season
  7. Technical Guidance

1.  National Tax Security Awareness Week Dec. 3-7

With the approach of the holidays and the upcoming tax season, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are launching their third annual Tax Security Awareness Week in early December. Scheduled for Dec. 3-7, Tax Security Awareness Week will feature daily security topics, more than 25 events nationwide and the launch of a new Twitter handle, @IRSTaxSecurity. The campaign aims to alert taxpayers to the risks of identity theft and encourages them to protect their data.

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2.  Webinar: Understanding the Dark Web

In support of the upcoming Tax Security Awareness Week, the IRS is presenting the webinar, Understanding the Dark Web, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 3. During the 100-minute webinar, IRS Criminal Investigation personnel will provide an overview of the Dark Web and how it is used by cybercriminals. 

Visit the Webinars for Tax Professionals page on IRS.gov for a complete list of upcoming webinars.

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3.  Large Gifts Now Will Not Harm Estates After 2025

Individuals who take advantage of the increased gift and estate tax exclusion amounts in effect from 2018 to 2025 will not be adversely impacted after 2025 when the exclusion amount is scheduled to drop to pre-2018 levels. The Treasury Department and the IRS this week issued proposed regulations, which implement changes from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). As a result, individuals planning to make large gifts between 2018 and 2025 can do so without concern that they will lose the tax benefit of the higher exclusion level once it decreases after 2025. Treasury and IRS welcome public comment.

For more information about this and other TCJA provisions, visit the Tax Reform page on IRS.gov.

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4.  "Tax Transcript" Email Scam: Danger to Business Networks

The IRS and its Security Summit partners warned this week of a surge in fraudulent emails using the lure of "tax transcripts" to trick unwary recipients into downloading malware. In a typical case, the scammer takes on the identity of a specific bank or financial institution to trick an email recipient into opening an infected document. In the past few weeks, scammers have sent email from what appears to be "IRS Online." The email includes an attachment labeled "Tax Account Transcript."

The IRS does not send unsolicited emails to the public, nor does the IRS email sensitive documents, such as tax transcripts. All fraudulent emails should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov and deleted.

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5.  Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents at a Glance

Help your clients take advantage of the newly-revised Child Tax Credit and the new Credit for Other Dependents by understanding the eligibility requirements. Visit the Child Tax Credit page on IRS.gov for information. Also see Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families.

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6.  Get Ready: Gather Tax Documents for Upcoming Filing Season

In the fifth installment of the of the Get Ready series, the IRS reminds individuals to keep copies of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Certain key information from prior year returns may be required to file in 2019 or to answer questions from the IRS. Additionally, if you have clients claiming certain securities or debt losses, they should keep their tax returns and documents for at least seven years.

For more information, visit Get Ready on IRS.gov.

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7.  Technical Guidance

Revenue Ruling 2018-30 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, the adjusted federal long-term tax-exempt rate. 

Revenue Procedure 2018-56 provides the procedures a taxpayer may obtain the automatic consent of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to change to certain methods of accounting provided in sections 1.263A-1, -2, and -3 of the Income Tax Regulations, including methods described in T.D. 9843, for costs allocable to certain property produced or acquired for resale by the taxpayer.

Revenue Procedure 2018-58 updates Revenue Procedure 2007-56, providing guidance on time-sensitive acts that may be postponed for taxpayers affected by a federally-declared disaster, a terroristic or military action, or individuals serving in a combat zone.

Notice 2018-86 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 Code. 

Notice 2018-88 is intended to initiate and inform the process of developing guidance under sections 4980H and 105(h). 

Notice 2018-89 provides guidance on the treatment of payments made by an employer to a section 170(c) organization under a leave-based donation program to aid the victims of Hurricane Michael.

Notice 2018-90 provides that transition relief in Rev. Rul. 2018-17 (Withholding and Reporting With Respect to Payments from IRAs to State Unclaimed Property Funds) is extended so that a person will not be treated as failing to comply with the withholding and reporting requirements described in Rev. Rul. 2018-17 with respect to payments made before the earlier of January 1, 2020, or the date it becomes reasonably practicable for the person to comply with those requirements.

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