Audit Feed

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash You made it through Tax Day. Now it's time to store all that information you used to fill out your Form 1040. While it's tempting to just toss it all, don't. It often takes the Internal Revenue Service a while to process filings. The agency could come back weeks, months, or even years from now with a question about an entry on your return. Just to be safe, you need to hang on to some of the material for as long as the IRS has to question your filing. Once that statute of limitations... Read more →


Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service is processing millions of returns that are coming in as Tax Day for the main 2024 tax season nears. But thanks to added Inflation Reduction Act money, the tax agency also is looking more closely at some returns. It recently resumed sending automated notices that had been on hold since February 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic problems. And it got even more attention when IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel announced that his agents were going to crack down on individuals who use corporate jets for personal travel jets. While most of... Read more →


That's not going to stop the latest IRS effort to get wealthy individuals to file tax returns. (Image: Giphy) The Internal Revenue Service crackdown on wealthy taxpayers who are skirting tax laws continues. Last month, Uncle Sam's tax agency announced plans to audit business aircraft that were used, most often by well-paid corporate execs, for personal travel. Now it's cutting right to the chase, going after wealthy taxpayers who haven't filed federal tax returns for years. This week, the IRS issued compliance letters on more than 125,000 cases where tax returns haven't been filed since 2017. The mailings include more... Read more →


The IRS is OK with celebrating the closing of a business deal on a corporate jet, but not so accepting when the aircraft is used for personal jaunts. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) If Elon Musk and Taylor Swift were unhappy with the attention their jet flights were getting from a private citizen, a federal agency's plans could cause them even more turbulence. The Internal Revenue Service today announced that it is initiating dozens of audits on business aircraft that were used for personal travel. The audits will focus on aircraft usage by large corporations, large partnerships, and high-income... Read more →


Tax laws are full of unintended consequences. That became painfully clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a variety of tax relief provisions were created to help individuals and businesses deal with the virus' economic effects. Such was the case with the Employee Retention Credit, or ERC. "The ERC provided a financial lifeline to millions of businesses and exempt organizations during the pandemic," said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel in his prepared testimony for the Feb. 15 hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. "The IRS has worked hard to implement this credit, and we have processed about 3.6 million ERC... Read more →


In February 2022, the Internal Revenue Service stopped issuing several automatic tax notices. The move was prompted in large part by the massive backlog of tax filings that piled up when the agency closed offices as a precaution early in the COVID-19 pandemic. That tax notice moratorium is ending. Automated collection notices will soon show up in the mailboxes of individuals with tax debts prior to tax year 2022. Businesses, tax exempt organizations, trusts, and estates with tax debts prior to 2023, with exceptions for those with existing debt in multiple years, also are on the notice resumption list. These... Read more →


Only 80% of wrongly-claimed Employee Retention Credit amounts must be repaid. Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash We're all aware of the continuing medical issues from long COVID. The coronavirus' tax effects appear to be just as persistent. The Internal Revenue Service is still dealing with law changes enacted to provide pandemic relief. The Employee Retention Credit, or ERC, is one of them. This refundable business tax credit was designed for companies that continued paying employees during the COVID-19 pandemic despite financial hardship. To qualify, the businesses were either fully or partially suspended due to a government order, or had... Read more →


More than 20,000 businesses are about to learn how serious the Internal Revenue Service is about stopping questionable Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims. The tax agency has sent them a letter notifying them that they won't be getting the COVID-19 pandemic tax relief. Many of the claims were filed by ERC mills that have aggressively promoted the tax relief, often to businesses that did not qualify. The amount of such questionable claims prompted the IRS in September to stop processing all new claims. This first round of IRS letters to some of those who did file for the ERC is... Read more →


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash The Internal Revenue Service relies on taxpayers voluntarily filing correct tax returns and paying the tax amount shown on those forms. Millions will be doing just that tomorrow, Oct. 16, to comply with the extended filing deadline. Unfortunately, however, too many people find ways to avoid paying the U.S. Treasury what they legitimately owe. They are why the latest update on the Tax Gap shows it has grown. A lot. The Tax Gap is the amount of money the IRS is owed, but which it hasn't been able to collect. The agency's latest estimates... Read more →


A rare annular, or ring of fire, solar eclipse is tomorrow, Oct. 14. NASA has more on the event. And if it's cloudy where you live or you're not in a prime viewing region, you can livestream the eclipse. October already is the spookiest month of the year, but things ramp up this weekend. Today, in case you haven't looked at a calendar, is Friday the 13th. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 14, millions in the Americas will experience, at least in part, a rare annular solar eclipse. In the United States, the event will begin in Oregon around 9:13 a.m. Pacific... Read more →


Your next "welcome to your new job" handshake could be at the Internal Revenue Service. (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Ahmet Kurt) A key part of the Internal Revenue Service's plan to increase taxpayer compliance is personnel. It takes people to track down and confirm they, or their businesses, owe taxes. So the IRS is looking to hire 3,700 employees nationwide. Specifically, the agency is seeking people, preferably experienced accountants, to serve as revenue agents. Revenue agent special skills: IRS revenue agents, known officially as Internal Revenue Agents, serve as technical experts in examinations of significant and complicated tax compliance... Read more →


Photo by Max Burchill on Unsplash To paraphrase a gazillion social media posts, exploitative people are why we can't have needed tax breaks. OK, Congress plays a big part. And the Internal Revenue Service too often steps on its own tax toes. But in many cases, unscrupulous people mess things up for the rest of us who are just trying to comply with tax laws and get a little bit of legitimate tax relief along the way. That's what happened with the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This refundable tax credit was created by lawmakers to help businesses that were struggling... Read more →


Source: IRS The Earned Income Tax Credit was one of the many tax matters mentioned in the Internal Revenue Service's Sept. 8 announcement that, thanks to Inflation Reduction Act funds, it is revising its enforcement efforts. The tax agency's primary goal, per it's news release, is to restore fairness to the tax system. To do that, IRS personnel will focus more on high-earning taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, that have seen sharp drops in audit rates over the last decade. EITC audit reforms on the way: Change also are planned in how the IRS deals with the millions of taxpayers... Read more →


IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, pictured at a Senate Finance Committee hearing in February, today announced the agency's new, expansive plans to enforce federal tax laws in a more equitable way. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been part of the Internal Revenue Service's arsenal for a while. Now, thanks to more money from the Inflation Reduction Act, the tax agency is going to use more AI to expand its examinations of high-dollar earners. That includes not only individuals, but also partnerships and corporations. This shift of compliance efforts will shift the IRS' focus from working-class to wealthy taxpayers, noted IRS Commissioner Danny... Read more →


New IRS digital tax plans aim to get both taxpayers and tax agency employees out from under such paper piles. It's not your grandparents' Internal Revenue Service anymore. The Treasury Department today announced that a new IRS paperless processing initiative will be available to taxpayers by the 2024 tax filing season. The following year, the IRS will more fully digitize its side of the tax paperwork equation. The multiyear moves, according to the Treasury press release, will eliminate up to 200 million pieces of paper annually, cut processing times in half, and expedite refunds by several weeks. The IRS receives... Read more →


Flags of member nations at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Photo by Peda Run on Unsplash) Here in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has gotten a lot of attention for its efforts to fight tax evasion. Earlier this month, the IRS reported that it IRS had collected $38 million from more than 175 high-income tax delinquents. That money was the result of a new initiative made possible from $80 billion new Inflation Reduction Act funds, although Republicans clawed back $1.4 billion of that money (and more to come in future years) in the debt... Read more →


The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck down college admission affirmative action policies. Some legal experts say the high court's decision could also lead to more, and similar, challenges in how corporations make hiring and promotion decisions. That got me thinking, of course, about taxes. IRS audit unfairness: Most people who are audited by the Internal Revenue Service think they are being unfairly targeted. It seems that might actually be true in some cases. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel recently acknowledged that the way the tax agency applies the federal tax laws is discriminatory. In a letter to the chair of the... Read more →


Many businesses that stayed open during the height of the coronavirus pandemic were able to do so thanks to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). Some companies, however, subsequently filed for the 2020-2021 tax benefit at the urging of unscrupulous ERC promoters, and now are finding the IRS is looking into their claims. The Internal Revenue Service earlier this summer warned businesses about Employee Retention Credit (ERC) promotions that could land the companies in tax trouble. The ERC was created in 2020 as part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses and their... Read more →


We got word today that a person connected to the White House and who didn't pay all his due taxes is pleading guilty to tax evasion. No. It's not that person. It's Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden. The younger Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two charges of misdemeanor tax evasion and enter a pretrial diversion agreement on a firearm possession charge, according to a Justice Department court filing today in Delaware. The two tax charges carry a maximum of one year in prison as well as a $25,000 fine. The arrangement reportedly also includes repayment of... Read more →


Communities across the United States this long weekend celebrated the newest federal holiday, Juneteenth. The name comes from combining June and nineteenth, the day in 1865 when official word arrived in Galveston, Texas, that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation 2½ years earlier. Yeah, late. Very late on the part of early Texans in recognizing that owning people not only was abhorrent and reprehensible, but finally and officially illegal. And three years into formal federal recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday, the whole country continues to grapple with slavery and racial bias and their continuing effects. That includes... Read more →