IRS Feed

Sometimes the only way to catch wrongdoers and end abuse is by getting inside information. But whistleblowers often are fearful of coming forward, despite myriad laws designed to protect those who come forward. These protections were enacted for the most part in the Whistleblower Protection Act, enacted in 1989. While it focused on federal employees, the Occupations Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created the Whistleblower Protection Program to enforce existing statutes that prevent employers from retaliating or discriminating against a whistleblower. Now some U.S. Senators are looking to update the 35-year-old law, specifically with regard to federal employee whistleblowers who... Read more →

Photo by Lance Reis on Unsplash In March, the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department announced they were going after non-filing millionaires. Today, they reported that the IRS has collected more than $1 billion from high-wealth taxpayers with past-due taxes. With resources bolstered by added Inflation Reduction Act funds, the IRS said it stepped up compliance activity specifically on 1,600 individuals whose incomes were more than $1 million per year and who each owed the IRS more than $250,000 in recognized tax debt. The IRS assigned 1,500 to revenue officers to the cases. They got payments from more than 1,200... Read more →

Next Monday, July 15, is Tax Day for residents of disaster areas in three states. This tax deadline applies to taxpayers affected by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declarations in parts of Alaska, Maine, and Rhode Island. The disaster areas are listed below. The bold-type state names are links to the Internal Revenue Service's tax relief announcements for each area. The Wrangell Cooperative Association of Alaska Tribal Nation off coastal Alaska. That area was hit by severe storms, landslides, and mudslides that began on Nov. 20, 2023. Eight counties in Maine that sustained damages from severe storms and... Read more →

Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2024 Residents whose lives are disrupted by a major disaster are targets. So are those who want to help. Either way, don’t become a victim. Hurricane Beryl, the second named storm of the 2024 tropical storm season, made her third landfall early today along the Texas Gulf Coast. The good news is that Beryl was a category 1 when it blasted into the Lone Star State. That's far less powerful than the category 5 it reached on its travel through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. The bad news is that Beryl was still a hurricane.... Read more →

I hope you’re having a great long July 4th holiday break. I’m catching up on some podcasts, and one is a good fit for this week's Tax Felon Friday feature. Guy Ficco, who took over as head of the IRS Criminal Investigation division in April, spoke with Bloomberg Tax reporter Erin Slowey in the latest edition of Talking Tax podcast. Ficco has spent his 29-year IRS career as part of CI, so he’s seen firsthand how the tax investigative component has changed over the years. Changing times: Some things have evolved for everyone in every job. Many can relate to... Read more →

Photo by Leeloo The First Tax scams tend to slow down after the main federal return filing season, but they never go entirely away. That’s still true as we head into the heart of summer 2024. The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers there is a new scam involving the purchase of clean energy tax credits. This latest scheme, like so many, is based on a real tax break. Legal credit, but limited: The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Aug. 16, 2022, contained provisions that dramatically changed federal clean energy tax credits. The law... Read more →

Photo by cottonbro studio The Internal Revenue Service's whistleblower program helped the agency collect $338 million in fiscal year 2023. The IRS Whistleblower Office also noted in its 2023 report, issued on June 24, that it paid whistleblowers 121 awards, totaling $88.8 million, for the revenue-increasing information. That awards total was more than double the $37.8 million the office paid in fiscal 2022. But the total number of whistleblower awards for FY23 dropped, going from 132 in 2022 to 121 the following fiscal year. And to keep the Whistleblower Office on pace to help with tax compliance, the latest report... Read more →

Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash All taxpayers are supposed to be guaranteed privacy when it comes to their tax information filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Unfortunately, the IRS’ system is not immune to security breaches. Most of the time, it’s regular taxpayers like you and me whose personal data is of interest to crooks who want it to file fraudulent tax returns. But from 2018 to 2020, an IRS contractor stole years of tax returns and filing information related to thousands of the United States' wealthiest people. The contractor, Charles Littlejohn, then disclosed that tax info to the... Read more →

A good working relationship can make a boss and employee a great team. But sometimes, greed gets the better of one of them. (Photo by SEO Galaxy on Unsplash) One of my previous jobs was assistant to an executive in a multinational corporation. Among my duties was helping my boss draft our department’s annual budget. I also was her surrogate in reviewing and processing expenses for our area’s employees, as well as making payments for other expenditures. My boss and I worked closely on these and other projects, and over the years we also became good friends. We shared years... Read more →

The Internal Revenue Service’s long-standing goal of regulating noncredentialed tax preparers got some support from the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee’s (ETAAC) 2024 annual report. Such oversight is one of a dozen recommendations in the latest ETAAC document, released June 26. It is one of three suggestions the panel directed to Congress; the remaining nine ETAAC recommendations are for the IRS. ETAAC goals: ETAAC is a volunteer panel established by Congress in 1988 to provide public input into the development and implementation of the IRS organizational strategy for, as the name says, electronic tax administration. To that end, ETAAC researches,... Read more →

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Kateryna Hliznitsova One of the biggest, most persistent complaints about the Internal Revenue Service is the agency’s service, or lack thereof, in answering taxpayer phone calls. The IRS has improved in this area, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s midyear report to Congress released today. The Treasury Department and the IRS established the Accounts Management (AM) Customer Service Representative Level of Service (LOS) standard to measure taxpayer service. For the past two filing seasons, notes National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Erin M. Collins in her report, the Treasury/IRS LOS goal of at least 85 percent was met.... Read more →

Updated, Thursday, June 27, 2024 Update, Thursday, June 27, 2024: The Internal Revenue Service today granted tax relief to Mississippi taxpayers in major disaster areas from early-April severe weather in that state. You can find details in the post text below. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) most sophisticated Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) is the GOES-R Series. The satellites provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather. Photo courtesy NOAA/National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). Being a life-long weather and... Read more →

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was created to help businesses stay afloat and keep staff on the payroll during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Basically, this tax credit’s benefits — thousands of dollars per employee that eligible companies kept paying — were for the 2020 and 2021 tax years. It has turned into a major tax headache, for both businesses and the Internal Revenue Service. But, says the IRS, it has made progress on evaluating the plethora of claims filed after the pandemic’s peak. And it has some good news for small businesses... Read more →

Credit: David Boeke via Flickr You’ve probably read that some of the country’s wealthiest people are warming to a second Donald J. Trump presidency. Today’s announcement from the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service might be part of the reason. The country’s financial division and its tax collection arm agency say they are going after “a major tax loophole exploited by large, complex partnerships.” The initiative, say Treasury and IRS, is one step in ongoing efforts to “shut down abusive transactions using existing regulatory authority and ensure wealthy individuals, complex partnerships, and large corporations pay taxes owed.” Focus on opaque... Read more →

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash Waiting on your Internal Revenue Service tax refund is frustrating. In most instances, though, the issues that slowed the tax refund are resolved and the money is issued in a relatively reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for the hundreds of thousands of filers whose personal information was used by identity thieves trying to intercept the real taxpayers’ refunds. Not only must they go through the process of alerting the IRS of the stolen identity and fraudulent refund claim, their wait for their rightful refunds takes much, much longer. In some... Read more →

The only thing worse than getting a notice from the Internal Revenue Service, is getting a wrong one. And the absolutely worst IRS communication scenario is getting a mailing that says you owe Uncle Sam when you are sure you paid your tax bill on time. That happened recently to some taxpayers. Now the IRS is trying to ease these individuals’ concerns. Wrong automatically issued notices: “The IRS is aware that some taxpayers are receiving CP14 (Balance Due, No Math Error) notices indicating a balance due even though payments were made with their 2023 tax return,” said the agency in... Read more →

There’s good news for the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to get rid of as much paper as possible. The agency’s Document Upload Tool, or DUT, recently received its 1 millionth taxpayer submission. The online option lets taxpayers and tax professionals respond digitally to a wide range of tax issues. One of those issues is potentially underreported income, which prompts the IRS to issue Notice CP2000. With the DUT, taxpayers or their preparers can easily scan the material that answers the notice’s questions and electronically submit it to the agency, said the IRS. DUT growth: The upload tool was launched in... Read more →

The 2024 hurricane season has just begun, but some people are still dealing with disasters from last and earlier this year. Some of them now are facing a June 17 tax filing and payment deadline. Mother Nature has been Mommy Dearest across much of the United States so far this year. Way too many federal announcements and media reports have included the phrase “A historic severe weather outbreak occurred” in 2024, meaning that millions of Americans have found themselves in major disaster areas. And the current hurricane season has just begun! Unfortunately, the disastrous start to this year was a... Read more →

No, not that guy. However, this month's federal tax trial in a North Texas courtroom does have a connection to Donald J. Trump and some interesting similarities to his falsification of business records trial just concluded in New York City state court. In the Texas trial, John Anthony Castro, who briefly sought nomination as the GOP’s 2024 presidential candidate and pestered the Party's presumptive nominee with lawsuits, was convicted on May 24 on 33 counts of federal tax fraud. Federal prosecutors said Castro’s scheme resulted in more than $15.5 million in tax losses to Uncle Sam. Global marketer of tax... Read more →

The Internal Revenue Service recommended, and the U.S. Treasury agreed, that the free tax software program created and operated directly by the IRS will be a permanent tax preparation and electronic filing option. Federal tax officials are encouraging all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to join the expanded Direct File program in filing season 2025. All U.S. taxpayers next year could have another no-cost option to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns. The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service today announced they found this tax season’s Direct File pilot program successful enough to expand to taxpayers across the... Read more →