IRS Changes Free File Agreement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) amended a twenty year deal it had with the tax preparation software industry whereby the IRS would not compete with private companies by developing its own tax filing software. Last Monday, the IRS announced that changes have been made to the agreement and under the terms of the new Memorandum…

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IRS Overhauls W-4 For 2020 Withholding

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the final version of the new 2020 Form W-4, retitled Employee’s Withholding Certificate, with major revisions designed to make accurate income-tax withholding easier for employees starting next calendar year. In addition, the agency has also launched a new online spreadsheet tool (the Income Tax Withholding Assistant for Employers)…

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Senate Rejects Effort to Overturn SALT Deduction Cap

Earlier this week, the Senate rejected a bid by democratic members to overturn IRS regulations prohibiting states from creating charitable funds that taxpayers can contribute to in exchange for a state tax credit. The creation of the credits was an attempt by high-tax blue states such as New York, New Jersey and California to get…

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IRS Issues Priority Guidance Plan

The Internal Revenue Service this week released its priority guidance plan for 2019-2020. The plan, which identifies and prioritizes tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue procedures, notices and other published guidance, calls for the IRS to continue its focus on implementing the 2017 tax law as well as the Taxpayer First Act.…

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IRS Concerned About Data Safeguards

Despite initiating an upgrade to its data loss prevention plan 8 years ago, the IRS still does not have all systems operational. According to a new report issued this week by the Office of the Treasury Inspector, the agency has taken some steps to prevent the loss of personally identifiable information through email, but “continued…

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IRS Blocks SALT Workarounds

The Internal Revenue Department (IRS) issued final regulations this week that effectively blocked the effort by some states to get around the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act back in 2017. The workarounds, which allowed – and in most cases encouraged – local communities…

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Treasury Dept. Releases Proposed Opportunity Zone Rule

The Department of the Treasury this week released its proposed regulation clarifying aspects of the Opportunity Zones created under President Trump. The Opportunity Zones were created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act back in December 2017, ostensibly to encourage investment in 8000+ specific areas across the country by allowing investors to defer, reduce and…

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IRS Finalizes Section 199A Regs

Just a week or so ago, the IRS issued final regulations and guidance implementing the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction (sec. 199A deduction), created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in 2017. The QBI deduction, available in tax years beginning with 2018, allows owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts, and…

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Shutdown Causes Taxing Times

And, speaking of the partial government shutdown, with tax deadlines and annual income tax filing obligations approaching, the impact on the operations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is of growing concern to a number of businesses and individuals. Notwithstanding, the administration announced this week that tax refunds will be paid out during the shutdown…

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IRS Releases Rule on Business Interest Deductions

Almost in concert with the proposed Congressional fixes to the TCJA (above), the Internal Revenue Service this week released 439 pages of proposed regulations that in large part address other issues and changes inherent in TCJA passage. Primary amongst them for our readers, the proposed regulations clarify a key provision in the TCJA that limited…

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