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House Lawmakers Examine Small Business Tax Reform

The momentum on Capitol Hill for comprehensive tax reform remains strong as House and Senate lawmakers continue to put forth and debate reform ideas. The House Small Business Committee held an October 4 hearing examining, in particular, tax reform for small businesses. During the hearing, lawmakers and…

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Lawmakers Question IRS’ New Sole-Source Identity Verification Contract with Equifax

The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee held an October 4 hearing on the IRS’s efforts and challenges toward modernizing its information technology (IT) infrastructure. Witnesses from the IRS, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) testified before the subcommittee. The IRS…

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Sales and Use Tax: Hurricane Harvey Tax Relief Measures Discussed

Businesses not required to report their sales and use taxes electronically (less than $50,000 paid in preceding state fiscal year) are granted an automatic 30-day extension to file the August monthly report, normally due September 20, and the third quarter report, normally due October 20, provided they…

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New Regulations Exempt Objecting Employers and Colleges from Contraception Coverage Mandate

The Departments of the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor have issued proposed and interim final contraceptive mandate rules that are effective on October 6, 2017. The new regulations exempt objecting nongovernment employers from the general requirement to provide contraceptive coverage at no cost to participants…

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Casualty, Theft & Disaster Losses

There are two types of losses individuals and businesses sustain that will give them tax relief. Casualty & Theft Losses Casualty results in a deductible loss only if property is physically destroyed or damaged from an event that is sudden, unexpected or unusual such as a fire,…

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Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas

The IRS announced that affected taxpayers in Texas will receive tax relief with extended upcoming filing deadlines for extended tax returns and estimated tax payments, and penalties associated with payroll deposits. Individuals who reside or have a business in Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston,…

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IRS CI Division Chief Unveils International Tax Enforcement Group

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) is putting together a new international tax enforcement group, according to IRS-CI Chief Don Fort. This information was revealed publicly to reporters for the first time during an August 2 conference call. The new initiative is expected to be fully operational…

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TIGTA Examines IRS’s Handling of Fraudulent Returns

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reviewed the IRS’s handling of fraudulent returns filed by incarcerated individuals. According to TIGTA, some 17,000 incarcerated individuals claimed potentially fraudulent refunds worth $48 million. TIGTA reported that returns frequently are not supported by third-party income documents. In…

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Lawmakers Hold Hearing on IRS Record Retention Practices

The Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee reviewed the IRS’s record retention practices at a hearing on July 25. Officials from the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) testified. “The IRS has long been challenged in the area of record…

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IRS Appeals Pilot Program Offers Virtual Service to Taxpayers

The IRS Office of Appeals has launched a web-based pilot program to provide a virtual conference option to taxpayers, effective August 1, 2017. The pilot program will use a secure, web-based screen-sharing platform to connect with taxpayers face-to-face from anywhere they have internet access. The IRS expects…

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