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IRS News: 2018_05

IRS NEWS FOR PAYROLL AND HUMAN RESOURCES

May 2018

 ►UPCOMING WEB CONFERENCES

 National Small Business Week Webcasts

  • Wednesday, May 2 Pay Now? Pay Later? Can’t Pay?
  • Thursday, May 3 Small Biz Resources @ Your Fingertips
  • Friday, May 4 Pay Check Check-Up

 ►TAX REFORM

IRS urges ‘Paycheck Checkup’ for key groups; tax withholding may need adjustment

Following the recent tax law changes, it’s especially important for certain people to use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to check if they are having the right amount of withholding.

Among the groups who should check their withholding are people who:

  • Belong to a two-income family.
  • Work two or more jobs or only work for part of the year.
  • Have children and claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • Have older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
  • Itemized deductions on their 2017 tax returns.
  • Earn high incomes and have more complex tax returns.
  • Received large tax refunds or had large tax bills for 2017.

Newly-revised estimated tax form and publication can help people pay the right amount

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers, including those with substantial income not subject to withholding.
  • The newly revised estimated tax package, Form 1040-ES is designed to help taxpayers figure these payments correctly.
  • A companion publication, Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, has additional details, including worksheets and examples, that can help taxpayers determine whether they should pay estimated tax, such as those who have dividend or capital gain income, owe alternative minimum tax or have other special situations.

IRS Announces 2018 Pension Plan Limitations Not Affected by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 does not affect the tax year 2018 dollar limitations for retirement plans announced in IR 2017-177 and detailed in Notice 2017-64.

IRS grants relief for taxpayers affected by reduction of maximum deductible Health Savings Account contributions

  • A change in the inflation adjustment calculations for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reduced the maximum deductible HSA contribution for taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP by $50, to $6,850.
  • For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.

►OTHER NEWS

What Taxpayers Should do When They Need More Time to Pay

Here are some tips for those who can’t pay their taxes in full.

Sharing Economy Tax Center

Small business owners that offer goods and services online may be part of the sharing economy. Activities such as ride sharing, freelancing, renting a spare bedroom and crowd funding are usually taxable. The IRS has a Sharing Economy Tax Center to help these taxpayers find the information they need to meet their tax obligations.

IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS

IRS, Security Summit Partners warn of new twist on phone scam; crooks direct taxpayers to IRS.gov to “verify” calls

There is new twist (yes, another new twist!) on an old phone scam as criminals use telephone numbers that mimic IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) to trick taxpayers into paying non-existent tax bills.

  • In the latest version of the phone scam, criminals claim to be calling from a local IRS TAC office. Scam artists have programmed their computers to display the TAC telephone number, which appears on the taxpayer’s Caller ID when the call is made.
  • If the taxpayer questions their demand for tax payment, they direct the taxpayer to IRS.gov to look up the local TAC office telephone number to verify the phone number. The crooks hang up, wait a short time and then call back a second time, and they are able to fake or “spoof” the Caller ID to appear to be the IRS office calling. After the taxpayer has “verified” the call number, the fraudsters resume their demands for money, generally demanding payment on a debit card.

 When to file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit

  • Taxpayers who experience tax-related identity theft may wonder when they should file a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • In the vast majority of tax-related identity theft cases, there is no need to file the Form 14039 affidavit. The Form 14039 affidavit should be filed if the taxpayer attempts to file an electronic tax return and the IRS rejects it because a return bearing the taxpayer’s Social Security number already has been filed. Or, it should be filed if the IRS instructs the taxpayer to do so.

EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:

Business owners: Ensure employees check their withholding

  • Business owners should remind employees to check their withholding and do a “paycheck checkup” following changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Using the Withholding Calculator is the best way for employees to check that they aren’t having too much or too little tax withheld from their paychecks.

 IRS provides certain small employers with relief for the small business health care tax credit for 2017 and later years

  • The IRS issued guidance that provides relief for certain small employers that wish to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for 2017 and later years.
  • In general, the relief provided helps employers who first claim the credit for all or part of 2016 or a later taxable year for coverage offered through a SHOP Marketplace, but don’t have SHOP Marketplace plans available to offer to employees for all or part of the remainder of the credit period because the county where the employer is located has no SHOP Marketplace plans.

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division

  • Mission Statement: The Wage and Hour mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation’s workforce.
  • The WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes.

►IN EVERY ISSUE

Loads of info here, including:

 Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

Want to see if the letter your client got is really from the IRS? Many (but not all) IRS letters and notices listed here.

 View Your Account Information

If you’re an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to view:

  • Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
  • The balance for each tax year for which you owe
  • Up to 18 months of your payment history
  • Key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.

Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts

We send out emails each time there’s a new tax scam. It gets confusing to remember all of them. You don’t have to! This page lists ALL scams targeting taxpayers, tax professionals and others

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