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IRS Update: September

IRS Update: September

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HOT TOPICS

Pending Check Payments and Payment Notices

If a taxpayer mailed a check with or without a tax return, it may be unopened in the backlog of mail the IRS is processing due to COVID-19.

Any payments will be posted as the date the IRS received them rather than the date the agency processed them. To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers should not cancel their checks and should ensure funds continue to be available so the IRS can process them.

See also: IRS temporarily stops mailing notices to taxpayers with balances due

Both of these articles can be found on the IRS Operations and Services page: IRS Operations During COVID-19: Mission-critical functions continue

Unemployment compensation is taxable; have tax withheld now and avoid a tax-time surprise

With millions of Americans now receiving taxable unemployment compensation, many of them for the first time, the IRS reminds people receiving unemployment compensation that they can have tax withheld from their benefits now to help avoid owing taxes on this income when they file their federal income tax return next year.

IRS takes new steps to ensure people with children receive $500 Economic Impact Payments

The IRS continues to look for ways to help people who were unable to provide their information in time to receive Economic Impact Payments for their children. As part of that effort, the IRS announced it will reopen the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn’t receive $500 per child payments earlier this year.

The IRS urges certain federal benefit recipients to use the IRS.gov Non-Filers tool starting August 15 through September 30 to enter information on their qualifying children to receive the supplemental $500 payments.

ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

50,000 spouses to get catch-up Economic Impact Payments

The IRS will soon send catch-up Economic Impact Payment checks to about 50,000 individuals whose portion of the EIP was diverted to pay their spouse’s past-due child support.

These spouses do not need to take any action to get their money. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse’s debt.

COVID-RELATED, CARES ACT, and FFCRA NEWS

Deferral of employment tax deposits and payments through December 31, 2020

The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes.

All employers (including government entities) may defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security tax.

TAX TIPS TO SHARE

Tips for taxpayers who need to file a new W-4

All taxpayers should review their withholding annually. They can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to check and make sure they’re not having too little or too much federal tax withheld. This tool offers workers, retirees and self-employed individuals a step-by-step method to help figure out if they should adjust their withholding.

Here’s what taxpayers need to know about the home office deduction

The home office deduction allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct certain home expenses on their tax return. With more people working from home than ever before, some taxpayers may be wondering if they can claim a home office deduction when they file their 2020 tax return next year.

What taxpayers should do if they get a letter or notice from the IRS

Every year the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for many different reasons.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for taxpayers who receive one.

Good recordkeeping is an essential element of tax planning

Now is a good time for people to begin thinking about next year’s tax return. While it may seem early to be preparing for 2021, reviewing your recordkeeping now will pay off when it comes time to file again.

DISASTER NEWS

Financial safety is an important part of disaster preparedness

Before a natural disaster strikes, taxpayers are encouraged to prepare, if possible. This includes developing evacuation plans, putting together kits of essential supplies and putting financial safety measures in place.

►IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft affidavit now available for businesses and other entities

Form 14039-B, an identity theft affidavit for businesses and other entities, makes it easier for businesses, estates, trusts and tax-exempt organizations to report identity theft to the IRS. Submitting this form will allow the IRS to more quickly assist entities who are victims of identity theft. The form is available on Identity Theft Central under the “Business” tab.

►NEWS FOR INDIVIDUALS

Last round of ITINs will expire in 2020; IRS encourages early renewal to prevent refund delays

More than 1 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are set to expire at the end of 2020 as the IRS completes the expiration of ITINs assigned prior to 2013. The IRS continues to urge affected taxpayers to submit their renewal applications early to avoid refund delays next year.

►NEWS FOR BUSINESSES and EMPLOYERS

IRS urges employers to choose carefully when selecting a payroll service provider

The IRS reminded employers to carefully choose their payroll service providers following continuing concerns that some disreputable organizations can fail to deposit employment taxes, leaving businesses vulnerable to unpaid bills.

Though most of these businesses provide quality service, there are, unfortunately, some who do not have their clients’ best interests at heart. Each year, a few of these third parties fail to remit the payroll taxes entrusted to them and close their doors abruptly. The damage hits their unsuspecting clients hard.

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

SBA is Still Accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan Applications

Small businesses, private non-profits and agricultural businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can still apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payment.

OUTREACH CONNECTION

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e-NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA

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