IMRS Hot Issues
IRS announces penalty relief available to certain filers
The IRS announced in news release IR-2013-31 that it is providing late-payment penalty relief to eligible individuals and businesses requesting a tax-filing extension because they are attaching to their returns forms that couldn’t be filed until after January. The IRS announced in news release IR-2013-42 that it will provide late-filing and late-payment penalty relief to anyone unable to file on time due to severe storms in parts of the South and Midwest. The IRS announced a three-month tax filing and payment extension to Boston area taxpayers and others affected by the Boston Marathon explosions in news release IR-2013-43.
IRS expands identity theft efforts
The IRS announced an expansion of the Law Enforcement Assistance Program pilot designed to help law enforcement obtain tax return data vital to their local efforts in investigating and prosecuting specific cases of identity theft. The expansion covers all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. State and local law enforcement officials with evidence of identity theft involving fraudulently filed federal tax returns will receive permission from identity theft victims by having them complete a special IRS disclosure form so the IRS can provide law enforcement with the fraudulently filed tax return. For a fuller explanation, see news release IR-2013-34 on IRS.gov. Identity theft also tops the “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams for 2013: see the complete list in news release IR-2013-33 on IRS.gov.
Tips on reporting natural resource income (IMRS Issue 12-0001608)
Taxpayers who own land that contains valuable natural resources should be aware that arranging for the development of the resources by means of a lease creates tax consequences. Landowners may make complex financial agreements to receive royalty, bonus or other income in exchange for access to the resources on their land, such as natural gas and oil from shale deposits. See Fact Sheet 2013-6 on IRS.gov for some important facts from the Internal Revenue Service about these transactions.
IRS updates Allowable Living Expense Standards; revises collection forms
The IRS released the 2013 updates to the Allowable Living Expense Standards on April 1. The ALE standards are used to reduce subjectivity in determining what a taxpayer may claim as basic living expenses necessary to avoid undue hardship when the taxpayer must delay full payment of a delinquent tax. More information on the ALE standards is available at the Collection Financial Standards Web page on IRS.gov.
The IRS announced recent revisions to two forms used when obtaining financial information to determine how taxpayers can settle their tax liabilities, Form 433-A (PDF), Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals and Form 433-B (PDF), Collection Information Statement for Businesses. Taxpayers and practitioners may begin using the new forms immediately, but the IRS will continue to accept the January 2008 versions of the forms until June 1, 2013. See Headliner 334 for details.
Enrolled agent updates
All enrolled agent renewal applications for SSNs ending in 0, 1, 2, or 3 that were timely submitted by January 31, 2013, have been processed and renewal cards have been issued. For renewal applications submitted after the due date, processing continues. As long as you have submitted your renewal application, your enrolled agent status continues to be active between April 1, 2013 and the date you receive your renewal card. Search Enrolled Agent on IRS.gov for details.
The IRS has updated the Special Enrollment Examination test content. These changes will be in effect for EA test candidates taking the examination beginning May 1, 2013. Visit the IRS Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) page at Prometric.com more information.
Smartphone app IRS2Go now available in Spanish
The Internal Revenue Service announced the release of IRS2Go 3.0, an update to its smartphone application that offers practical tax tools and information for the first time in either Spanish or English. The taxpayers’ phone language settings determine whether the IRS2Go content appears in English or in Spanish. For more information, see news release IR-2013-36 on IRS.gov.