Hey Tax Pro!

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You spoke. We listened.

Your support for LTPA has been awesome, and it’s been our privilege to work with you and serve you for the past eight years. For 2019, we are ready for you, your team, and whatever comes next!

We are committed to improve what we do best and fix what went wrong last time and will continue to provide the quality and service that you came to us for in the first place. Let me take a moment to tell you what we’re doing to make the 2019 FEST the best tax and accounting conference throughout the industry, the United States, and the World! Join us as we continue this process and grow together!

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2019-08 today to provide guidance on deducting expenses under Section 179(a) and on deducting depreciation under Section 168(g). These rules, as amended by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December 2017, generally apply to tax years beginning after 2017.

Section 179 allows taxpayers to deduct the cost of certain property as an expense when the property is placed in service. For tax years beginning after 2017, the TCJA increased the maximum Section 179 expense deduction from $500,000 to $1 million. The phase-out limit increased from $2 million to $2.5 million. These amounts are indexed for inflation for tax years beginning after 2018.

 

cyber crime protection

The Internal Revenue Service today outlined common errors that may delay processing of Centralized Authorization File (CAF) numbers. Reducing errors in CAF applications is one way to speed the approval process for tax professionals.

The IRS also reminded tax practitioners that CAF numbers are valuable cybercriminal targets and outlined steps tax professionals should take annually to help protect their CAF number from misuse.

The IRS annually processes 3.5 million paper Forms 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and Forms 8821, Tax Information Authorization. The Form 2848 grants eligible practitioners the authorization to represent a client before the IRS. The Form 8821 grants individuals or organizations the authorization to inspect a client’s tax records.

When practitioners submit Forms 2848 or 8821 for the first time, they are issued a nine-digit CAF number that they use as an identifier on all their future third-party authorization requests. During fiscal year 2018, the IRS rejected 384,081 authorization requests.

lock on money

WASHINGTON – After working with the tax preparation community, the Internal Revenue Service today announced it would stop its tax transcript faxing service as of Feb. 4, 2019, and offer a more secure alternative to taxpayers and tax professionals.

The IRS worked with the tax preparation community to reach agreement on an alternative that will meet tax practitioners’ needs in e-filing individual tax returns while also enhancing safeguards for taxpayer data.

The IRS continues to look for way to better protect taxpayer information and tax transcripts, which are summaries of individuals’ tax returns. Cybercriminals who obtain tax transcripts use them to file fraudulent returns that are difficult to detect because they closely mirror a legitimate tax return.

The halt to faxing transcripts is another step taken by the IRS to protect taxpayer data. In September 2018, the IRS began to mask personally identifiable information for every individual and entity listed on the transcript. See New Tax Transcript and Customer File Number.

All financial entries on the transcript remain visible. However, tax practitioners who work to bring taxpayers into compliance by filing prior-year tax returns may need access to employer information that taxpayers no longer have. In those cases, tax practitioners may request an unmasked Wage and Income Transcript. The Wage and Income Transcript can be used for current year tax preparation but it generally is not available until mid-year.

data protection

 

The Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with the tax preparation community, has devised a new process that will allow tax practitioners to access employer information needed for return preparation and electronic filing while also protecting taxpayer data.

The new process is part of a series of steps planned by the IRS to enhance safeguards around the tax transcript format and distribution to better protect taxpayers from identity theft. A transcript is a summary of tax return entries on the Form 1040 series. 

In September 2018, the IRS began partially masking the personally identifiable information for all individuals and entities listed on an individual tax return. The redesigned transcript will fully display all financial entries. See New Tax Transcript and Customer File Number for details.

In addition to masking PII data, the IRS also will stop faxing transcripts as of February 4, 2019 to both taxpayers and authorized third parties, including tax professionals. This safeguard applies to both individual and business transcripts.

Individual taxpayers may view their masked transcripts at Get Transcript Online or order by mail for delivery to the address of record. Masked transcripts will still be available to tax professionals through the Transcript Delivery System, an e-Services tool. Business transcripts are not masked and maybe accessed by tax professionals through TDS.

immigrant clients CAA

A Certifying Acceptance Agent is a person who is authorized to assist individuals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to file a Form 1040 and other tax schedules. The Certifying Acceptance Agent facilitates the application process by reviewing the necessary documents, authenticating the identity when able and forwarding the completed forms to IRS. 

Below are answers we received to questions around how to become a certifying acceptance agent:

So if you do less than five ITIN applications a year, will you lose your status?

Yes. All Acceptance Agents are required to submit at least five W-7 applications a year to remain in the program.

Is there is a cost to become Certifying Acceptance Agent?

The only cost to becoming a Certifying Acceptance Agent is the cost of the forensic training. This cost ranges from $200 to $350 depending on the vendor. For more information visit: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/forensic-training

Does a Certifying Acceptance Agent renew every year?

A Certifying Acceptance Agent renews every five years.