IRS Mileage Rates for 2016:
Remember folks, no mileage deduction is allowed if the vehicle has been depreciated using MACRS or Section 179.
IRS Notice 2016-01 contains the standard mileage rates for 2016, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate.
The IRS has officially announced the start date for tax season. This year, it's Jan 19th, 2016. Returns will be accepted after that date. The filing deadline for this year is April 18th, 2016 due to the federal holiday of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.
The IRS commissioner gave this prepared statement:
“We look forward to opening the 2016 tax season on time. Our employees have been working hard throughout this year to make this happen. We also appreciate the help from the nation’s tax professionals and the software community, who are critical to helping taxpayers during the filing season.”
We hope that this year goes smoothly, and that the IRS gets a little better at answering its call volume in 2016.
Sometimes, tax professionals need a new CAF number. This can be for a variety of reasons. The most common reason seems to be to protect the privacy of your private clients, especially if you are a tax professional working for another business.
Example: Tina is an enrolled agent working as an employee for a large tax firm. She also has some private clients that she sees at her home office on weekends. She would like to keep these two activities separate. She wants a separate CAF number for her private clients, so that when notices for her private clients are sent to her, they are not mixed up with the notices that go to her employer's office.
The solution is simple. There is no prohibition against getting a second CAF number, so you can request one. You can't "retire" your old CAF number, but you stop using it. Or you can use both. In order to request a new CAf number, the next time you submit a 2848, put "none" in the CAF # area and the IRS will issue you a new one. That's it. Very easy.
Congress has introduced a new bill to regulate tax professionals. The AICPA opposes the bill. After the fiasco of Loving v. Commissioner, the IRS was left unable to regulate tax preparers (beyond requiring them to have a PTIN). As of right now, the Internal Revenue Service lacks any statutory authority to regulate tax preparers, and Congress is trying to change that after the courts decided against the IRS commissioner.
Federal courts invalidated the RTRP program in 2013, and the IRS developed the optional AFSP certificate in response. The new AFSP program has been met with mixed reviews and only limited participation. The proposed legislation gives the IRS the ability to exempt CPAs and EAs from the new requirements, so it's unclear why the AICPA is opposing the legislation.
Our advice: Become an EA!
According to a recent survey from the Journal of Accountancy, identity theft now affects a majority of tax professionals, at at least 63% of all CPAs have at least one client who has been a victim of this crime. The Federal Trade Commission now reports that Identity Theft is the #1 consumer complaint.
The IRS has almost 700,000 PENDING identity theft cases, a 69% increase over last year. Sadly, the IRS does not have nearly enough manpower to deal with this enormous problem. Proof: only 37% of all calls were answered by the IRS during the 2015 tax season. The IRS also takes an average of 275 days simply to resolve an identity theft case. And wait times are increasing.
Bad news for tax pros and their clients. Congress passed a bill on on December 3, 2015 called the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (H.R. 22). The bill contains two IRS provisions (that were kinda snuck in there) that allow the IRS to use private debt collectors, andwould revoke passports for taxpayers with more than $50,000 in unpaid federal taxes.
The Taxpayer Advocate actually found that the IRS was better at collecting taxes than private debt collection agencies, and then there is the whole issue of taxpayer privacy. Collection agencies are notorious for disregarding privacy law, but that's not even the worst part of this news.
The worst part is that the LAST time Congress tried to outsource IRS collections, the collection agencies cost taxpayers more money than they collected, which means that private collection of IRS debt is a failed experiment that congress has decided, unfortunately, to repeat.
Don't forget to sign up for this IRS webinar and earn free CPE!
Topic: EITC Due Diligence
Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time , 9:00 a.m. Hawaii Time
Highlights of What's Covered:
CPE: Earn One CE Credit – Category: Federal Tax
PTIN Holders: In order to get your CE reported to the IRS, ensure that your first name, last name and PTIN match your account. Your PTIN must begin with the letter P followed by 8 numeric characters. If your name and PTIN are incorrectly entered, you may still receive a certificate but your credit will not be reported to the IRS.
Register & Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/11753
Presented by: IRS Stakeholder Liaison Western Area and EITC & Refundable Credits Outreach
Please share this with your staff, colleagues and anyone who may benefit from this information.
Remember that it's PTIN renewal time, don't forget to do it before you get overwhelmed with holiday plans. There's some good news; the IRS has lowered the cost of renewing your PTIN to $50. Not a bad trade-off, considering practitioners used to have to use their Social Security Numbers on the preparer's section of the return (remember doing that, old-timers?).
You can renew your PTIN at www.IRS.gov/ptin.