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Monthly Archives: January 2019

IRS Reopens & Starts 2019 Tax-Filing Season

The Internal Revenue Service successfully opened the 2019 tax-filing season today January 28, 2019 as the agency started accepting and processing federal tax returns for tax year 2018.

Despite the Major Tax Law Changes Made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS Was Able to Open this Year’s Tax-Filing Season One Day Earlier than the 2018 Tax-Filing Season.

More than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2018 tax year are expected to be filed, with the vast majority of those coming before the April tax deadline. Through mid-day Monday, the IRS had already received several million tax returns during the busy opening hours.

"I am extremely proud of the entire IRS workforce. The dedicated IRS employees have worked tirelessly to successfully implement the biggest tax law changes in 30 years and launch tax season for the nation," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Although we face various near- and longer-term challenges, our employees are committed to doing everything we can to help taxpayers and get refunds out quickly."

Following the government shutdown, the IRS is working to promptly resume normal operations.

“The IRS will be doing everything it can to have a smooth filing season,” Rettig said. “Taxpayers can minimize errors and speed refunds by using e-file and IRS Free File along with direct deposit.”

The IRS Expects the First Refunds to Go out in the
First Week of February and Many Refunds to Be Paid by
Mid-to Late February like Previous Years.

The IRS reminds taxpayers to check “Where’s My Refund?" for updates. Demand on IRS phones during the early weeks of tax season is traditionally heavy, so taxpayers are encouraged to use IRS.gov to find answers before they call.

April deadline; help for taxpayers through e-file, Free File

The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019, for most taxpayers. Because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on April 15 in Maine and Massachusetts and the Emancipation Day holiday on April 16 in the District of Columbia, taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts have until April 17 to file their returns.

 

Most Refunds Sent in Less Than 21 Days;
EITC/ACTC Refunds Starting February 27. 

The IRS Expects to Issue More Than Nine Out Of 10
Refunds in Less Than 21 Days.

The IRS also notes that refunds, by law, cannot be issued before Feb. 15 for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. This applies to the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC. While the IRS will process the EITC and ACTC returns when received, these refunds cannot be issued before Feb. 15. Similar to last year, the IRS expects the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to actually be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on Feb. 27, 2019, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

This law was changed to give the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud. Even with the EITC and ACTC refunds and the additional security safeguards, the IRS still expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible a particular tax return may require additional review and a refund could take longer. Even so, taxpayers and tax return preparers should file when they’re ready. For those who usually file early in the year and are ready to file a complete and accurate return, there is no need to wait to file.

Have a Tax Problem?  
 



 

 

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
 
 





Read more at: Tax Times blog

IRS' Shutdown Impact on Tax Court Cases

The United States Tax Court’s website (www.ustaxcourt.gov) announced that the Tax Court shut down operations on Friday, December 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice.  The IRS reminds taxpayers and tax professionals the Tax Court website is the best place to get information about a pending case.

There are some important points for taxpayers and tax professionals to keep in mind. These are some questions and answers to help during the current appropriations lapse.

Q: What should I do if a document I mailed or sent to the Tax Court was returned to me?

A: The Tax Court website indicates that mail sent to the court through the U.S.  Postal Service or through designated private delivery services may have been returned undelivered.  If a document you sent to the Tax Court was returned to you, as the Tax Court website indicates, re-mail or re-send the document to the Court with a copy of the envelope or container (with the postmark or proof of mailing date) in which it was first mailed or sent. In addition, please retain the original.

My case was calendared for trial.  What does the Tax Court’s closure mean for my pending case? 

The Tax Court canceled trial sessions for January 28, 2019 (El Paso, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; and Lubbock, TX), February 4, 2019 (Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Paul, MN; Washington, DC; and Winston-Salem, NC) and February 11, 2019 (Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; and Mobile, AL). The Tax Court will inform taxpayers who had cases on the canceled trial sessions of their new trial dates.

The Tax Court’s website indicates that it will make a decision about the February 25, 2019 trial sessions (Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Philadelphia, PA) on or before February 7, 2019.  Taxpayers with cases that are scheduled for trial sessions that have not been canceled or that have not yet been scheduled for trial should expect their cases to proceed in the normal course until further notice.

If my case was on a canceled trial session, when will I have an opportunity to resolve my case with Appeals or Chief Counsel after the government reopens? 

After the IRS and Chief Counsel reopen, we will make our best efforts to expeditiously resolve ases. 

Where can I get more information about my Tax Court case? 

If someone is representing you in your case, you should contact your representative. In addition, the Tax Court’s website is the best place for updates.  The IRS Chief Counsel and Appeals personnel assigned to your case may be furloughed and will not be available to answer your questions until the government reopens.  In addition, The American Bar Association (ABA) is conducting a webinar on January 28, 2019, and you can get more information from the ABA Tax Section website (www.americanbar.org/groups/taxation). Taxpayers seeking assistance from Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) can find a list of LITCs on the Tax Court’s website (www.ustaxcourt.gov/clinics/clinics.pdf).

During the shutdown, does interest continue to accrue on the tax that I am disputing in my pending Tax Court case? 

Yes. To avoid additional interest on the tax that you are disputing in your pending Tax Court case, you can stop the running of interest by making a payment to the IRS.  Go to www.irs.gov/payments for payment options available to you.  The IRS is continuing to process payments during the shutdown.

What should I do if I received a bill for the tax liability that is the subject of my Tax Court case? 

If you receive a collection notice for the tax that is in dispute in your Tax Court case, it may be because the IRS has not received your petition and has made a premature assessment.  When the government reopens, the IRS attorney assigned to your case will determine if a premature assessment was made and request that the IRS abate the premature assessment.

Have a Tax Problem?  
 



 

 

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
 
 

 

Read more at: Tax Times blog

IRS Employees Claiming Hardship Exemptions During Shutdown

Last week, the Treasury Department released a revised contingency plan for the government shutdown under which more than 46,000 of the approximately 70,000 IRS employees would be required to return to work to process tax refunds and get ready for tax filing season, but the majority of them would be unpaid, as the IRS plans to start tax season on Jan. 28 even if the shutdown continues. 
 
The shutdown is now in its 33rd day, and hundreds of thousands of federal government employees are expected to miss their second biweekly paychecks this Friday.
 
The National Treasury Employees Union issued a statement on January 22, 2019, about how many IRS employees are able to use a provision in their union contract known as a “hardship exemption” that allows them to stay at home when they don’t have money to pay for transportation to work or for child care.

“After a Month with No Pay, Real Hardship Does Exist for
IRS Employees Including Not Having the Money Needed
to Get Back and Forth to Work or to Pay for the
Child Care Necessary to Return To Work Right Now,”
said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. 
 
“Emergencies can occur at any time so the hardship exemption can be requested during a lapse in appropriations when an employee is suddenly unable to return to work. That is why the exemption exists. The longer employees go without pay, more face financial hardships.”
 

Have a Tax Problem?  
 




 

 

Contact the Tax Lawyers at
Marini & Associates, P.A.
 
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
 
 

 

 

Read more at: Tax Times blog

Taxpayers With Tax Problems Should Take Advantage of the IRS Shutdown!

My colleague Steven Klitzner is advising Taxpayers who owe money, are being audited, or who have not filed their returns and who may be breathing a sigh of relief, during this IRS government shutdown; Wrong strategy! They need to take advantage of the situation.

We have been advising our clients to get their ducks in a row, get their paperwork finished, get their offers prepared and/or request for installment payment plans prepared; so that when the IRS reopens they will be ready to submit their request to an overwhelmed IRS.
 
Now is the time to get ahead of the IRS without the threat of them taking bank accounts or wages or closing businesses. 

* If you owe, get your financial documentation together. 
* If you are being audited, get your proof of income and expenses. 
* If you have unfiled returns, get them filed and get your current taxes paid.
 

When the IRS goes back to work, they will be overwhelmed. The employees will be bitter and frustrated. They will want to make deals to clear their inventory. By being proactive and ready, taxpayers can help themselves by helping the IRS resolve cases.
 

Have a Tax Problem?  
 

Contact the Tax Lawyers at

Marini & Associates, P.A.
 
 for a FREE Tax Consultation Contact US at
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).
 
 
 

 
 




 

Read more at: Tax Times blog