2024 filing season improvements; business tax account; IRSAC annual report; and more

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e-News for Tax ProfessionalsNovember 9, 2023

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Issue Number:  2023-45

Inside This Issue

  1. IRS outlines 2024 filing season improvements
  2. IRS launches first phase of the business tax account
  3. IRSAC issues its 2023 annual report
  4. Nationwide Tax Forums Online: Get the latest tax in education directly from the IRS
  5. Help your clients recognize tax schemes
  6. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division

1.  IRS outlines 2024 filing season improvements

Following a dramatically improved 2023 filing season thanks to Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) investments, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced additional improvements taxpayers will experience next filing season, including:

  • Improved digital service through the Where’s My Refund? tool.
  • Better phone and in-person service.
  • The launch of the Direct File pilot.
  • The launch of IRS Energy Credits Online to expand access to IRA clean energy credits.

Treasury and the IRS also announced meeting the first goal of the Paperless Processing Initiative three months ahead of schedule. Taxpayers are now able to digitally submit all correspondence and responses to notices.

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2.  IRS launches first phase of the business tax account

The IRS has launched the first phase of the business tax account, enabling unincorporated sole proprietors who have an active Employer Identification Number to set up an account, view their business profile and manage authorized users. Over time, the business tax account will allow business taxpayers to check their tax payment history, make payments, view notices, authorize powers of attorney and conduct other business with the IRS.

Future improvements will allow taxpayers to use their business tax accounts to view letters or notices, request tax transcripts, add third parties for power of attorney or tax information authorizations, schedule or cancel tax payments and store bank account information. Revisit this news release for more about the business tax account and other initiatives underway to improve taxpayer service and modernize technology using Inflation Reduction Act funding.

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3.  IRSAC issues its 2023 annual report

The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) issued its annual report for 2023, including recommendations to the IRS on new and continuing issues in tax administration. The 2023 Public Report includes recommendations on 23 issues covering a broad range of topics such as:

  • Section 302, Escrow and Certification Procedure
  • Timely obtaining Employer ID Numbers (EINs) to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act requirements
  • Form 1099-K reporting
  • Self-correction guidance for Employee Plans
  • Forms modernization

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4.  Nationwide Tax Forums Online: Get the latest tax in education directly from the IRS

Visit the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online to earn continuing education (CE) credits and obtain the latest tax insights and expertise directly from the IRS. The 18 self-study webinars, which were recorded during the 2023 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums, are available 24/7 and cover topics about tax law changes, professional responsibility, identity protection and more. The seminars include:

  • Options for Ethics, Federal Tax Law and Federal Tax Law Update CE credits (for a fee).
  • A 50-minute interactive video of each seminar, synchronized with the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Downloadable slides and complete transcripts for each seminar.

For a complete list of seminars, registration information and more, visit the tax forum online website.

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5.  Help your clients recognize tax schemes

Tax pros: If your clients approach you for advice about participating in an abusive tax scheme, use the information outlined in the revised Publication 3995, Recognizing Illegal Tax Avoidance Schemes, to help them recognize and avoid fraudulent acts. Publication 3995 explains common tax avoidance schemes and provides instructions for reporting abusive tax schemes to the IRS Lead Development Center. Publication 3995 is also available in Spanish and Simplified Chinese.

Also, if you become aware of an abusive tax scheme, send Form 14242, Report Suspected Abusive Tax Promotions or Preparers, and any supporting materials to the IRS Lead Development Center.

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6.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division

Adis Smith of Chula Vista, Calif., and formerly of Baltimore pleaded guilty to preparing false tax returns. In total, Smith prepared more than 1,000 false tax returns and caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $4.7 million. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 2, and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Adam Earnest, Christopher Randell and James Klish were recently convicted by a federal jury in Jackson, Miss., of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Earnest and Randell were separately convicted of individual counts of preparing false tax returns. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2024. Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Earnest and Randell face a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each false return count on which they were found guilty. They also each face a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

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