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e-News for Tax ProfessionalsNovember 17, 2023

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Issue Number:  2023-46

Inside This Issue

  1. 8th annual National Tax Security Awareness week begins Nov. 27
  2. IRS Webinar on Written Information Security Plan scheduled for Nov. 30
  3. Get prepared for the upcoming filing season
  4. Tax pros: Become an authorized IRS e-file provider
  5. ITIN holders can register for online access
  6. IRS reminds eligible 2020 and 2021 non-filers to claim Recovery Rebate Credit before time runs out
  7. Eligible IRA owners may transfer up to $100,000 in tax-free gifts to charity
  8. Treasury, IRS propose regulations implementing disallowance of deductions for certain conservation easement contributions
  9. Taxpayers urged to protect against scams, schemes during International Fraud Awareness Week
  10. Energy efficient commercial buildings deductions available for those who qualify
  11. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division
  12. Technical Guidance

1.  8th annual National Tax Security Awareness week begins Nov. 27


The Internal Revenue Service, along with its Security Summit partners in state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry, today announced a special week focusing taxpayer and tax professional awareness on protecting sensitive financial information against identity thieves as the holidays and the 2024 tax season approach.

The 8th annual National Tax Security Awareness Week takes place this year from Nov. 27 – Dec. 1, marking an annual campaign by the Security Summit, a coalition of the IRS, state tax administrators, tax software companies, the tax professional community and others in the larger tax community.

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2.  IRS Webinar on Written Information Security Plan scheduled for Nov. 30


The IRS in partnership with the Security Summit will hold a webinar entitled “Developing a Written Information Security Plan, (WISP), on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. The webinar will last 75 minutes including Q&A. Register here.

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3.  Get prepared for the upcoming filing season


With the nation’s tax season rapidly approaching, remind your clients about the important steps they can take now to help “get ready” to file their 2023 federal tax return, such as:
• Filing through IRS online account.
• Gathering and updating tax records.
• Withholding enough tax from paychecks.
• Establishing direct deposit for refunds.

This is the first in a series of special IRS “Get Ready” reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season in early 2024.

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4.  Tax pros: Become an authorized IRS e-file provider


To file your clients’ federal tax returns electronically, you’ll need to become an authorized e-file provider. The application process takes only a few steps, which are outlined on IRS.gov.

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5.  ITIN holders can register for online access


As a reminder, taxpayers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) can access their IRS online account, which provides balance due, payment history, payment plans, tax records and more.

ITIN holders will first verify their identity through a one-time video chat process. During this verification, they will provide documentation proving their identity, address and ITIN. Once verified, taxpayers can access many IRS services including Online Account, Get Transcript Online, Online Payment Agreement, Get an Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) and other available applications.

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6.  IRS reminds eligible 2020 and 2021 non-filers to claim Recovery Rebate Credit before time runs out


The Internal Revenue Service is reminding those who may be entitled to the Recovery Rebate Credit to file a tax return and claim their money before it’s too late.

The vast majority of those eligible for Economic Impact Payments related to Coronavirus tax relief have already received them or claimed them through the Recovery Rebate Credit. The deadlines to file a return and claim the 2020 and 2021 credits are May 17, 2024, and April 15, 2025, respectively.

The Recovery Rebate Credit is a refundable credit for those who missed out on one or more Economic Impact Payments.

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7.  Eligible IRA owners may transfer up to $100,000 in tax-free gifts to charity


Tax pros: Remember individual retirement arrangement (IRA) owners age 70½ or older can transfer up to $100,000 to charity tax-free each year. These transfers, known as qualified charitable distributions (QCDs), offer eligible older Americans a great way to easily give to charity before the end of the year. And, for those who are at least 73 years old, QCDs count toward the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year.

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8.  Treasury, IRS propose regulations implementing disallowance of deductions for certain conservation easement contributions


The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today issued proposed regulations that provide guidance under a new section of the law that disallows deductions for certain charitable conservation contributions by partnerships and other pass-through entities. Syndicated conservation easements have been included in the IRS’ annual list of Dirty Dozen tax schemes for many years.

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9.  Taxpayers urged to protect against scams, schemes during International Fraud Awareness Week


As part of ongoing efforts to protect taxpayers, the IRS reminds people that International Fraud Awareness Week serves as an important time to protect personal and financial information from scam artists and tax schemes. International Fraud Awareness Week, which runs through Nov. 18, is an effort to minimize the impact of fraud through awareness and education. During the special week, the IRS – including the agency’s Office of Fraud Enforcement and IRS Criminal Investigation – continue working to raise awareness to fraud and scams affecting taxpayers across the country.

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10. Energy efficient commercial buildings deductions available for those who qualify


Building owners who place in service energy efficient commercial building property or energy efficient building retrofit property may be able to claim a tax deduction. Find out more about eligibility and qualifications in the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction e-poster that you can share with your clients. Visit the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction page on IRS.gov for more information.

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11.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division


Crystal Ojeda of Houston and her tax return preparation business, Money Market Tax Company LLC, have been permanently enjoined from preparing federal tax returns for others, among other related prohibitions. The complaint alleges that Ojeda prepared more than 10,000 federal income tax returns during 2018-2023, significantly overstating her customers’ tax refund amounts. The complaint also alleges that for some customers’ returns, Ojeda falsely claimed residential energy credits to which her customers were not entitled. Ojeda allegedly caused the United States harm of an estimated $4.8 million in tax revenue just from the years 2020 to 2022, and millions more from earlier years.

Lamar “Cory” Thompson of Texas, formerly of Chicago, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for mail fraud arising out of a scheme to fraudulently obtain tax refunds from the IRS. In total, Thompson attempted to obtain approximately $1.5 million in fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS. In addition to the prison sentence, Thompson has been ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $908,727restitution to the United States.

Vervia Watts of Illinois pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns. According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 2017 through June 2023, Watts prepared and filed individual income tax returns for her clients, intentionally reporting false education expenses and business income. Watts received at least $300 for each return she prepared, which, in total, claimed more than $1.5 million in fraudulent refunds. Watts is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 14, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

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12.  Technical Guidance


Notice 2023-76 sets forth updates on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates for November 2023 used under section 417(e)(3)(D), the 24-month average segment rates applicable for November 2023, and the 30-year Treasury rates, as reflected by the application of section 430(h)(2)(C)(iv).

Revenue Procedure 2023-34 sets forth inflation-adjusted items for 2024 for various Code provisions as in effect on Nov. 9, 2023. The inflation adjusted items for the Code sections set forth in section 3 of this revenue procedure are generally determined by reference to section 1(f) of the Code.

Revenue Ruling 2023-21 provides various prescribed rates for federal income tax purposes including the applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted applicable federal interest rates, the adjusted federal long-term rate and the adjusted federal long-term tax-exempt rate.

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