ERC updates; apply to ETAAC; new tax forum online website; Form 1099-K webinar; share feedback; and more 

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e-News for Tax ProfessionalsDecember 8, 2023

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Issue Number:  2023-49

Inside This Issue

  1. IRS sends 20,000 letters disallowing improper ERC claims
  2. Apply for ETAAC membership
  3. IRS launches new Nationwide Tax Forum Online website
  4. Upcoming IRS webinars: Form 1099-K, Circular 230 and more
  5. Share your feedback: Strategic operating plan’s refundable credits
  6. IRS Independent Office of Appeals releases fiscal year 2024 priorities
  7. IRS releases home energy tax credits e-poster
  8. Credit for builders of energy-efficient homes
  9. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division
  10. Technical Guidance

1.  IRS sends 20,000 letters disallowing improper ERC claims


As part of continuing efforts to combat dubious Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims, the IRS is sending an initial round of more than 20,000 letters to taxpayers notifying them of disallowed ERC claims. The IRS is rejecting claims to entities that did not exist or did not have paid employees during the period of eligibility. News release is also available in Spanish and Simplified Chinese.

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2.  Apply for ETAAC membership


The IRS is accepting membership applications for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC). The ETAAC is an organized public forum for discussion of issues in electronic tax administration, such as prevention of identity theft and refund fraud. Applicants should have experience in state tax administration, cybersecurity and information security, tax software development, tax preparation, payroll and tax financial product processing, systems management and improvement, and implementation of customer service initiatives. The IRS also strongly encourages applications from people representing the viewpoints of average taxpayers, including consumer advocates and others with an interest in tax issues. Deadline to submit your application is Jan. 31, 2024. Qualified individuals who are selected will serve three-year terms on the ETAAC beginning September 2024.

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3.  IRS launches new Nationwide Tax Forum Online website


The Nationwide Tax Forum Online website relaunched this week with a fresh look and improved navigation, offering tax professionals dozens of seminars, including 18 recorded last summer at the 2023 Nationwide Tax Forum in Atlanta. Each seminar includes a 50-minute video, PowerPoint presentation and downloadable slides and transcripts. The Nationwide Tax Forum Online is approved as a continuing education provider by the IRS and NASBA, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. To register, visit irstaxforumonline.com.

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4.  Upcoming IRS webinars: Form 1099-K, Circular 230 and more


The IRS offers the upcoming live webinars to the tax practitioner community:

  • Form 1099-K Third Party Payment Network Transactions (Card and Electronic payments) on Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. ET. Category: Federal Tax; 1 CE credit will be offered for this webinar. Visit the webinar’s registration page for course objectives and to sign up for the session.
  • Circular 230: Professional Responsibility in Today’s Tax Practice on Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. Category: Ethics; 2 CE credits will be offered for this seminar. Sign up for this session on the webinar’s registration page.
  • Answering your Frequently Asked Questions about Due Diligence on Jan. 10, 2024, at 2 p.m. Category: Federal Tax; earn up to 1 CE credit. Sign up for this session on the webinar’s registration page.
  • Sailing Through the Rules of Refundable Tax Credits on Jan. 12, 2024, at 2 p.m. Certificates of completion are being offered. Category: Federal Tax; earn up to 1 CE credit. Visit the registration page for more information about this seminar and to register.
  • 2024 IRS/California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) Practitioner Seminars on Jan. 17-18, 2024, from noon – 5 p.m. ET. Earn up to 9 hours of IRS qualified CE credits, including 2 hours of Federal Ethics. Visit the CSEA/IRS website for more information and to register.

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5.  Share your feedback: Strategic operating plan’s refundable credits


The IRS held its Refundable Credit Summit in November, which focused on strategies to improve refundable credit administration, tax compliance and outreach. It also focused on the key elements of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Strategic Operating Plan (SOP) that is moving the IRS toward world class customer service operations, new capacities and infrastructure rooted in modern technology.

As part of Initiative 1.9 of the SOP (helping taxpayers understand and claim appropriate credits and deductions. Taxpayers, including individuals and small businesses, will receive education and assistance in claiming available incentives), the IRS is accepting Request for Information (RFI) submissions with respect to all credits and deductions. We are looking for your thoughts and ideas around:

  • Refundable credits directed toward lower-income individuals and other underserved communities (including Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Premium Tax Credit, Saver’s Credit)
  • Credits and deductions targeted toward supporting education (including American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, Educator Expense Deduction, Student Loan Interest Deduction)
  • Credits and deductions that support the small business community including gig-economy workers and new business (including Work Opportunity Credit, Employer Social Security/Medicare Taxes Paid on Employee Tips Credit, Small Employer Pension Startup Costs Credit, Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction, and Home Office Deduction).

Submit your feedback by Jan. 17,2024. To get more details and instructions for submission, visit Request for Information. For more details on refundable credits, visit EITC/Refundable Credits Central.

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6.  IRS Independent Office of Appeals releases fiscal year 2024 priorities


The IRS’s Independent Office of Appeals released its Focus Guide for fiscal year 2024. The guide highlights where Appeals will be improving taxpayer service in its mission to resolve tax disputes in a fair and impartial manner without the need for litigation.

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7.  IRS releases home energy tax credits e-poster


If your clients make energy improvements to their home, tax credits are available for a portion of qualifying expenses. The credit amounts and types of qualifying expenses were expanded by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The IRS recently released an e-poster about the expanded home energy credits, outlined in an easy-to-understand format. You’re encouraged to share this resource with your clients. For more information, visit the Home Energy Tax Credits webpage on IRS.gov.

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8.  Credit for builders of energy-efficient homes


Contractors who build or substantially reconstruct qualified energy-efficient homes may be eligible for tax credits up to $5,000 per home. The amount of the credit depends on factors including the type of home, its energy efficiency rating and the date when someone buys or rents it. Visit IRS.gov for more information about how to qualify, credit amounts, how to claim the credit and more.

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9.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division


A federal court in the Southern District of Florida permanently enjoined Miami tax return preparer Javier Campos and his businesses from preparing federal income tax returns, training others how to prepare tax returns or operating any tax return preparation business in the future.

Jeffrey Harmon of South Carolina was sentenced to 24 months in prison for preparing and filing false individual income tax returns for himself and his clients. In total, Harmon caused a tax loss to the IRS of more than $300,000. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Harmon was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay approximately $320,000 in restitution to the United States.

A federal grand jury in Orlando returned an indictment, charging three Florida men with crimes related to their respective roles in a tax refund fraud scheme. Christopher Johnson, Jasen Harvey and Arthur Grimes are each charged with aiding in the preparation of false tax returns; Johnson and Harvey are charged with conspiring to defraud the United States; Johnson is charged with filing false personal tax returns; Harvey is charged with criminal contempt; and Grimes is charged with corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the due administration of the internal revenue laws. IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Jack Fisher and James Sinnott were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns and subscribing to false tax returns. The convictions stem from Fisher and Sinnott’s fraudulent tax shelter scheme involving syndicated conservation easements dating back nearly two decades. In total, the defendants sold more than $1.3 billion in fraudulent tax deductions through this scheme. Fisher and Sinnott face a maximum penalty ranging between three and 20 years in prison for each count of conviction. The government is also seeking the forfeiture of monetary proceeds and real properties purchased by Fisher and Sinnott in connection with their fraud scheme.

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10.  Technical Guidance


Notice 2023-79 contains the 2023 Required Amendments List, which establishes the end of the remedial amendment period and the plan amendment deadline for changes in qualification requirements and section 403(b) requirements set forth on the list for qualified individually designed plans and section 403(b) individually designed plans, respectively.

Revenue Procedure 2024-08 provides issuers of qualified mortgage bonds under section 143(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and issuers of mortgage credit certificates under section 25(c), with a list of qualified census tracts.

Revenue Procedure 2023-41 sets forth the unpaid loss discount factors for the 2023 accident year for purposes of section 846 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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