ERC deadline; Revenue agent hiring effort; 2024 Tax Forum; IRS-CI Chief; and more

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e-News for Tax ProfessionalsMarch 15, 2024

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Issue Number:  2024-11

Inside This Issue

  1. March 22 ERC deadline rapidly approaching
  2. IRS seeks to hire revenue agents nationwide
  3. Registration open for IRS Nationwide Tax Forum
  4. Ficco becomes IRS Criminal Investigation chief
  5. New Digital Assets webpage
  6. Physical presence education requirement waiver extended for enrolled actuaries 
  7. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division

1.  March 22 ERC deadline rapidly approaching


The IRS reminds businesses of the March 22 deadline for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) Voluntary Disclosure Program. Businesses are urged to review the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) guidelines to avoid future compliance action for improper claims. “The window of opportunity is closing for those with questionable claims to fix things before they receive follow-up compliance action. Taking action now will avoid potentially hefty penalties and interest if the IRS takes action later. The deals available now are good, and the cost and risk for bad claims will sharply escalate over time,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

The IRS offers two programs to voluntarily resolve improper claims and reduce costs and follow-up steps for businesses. They are the ERC Voluntary Disclosure Program and the claim withdrawal process. The IRS will continue a wide range of tax compliance activities on ERC claims in the future, so the agency urges a close look at these special programs.

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2.  IRS seeks to hire revenue agents nationwide


Tax pros: With the IRS hiring thousands of revenue agents, the agency encourages members of the tax professional community to consider applying for one of the many career opportunities:

These positions will be filled using a Direct Hire Authority (DHA), which accelerates the hiring process and helps to fill IRS mission-critical positions immediately. Tax pros should note that recruitment incentives may be offered. For more information, visit the IRS Careers page.

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3.  Registration open for IRS Nationwide Tax Forum


Tax Pros: Registration is now open for the 2024 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum. Register today to ensure your space this summer in one of the five following cities:

  • Chicago: July 9 – 11
  • Orlando: July 30 – Aug. 1
  • Baltimore: Aug. 13 – 15
  • Dallas: Aug. 20 – 22
  • San Diego: Sep. 10 – 12

The IRS Nationwide Tax Forum offers continuing education and networking opportunities to enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys and other tax professionals. Each forum offers more than 40 seminars and workshops on a wide variety of federal and state tax issues presented by experts from the IRS and its partner associations. Attendees may earn up to 18 continuing education credits.

Visit 2024 IRS Nationwide Tax Forum for information on the program, accommodations and registration.

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4.  Ficco becomes IRS Criminal Investigation chief


The IRS announced its new IRS Criminal Investigation chief. Effective April 1, Guy Ficco, the current Deputy Chief and a 29-year agency veteran, will lead a staff of more than 3,200 Criminal Investigation employees, including 2,200 special agents. In addition to serving as CI’s deputy chief, Ficco served in leadership positions across the agency, ranging from supervisory special agent to executive director of Global Operations, Policy and Support. He is also a certified fraud examiner. “Guy has enjoyed a remarkable career as a CI special agent and leader who brings a wealth of experience to this job,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

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5.  New Digital Assets webpage


The IRS has announced an improved Digital Assets webpage on IRS.gov.

The redesigned webpage features:

  • Current IRS information on digital assets, and how to answer the digital asset question on a tax return: when to check yes or no;
  • Streamlined information for ease of understanding; and
  • A user-friendly layout featuring links at the top of the page to help viewers quickly find key information.

More information is available at IRS.gov and Frequently Asked Questions on virtual currency transactions.

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6.  Physical presence education requirement waiver extended for enrolled actuaries


The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries is extending the temporary waiver of its physical presence requirement for continuing professional education (CPE) programs. The Joint Board issued proposed regulations to eliminate the physical presence requirement altogether. The extended waiver applies to all enrolled actuaries and will remain in effect until proposed regulations are finalized.

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7.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division


The Justice Department filed a complaint seeking to bar Chicago-area tax return preparer Sir-Michael Davenport from owning or operating a tax return preparation business and preparing tax returns for others. By repeatedly understating his customers’ tax liabilities, the complaint alleges the United States has been harmed by Davenport’s conduct, resulting in a significant loss in tax revenue of an estimated $715,407.

A complaint seeking to bar Florida-area return preparer Kenia Rodriguez, also known as Kenia Legon, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The civil complaint alleges that Rodriguez willfully prepared false returns on behalf of her clients and that the United States has been harmed by her conduct, leading to a tax loss of more than $6 million since 2021. In addition to seeking an injunction against Rodriguez, the government requests an order of disgorgement to prevent her from profiting from violating the internal revenue laws.

The United States filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Houston-based return preparer Morshanda Lewis. The complaint alleges Lewis prepared tax returns that claimed false credits despite several warnings from the IRS. For tax years 2019 to 2021, Lewis’ conduct caused a significant loss in tax revenue, estimated at over $1 million.

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