Dirty Dozen list; 2020 tax returns deadline; tax relief in Alaska and Hawaii; and more

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e-News for Tax ProfessionalsMarch 29, 2024

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Issue Number:  2024-13

Inside This Issue

  1. Dirty Dozen: Beware of evolving scams
  2. Deadline approaches for taxpayers to file 2020 returns; $1 billion in refunds awaits
  3. Tax relief available for disaster area victims in Alaska
  4. Extended tax relief for wildfire victims in Hawaii
  5. Error identified in Form 1065, Schedule K-1 programming
  6. Registration open for IRS Nationwide Tax Forum
  7. Upcoming Webinars for tax practitioners
  8. News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division
  9. Technical Guidance

1.  Dirty Dozen: Beware of evolving scams

The Internal Revenue Service this week kicked off the annual Dirty Dozen list of tax scams with a warning for taxpayers to be aware of evolving phishing and smishing scams designed to steal sensitive taxpayer information.

With taxpayers continuing to be bombarded by email and text scams, the IRS and its Security Summit partners warned individuals and businesses to remain vigilant against these attacks. Fraudsters and identity thieves attempt to trick the recipient into clicking a suspicious link, filling out personal and financial information or downloading a malware file onto their computer.

“Scammers are relentless in their attempts to obtain sensitive financial and personal information, and impersonating the IRS remains a favorite tactic,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “People can be anxious to get the latest information about their refund or other tax issues, so scammers frequently try using the IRS as a way to trick people. The IRS urges people to be extra cautious about unsolicited messages and avoid clicking any links in an unsolicited email or text if they are uncertain.”

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2.  Deadline approaches for taxpayers to file 2020 returns; $1 billion in refunds awaits

Tax pros: May 17 is the deadline for filers to submit 2020 tax returns. The IRS estimates that more than $1 billion in refunds have gone unclaimed by taxpayers. Under the law, taxpayers usually have three years to file and claim their tax refunds. The normal filing deadline falls around the April 15 tax deadline. But the three-year window for 2020 unfiled returns was postponed to May 17, due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

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3.  Tax relief available for disaster area victims in Alaska

Disaster-area taxpayers in parts of Alaska affected by severe storms, landslides and mudslides that began on Nov. 20 now have until July 15 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments. The IRS is offering relief to areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, this includes the Wrangell Cooperative Association of Alaska Tribal Nation. The same relief will be available to any other Alaska localities added later to the disaster area.

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4.  Extended tax relief for wildfire victims in Hawaii

Individuals, businesses and tax-exempt organizations in parts of Hawaii affected by wildfires now have until Aug. 7 to file their 2023 returns and pay any taxes due. The previous deadline was Feb. 15. Maui and Hawaii counties are areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). IRS urges anyone who needs an extension beyond Aug. 7, for their 2023 federal income tax return to request it electronically by April 15. Though a disaster-area taxpayer qualifies to request an extension between April 15 and Aug. 7, a request filed during this period can only be submitted on paper. The taxpayer will then have until Oct. 15, 2024, to file, though payments are still due on Aug. 7, 2024. For more information, visit IRS.gov/extensions.

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5.  Error identified in Form 1065, Schedule K-1 programming

The IRS notifies tax professionals of a programming error impacting e-filers of Form 1065, Schedule K-1, Line 20 for 2023. The error blocked e-filed partnership returns from using Code ZZ. The IRS encourages e-filers to extend the filing of their Form 1065 returns and defer until June 16, by which the error is expected to be corrected.

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6.  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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7.  Upcoming Webinars for tax practitioners

The IRS is presenting the webinar “Impacts of Gaming on Tax Exempt Organizations” on April 18 at 2 p.m. ET. Tax professionals can earn up to one continuing education credit.

For more information or to register for the webinar, visit the Webinars for Tax Practitioners webpage.

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8.  News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division

The United States filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to permanently bar Dexter Bataille and his tax return preparation business from preparing federal income tax returns for others. By repeatedly understating his customers’ tax liabilities, the complaint alleges that the United States has been harmed by Bataille’s conduct resulting in the loss in federal tax revenue, estimated to be over $1.5 million for tax year 2021 alone.

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9.  Technical Guidance

Notice 2024-32 provides guidance for qualified student loan bonds to clarify certain requirements for tax-exempt bond financing for loan programs of general application approved by a State under § 144(b)(1)(B) (State Supplemental Loan programs).

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