IRS practice and procedure

The IRS’s private debt collection program

Taxpayers who have been contacted by an IRS-contracted private debt collection agency may need professional representation to preserve their full array of repayment options.

Tax preparer due diligence rules are finalized

The IRS issued final regulations on the penalty that applies to tax return preparers who fail to exercise due diligence in preparing returns for taxpayers who are claiming head-of-household filing status, the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, the additional child tax credit, or the American opportunity tax credit.

Qualified joint ventures for spouses

A married couple can avoid the partnership filing requirements for a business they co-own by electing to be treated as a qualified joint venture.

D.C. Circuit upholds IRS unenrolled tax preparer program

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the AICPA had standing to challenge the IRS’s Annual Filing Season Program for unenrolled tax preparers but further held that the program did not violate the Administrative Procedure Act.

AICPA: 2019 Form W-4 needs to be simplified

The AICPA’s Tax Executive Committee sent a letter to the IRS, urging the Service to simplify the proposed draft 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.

First Circuit allows DISC dividends paid to Roth IRAs

The IRS suffers its second defeat when the First Circuit, agreeing with the Sixth Circuit, denies application of the substance-over-form doctrine to recharacterize DISC commissions and dividends as excess Roth contributions.

Form 1040 to be shorter but with more schedules

The IRS is working on a draft version of the 2018 Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, that reduces the size of the form to two half-pages in length and eliminates more than 50 lines.

FEATURE

Maximizing the higher education tax credits

A counterintuitive strategy can save taxes by including otherwise excludable scholarships in gross income.

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Solving the lease accounting challenge

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