e-News for Tax Professionals 2023-45: A Comprehensive Overview
As we step into the 2024 tax season, there’s a lot to look forward to and prepare for. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the latest updates, improvements, and news from the tax world.
2024 Filing Season Improvements by IRS
The 2023 filing season saw a significant improvement, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) investments. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS have now announced further enhancements for the upcoming tax season. Taxpayers can look forward to an improved digital service through the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool, enhanced phone and in-person service, the launch of the Direct File pilot, and the introduction of IRS Energy Credits Online to expand access to IRA clean energy credits.
Launch of the First Phase of the Business Tax Account
The IRS has initiated the first phase of the business tax account. This new feature allows unincorporated sole proprietors with an active Employer Identification Number to set up an account, manage authorized users, and view their business profiles. Over time, it will enable business taxpayers to check their tax payment history, make payments, view notices, authorize powers of attorney, and conduct other business with the IRS.
IRSAC 2023 Annual Report
The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) has issued its annual report for 2023. The report includes recommendations on new and ongoing tax administration issues. The 2023 Public Report covers a broad range of topics, including Section 302, Escrow and Certification Procedure, the importance of timely obtaining Employer ID Numbers (EINs) to comply with the Corporate Transparency Act requirements, Form 1099-K reporting, self-correction guidance for Employee Plans, and Forms modernization.
Nationwide Tax Forums Online
The IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online is a platform where you can earn continuing education (CE) credits and gain the latest tax insights directly from the IRS. The platform offers 18 self-study webinars, recorded during the 2023 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums, available 24/7. They cover a variety of topics, including tax law changes, professional responsibility, identity protection, and more.
Recognizing Tax Schemes
Tax professionals play a crucial role in helping their clients recognize and avoid abusive tax schemes. The revised Publication 3995, Recognizing Illegal Tax Avoidance Schemes, provides valuable information to help clients steer clear of fraudulent acts.
Latest News from the Justice Department’s Tax Division
In recent news, Adis Smith of Chula Vista, Calif., and formerly of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to preparing false tax returns, causing a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $4.7 million. Smith will be sentenced on Feb. 2 and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison, along with a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
In another case, Adam Earnest, Christopher Randell, and James Klish were convicted by a federal jury in Jackson, Miss., of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Earnest and Randell were also convicted of individual counts of preparing false tax returns. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2024. Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Earnest and Randell face a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each false return count. They also each face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Stay tuned for more updates and information as we continue to navigate the 2024 tax season.