Enrolled Agent News

February 8th.2019

Just a quick note to update you on changes made by the IRS for the Identity Protection Pin (IP PIN).

The IRS has expanded eligibility for its IP PIN test program to taxpayers in the top 10 locations where identity thefts are reported to the Federal Trade Commission. The locations are the original three test sites (Washington, D.C., Florida and Georgia) plus seven new states: California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada and Rhode Island.

The purpose of this phased rollout is to provide the IRS with data on volume and capacity to ensure that systems can adequately handle demand.

If this controlled rollout is successful, the IRS potentially could expand the “Get an IP PIN” tool eligibility to taxpayers in all states at a later date.

The IRS IP PIN is a 6-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent the misuse of their Social Security number (SSN) on fraudulent federal income tax returns. An IP PIN allows IRS to verify a taxpayer’s identity at point of filing, preventing someone else from filing a tax return on the IP PIN holder’s SSN.

Here’s how the expanded test project will work: Taxpayers who last year filed a tax return from one of the 10 locations may go to the Get an IP PIN tool, authenticate their identities and obtain an IP PIN. Because security is paramount, taxpayers must validate their identities through a rigorous two-factor authentication process called Secure Access.

There will not be a manual option for taxpayers who fail to authenticate their identities. The IRS will continue to issue by mail IP PINs to taxpayers who are confirmed victims of tax-related identity theft and whose cases have been resolved. However, these taxpayers also will have the option of using the Get an IP PIN tool to obtain an IP PIN immediately.

Because this is a test of our system’s capacity, we will initially focus our initial communications efforts on the tax professional community. Once we expand to all states, we will have a wider, national communications effort to inform all taxpayers of the IP PIN option.

We know that you have a great interest in the IP PIN program and in safeguarding taxpayers. We will keep you informed as this test program goes forward and on our next steps. Thank you for your support and for your work in combatting tax-related identity theft.

 

The IRS is constantly issuing notices that deal with hot topics. The following links deal with the IRC 199A which is a very important tax topic this filing season.

Final (Corrected) Regulations for 199A – Qualified Business Income: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/td-reg-107892-18.pdf

Notice 2019-7: Section 199A Trade or Business Safe Harbor: Rental Real Estate: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-19-07.pdf

Rev. Proc. 2019-11: Determination of W-2 Wages: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-19-11.pdf


Based on feedback from tax practitioners regarding the e-Services registration process the IRS has made some changes. For example, we’ve expanded the types of acceptable financial accounts to include student loans. The financial account information is one of a combination of ways we verify your identity through Secure Access.

Also, for those tax professionals who lack an e-Services account and who cannot complete the identity proofing process online, we have created an exception process that allows for manual assistance once in-person authentication has been made. This will help new hires as well as those first-time users who were unable to complete the process last year. If you already have created an e-Services account using Security Access authentication, you don’t need to take any action. This is a one-time registration process. Please review Updated Information for e-Services Users for more details.

January 31, 2019

IRS will extend its transcript faxing service

This is just a quick note to let you know that the IRS will extend its transcript faxing service beyond the planned Feb 4 end date. The IRS is reviewing options for a new time frame. We are committed to providing you with advance notice of the new date. As a reminder, you can now have unmasked Wage and Income Transcripts sent to your e-Services secure mailbox if you follow certain procedures. This should help bring clients into compliance and allow for electronic filing. Please see Fact Sheet 20,

Steps for tax professionals to obtain wage and income transcripts needed for tax preparation, for details. Additionally, due to the government shutdown, we are working hard to catch up on processing third-party authorization forms. We may also experience longer than normal wait times on our toll free telephone lines as our employees return to duty and we resume training and other filing season readiness activities. We ask for your patience as we work to resume normal operations. Please be alert to upcoming communications regarding transcript issues.

April 3, 2018
One-quarter of all tax preparers who have participated in the AFSP program have NOT completed the AFSP process. They have NOT signed their Circular 230 consent. As such they will not be granted the AFSP designation for 2018 if they fail to sign the Circular 230 consent by Aril 17th.

To date the IRS has 60,100 participants in the 2018 Annual Filing Season Program. These preparers have fulfilled all of the AFSP requirements which include:

  • Renewing their preparer tax identification number (PTIN)
  • Obtaining 18 hours of continuing education
    • Including a six hour federal tax law refresher course
  • Passing the AFSP test (If required)
  • Signing their Circular 230 consent

However, there are 21,600 more non-credentialed return preparers who have fulfilled all of the AFSP requirements except sign the Circular 230 consent. These tax preparers need to log into their online PTIN accounts and sign the Circular 230 consent to receive their AFSP Record of Completion. The deadline this year to participate is April 17. For information on how to sign the Circular 230 consent see the video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=l6n_dAnQCn8

Don’t do all that work and fail to get your AFSP designation. Take the extra 5 minutes and sign the Circular 230 consent!

 

March 23, 2018

IR-18-50 contains information on how the IRS is granting an additional 5 days for some businesses to request a 6-month extension to file due to the recent winter storms. Click here to access the IR-18-50 document.

 

March 21, 2018

IRS Letter 5071C contains an update on IRS efforts to determine the validity of suspicious tax returns. At times, when the IRS receives suspicious tax returns, the IRS will send out Letter 5071C to taxpayers and ask the them to use an online identity verification process, in order to determine the validity of a tax return. Click here to access the IRS Letter 5071C.

 

March 19, 2018

IR-18-61 contains information on how tax practitioners PTINs, EFINs and CAF numbers are being targeted by data thieves and sold on the dark web. It also contains information on how to protect these numbers from being stolen. Click here to access the IR-18-61 document.

 

February 1, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jan Sorrentino (jsorrentino@maloneyco.com)

The Northern New England Society of Enrolled Agents as part of working with The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and other state affiliates nationwide in efforts to raise awareness has requested the first week in February be proclaimed “Enrolled Agent Week.” Thus far for 2018, Governor Philip Scott for Vermont and Governor Chris Sununu for New Hampshire issued Enrolled Agent (EA) Week proclamations. For a full list of all the states go to naea.org.

 

Maine Revenue Services Conforms to Certain Federal Tax Relief in Disaster Situations

 

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has issued this Technical Information Release relative to Guidance on M&R tax in relation to Airbnb Hosts.

https://www.revenue.nh.gov/tirs/documents/2017-008-airbnbhosts.pdf

On or after November 1, 2017

Airbnb will have an M&T tax license and file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA on behalf of hosts.

Accommodations BOOKED on or after November 1, 2017

Airbnb host on Airbnb and other means: Hosts still needs to register and obtain an M&R tax license and file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA booked through any other means other than Airbnb. Airbnb will file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA.

Airbnb host on Airbnb exclusively: Hosts still need to register and obtain an M&R tax license and file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA for accommodations booked prior to 11/1/17. Airbnb will file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA in the month after hosts have collected all tax, surrendered M&R license and filed all required returns.

Non-Airbnb Hosts: Airbnb hosts need to register and obtain an M&R tax license and file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA booked through any means including Airbnb.

Accommodations BOOKED prior to November 1, 2017

Airbnb hosts and non-Airbnb hosts need to register and obtain an M&R tax license and file monthly returns, collect, and remit the full amount of M&R Tax due to the DRA booked through any means including Airbnb.

Airbnb Hosts should contact the DRA to discuss their options for coming into compliance with the requirements of RSA 78-A. One option is the DRA’s Voluntary Disclosure Program.


September Maine Tax Alert

The September 2017 issue of the Maine Tax Alert can be viewed from our website at www.maine.gov/revenue/publications/alerts/index.htm.

Topics include:

  • 2017 Tax Law Changes
  • Maine Revenue Services (“MRS”) Rulemaking Activity
    • Rule 104 Amended
  • 2017 Maine Sales & Use Tax Symposiums
  • Maine Revenue Services Conforms to Federal Tax Relief Provided to Taxpayers Affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration – Interest Rates Set For Calendar Year 2018

September 15, 2017

The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration has issued this Technical Information Release relative to the interest rates applicable to underpayments and overpayments of taxes for calendar year 2018, which can be viewed at: https://www.revenue.nh.gov/tirs/documents/2017-006.pdf


E-Services – migrating to new platform/problems with CAF checks failing

September 12, 2017

As we know there are various stages of changes to the IRS E-services that are in progress. I’ve just become aware of an immediate issue with TDS (transcript delivery service). The IRS is migrating data to a new platform and some E-Services users are experiencing CAF check failures for clients for whom we do have valid authorization on file. If you are experiencing this issue the only way to get transcripts is to call PPS. Hopefully this will be resolved soon!


Postponing Plan to Remove e-Services

August 17, 2017

Earlier this afternoon, IRS announced that the agency is postponing its plan to take e-Services tools and applications offline. Originally, the planned outage was scheduled to take place between 6 p.m. EDT, on Thursday, August 17th, and 6 a.m. EDT, on Monday, August 21st. All e-Services tools and applications will continue to be available to registered users until further notice, with the exception of Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) participants. AIR participants will be unable to submit new Transmitter Control Code applications or change existing applications until the platform upgrade takes place. The agency plans to make additional improvements to the e-Services platform for the final platform upgrade and will update e-Services users again in a follow up Quick Alert.


Planned Outage for all e-Service users; Impact to State e-file/TDS applications

The IRS is in the final stages of a technology upgrade for e-Services that will greatly improve the look and feel of various applications. However, there will be some temporary use issues that will occur as we make this transition:

  1. There will be a complete outage of all e-Services tools, including Registration, Transcript Delivery System (TDS), and TIN Matching, from 6 p.m. EDT, Thursday, August 17, until 6 a.m. EDT, Monday, August 21. Applications also will be offline and resume August 22, except for state users. E-Services must be taken offline to complete the platform transition and to perform testing. This outage will affect all users, including bulk users such as IVES and TIN Matching.
  2. All State tax agency users will be unable to submit new e-file and TDS applications for state coordinators or change existing e-file and TDS applications for state coordinators from August 17 until late October. This temporary issue will not affect state access to transcripts. If there is a critical need to add or remove an individual from a state application, states may contact their IRS government liaison representative who will notify appropriate IRS personnel.
  3. Affordable Care Act Information Return (AIR) filers may resume submission of applications for Transmitter Control Codes starting on August 22. The application process for AIR users has been offline since July because of the e-Services platform transition.
  4. A redesigned e-Services landing page will launch August 21.

The IRS urges all e-Services users to plan ahead to accommodate the temporary mid-August outage. States also should plan ahead for the temporary limitation on state e-file and state TDS applications. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please bear with us as we make these improvements.

This platform transition is part of a multi-year upgrade in technology support for e-Services. It is one in a series of steps being taken this year to improve e-Services usability and security.


IRS to Inactivate/Terminate EAs Who Haven’t Renewed

Beginning in June 2017, the Internal Revenue Service will send letters to EAs whose enrollment status is being inactivated or terminated because of failure to renew.

EAs with SSNs ending in 4, 5, or 6, who did not renew for the 2017 cycle will have their enrollment placed in inactive status. Anyone in inactive status can still submit a late renewal for approval with proof of CE.

EAs with SSNs ending in 4, 5, or 6, who have not renewed for the 2014 and 2017 cycles will have their enrollment placed in terminated status. Anyone in terminated status must re-take the SEE to apply for re-enrollment.

If you have questions about your enrollment status, please contact the Office of Enrollment at
855-472-5540.

https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agent-news

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