Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

Congress has started its August recess, with lawmakers expected to return to Capitol Hill after Labor Day. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report on employment taxes. The IRS announced changes in its Criminal Investigation (CI) division.


House. House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan health care plan (TAXDAY, 2017/08/01, C.1).

Senate. Senate Democrats outlined principles for bipartisan tax reform (TAXDAY, 2017/08/02, C.1).

Senate Republicans discussed tax reform and health care (TAXDAY, 2017/08/02, C.2).

The Senate approved the nomination of David Kautter to serve as Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.


Employment Taxes. TIGTA reviewed the Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) program. According to TIGTA, potential underreported taxes are not being addressed by the CAWR program (Ref. No. 2017-40-038; TAXDAY, 2017/08/01, T.1).

Health Care. TIGTA released a report on the IRS’s processes for notifying individuals without minimum essential health coverage. TIGTA reviewed required notifications for the 2014 tax year (Ref. No. 2017-43-052; TAXDAY, 2017/08/04, T.1).


Criminal Investigation. The IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Division is assembling a new international tax enforcement group. Don Fort, the new head of CI, discussed the new group and other changes at a press conference in Washington, D.C. (TAXDAY, 2017/08/03, I.2).

Catastrophic Coverage. The IRS announced that issuers may voluntarily report 2017 coverage for individuals enrolled in catastrophic coverage through the ACA Marketplace. The announcement extends similar treatment made available for 2015 and 2016 coverage (Notice 2017-41; TAXDAY, 2017/08/04, I.1).

Cybersecurity. The IRS warned tax professionals about the growing problem of ransomware as part of its new cybersecurity awareness campaign. Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computers, networks and servers, and encrypts data. Cybercriminals then demand a ransom to release the data (IR-2017-125; TAXDAY, 2017/08/02, I.2).

By Jessica Jeane and George L. Yaksick, Jr., Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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