Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

The Weekly Report from Washington, D.C. for October 27, 2017, covers the continuing Tax reform discussions on Capitol Hill. Also, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s (TIGTA) review of return preparer fraud. And, the recent launch of the 2018 Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN) renewal season.

White House

President Trump announced that David Kautter will be acting IRS commissioner after the departure of John Koskinen in November. Kautter will continue to serve as assistant secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy.

President Trump signed a bipartisan farm bankruptcy bill (P.L. 115-72 ) on October 26. The measure addresses the issue of priority claims by the IRS in farm bankruptcy situations.

Congress

The House passed the Senate-approved fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution (HConRes 71 ) on October 26. Approval opens the door for tax reform legislation to be introduced in the House. Senior GOP lawmakers have indicated that legislation is expected to be unveiled November 1.

 

On October 25, House Democrats posted “Democratic Principles for Tax Reform: Real Reform for Real People,” outlining what they are seeking in tax reform legislation.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said that the GOP’s tax reform legislation will propose a fourth individual tax rate above 35 percent for higher-income taxpayers. The Trump/GOP unified tax reform framework released last month mentioned the possibility of a fourth rate, while initially proposing rates of 12, 25 and 35 percent.

House lawmakers examined a variety of IRS management issues during an October 25 hearing. Witnesses included officials from the IRS and TIGTA.

Treasury

TIGTA reviewed the IRS’s efforts to curb refund fraud by return preparers. It identified more than 3,500 return preparers who filed returns having characteristics of a potentially erroneous Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claim (Ref. No. 2018-40-001).

IRS

PTIN Renewals. The IRS reminded tax professionals to renew their PTINs. PTINs may be renewed online or by paper (IR-2017-180).

Compliance Campaign. The IRS Large Business and International Division plans additional compliance campaigns, officials with the Service said on October 27. Currently, there are 13 compliance campaigns.

IRPAC. The Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) issued its 2017 annual report. IRPAC recommended enhancements to Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification, and discussed other issues (IR-2017-179).

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

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