Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

Congress was in recess the week of March 26. Lawmakers are expected to return to Washington the week of April 9.

Congress

Technical corrections to partnership audit rules were included in the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2018 (P.L. 115-141), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, C.1).

House. A bipartisan discussion draft to redesign the IRS was released by House lawmakers. The discussion draft focuses on the IRS appeals process, improved service, sensible enforcement, cybersecurity and identity protection, and IT and organizational modernization, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/27, C.1).

White House

President Trump signed the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141). The omnibus spending package, which provides funding for the government and federal agencies through September 30, contains several tax provisions and increased IRS funding, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/26, W.1).

Treasury

The IRS complied with certain filing requirement changes mandated by the PATH Act (Ref. No. 2018-20-019; TAXDAY, 2018/03/29, T.1).

The IRS’s tax refund fraud selection system did not always detect potentially fraudulent tax returns, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/29, T.2).

The IRS needs to improve its refund fraud identification and selection system because late receipt of wage reporting documents impaired fraud detection capabilities and increased taxpayer burden, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/29, T.3).

The IRS failed to identify a substantial number of employers that were potentially liable for the Employer Shared Responsibility Payments, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, T.1).

TIGTA identified certain weaknesses in Schedule UTP, Uncertain Tax Position statement, for Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, T.2).

IRS processes and procedures to authenticate e-Services users accessing the Transcript Delivery System (TDS) application do not comply with federal government information security standards, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/27, T.1).

IRS

TAP. Taxpayer Advocacy Panels (TAP) have scheduled open meetings, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, I.1).

The IRS has released the 2017 Data Book, a snapshot of the Service’s activities that includes information concerning returns filed, taxes collected, refunds, enforcement, taxpayer assistance and the IRS’s budget and workforce, (IR-2018-77, TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, I.2).

Tools. The IRS is urging taxpayers to use the “Where’s My Refund?” Tool, (IR-2018-78, TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, I.3).

Tips. The IRS has provided tips for updating Form W-4, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, I.5).

Comments. The IRS has requested comments on various regulations and Form 6118, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/30, I.6).

Tools. The IRS has provided instructions for using the withholding calculator, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/29, I.1).

Regulations. The IRS has finalized regulations regarding the allocation of the research credit among controlled group members to reflect amendments made to Code Sec. 41(f)(1) by Section 301 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240), (T.D. 9832), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.1).

Regulations. The IRS has proposed changes to the summons interview regulations, (NPRM REG-132434-17), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.2).

Inflation adjustments. The IRS has published the inflation adjustment factor and credit for Indian coal production for calendar year 2017, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.3).

ETAAC. The IRS is requesting nominations for individuals who are interested in becoming a member of the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC), (IR-2018-74, TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.5).

TAP. The IRS is seeking volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), a federal advisory committee that provides a forum for taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving service and customer satisfaction, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.6).

LITC. The IRS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Office has issued its annual program report, (IR-2018-75, TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.7).

Acting Commissioner. The IRS is already working on implementing tax reform, according to IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter. The current chief of the Service discussed at a Tax Executives Institute event this week in Washington, D.C. current IRS efforts toward implementing tax law changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.8).

Tools. The IRS has urged taxpayers to take advantage of the array of online tools available on the IRS website for resolving tax-related inquiries (IR-2018-76, TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.9).

Guidance. The IRS has provided transitional guidance regarding the reporting requirements under Code Sec. 6050X, which was added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), (Notice 2018-23; TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.10).

Comments. The IRS has requested comments on various forms, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/28, I.12).

QZABs. A school district’s modification of its qualified bond documents for the purposes of recalculating the bond yield and bond payments did not result in the bonds being reissued as other than Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs), (FAA 20181201F), (TAXDAY, 2018/03/27, I.1).

ALE. The IRS has updated the allowable living expense (ALE) standards for 2018, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/27, I.2).

Withholding. The IRS has advised taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” to ensure that the right amount of taxes have been withheld from their paychecks, (IR-2018-73, TAXDAY, 2018/03/27, I.3).

Virtual currency. The IRS has reminded taxpayers that income from virtual currency transactions is reportable on their returns and that these transactions are taxable just like those involving any other property, (IR-2018-71, TAXDAY, 2018/03/26, I.1).

The IRS has released I.R.B. 2018-13, dated March 26, 2018, (TAXDAY, 2018/03/26, I.2).

Tips. The IRS issues free tax tips each business day that cover a wide range of topics to help people with issues pertaining to their taxes, (IR-2018-72, TAXDAY, 2018/03/26, I.3).

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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