Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

During the week of May 21, the House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee focused on tax reform. The IRS announced it will issue rules on the state and local taxes (SALT) deduction limit. It also released other guidance. TIGTA noted the Service’s Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) and cybersecurity measures protecting critical services remained vulnerable.

Congress

The House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee heard from small business owners in a May 23 hearing on tax reform and small businesses.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter testified before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on IRS technology systems.

The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Deputy Staff Director and Chief Tax Counsel Mark Prater will be leaving the committee after 30 years.

Treasury

The IRS’s Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) remains vulnerable to misuse by participant-employees, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) (Ref. No. 2018-10-033).

The IRS has not taken cybersecurity measures to identify High Value Assets (HVA) that specifically protect the Service’s critical services (Ref. No. 2018-20-029).

IRS

The IRS intends to issue rules on the federal tax treatment of individuals’ voluntary to funds controlled by state and local governments in exchange for credit against state and local taxes (SALT) (Notice 2018-54).

The IRS issued a new five-year strategic plan to guide its programs and operations. Also, the plan will help the IRS to help meet the changing needs of taxpayers and members of the tax community (IR-2018-123).

IRS highlighted online tools available for extension filers.

The IRS continues to work with taxpayers during the statutory notice period by sending Notices CP-2000 to taxpayers especially when the tax return information doesn’t match information from third parties (FS-2018-11).

Memos addressing web intelligence Reports, Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) and whistleblower award payments were released.

The IRS has requested comments on Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions.

The IRS provided tips for vacation home rentals.

The IRS has updated the applicable percentage table used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit and required contribution percentage for plan years beginning after 2018 (Rev. Proc. 2018-34).

The IRS Large Business and International (LB&I) Division has identified and selected six additional compliance campaigns.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that certain areas in Kentucky are eligible for assistance from the federal government under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

The IRS provided a tax tip for using multilingual resources.

The grant application package and guidelines for organizations interested in applying for a low-income taxpayer clinic (LITC) matching grant for the 2019 grant year is now available.

The IRS requested comments on Form 8928, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapter 43 of the Internal Revenue Code, and Various Regulations.

By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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