IRS failed to fix another tax reform ‘glitch’

Another consequence of congress’s decision to rush the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 is the large number of ‘typos’ and errors in the actual statutory text. Normally, congress would pass a technical corrections bill in the aftermath of such a large piece of legislation but the political climate in the nations capital is making that much more difficult than normal. As a result, we are still finding and addressing many ‘glitches’ in the nearly two-year piece of legislation.

The must recent glitch concerns the retail sector and prevents the 100% first year expensing intended by the congress on certain property common in the restaurant and retail industries.  While the IRS could have minimized the problem with new rules, the Service decided against addressing this issue effectively sending it back to congress for correction.

In the interim, taxpayers may be denied a popular tax incentive unless congress can pass corrections before taxes are due next year.

IRS to use new tool in audits

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued a Request for Proposal to software companies for specialized software to comb through social media and collect information on audit suspects. It is not clear when the new program will start; however, in the RFP, the IRS expressly stated that the software is to target those already under audit and not to sweep social media for potential audit targets.

Regardless, this is yet another reason businesses and individuals need to be careful with their official and personal posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

 

IRS turns to artificial intelligence to identify potential audits

The Internal Revenue Service is adding artificial intelligence (or “AI”) to the agency’s tool box for identifying potential audits or criminal tax evaders. The AI works by taking in all available information from past and present IRS audits and prosecutions to discover any pattern of factors that results in more changes at audit or convictions for tax fraud.

The AI will then apply any patterns when reviewing new tax returns and mark any that the computer thinks demonstrate increased likelihood of significant changes under audit or criminal conviction.

As voluntary compliance with US tax code is declining and the number of tax returns the IRS most process, expect the Service to turn to more and more advanced technology like AI in its fight to collect as much money as possible.

If you want advice on avoiding problems in the future or you under audit and need help now, contact P. Christopher Wegner at 239.449.9200 or cwegner@wegnerlawfirm.com.

 

IRS Announces Additional Audit Focus

The IRS announced that it its Large Business and International division will continue to look at international tax compliance in taxpayer audits. This is no big surprise as the division has named cross-border taxation as an issue of primary concern each year for almost the past decade.

As such, this announcement serves as a reminder that the IRS is serious about enforcing the international tax laws and that ignorance of the rules will not protect you or your company from a costly audit and, possibly, penalties.

Call or email Chris Wegner today for more information.

Ninth Circuit holds IRS can be sued for emotional distress

The Ninth Circuit held that a couple from Oregon could pursue claims of emotional distress against the IRS unlawfully sent them collection notices after they had filed for bankruptcy. The court determined that the couple suffered emotional distress as a result of the IRS’s conduct and that the government has waived its immunity to such damages.

The court sent the case back to district court for trial.