IRS Archives

FAQs about the Tax Court closure

On December 28, 2018, the Tax Court website announced that it would remained closed until further notice. For those who had hearings scheduled or filing deadlines in January there has been uncertainty.

IRS Offers Penalty Relief to Ease Reform Transition

In order to make this first filing season under the recent tax reform somewhat less painful, the IRS offered a modicum of relief to taxpayers on January 16, 2019. The IRS announced that, for taxpayers who had withholdings and/or made estimated tax payments equal in amount to at least 85% of the tax reported on their 2018 tax return, it will waive underpayment penalties (IRC §6654 penalties).

Tax Season Opening Announced; Refunds to be Issued Despite Shutdown

Due to the partial government shutdown, the IRS is only operating with about 12.5 percent of its staff. However, on January 7, 2019, the IRS announced that tax filing season will begin on January 28, 2019. More surprisingly, despite a long history of contrary government shutdown policies, the White House concurrently assured taxpayers that refunds will be issued. The IRS confirmed this and issued IR-2019-01, stating that "[w]e are committed to ensuring that taxpayers receive their refunds notwithstanding the government shutdown."

2 takeaway lessons from the IRS publication for upcoming tax year

Determining tax obligations is rarely an easy task, but it is likely to be even more difficult for the 2018 tax year. The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) led to major changes in the tax code. Some of these changes are relatively obvious to navigate, others are extremely complicated.

Can the IRS enforce the FATCA?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires foreign financial institutions to register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and report the holdings of United States taxpayers. Foreign institutions that fail to abide by this law face serious monetary consequences — up to 30 percent of the income received from U.S. sources.

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