Did you know? One of the best ways to get information is by visiting the IRS Small Business Tax Center where you can learn everything from how to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online to how to best navigate an audit.

IRS waives estimated tax penalty for farmers, fishermen who file returns and pay tax by April 15


The Internal Revenue Service will waive the estimated tax penalty for any qualifying farmer or fisherman who files his or her 2018 federal income tax return and pays any tax due by Monday, April 15, 2019. (The deadline is Wednesday, April 17, 2019, for taxpayers residing in Maine or Massachusetts.) The IRS is providing this relief because, due to certain rule changes, many farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining their tax liability by the March 1 deadline that usually applies to them. For tax year 2018, an individual who received at least two-thirds of his or her total gross income from farming or fishing during either 2017 or 2018 qualifies as a farmer or fisherman.

Further details can be found in Notice 2019-17.


IRS kicks off annual list of most prevalent tax scams: Agency warns taxpayers of pervasive phishing schemes in its ‘Dirty Dozen’ campaign


Kicking off the annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, the Internal Revenue Service warned taxpayers of the ongoing threat of internet phishing scams that lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.  The IRS warns taxpayers, businesses and tax professionals to be alert for a continuing surge of fake emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts to steal personal information. These attacks tend to increase during tax season and remain a major danger of identity theft.  To help protect taxpayers against these and other threats, the IRS highlights one scam on 12 consecutive week days to help raise awareness.


Phishing schemes are the first of the 2019 “Dirty Dozen” scams (in this article); the next three are listed below:


IRS: Be vigilant against phone scams; Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ list continues

The Internal Revenue Service warned taxpayers to be alert to tax time phone scams where aggressive criminals pose as IRS agents in hopes of stealing money or personal information. Phone scams or “vishing” (voice phishing) continue to pose a major threat. The scam has cost thousands of people millions of dollars in recent years, and the IRS continues to see variations on these aggressive calling schemes.


Identity theft remains on IRS’ "Dirty Dozen" list despite progress      

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file a fraudulent tax return claiming a refund.


IRS: Choose tax preparers carefully; Tax return preparer fraud makes IRS’ 2019 "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams

The IRS reminds taxpayers to be careful when selecting a tax professional. Though most tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service, a minority of dishonest preparers operate each filing season perpetrating refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt innocent taxpayers. See the article for tips to help taxpayers avoid unscrupulous tax preparers.


IRS YouTube Videos:


Tax Time Guide: ‘Where’s My Refund?’ remains easiest way to check tax refund status


The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that the easiest way to check on a tax refund is “Where’s My Refund?,” an online tool available at IRS.gov and through the IRS2Go app. The fastest way to get a refund is to use IRS e-file and direct deposit.  This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and the tax reform information page. The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. Refunds for those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit had to be held, by law, until mid-February. Taxpayers claiming these credits should begin to see their refunds deposited in bank accounts February 27.


Taxpayers who owe should pay as much as possible to minimize interest and penalty charges. They should visit IRS.gov/payments to explore their payment options.  It’s especially important in 2019 for taxpayers who had an unexpected result when they filed their 2018 tax return to perform a Paycheck Checkup now to determine whether the right amount is being withheld for their 2019 taxes. Taxpayers who do need to adjust their withholding should submit a 2019 Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to their employer as soon as possible.


IRS urges businesses to e-file cash transaction reports; It’s fast, easy and free


The Internal Revenue Service urges businesses required to file reports of large cash transactions to take advantage of the speed and convenience of filing these reports electronically.  Although businesses have the option of filing Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000, on paper, many have already found that e-filing is a faster, more convenient and cost-effective way to meet the reporting deadline. The form is due 15 days after a transaction and there’s no charge for the e-file option. For more details, see Cash payment report helps government combat money laundering.

Individuals who need passports for imminent travel should contact IRS promptly to resolve tax debt


The Internal Revenue Service reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues.


Interest rates remain the same for the second quarter of 2019


Interest rates will remain the same for the calendar quarter beginning April 1, 2019, as they were in the first quarter of 2019.


Tax Reform - https://www.irs.gov/tax-reform

Be Tax Ready – understanding tax reform changes affecting individuals and families


The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), enacted in late 2017, produced the most sweeping tax law change in more than 30 years. The TCJA, often referred to as tax reform, affects nearly every taxpayer — and the 2018 federal return they’ll file in 2019. For taxpayers preparing to file their 2018 tax return or getting ready to meet with their tax professional, understanding the changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can help them “Be Tax Ready.” More information is available in IRS Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families.


Tax Time Guide: Most people affected by major tax reform changes; Special publication, other online resources can help


With major tax law changes impacting every taxpayer, the Internal Revenue Service has developed a special electronic publication and other online resources designed to help people understand how tax reform affects them this year and the years ahead. This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, and the tax reform information page. Last fall, the IRS released an online publication, called Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families. Available at IRS.gov/getready, Publication 5307 provides an overview of these and other key changes affecting tax returns.


IRS YouTube Videos:


IRS provides a safe harbor method of accounting for passenger automobiles that qualify for the 100-percent additional first year depreciation


The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance that provides a safe harbor method for determining depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles that qualify for the 100-percent additional first year depreciation deduction and that are subject to the depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the additional first year depreciation deduction applies to qualified property, including passenger automobiles, acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2027. For more information on the additional first year depreciation deduction, see TCJA, Depreciation.


Tax Tips


Here are five facts about the new Form 1040

There are six new schedules some taxpayers will file with the new Form 1040

Taxpayers can minimize the effects of data theft with these steps

Here’s what taxpayers should do to protect private data

Taxpayers should be ready to verify their identity when calling the IRS

Here’s how tax reform affects taxpayers who claim the child tax credit

Free tax preparation available for millions of families

Taxpayers can zip over to IRS.gov for answers to many tax questions

Here’s how a name change affects a tax return