IRS News for Business-March

25 Feb 2016 4:34 PM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)


See Webinars for Small Businesses for upcoming National and Local Webinars.

  • The Internal Revenue Service is sponsoring a Spanish Webinar on Recordkeeping, How to find a Tax Return Preparer and IRS Resources that are available in Spanish.
  • Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to noon, Central time
  • Register to attend this important informational event!



  •  El Servicio de Impuestos Internos está patrocinando un Webinar en español. Venga a escuchar cómo mantener registros, cómo encontrar un preparador de impuestos y los recursos del IRS que están disponibles en español.
  • martes, 23 de febrero de 201611:00 a.m. to noon, Central time
  • ¡Regístrese abajo para asistir a este importante evento informativo!


Who Can Represent You Before the IRS?

  • Many people use a tax professional to prepare their taxes. Tax professionals with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) can prepare a return for a fee. If you choose a tax pro, you should know who can represent you before the IRS. There are new rules this year, so the IRS wants you to know who can represent you and when they can represent you. Choose a tax return preparer wisely.
  • Representation rights, also known as practice rights, fall into two categories:
  • Unlimited Representation
  • Limited Representation
  • Unlimited representation rights allow a credentialed tax practitioner to represent you before the IRS on any tax matter. This is true no matter who prepared your return. Credentialed tax professionals who have unlimited representation rights include:
  • Limited representation rights authorize the tax professional to represent you if, and only if, they prepared and signed the return. They can do this only before IRS revenue agents, customer service representatives and similar IRS employees. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare. They cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question. For returns filed after Dec. 31, 2015, the only tax return preparers with limited representation rights are Annual Filing Season Program Participants.

Scam Calls and Emails Using IRS as Bait Persist.

Scams using the IRS as a lure continue. They take many different forms. The most common scams are phone calls and emails from thieves who pretend to be from the IRS. They use the IRS name, logo or a fake website to try to steal your money. They may try to steal your identity too.

Phishing Remains on the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for the 2016 Filing Season.

The IRS warned taxpayers to watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. Criminals pose as a person or organization you trust and/or recognize. They may pose as a bank, credit card company, tax software provider or government agency. Criminals go to great lengths to create websites that appear legitimate but contain phony log-in pages. These criminals hope victims will take the bait to get the victim’s money, passwords, Social Security number and identity. If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, report it by sending it to

Are you making charitable donations?

Know how to determine the fair market value for non-cash donations. See Determining Fair Market Value in Publication 526 Charitable Contributions. See Publication 561 Determining the Value of Donated Propertyfor more information.


The Premium Tax Credit – The Basics:

If you – or anyone on your federal tax return enrolled in health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit.

The Individual Shared Responsibility Provision – The Basics:

The individual shared responsibility provision requires that you and each member of your family have qualifying health insurance, a health coverage exemption, or make a payment for any months without coverage or an exemption when you file. If you, your spouse and dependents had health insurance coverage all year, you will indicate this by simply checking a box on your tax return.

Obtaining and Claiming a Health Coverage Exemption

  • ·        The Affordable Care Act requires you and each member of your family to have minimum essential coverage, qualify for an insurance coverage exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment for months without coverage or an exemption when you file your federal income tax return.
  • ·        You, your spouse or your dependents may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage and are not required to make a payment. For any month that you do not qualify for a coverage exemption, you will need to have minimum essential coverage or make a shared responsibility payment.
  • ·        You can claim most exemptions when you file your tax return. However, you must apply for certain exemptions in advance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

►ACA for Small Employers

Averaging Full-time and Full-time Equivalent Employees and Why it Matters:

For purposes of the Affordable Care Act, employers average their number of employees across the months in the year to see whether they will be an applicable large employer. This is important to do because two provisions of the health care law apply only to Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and are now in effect. See Determining if an Employer is an Applicable Large Employer for more information.

ACA and Employers: How Seasonal Workers Affect Your ALE Status

When determining if your organization is an applicable large employer – which is also known as an ALE – you must measure your workforce by counting all your employees.  However, there is an exception for seasonal workers.

  • If an employer’s workforce exceeds 50 full-time employees for 120 days or fewer during a calendar year, and the employees in excess of 50 who were employed during that period of no more than 120 days were seasonal workers, the employer is not considered an applicable large employer.
  • A seasonal worker for this purpose is an employee who performs labor or services on a seasonal basis. For example, retail workers employed exclusively during holiday seasons are seasonal workers.

►ACA for Applicable Large Employers

Five ACA Facts for Applicable Large Employers:

Some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act only affect your organization if it’s an applicable large employer. An ALE is generally one with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees. The vast majority of employers will fall below the ALE threshold number of employees and, therefore, will not be subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. If you are an ALE, here are five things to know.      


IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works

  • The IRS knows identity theft can be frustrating and confusing for victims. When it comes to tax-related identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service wants to resolve cases as quickly as possible. The IRS has worked hard to help victims of identity theft by making improvements and shortening the time it takes to resolve these complex situations.
  • Each taxpayer’s experience will vary, depending on whether they tell the IRS they may be a tax-related identity theft victim or the agency informs them there may be have been a suspicious tax return filed with their name on it. Further, the IRS may not realize the taxpayer is an identity theft victim until their return has been processed or an audit has been initiated.
  • See IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works for a general outline of what you can expect.
o   You tell the IRS you may be a tax-related identity theft victim
o   The IRS tells you a suspicious return has been received with your name on it
o   Are there other steps I should take as a tax-related IDT victim?

See all “IRS Security Awareness Tax Tips” here.


From Business USA: What better time than tax season to pass along some of our best advice?

Free ACA webinars:

·        The Small Business Administration, the Department of Health Human and Services, and Small Business Majority have teamed up for a free webinar series where small employers can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and what it means for their organization and employees.

·        Topics covered include the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, and Employer Shared Responsibility and new employer reporting requirements. Webinar content will generally be the same each week.

·        See this page for registration links for winter 2016.

Don't Delay, Renew Your Passport ASAP

·        "When does my passport expire?"

·        This is a question we ask ourselves before any big trip. If you haven't checked your passport's expiration date in a while and are planning a trip overseas, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise. Passports expiring in 2016 must be renewed as soon as possible.

·        Some countries are also now requiring that you have a passport that has been valid for at least 6 months. As spring and summer travel plans come up, passport agencies become even busier.

·        So don't put it off and renew your passport today! For more information on overseas travel, visit


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·        Headliners
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·        Announcements, Notices, Revenue Rulings, Revenue Procedures, Treasury Decisions, and Treasury Regulations are in the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB)

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The Issue Management Resolution Systemhelps solve issues with policies, practices and procedures. Tax professionals should forward significant issues regarding IRS policies, practices and procedures to their Stakeholder Liaison.

Outreach Corner. Find it easy to spread the word about key income tax topics! This page offers electronic communication materials to use in reaching out to the people you serve. Get free news you can use each month, targeted by time of year to coincide with what your customers, employees, volunteers, etc. need to know about new tax law legislation, IRS events and other activities that affect them.

Industries/Professions Tax Centers. Tax Centers contain links to topics such as tax tips, financial resources, trends and statistics, forms, and more.

Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs)

Audit Techniques Guides (ATGs) help IRS examiners during audits by providing insight into issues and accounting methods unique to specific industries. While ATGs are designed to provide guidance for IRS employees, they’re also useful to small business owners and tax professionals who prepare returns.

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