Employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) returned to work just in time for the 2019 tax-filing season to begin. By mid-day Monday, several million tax returns had already been received for processing, and the IRS expects about 150 million individual tax returns by the April 15th deadline. As a reminder, a new Form 1040 is being used for tax year 2018. Details about this change and other information for the 2019 federal filing season can be found here.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its biannual independent assessment of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS') private debt collection program, which became a requirement under the 2015 FAST Act. According to TIGTA, the private collection agencies are performing well with respect to procedural accuracy and professionalism. Customer satisfaction scores are generally in the low- to mid-90 percent range. As of September 2018, the private collectors had been assigned more than 700,000 taxpayer accounts and collected approximately $88.8 million from the balances owed.
Help may be coming for retailers concerned with the abrupt change in the law last year that may require many retailers to begin collecting tax on sales to customers in a state regardless of whether the retailer has a physical presence in the state. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Wayfair v. South Dakota allowed states to require remote retailers to collect taxes and fees on sales in their state if the seller was deemed to have an economic nexus with the state, regardless of any physical presence. On January 9, 2019, relief legislation was announced, known as the "Protecting Business from Burdensome Compliance Cost Act," which would delay the imposition of new laws to January 1, 2020, and would require states to streamline the tax rate and submission requirements. Click here to read about HR 379.
Effective January 1, 2019, under California Labor Code Section 2810.4, customers of certain port trucking companies may be held liable for unpaid wages due to commercial truck drivers, as well as any related assessments. According to the DLSE:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will waive the estimated tax underpayment penalty for many taxpayers who did not have sufficient withholding in 2018. The penalty waiver usually applies to taxpayers who paid at least 90 percent of their total liability through estimated payments or federal income tax withholding, but for 2018, this threshold will be lowered to 85 percent.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released its final report on the 2018 filing season just before the federal government shutdown. As of May 4, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received over 140 million tax returns, 89% of which were e-filed. The IRS issued over 101 million refunds in 2018, totaling nearly $282 billion.