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 Department of Justice recently reminded taxpayers that evading personal or business-related tax obligations can lead to "substantial fines and penalties, and even long prison sentences." Last month, the husband-and-wife owners of a Tennessee staffing company were sentenced to 75 months and one year, respectively, of prison time for failure to pay over $2.8 million in employment-related taxes and withholdings, and for filing false employment tax returns.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated its online withholding calculator to account for the changes to tax calculations caused by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the updated calculator tool to ensure the correct amount is withheld from their paychecks. To access the tool and additional information from the IRS, click here.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report that found nearly $9 billion in backup withholding tax was not withheld for 2013 information returns with missing or incorrect taxpayer identification numbers. The IRS should have received nearly $5 billion in backup withholding for payments to these unidentified payees, but payers withheld only $1 million.
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) is experiencing a significant number of telephone calls, online chat queries, and in-person office visits related to withholding reports that were submitted late by taxpayers' employers. Taxpayers' returns were assessed and adjusted before the reports were received, leading to a high volume of complaints. The FTB has extended taxpayer response time to adjustment notices by two weeks and is re-valdiating affected returns.