The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidance for taxpayers who transact in virtual currency. Revenue Ruling 2019-24 (available here) addresses when distributions of new currency following a soft or hard fork will be a taxable event to the holder of the currency. The IRS also expanded its FAQ page on virtual currency transactions (here).
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) recently released its first annual report on the administration and enforcement of the state's sales and use tax programs. During FY 2017-18, the CDTFA managed nearly 1 million sales and use tax permits and processed over 2.2 million sales and use tax returns, resulting in the collection of more than $70 billion, including over $1 billion in delinquent taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released new estimates for tax years 2011, 2012, and 2013, revealing a relatively steady tax gap of about 84 percent since 2008 between the true federal tax liability and the amount of tax that was paid on time. For the period 2011 through 2013, this translated to approximately $441 billion per year.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released its final report on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) compliance trends through FY 2018, during which time period U.S. taxpayers filed over 152 million individual and 11.4 million business income tax returns and forms. The IRS collected over $3.4 trillion in revenue, with an all-time high of $59.4 billion in enforcement revenue.
If you dealt in virtual currency in recent years, you may soon receive a letter from the IRS regarding a potential failure to report income and pay related taxes, according to a recent IRS announcement. The federal tax agency is beginning to reach out to taxpayers as part of the virtual currency compliance campaign it announced last year.
The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently issued a news blast that many payments sent by mail to the state tax agency in June were delayed significantly due to post office issues. When the mail finally caught up on June 9th, the FTB received some 115,000 payments for estimated taxes and other purposes. The agency is working to process all the backlogged payments now and will post them with a timely date of June 15, 2019. However, this should serve as a reminder to try to issue online payments to tax agencies whenever possible!
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business and International division (LB&I) recently announced three new compliance campaigns focused on offshore private banking, captive services providers, and information returns filed by individuals concerning foreign corporations (Forms 5471), with plans to first use audits and letters to address these compliance issues. According to its press release, the IRS has records that identify taxpayers with transactions or accounts at foreign private banks, which it will use to address compliance issues within that campaign.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reported on self-employment tax compliance in light of the growth of the gig economy. The IRS last estimated that self-employment taxes accounted for $69 billion of the annual tax gap. TIGTA reviewed Forms 1099-K for tax years 2012 through 2015 issued by the top nine payer companies participating in the gig economy. Over 260,000 instances of potentially underreported payments were identified, and the number of discrepancies increased 237 percent from 2012 to 2015. Due to the large volume of discrepancies identified, the IRS' Automated Underreporter (AUR) program declined to work on 59 percent of total cases, including over 2,800 taxpayer cases in which there was potential underreporting for all four years of Forms 1099-K reviewed. The total potential payments related to those taxpayers was $2.7 billion.
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.
The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) recently published its updated list of California's top 500 tax debtors, comprising both individuals and businesses that now collectively owe the state more than $646 million in income tax. Since October 2007, this list is updated twice annually. Taxpayers who receive notice of the FTB's intent to include them on the list and then make arrangements to pay their tax debt are removed from the publication.