The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a report finding that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has failed to notify the majority of individuals they found to be victims of employment identity theft. When an identity thief uses another individual's information to obtain employment, the victim may have taxes computed based on income they did not personally earn, and may experience other difficulties. The IRS has a computer-based process to notify victims of the issue, but due to a programming error related to a decision to notify only newly identified victims, the IRS failed to notify over 450,000 individuals for processing year 2017. In addition, over 15,000 individuals who did receive notice (13.5 percent of the total group notified) were not actually victims of employment identity theft.
Helpers Community Inc. must pay the San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder approximately $31,000 in back taxes for misrepresenting the use of properties the charity owns around Golden Gate Park. The nonprofit was founded in 1953 to assist people with developmental disabilities, including providing residential care support. They have received about $100,000 in property tax exemptions since 2003 for this use. However, city officials recently found that the charity ended its residential services in 2002 and has been using the properties for storage and a high-end fashion resale boutique instead.
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.
What happens when the chief of staff to a Congressman (and former Democratic staff director for the Homeland Security Committee) fails to file or pay income tax for six or more years in a row? It appears, not much.
Tax season is here, and so are criminals ready to scam you out of your money or refunds. The IRS says, "Remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
The IRS' federal advisory committee, known as the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC), has issued its 2015 report identifying several areas in need of improvement including a revision of certain forms, improvements to the IRS use of FAQs and improvements in the penalty abatement process for first time abatement requests and reasonable cause abatement requests. IRPAC noted that despite evidence that requests were submitted showing events beyond the taxpayer's control which resulted in taxpayer errors, the denial of penalty relief is commonly denied initially causing the taxpayer to spend additional time and money appealing the determination.