Friday, May 19, 2017 2:45 PM | NCSA Website Admin (Administrator)

In This Issue of NSAlert:



Registration Now Open for the 2017 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums

Tax professionals can earn up to 18 Continuing Professional Education credits this summer at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums. Nearly 40 seminars and workshops are available to enrolled agents, certified public accountants, certified financial planners, Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) participants and other tax professionals.

Each of the five IRS Nationwide Tax Forums is a three-day event providing tax professionals with the latest information on federal and state tax issues presented by experts from the IRS and partner organizations.

Tax professionals who pre-register by May 31, 2017, will receive an Early-Bird rate of $235 per person. The Standard Rate of $255 is available starting June 1 and ends two weeks prior to the start of each forum. Attendees registering on-site or after the deadlines below will pay $370. 


Forum Dates

Standard Registration Deadline

Orlando, FL

July 11 - 13

June 27

Dallas, TX

July 25 - 27

July 11

National Harbor, MD
(Washington, D.C.)

August  22 - 24

August 8

Las Vegas, NV

August 29 - 31

August 15

San Diego, CA

Sept. 12 - 14

August 29


Members of NSA qualify for a discount of $10 off the Early Bird Rate, but only if you register by May 31 and use the NSA member code 2017$NSA on http://www.nsacct.org/education-events/irs-tax-forums. 

Please note that Forum attendees with unresolved client cases have the opportunity to meet face to face with IRS representatives in the Case Resolution Program. Since 2011, case resolution staff have worked nearly 4,500 cases with a resolution rate of more than 97 percent. A Forum attendee must bring a valid power of attorney for any case he or she wishes to work with the IRS. Tax businesses are requested to bring only one client case per Forum to the Case Resolution Program.

IRS Begins Debt Collection Program

The IRS has begun assigning cases of individual tax debts to four private debt collection agencies, and will add cases involving unfiled returns next year, the IRS's collection policy director said during remarks at the spring meeting of the American Bar Association Tax Section.          

The debt collection program, which began in April, will ramp up over the next two years, Kristen E. Bailey said May 12. In 2018, the agency plans to begin assigning cases where an individual owes taxes and also has at least one unfiled return. In 2019, the agency will start sending business cases to the collection agencies, she said. 

So far, the agency has sent out cases of tax debt that is between two and four years past due, with an average liability of less than $50,000, she said. The agency has assigned about 100 cases to each of the collection agencies, she said and cautioned that the private debt collectors don't have enforcement powers such as issuing liens or levies. 

Bailey also addressed the concerns of Americans living overseas and confirmed that they don't have to worry that U.S.-based private debt collectors will be trying to find them. She pointed to an IRS statements, which stated that "The companies participating in the private debt collection program are only licensed to operate in U.S. states and territories. As a result, the IRS is excluding taxpayers who live outside the U.S. from the private debt collection effort." Bailey stressed that to ensure they qualify for the exclusion, taxpayers must make sure the agency has their correct foreign address.

States Eye New York Whistle-Blower Law as Tax Fraud Tool

State lawmakers and tax administrators are taking a closer look at enacting whistle-blower statutes as a strategy for prosecuting big-ticket incidents of tax fraud and scooping revenue into state coffers.

At least four jurisdictions—Arkansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia—are considering legislation that would add tax code violations to the list of actionable frauds to come under the umbrella of their false claims acts (FCAs). In addition, Illinois is considering revisions to its law as it pertains to tax violations. 

If the efforts are successful—some officials and tax attorneys hope they aren't—the jurisdictions would join nine states that permit whistle-blowers to prosecute tax code frauds on behalf of the state. 

State FCAs, typically modeled after the federal law, allow whistle-blowers to step into the shoes of the government to sue persons who knowingly perpetrate frauds against the state. The classic whistle-blower is an insider holding specific knowledge of misconduct. FCAs typically incentivize whistle-blowers to come forward, permitting them to share in any proceeds coming to the state. Whistle-blowers are also entitled to litigation costs and reasonable attorney fees.

IRS Considering Scope of Earned Income Tax Credit Rules

The Internal Revenue Service is considering the extent to which individuals can qualify for the childless earned income credit, according to Chrissy Glendening, senior counsel in Branch 5 of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting). 

Glendening noted that the IRS has historically held that if both parents want to claim the same child for tax benefits, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income is allowed to claim the child—meaning the other loses out on tax credits. The IRS changed its stance in proposed rules issued in January (REG-137604-07), saying that a taxpayer who did not claim the child may claim the earned income tax credit for childless taxpayers. 

The agency is considering "how far to extend this provision and this taxpayer-favorable treatment," Glendening said May 12 at the American Bar Association tax section meeting. The IRS is still reviewing how a White House executive order to cut down on regulations will impact the release of final rules.          

The proposed rules also updated definitions of terms such as "head of household" and defined when an adopted child can qualify as a tax dependent. 

Brady Wants Revenue Neutral Tax Reform Bill

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady insists that he will be able to craft a revenue neutral tax reform bill this year, even though President Donald Trump has said he's willing to accept a bill that adds to the deficit in the short term. 

Brady said May 15 it is essential to offset tax cuts with revenue raisers so they do not add to the deficit and can generate the maximum amount of growth over the longest period of time. He pointed to Senate budget rules that would require a tax bill to be revenue neutral to be permanent if the bill were to be passed without Democratic support. 

"We think the greatest growth for the greatest number of years is when tax reform is bold, when it's balanced within the budget counting on economic growth and it's permanent," Brady said. "History shows the most growth for the greatest number of years comes when tax reform is permanent, when businesses can count on this rate." 

"Without revenue neutrality, I don't see a way lawmakers can make tax changes last longer than 10 years," said Kyle Pomerleau, director of federal tax projects at the conservative Tax Foundation. "And without permanence, it is unlikely President Trump would get anywhere near the economic growth he wants from tax reform." 

Last week, Trump told the Economist magazine in a joint interview with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that "it is OK" if a tax bill increases the deficit in the short-term in order to "prime the pump" for growth. Trump and his economic advisers have said the tax-cut plan they released April 26 will pay for itself by eliminating deductions and loopholes, and by helping to create annual economic growth of 3 percent. A subsequent survey of tax economists, however, revealed that no economist agrees that the Trump plan would be revenue neutral and would, in fact, substantially increase budget deficits.

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