Tax Season UpdatesTo help the tax community track information related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS has created a special page on IRS.gov to highlight provisions of the new law. The frequently updated page will include a “one-stop” listing of new legal guidance, news releases, Frequently Asked Questions, and other information related to TCJA.

Tax professionals should bookmark the page and check it regularly for the latest information as the IRS works to implement changes.


2. IRS Statement on Retroactive Extender Provisions


Following is an IRS statement issued on Feb. 9:
“The IRS is reviewing the legislation signed Feb. 9 that retroactively extended and modified numerous tax provisions covering 2017. We are assessing these significant changes in the tax law and beginning to determine next steps. The IRS will provide additional information as quickly as possible for affected taxpayers and the tax community.”


3. Key Identity Theft Indicators Continue Dramatic Decline in 2017


Steep declines in tax-related identity theft in 2017 reflect the success of the Security Summit initiative. The number of taxpayers reporting themselves as victims of identity theft, a key indicator, dropped 40 percent in 2017, marking the second sharp annual decline.

Since 2015, the number of tax-related identity theft victims has fallen by almost two-thirds, and billions of dollars of taxpayer refunds have been protected.


4. IRS Clarifies Some Common Early Filing Season Myths


With the 2018 filing season in full swing, the IRS offers clarification on six common myths regarding tax returns and basic tax and refund tips.


5. Use Pub 2043 to Set Refund Expectations for Your Clients


IRS Publication 2043, IRS Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community, is now available for 2018. The publication provides the latest refund information and guidelines including specific information for your clients claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Advance Child Tax Credit.

Please note, although the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it is possible some tax returns may require additional review resulting in delayed refunds.


7. IRS Encourages Taxpayers to Renew ITINs; Delays Expected for Those Who Missed Deadline


If your client has an expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), he or she should renew it as soon as possible. Tax returns with expired ITINs will face processing delays, and affected taxpayers may lose eligibility for key tax benefits until they renew the ITIN.


8. Technical Guidance


Notice 2018-17 expands the hurricane-related disaster relief provided in Rev. Proc. 2014-49, 2014-37 I.R.B. 535, and Rev. Proc. 2014-50, 2014-37 Internal Revenue Bulletin 540. The expanded relief in this notice is limited to the Hurricane Maria PR Major Disaster (as defined in the notice). This notice also solicits public comment regarding any desirable amendments to Rev. Proc. 2014-49 and Rev. Proc. 2014-50.

Under Revenue Procedure 2018-15, the IRS generally will not require a new exemption application from a domestic section 501(c) organization that changes its form or place of organization. Rev. Rul. 67-390 and Rev. Rul. 77-469 are obsoleted.

Revenue Procedure 2018-16 provides guidance to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of any State about how certain population census tracts may be designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones for purposes of section 1400Z–1 and 1400Z–2 of the Internal Revenue Code. Specifically, this revenue procedure clarifies the nomination process under section 1400Z-1 by informing the CEOs of each State.

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