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| || LEGISLATIVE & TAX ADMINISTRATION NEWS|
No Free PTINs
may charge fees
for issuing and renewing Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs), ruled the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in
Montrois, No. 17-5204 (D.C. Cir. 3/1/19). The court found IRS provided a service in exchange for the PTIN fee, namely the privacy a preparer gets from not using his/her Social Security Number for business purposes. The Appeals Court remanded the case noting the District Court may still decide the question of whether the fees charged by IRS for PTINs are excessive. In the meantime, please don’t bet the farm on a PTIN fee refund.
On What Can We Rely?
According to a new policy statement, the Treasury Department will no longer assert judicial preference for sub-regulatory guidance (such as temporary notices) as legal precedent under Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997) or Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). “When proper limits are observed, subregulatory guidance can provide taxpayers the certainty required to make informed decisions about their tax obligations. Such guidance cannot and should not, however, be used to modify existing legislative rules or create new legislative rules.” Ed Zollars breaks it down in his recent
Is it Paranoia If It’s True?
The IRS continues to caution taxpayers about the risk of
tax related identity theft
– thieves using an individual’s Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number to file fraudulent tax returns. Among the recommendations for taxpayers and tax professionals is watching out for phishing e-mails. NAEA’s EVP, Bob Kerr, received one such
recently and forwarded it to IRS officials. Please stay vigilant!
January 31 was the deadline for submitting your enrolled agent renewal if your SSN ends in 0, 1, 2, or 3. Normally, an EA can expect their credential within three months of application. However, this year is proving to be anything but normal. Please give IRS a few more weeks to clear out the backlog caused by the government shutdown. We have been assured by Carol Campbell, RPO, no EA shall be precluded from practice simply because of a delay in EA renewal applications. If you are having any problems with your practice because of this issue, please contact
EA Exam Update
The Special Enrollment Exam is offered 10 months of the year (May-February) and updated every May to reflect the most recent version of Title 26. We understand, via
(the firm that constructs and administers the exam), the SEE will not be updated to reflect tax law changes enacted after 2017 until July 1, 2019. IRS postponed the update due to the government shutdown.
Looking for a Home
Pressure continues to build for Congress to extend the expired tax provisions, such as biodiesel tax credits (of note to Chairman Grassley) and cancellation of debt income forgiveness (of note to EAs), before the end of filing season. Senators Grassley and Wyden introduced a stand-alone extenders bill last week and the House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing on these provisions for March 12. However, the question most tax insiders are asking is which revenue measure is moving fast enough and has enough political momentum to cross the finish line before April 15. Extenders must be included (find a home) in that type of larger bill to get through Congress. Very few vehicles are under consideration, however, and many have their own hurdles to overcome. For example, an infrastructure bill is currently mired in debate over a gas tax increase.
Despite the lack of movement on tax legislation, taxes are still a hot topic, especially in the House. From presidential tax returns to filing season oversight, the House Ways and Means Committee has been holding at least one tax-focused hearing each week. Nina Olson, Taxpayer Advocate, testified yesterday in her last filing season oversight hearing before Ways and Means. She continued to advocate for better IRS customer service and taxpayer protection, as she has done for 18 years as Taxpayer Advocate.
On March 5, Treasury released
regarding the computation of FDII (pronounced FID—ee here inside the beltway), (Foreign-Derived Intangible Income), GILTI (Global Intangible Low-Tax Income) (and yes, we take far too much pleasure out of that acronym), and deductions permitted under IRC § 250, enacted as part of the TCJA. Of note - the expat community scored a big victory in the proposed regs (pages 49 and 50). American small business owners overseas can now avoid GILTI taxes by making a § 962 election.
Notice 2019-20, issued yesterday, provides penalty relief under sections 6722 and 6698 for partnerships that fail to report negative tax basis capital account information in certain cases.
extended certain filing and payment deadlines
until July 31 for taxpayers affected by the recent, devastating tornadoes and storms in Alabama.
The Department of Tax and Fee Administration has added the
February winter storms
to the list of disasters that qualify for tax relief. For qualified taxpayers, relief may include an extension of tax filing deadline, penalty and interest relief, or replacement copies of records lost due to disasters.
Montana Department of Revenue has begun sending out 2018 Identity Verification Letters
to taxpayers whose returns have been flagged for confirmation of taxpayer identity. Any taxpayer who receives such a letter should follow instructions given in the link above.
| || EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK|
All’s well that ends well. Liberty returned to Justice .
Reasonable notice. Ed Zollars examines the Ninth Circuit case involving what constitutes reasonable notice when IRS contacts third parties during the examination process.
John Hancock might disagree. Hale Sheppard covers a recent FBAR penalty case that strengthens taxpayer defenses:
Court Bucks the Trend in FBAR Penalty Cases: Merely Signing a Tax Return Does Not Establish Willfulness.
IRS Tax Forums Early Registration Promo Code Available
Join your colleagues for three days of informative education sessions, training, and networking featuring a full agenda of the latest tax law information, networking opportunities, and exhibits of the latest products and services for your business needs. The Partner Association Members code is ONLY VALID FOR EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION. Early Bird Registration is from 3/1/19 – 6/15/19. Contact NAEA to request your discount code.
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
for the annual NAEA Fly-In on May 14!
Applications are due March 22, 2019.
We hope to see you in D.C.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’"
Fred Rogers (1928-2003) American television personality
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NAEA E@lert | Volume 1: Issue 17
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