Friday, May 9, 2014
WHAT’S THE BUZZ, TELL ME WHAT’S A HAPPENNIN’
Another apology for lack of posts. I am still working away on the GDEs, and have been taking long week-end trips. This week-end I am off to Scranton.
* Russ Fox, author of TAXABLE TALK, offers “A Better Idea on Identity Theft” – certainly much, much better than the nonsense the IRS is apparently now requiring of EROs, which Russ first brought to our attention in his earlier post “Yes, Mom, I Need to See Your ID” (it led off Tuesday’s BUZZ installment).
In his “May 6th Tax Round-Up” at THE ROTH AND COMPANY TAX UPDATE BLOG Joe Kristan makes a good point about identity thieves who file false 1040s that the IRS doesn’t seem to understand (highlight is his) –
“Most ID thieves work like Rashia Wilson, the self-proclaimed “Queen of IRS Tax Fraud.” She used store-bought software to claim millions in tax refunds belonging to other people whose identities she had stolen. ID thieves don’t walk into legitimate tax shops and pay to have fraudulent refunds claimed.”
Since I am not an ERO the new requirements do not affect me – other than to make me commit to never becoming an ERO. I will continue to prepare all my clients’ federal income tax returns manually.
Now if there only was a lobbying organization that represented all tax return preparers . . .
* Wait a minute. Jason Dinesen suggests it may not be as big a problem as originally thought in “Hold the Phone on the IRS E-file Outrage Machine” at DINESEN TAX TIMES.
Jason has read in detail the publication in question and tells us (highlight is his) -
“The publication says we must do those things if the e-file authorization is signed electronically (meaning, not signed with paper and pen).”
“For those of us who have our clients sign with a regular old pen and then mail, scan or fax the authorization form back, I don’t think anything changes and these new requirements don’t apply to us.”
As long as none of it applies to me!
I certainly agree with Jason’s bottom line that requiring credit checks is, to say the least, “over the top”.
* Jason also gives us a 2-part primer on how to calculate your federal income tax refund, or balance due, in “Tax Refunds and ‘Not Owing Tax’, Part 1” and “Part 2”
* ACCOUNTING TODAY reports “IRS Commissioner Tells Congress about EITC Challenges with Tax Preparers”.
“Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testified before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee on Wednesday about the 2014 tax filing season and other matters, including problems with administering the Earned Income Tax Credit and oversight of tax preparers.”
The Commissioner “outlined a number of legislative proposals from the Treasury Department’s Gren Book and the Obama Administrations’s proposed budget” which includes “congressional approval of the IRS’s authority to regulate paid tax preparers” and expansion of the due-dilligence requirements for tax preparers claiming the EITC to “all federal income tax returns claiming the CTC (Child Tax Credit) and the ACTC (Additional Child Tax Credit)”.
I obviously oppose these legislative proposals. The IRS should not be permitted to force licensure of paid tax preparers. And the solution to tax fraud resulting from refundable credits is to do away with refundable credits.
Koskinen had been talking about instituting a voluntary RTRP credential program, but apparently nothing was said here. So far it has been nothing but talk. Does he expect Congress to hand the IRS the authority to regulated paid preparers so he does not have to institute the voluntary program?
* As Prof Paul Caron’s daily report on the IRS Scandal approaches Day 365 (today), ACCOUNTINGWEB brings us the word that “House Votes to Hold Ex-IRS Official Lois Lerner in Contempt”.
When are we going to hold Congress is contempt of the American public?