Newsroom July 1st, 2011
National Taxpayer Advocate Submits Mid-Year Report to Congress; Identifies Priority Challenges and Issues for Upcoming Year
IR-2011-71, June 29, 2011 — National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released a report to Congress that identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the coming fiscal year.
Reminder: Report Certain Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts to Treasury by June 30
IR-2011-70, June 24, 2011 — IRS reminds everyone who has a bank or other financial account in a foreign country that they may be required to report it to the U.S. Department of the Treasury by June 30 each year. More information is available on IRS.gov, including recent FBAR guidance regarding administrative relief for certain individuals with signature authority over, but no financial interest in, foreign financial accounts: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=148849,00.html.
IRS Increases Mileage Rate to 55.5 Cents per Mile
IR-2011-69, June 23, 2011 — Starting July 1, the standard mileage rate for business miles driven is increased to 55.5 cents per mile.
IRS Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) Delivers Report to Congress
IR-2011-68, June 15, 2011 — The Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee released its 2011 Annual Report to Congress.
Spring 2011 Statistics of Income Bulletin Now Available
IR-2011-67, June 14, 2011 — The IRS released the spring 2011 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin.
IRS Identifies Organizations that Have Lost Tax-Exempt Status; Announces Special Steps to Help Revoked Organizations
IR-2011-63, June 8, 2011–– The IRS announced that approximately 275,000 organizations have automatically lost their tax-exempt status because they did not file legally required annual reports for three consecutive years.
Treasury and IRS Announce Proposed Changes to New Markets Tax Credit Program to Foster Greater Investment in Operating Businesses
IR-2011-61, June 3, 2011 — The U.S. Treasury and IRS announced proposed changes to the new markets tax credit program to encourage more investment in non-real estate businesses.
CP 2000 notices on "dotted line" entries; IRS announces special steps to help revoked tax-exempt organizations; Regulations governing practice before the IRS released, and more . . .
IRS Technical Guidance
Revenue Procedure 2011-38 modifies and supersedes the guidance concerning the treatment under sections 1035 and 72 of the partial exchange of an annuity contract. Specifically, the revenue procedure provides that the direct transfer of a portion of the cash surrender value of an existing annuity contract for a second annuity contract will be treated as a tax-free exchange under section 1035 if no amount, other than an amount received as an annuity for a period of 10 years or more or during one or more lives, is received during the 180 days beginning on the date of the transfer. A subsequent direct transfer is not taken into account. Other transactions will be characterized consistent with their substance. Prior to this revenue procedure's effective date, Rev. Proc. 2008-24 will be applied with the clarification that the conditions described in section 4.01(b) or Rev. Proc. 2008-24 will be treated as satisfied if the condition was satisfied on the date of the withdrawal or surrender.
Announcement 2011-40 advises the public the Internal Revenue Service is revising the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, medical, or moving expense purposes and for determining the reimbursed amount of these expenses that is deemed substantiated. This modification results from recent increases in the price of fuel. The revised standard mileage rates are 55.5 cents per mile for business use of an automobile and 23.5 cents for use of an automobile as a medical or moving expense. The mileage rate for use of an automobile as a charitable contribution is fixed by statute and remains 14 cents. The revised standard mileage rates apply to deductible transportation expenses paid or incurred for business, medical, or moving expense purposes on or after July 1, 2011, and to mileage allowances that are paid both (1) to an employee on or after July 1, 2011, and (2) for transportation expenses an employee pays or incurs on or after July 1, 2011. Announcement 2011-40 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2011-29 on July 18, 2011.
Notice 2011-56 provides interim guidance to taxpayers under § 1012 of the Internal Revenue Code on issues relating to the basis of stock subject to broker reporting under § 6045, pending publication of superseding guidance. Notice 2011-56 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2011-29 on July 18, 2011.Notice 2011-54 provides additional administrative relief to persons whose requirement to file Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), to report signature authority over foreign financial accounts held during calendar year 2009 or earlier calendar years was properly deferred under Notice 2009-62, 2009-35 I.R.B. 260, or Notice 2010-23, 2010-11 I.R.B. 441.
Notice 2011-48 invites public comments on the content and administration of the registered tax return preparer competency examination. The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have published final regulations (TD 9527, 76 FR 32286) under 31 CFR Part 10 that require certain individuals to pass a competency examination to become a registered tax return preparer. The IRS has selected a vendor to support the IRS in developing and administering the competency examination for the Form 1040 series tax returns and accompanying schedules.
Withdrawal of Notice of Federal Tax Lien after Release: Memorandum issued Interim Guidance (IG) for processing requests for withdrawal of notices of federal tax lien after the lien has been released. To find additional staff guidance, go to the FOIA “Electronic Reading Room.”
IRS tips for bankruptcy trustees: A new IRS.gov page offers tips for bankruptcy trustees who receive IRS collection notices.
The IRS Return Preparer Office has a new Facebook page: The IRS Return Preparer Office, building on its partnership with the tax professional community, has opened another communications avenue that it hopes becomes a two-way street. Yes, we're talking Facebook. The Return Preparer Office is entering a strange world of "friends" and "likes" and other words we're not used to hearing.
The IRS speaks many languages: The IRS is constantly improving and expanding services and products for all taxpayers, including people who speak limited English. Searchers will find more than 700 translated forms and publications available to download on IRS.gov. This includes the Publications 850 series, a series of glossaries that translates words and phrases from English to Spanish, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. IRS.gov also provides basic tax information relevant for those speaking other languages:
- The Multilingual Gateway provides basic federal tax information and downloadable files in Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Korean.
- EL IRS en Español provides Spanish-speaking individuals access to forms and publications, information and tools, including the EITC Assistant, online payment agreements, Where’s My Refund?
- The Spanish Multimedia Web page offers links to podcasts, YouTube, the IRS Video Portal and text files.
IRS Open House: The IRS is hosting an Open House, Saturday, July 16, in 74 Taxpayer Assistance Centers in 34 states,
National/Local Phone Forums and Webinars for Practitioners:
- July 29th Phone Forum on Ethics for Employee Plans Practitioners: Register now for this July 29th EP phone forum. Karen Hawkins, the Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and Gabriel Minc, a Senior Tax Law Specialist in Employee Plans, will discuss ethical standards of practice before the IRS applicable to employee benefits practitioners. The discussion will focus primarily on Circular 230, which defines such standards, as well as related tax and administrative issues and commentary.
These recent webinars are now on the IRS Video Portal:
IRS Nationwide Tax Forums - Plan ahead – Here are the locations for the 2011 Forums!
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