2018 is finally here and so is tax time! Maybe you’re anxious to push 2017 out of sight and out of mind. But let’s first take a beat to reflect on the wildest news stories of the past year related to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Trump’s Returns Require Extra Security
Tax returns are supposed to be extremely private. The taxpayer, his or her preparer, and those involved in processing documents should be the only eyes on a tax return. President Trump’s returns in theory should be no exception, but a high level of public interest motivated the IRS to take extra steps to secure them. John Koskinen, former commissioner of the IRS, says Trump’s tax returns stay in a locked cabinet in a locked room, but the agency doesn’t think that’s enough. They’re turning the cabinet into a safe to make sure it’s kept away from prying eyes.
The IRS Is Technologically Behind
Koskinen also says 60 percent of the IRS’s hardware and a fifth of their software is dated. He admits the IRS still uses legacy programs from when Kennedy was president! Audit rates are falling, and the agency employs fewer agents than ever. It’s possible that, as IT systems continue to decay, fewer people will get caught not paying, resulting in reduced compliance.
Treasury Inspector General Reveals Shocking Employment Tax Crimes
Earlier in 2017, the office of the Treasury released a report revealing that more than 1.4 million employers owed $54.6 billion in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. While intentional tax evasion is a felony, fewer than 100 employers are convicted a year.
Lawmakers Rush to Approve Tax Reform
Trump gave legislators a December 22 deadline, and they rushed to approve a major tax overhaul in record time. Many experts say the plan is filled with potential pitfalls and will need extensive follow-up legislation to eliminate complications. Here are a few guidelines to help you make sense of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”:
- Republican Tax Bill Passes Senate in 51-48 Vote
- The Basics of the GOP Tax Plan, Explained
- The GOP Tax Plan: Will You Win or Lose?
Tax Reform Hurts the NFL
NFL teams have found themselves (surprisingly) on the front lines of the culture wars because of how some players have protested before games, but that isn’t why experts made tax changes that affect sports leagues. President Obama tried to eliminate a loophole that allows fans to deduct tickets as charitable donations and provides for tax-exempt bonds connected to facilities. Current tax reform removes both those benefits.
Do you need insight into issues you’re having with the IRS? Whether you want to make an Offer in Compromise to solve a long-standing IRS debt or you need to deal with an IRS lien against your property, the team at Highland Tax Resolution is here to help. Call us at (720) 398-6088.