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Weekly IRS Roundup November 29 – December 3, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 29, 2021 – December 3, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 29, 2021: The IRS published a news release warning taxpayers and tax professionals to beware of a dangerous combination of events that can increase their exposure to tax scams and identity theft. The IRS stated that the holiday shopping season, the upcoming tax season and the pandemic all create additional opportunities for criminals to steal sensitive personal or finance information.

November 30, 2021: The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-53, which provides temporary guidance regarding the treatment of certain stock distributions by publicly offered real estate investment trusts and publicly offered regulated investment companies in recognition of the need for liquidity as a result of COVID-19. The guidance reduces the minimum required aggregate amount of cash that distributee shareholders may receive to no less than 10% of the total distribution in order for Section 301 (by reason of Section 305(b)) to apply to such distribution.

November 30, 2021: The IRS published a news release warning taxpayers to be wary of fake charities used by scammers to trick unsuspecting donors into providing money and sensitive financial and personal information.

November 30, 2021: The IRS posted an issue snapshot concerning issue indicators and audit tips for public and tax-exempt employer contributions to eligible deferred compensation plans (as defined in Section 457(b)).

December 1, 2021: The US Competent Authority posted the arrangement between Competent Authorities of the United States and Turkey, setting forth parameters on the exchange of county-by-country reporting agreements to combat transfer pricing, base erosion and profit shifting-related risks.

December 1, 2021: The IRS published a news release reminding taxpayers they can get extra protection starting in January by joining its Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) program. Anyone who can verify their identity can protect themselves against tax-related identity theft by opting into the program.

December 2, 2021: The IRS published a news release warning tax professionals that they face additional security risks from cybercriminals seeking to use the pandemic and phishing scams to steal sensitive client information.

December 2, 2021: The IRS recommended nonacquiescence in Mayo Clinic v. United States, 997 F.3d 789 (8th Cir. May 13, 2021), rev’g 412 F. Supp. 3d 1038 (D. Minn. 2019), where the appeals court invalidated Treasury Regulations Section 1.170A-9(c)(1)’s requirement that the primary function of an educational organization described in Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) be the presentation of formal instruction. For more background, see our recent post.

December 2, 2021: The IRS published a news release reminding tax professionals and taxpayers that they can use digital signatures on a variety of common IRS forms and access a [...]

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Weekly IRS Roundup November 15 – November 19, 2021

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of November 15, 2021 – November 19, 2021. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here.

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of a new online tool designed to help US withholding agents comply with their reporting and withholding responsibilities with respect to IRS Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. The tool performs a quality review of data before submitting to the IRS. Use of the tool does not change a withholding agent’s obligations to file Form 1042-S with the IRS and furnish a copy to the payee.

November 15, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of wildfires that began July 14, 2021, now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that, effective November 15, 2021, tax professionals are able to order up to 30 Transcript Delivery System transcripts per client through the Practitioner Priority Service line. This is an increase from the previous 10 transcripts per client limit.

November 16, 2021: The IRS published a news release regarding Notice 2021-63, which details how the temporary 100% business deduction for food or beverages from restaurants applies to taxpayers properly applying the rules of Revenue Procedure 2019-48 when using per diem rates.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing that victims of Hurricane Ida throughout Mississippi now have additional time—until January 3, 2022—to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

November 17, 2021: The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) published a news release announcing its annual report for 2021, which includes recommendations to the IRS regarding new and continuing issues in tax administration. The 2021 report includes recommendations on 24 issues, covering a broad range of topics. The IRSAC is a federal advisory committee that provides an organized public forum for the discussion of relevant tax administration issues between IRS officials and representatives of the public. IRSAC members offer constructive observations regarding current or proposed IRS policies, programs and procedures.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing it unveiled a new how-to video series enabling taxpayers to avoid potential scams by considering and applying for an Offer in Compromise themselves and to avoid paying excessive fees to companies advertising outlandish claims.

November 17, 2021: The IRS published a news release announcing the launch of an improved identity verification and sign-in process that enables more people to securely access IRS online tools and applications.

November 17, 2021: The IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate published a blog post indicating that US Congress [...]

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IRS Issues Annual “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax-Related Scams

Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes a list of tax-related scams, which it calls the “Dirty Dozen.” This year, it provided a “Dirty Dozen” scam series warning taxpayers of such scams.

In IR-2021-135 (June 28, 2021), the IRS rolled out its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2021, warning taxpayers to look out for 12 nefarious schemes and scams. The 2021 list is separated into the following four categories:

  • Pandemic-related scams, such as Economic Impact Payment theft
  • Personal information cons including phishing, ransomware and phone “vishing”
  • Ruses focusing on unsuspecting victims, such as fake charities and senior/immigrant fraud
  • Schemes that persuade taxpayers into unscrupulous actions, such as Offer In Compromise mills and syndicated conservation easements

In IR-2021-137 (June 29, 2021), the IRS advised taxpayers to look out for unexpected schemes in the form of emails, texts, social media messages and phone calls. These phishing scams target taxpayers and tax professionals and can seem legitimate at first glance. For example, emails or phone calls purporting to be from the IRS may request financial information or request that the recipient link to an attachment. Some scams utilize social media and seek to use events like COVID-19 to trick people. Recipients of such unsolicited emails or phone calls can report the actions to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

In IR-2021-141 (June 30, 2021), the IRS shared five scams relating to requests for donations to fake charities, tax scams targeting immigrants and senior citizens, offer in compromise mills, unscrupulous tax return preparers and unemployment insurance fraud.

In IR- 2021-144 (July 1, 2021), the IRS concluded its series by warning taxpayers to watch out for certain transactions and arrangements marketed by promoters.

Prior year information on the “Dirty Dozen” lists can be found here.

Practice Point: Taxpayers and tax professionals need to be vigilant in protecting against tax-related scams and schemes. If you doubt the legitimacy of a contact purporting to be from the IRS, make sure to confirm the identity of the contact with IRS personnel. For example, we recently received an unsolicited email from an irs.gov address and, to ensure the email was legitimate, we reached out to IRS personnel and were able to confirm that the email was legitimate. However, we have had other situations where emails and phone calls purporting to be from the IRS were from third parties with no connection to the government.




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