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E-News January 30, 2018: IRS Personal ID Requests, Filing Season is Open, IRS Issues Guidance on Withholding Rules and more

by MICPA | Jan 30, 2018   ()

IRS Personal ID Requests Will Continue
The IRS is considering other options, but for now, agents will continue requesting personal identification information from tax practitioners despite concerns expressed by practitioners. As reported in last week’s E-News, IRS agents are asking tax practitioners for their Social Security numbers and birthdate in addition to their Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number as part of an effort to protect taxpayer information. The IRS sent this email last week explaining the new procedure. The email also addresses IRS e-Services protections, which are explained further in this IRS FAQ.

It’s a Go! Filing Season Opened Yesterday
The 2018 tax filing season officially opened on Monday, Jan. 29, and will close on Tuesday, April 17, when individual tax returns and payments are due to the IRS. Bookmark Basic Tools for Tax Professionals for filing instructions, access to forms, publications and reference materials, and information on power of attorney, transcripts, representation, due diligence, professional responsibility and more.

IRS Issues Guidance on Withholding Rules
The IRS released more withholding guidance (Notice 2018-14) to implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This guidance is designed to help both employers and employees with various withholding issues, such as claiming an exemption from withholding, modifying withholding after a change in status that affects withholding, and the rate for withholding on bonus payments.
Notice 2018-14

 

IRS Releases Employer’s Tax Guide
The IRS just released Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide. This publication reflects the new tax legislation and will help employers transition to the new rates. The guide explains an employer's tax responsibilities. It also outlines filing requirements, related forms and withholding tables.
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Michigan Amended Return Changes for Tax Year 2017
Beginning with tax year 2017, use the Michigan Individual Income Tax Return (MI-1040) to file an amended return. Check the Amended Return box at the top of page 1. A new form, Michigan Amended Return Explanation of Changes (Schedule AMD), is required when amending an MI-1040. Refer to page 7 in the Michigan Individual Income Tax instruction booklet for more information.
2017 Individual Tax Forms

Michigan Treasury Issues Reminder for Pension and Retiree Health Care Reports
The Michigan Department of Treasury issued a reminder that pension and retiree health care reports for some local governmental units’ retirement systems must be electronically filed with the Department no later than six months after the end of the fiscal year. Some face a deadline of Jan. 31, 2018. Failure to file may result in the determination of underfunded status.
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State Implements Additional Tax-Related Identity Theft Protections
In an effort to protect Michigan taxpayers, the state Treasury Department continues to implement security measures to stop tax-related identity theft. As a result, Treasury Department officials say some individual income tax returns may be selected for identity confirmation.
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Ohio Tax-Amnesty Program Approaches Deadline
The Ohio Department of Taxation is reaching out to Michigan tax practitioners who know of clients with an unreported or underreported Ohio tax liability. They may quality for the Ohio Tax Amnesty program, which ends at the close of business Thursday, Feb. 15. Individuals or businesses that qualify for amnesty will pay no penalty and only half of the normal interest. Amnesty is available for most major taxes including the state income tax, sales and uses taxes, and commercial activity tax, and for taxes due before May 1, 2017. Interested parties are required to file all applicable returns and pay in full before the amnesty ends. For more information, please visit www.ohiotaxamnesty.gov or call (800) 304-8211. 

Tax Preparers: Four Tips for Hiring a Cybersecurity Professional
To protect their offices and client data, many tax preparers hire a cybersecurity professional. The IRS says there are four things every tax professional should consider before evaluating and hiring a cybersecurity professional.
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How to Protect Your Company If (When) A Cyber-Attack Occurs
Cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent, more invasive and more lucrative to bad actors. It is not a matter of if your firm will have a breach of security, it is simply a matter of when, says Randy Johnston of K2 Enterprises. Johnston explains what steps every company should consider taking to protect their bottom line.
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Six Tips for Starting an Advisory Practice
In order to stand out in a crowded profession, many financial professionals are leveraging the escalating trend toward advisory services. The ability to offer specialized knowledge allows you to differentiate yourself from competitors and position yourself more favorably within the marketplace. One way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in particular areas is through the addition of credentials. The AICPA offers six important tips.
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Exam Candidates: Here’s the Latest CPA Exam Blueprints Update
If you are planning to sit for the CPA Exam beginning in Q3, be sure to review the CPA Exam Blueprints, effective July 1, 2018, for eligible content and skills that may be tested. Visit the AICPA CPA Exam Content webpage for more details.
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Get Answers to All Your Questions
Changes in tax legislation, technologies and demographics make it more important than ever for you to continue to cultivate your best resource: YOU. The MICPA is ready with critical updates and professional development opportunities you need to stay competitive and informed. View our programming coming up this February – April.
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Source: MICPA
Source: MICPA

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