IRS Tax News

  • 13 Sep 2012 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    The Electronic Management System  (EMS) located at the Enterprise Computing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia will be unavailable from Saturday, October 6, 2012, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time through Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

    This will affect individual, business, and state returns processed on the EMS located in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

    Due to the Columbus Day holiday, drains will not occur on Monday, October 8, 2012 at Martinsburg or Memphis. Normal processing will resume Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:00 a.m.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
  • 13 Sep 2012 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    This Sept. 26 webinar will cover basic business taxes for the self-employed.

  • 13 Sep 2012 9:18 AM | Anonymous

    Individuals and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi affected by Hurricane Isaac may qualify for extensions of time to file returns and pay any taxes due.

    IR-2012-70 has more information.

  • 31 Aug 2012 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    IRS YouTube Videos
    Preparing for Disasters:
     English | Spanish | ASL

    How to Request a Copy of Your Tax Return:
     English | Spanish | ASL

    Disaster Assistance:
     English | Spanish

    IR-2012-60, June 11, 2012

    WASHINGTON undefined With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.

    Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically

    Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set.

    Keeping a backup set of records –– including, for example, bank statements, tax returns, insurance policies, etc. –– is easier now that many financial institutions provide statements and documents electronically, and much financial information is available on the Internet. Even if the original records are provided only on paper, they can be scanned into an electronic format. With documents in electronic form, taxpayers can download them to a backup storage device, like an external hard drive, or burn them to a CD or DVD.

    Document Valuables

    Another step a taxpayer can take to prepare for disaster is to photograph or videotape the contents of his or her home, especially items of higher value. The IRS has a disaster loss workbook,Publication 584, which can help taxpayers compile a room-by-room list of belongings.

    A photographic record can help an individual prove the market value of items for insurance and casualty loss claims. Photos should be stored with a friend or family member who lives outside the area.

    Update Emergency Plans

    Emergency plans should be reviewed annually. Personal and business situations change over time as do preparedness needs. When employers hire new employees or when a company or organization changes functions, plans should be updated accordingly and employees should be informed of the changes.

    Check on Fiduciary Bonds

    Employers who use payroll service providers should ask the provider if it has a fiduciary bond in place. The bond could protect the employer in the event of default by the payroll service provider.

    IRS Ready to Help

    If disaster strikes, an affected taxpayer can call 1-866-562-5227 to speak with an IRS specialist trained to handle disaster-related issues.

    Back copies of previously-filed tax returns and all attachments, including Forms W-2, can be requested by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return.

    Alternatively, transcripts showing most line items on these returns can be ordered on-line, by calling 1-800-908-9946 or by using Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.    

    Related Items:

  • 31 Aug 2012 4:47 PM | Anonymous

    As you may have noticed, the IRS has made extensive changes to the look and functionality of the website.  These changes aim to improve online services for all stakeholders.

    While the home page looks similar, there are new colors, new headings and a completely new way to navigate the site. The new navigation is one of the most significant changes users will see on  To maintain a measure of continuity between the old and new, you will find a menu list in the upper right-hand corner called “Information for...” that incorporates virtually all content from the old site under familiar headings such as “Charities and Non-Profits,” Government Entities,” “Retirement Plans” and “Tax Exempt Bonds.”

    If you bookmarked pages in the old website, check the redesigned site and update your bookmarks and favorites.  A new feature on every page gives you the option of clicking a heart graphic to save the page as a bookmark.

  • 31 Aug 2012 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    Registration for the 2:00 p.m. ET session of the Sept. 7 phone forum has reached capacity and is closed. However, IRS has added another session at 11:00 a.m. ET to enable more people to attend. Please don’t register for this new session if you’ve already registered for the 2:00 p.m. ET session.

    Learn how to correct common mistakes in 401(k) plans.

    Avaneesh Bhagat, Voluntary Compliance group manager, and Sherri Morris, Voluntary Compliance tax law specialist, will present this phone forum. Email specific issues you would like the speakers to address to

    Registration Link - after registering, you will receive forum access instructions in an email.

    Continuing Education Credits:

    • Enrolled Agents and Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents may earn CE credit for attending the entire phone forum. It‘s also intended to meet the CE requirements for Enrolled Actuaries, but the final decision rests with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Other professional groups should consult their licensing agencies for acceptability of credit.
      You must register individually and use your own assigned User ID to receive CE credit.
      You must use an individual phone line and attend the entire forum to receive CE credit.
      If you meet the attendance requirement, you will receive a Certificate of Completion via email about a week after the forum.
      If you have any questions, please contact
  • 31 Aug 2012 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is designed to be a "safety net" for taxpayers who are experiencing problems with the IRS. However, because TAS cannot help all six million to 12 million taxpayers who may be having problems at any given time, it must focus on cases where it can add the most value. More information on the revised case acceptance criteria is available on the Taxpayer Advocate website.

  • 31 Aug 2012 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    A planned power outage around the Labor Day weekend will affect a number of IRS systems and limit the availability of several services between Thursday, Aug. 30 and Tuesday, Sept. 4.

  • 31 Aug 2012 4:18 PM | Anonymous

    Today, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2012-35, IRB 2012-37, revising the scope of the IRS letter-forwarding program. Revenue Procedure 2012-35 provides that the IRS will no longer forward letters on behalf of plan sponsors or administrators of qualified retirement plans or qualified termination administrators (QTAs) of abandoned plans under the Department of Labor’s Abandoned Plan Program who are attempting to locate missing plan participants and beneficiaries. 

    Since the IRS letter-forwarding program began, numerous alternative missing person locator resources, including the Internet, have become available to assist a plan sponsor or plan administrator in locating a missing participant or beneficiary owed a retirement benefit, enabling the program change.  

    In particular, this change affects retirement plan sponsors and administrators who are searching for plan participants or beneficiaries in order to correct failures that require payment of additional benefits in accordance with the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), as described in Revenue Procedure 2008-50, 2008-35 IRB 464. Accordingly, in future guidance on EPCRS, the IRS intends to provide an extended correction period for plan sponsors and administrators affected by this change in the letter-forwarding program.  

    Revenue Procedure 2012-35 applies to requests postmarked on or after August 31, 2012. Requests that are postmarked prior to that date will continue to be processed pursuant to Revenue Procedure 94-22, 1994-1 CB 608.

  • 31 Aug 2012 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Whether you’re a recent high school graduate going to college for the first time or a returning student, it will soon be time to head to campus, and payment deadlines for tuition and other fees are not far behind.

    The IRS offers some tips about education tax benefits that can help offset some college costs for students and parents. Typically, these benefits apply to you, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. 

    • American Opportunity Credit. This credit, originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is still available for 2012. The credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student and is available for the first four years of post secondary education at an eligible institution. Forty percent of this credit is refundable, which means that you may be able to receive up to $1,000, even if you don't owe any taxes. Qualified expenses include tuition and fees, course related books, supplies and equipment.
    • Lifetime Learning Credit. In 2012, you may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for a student enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for an eligible student.

    You can claim only one type of education credit per student in the same tax year. However, if you pay college expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can choose to take credits on a per-student, per-year basis. For example, you can claim the American Opportunity Credit for one student and the Lifetime Learning Credit for the other student.

    • Student loan interest deduction. Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible. However, you may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan during the year. It can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500, even if you don’t itemize deductions.

    These education benefits are subject to income limitations, and may be reduced or eliminated depending on your income. For more information, visit the Tax Benefits for Education Information Center at or check out Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, which can be downloaded at or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).


    YouTube Videos:


    • Education Tax Credits and Deductions - English
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