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IRS Releases FY 2014 Data Book

March 26, 2015 Comments off

IRS Releases FY 2014 Data Book
Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service today released the 2014 IRS Data Book, a snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year.

The report describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, and the IRS budget and workforce among others. The 2014 Data Book contains charts that show trends, such as the decline in the number of audits and the decline in telephone and in-person tax assistance and increases in the use of online resources and volunteer tax assistance.

During fiscal year 2014, the IRS collected almost $3.1 trillion in federal revenue and processed almost 240 million returns. About 65 percent of all returns were filed electronically. Of the 147 million individual income tax returns filed, 84 percent were e-filed. Over 116 million individual income tax return filers received a tax refund, which totaled over $330 billion. The IRS examined less than 1 percent of all tax returns filed. About 3 percent of all individual tax returns examined resulted in additional refunds.

The IRS provided taxpayer assistance through 437 million visits to IRS.gov and assisted over 69 million taxpayers through its toll-free telephone helpline or at walk-in sites.

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2011 Federal Income Tax Return

March 20, 2015 Comments off

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2011 Federal Income Tax Return
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Federal income tax refunds totaling $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated one million taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2011, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. To collect the money, these taxpayers must file a 2011 tax return with the IRS no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

“Time is running out for people who didn’t file a 2011 federal income tax return to claim their refund,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People could be missing out on a substantial refund, especially students or part-time workers. Some people may not have filed because they didn’t make much money, but they may still be entitled to a refund.”

The IRS estimates half of the potential refunds for 2011 are more than $698.

Statistics of Income Bulletin: Winter 2015

March 4, 2015 Comments off

SOI Bulletin: Winter 2015
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Sole Proprietorship Returns, 2012
For Tax Year 2012, taxpayers reported nonfarm sole proprietorship activity on approximately 23.6 million individual income tax returns, a 0.5-percent increase from 2011. Profits rose to $304.9 billion in 2012, a 7.9-percent improvement over the previous year. In constant dollars, total nonfarm sole proprietorship profits increased 6.0 percent in 2012. Profits as a percent of business receipts rose 1.1-percentage points to 23.4 percent, resulting in the highest level during the 25-year period, 1988 through 2012.

Foreign Recipients of U.S. Income, 2011
US.-source income paid to foreign persons, as reported on Form 1042-S, totaled $568.5 billion for Calendar Year 2011. This represents an increase of 1.9 percent from 2010. Withholding taxes on this income fell by 11.9 percent to $8.9 billion in 2011. Almost 90 percent of all U.S. source income paid to foreign persons was exempt from withholding tax. The residual U.S.-source income subject to tax was withheld at an average rate of 15 percent.

Individual Tax Returns Filed by Dependents, 1987–2011
The goal of this article is to help customers, who use individual tax data published in Statistics of Income’s annual publications, separate the data collected from tax returns filed by dependents (dependent returns) from the data collected from all individual tax returns. Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), all taxpayers received the benefit of taking a personal exemption, including those claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Separating tax returns filed by dependents from all returns claiming a personal exemption would be difficult to determine for years prior to TRA86. For that reason, the figures and tables in this article include only post-1986 tax data.

Partnership Returns, 2012
The number of partnerships and partners in the United States continued to increase for Tax Year 2012. Partnerships filed more than 3 million tax returns for the year, representing more than 25 million partners. The real estate and leasing sector contained nearly half of all partnerships (49.1 percent) and just over a quarter of all partners (28.9 percent).

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

February 19, 2015 Comments off

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015
Source: Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service wrapped up the 2015 “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams today with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing coast-to-coast during the early weeks of this year’s filing season.

The aggressive, threatening phone calls from scam artists continue to be seen on a daily basis in states across the nation. The IRS urged taxpayers not give out money or personal financial information as a result of these phone calls or from emails claiming to be from the IRS.

Phone scams and email phishing schemes are among the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams the IRS highlighted, for the first time, on 12 straight business days from Jan. 22 to Feb. 6. The IRS has also set up a special section on IRS.gov highlighting these 12 schemes for taxpayers.

See also: IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information

TIGTA – Additional Consideration of Prior Conduct and Performance Issues Is Needed When Hiring Former Employees

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Additional Consideration of Prior Conduct and Performance Issues Is Needed When Hiring Former Employees (PDF)
Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
From press release:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rehired hundreds of former employees with prior substantiated conduct or performance issues, according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Most rehired employees do not have performance or conduct issues associated with prior IRS employment. However, TIGTA identified hundreds of former employees with prior substantiated conduct or performance issues ranging from tax issues, unauthorized access to taxpayer information, leave abuse, falsification of official forms, unacceptable performance, misuse of IRS property, and off-duty misconduct.

Too Easy to Seize: New Report on IRS Forfeitures Highlights Need for Broad Civil Forfeiture Reform

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Too Easy to Seize: New Report on IRS Forfeitures Highlights Need for Broad Civil Forfeiture Reform
Source: Institute for Justice

Thanks to federal civil forfeiture laws, the Internal Revenue Service has seized millions of dollars from thousands of Americans’ bank accounts without proof of criminal wrongdoing, according to a new report from the Institute for Justice (IJ). The IRS practice of “seize first, ask questions later” highlights the need for broad reform of federal civil forfeiture laws that impose substantial burdens on property owners and make seizing property—and profiting from it—too easy for law enforcement.

TIGTA — Report: Law Enforcement Assistance Program Requests Are Not Always Processed Timely and Accurately

February 5, 2015 Comments off

Report: Law Enforcement Assistance Program Requests Are Not Always Processed Timely and Accurately
Source: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

An audit report released today identifies several problems with a new program allowing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to share tax information of identity theft victims with State and local law enforcement agencies.

The IRS’s Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) began as a pilot program in Florida in 2012 and was expanded in 2013 to help law enforcement officers across the country obtain tax return data vital to their efforts in investigating and prosecuting cases of identity theft.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reviewed whether requests for tax return data under the LEAP are processed timely, accurately, and securely.

Law enforcement officers use Form 8821-A, IRS Disclosure Authorization for Victims of Identity Theft, to obtain consent from the identity theft victim to request tax return information from the IRS. TIGTA reviewed a statistically valid sample of 194 of the 2,481 Forms 8821-A processed between January 3, 2013 and September 27, 2013. Of these, 39 requests had been rejected and another four did not have the date that the information was mailed to the law enforcement officer. Of the remaining 151 requests, 88 requests (58 percent) were not processed within the required 10 business days.

In addition, the IRS did not always maintain documentation of tax return information provided to the law enforcement officers. TIGTA also found that requests for tax return information were not always accurately worked. For the 39 requests that the IRS rejected, eight (21 percent) should not have been rejected. Most requests were erroneously rejected because the assistors incorrectly concluded that a tax return associated with the victim of the identity theft was not filed.

The IRS’s quality reviews usually check to ensure that all actions and required research are performed. However, because management had not established requirements for assistors to use a computer research command code, the quality reviews did not check to ensure that this research was completed.

In addition, 11 (7 percent) of the 155 requests for which the IRS provided the law enforcement officer with tax return information were invalid or incomplete and should not have been processed due to the risk of unauthorized disclosure.

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