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Latest IRS Updates and News Releases

 

 

►UPCOMING WEBINARS

 

See Webinars for Small Businesses.

 

 

►IRS VIDEO PORTAL

 

Recently posted to the IRS Video Portal

 

Understanding the 2020 Form W – 4 and How to Use it to Calculate Withholding  

 

  • The webinar will cover the following an overview of the checklist: Explain the reason for a new design of the W-4. Explain Steps 1-5 of the 2020 Form W-4. Explain who must use the 2020 Form W-4. Illustrate how to complete two of the five worksheets from Publication 15-T.

 

Tax Withholding Estimator

 

  • This webinar will Illustrate the user-friendly features and design improvements of the new IRS withholding estimator to help taxpayers check their withholding. It will demonstrate how to use the new withholding estimator, and explain why taxpayers need to do a Paycheck Checkup to check their withholding.

 

 

►NEWS

 

IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020

 

  • The IRS announced the tax year 2020 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes. Revenue Procedure 2019-44 provides details about these annual adjustments.

 

  • The tax year 2020 adjustments generally are used on tax returns filed in 2021.

 

 

401(k) contribution limit increases to $19,500 for 2020; catch-up limit rises to $6,500

 

  • The IRS announced that employees in 401(k) plans will be able to contribute up to $19,500 next year.

 

  • The IRS announced this and other changes in Notice 2019-59 (PDF), posted today on IRS.gov. This guidance provides cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People can help improve communities and learn new skills as IRS-certified volunteer

 

  • It might not seem like the obvious choice, but one way for people to help others in their community is by volunteering with the IRS. The agency is looking for people to prepare tax returns at free tax preparation sites across the country.

 

  • People can sign up through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. People can be a part of this long-standing program by visiting the sign-up page on IRS.gov today.

 

 

Get Ready for Taxes: Get ready today to file 2019 federal income tax returns

 

  • The IRS urges taxpayers to act now to avoid a tax-time surprise and ensure smooth processing of their 2019 federal tax return.

 

  • This is the first in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. To that end, a special page, newly updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines things taxpayers can do now to prepare for the 2020 tax season ahead.

 

 

New payment option available to taxpayers in private debt collection program

 

  • A new payment option has been added to the private debt collection program to make it easier for those who owe to pay their tax debts.

 

 

►TAX TIPS to share with your clients

 

Taxpayers can explore several tax help options before visiting an IRS office

 

  • Some taxpayers may think they need to visit an IRS office for help in person with their tax issues. However, many of these people may actually find what they need online or by phone. In fact, many questions can be answered without ever having to visit to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

 

The child tax credit benefits eligible parents

 

  • Taxpayers who claim at least one child as their dependent on their tax return may be eligible to benefit from the child tax credit. It’s important for people who might qualify for this credit to review the eligibility rules to make sure they still qualify. Taxpayers who haven’t qualified in the past should also check because they may now be able to claim the credit.

 

Here’s how the credit for other dependents can benefit taxpayers

 

  • Taxpayers with dependents may qualify to claim a few different tax credits. One of these is the child tax credit. The child tax credit benefits people whose dependent meets a series of tests. If the dependent doesn't meet those qualifications, the taxpayer may be able to claim the credit for other dependents.

 

Taxpayers can compare eligibility and benefits of two education credits

 

  • There are two education credits that can help taxpayers with higher education costs: the American opportunity tax credit and the lifetime learning credit. There are several differences and some similarities between them. Taxpayers can claim both benefits on the same return, but not for the same student or same qualified expenses. Here's a comparison of these two credits.

►TAX REFORM

 

Tax reform publication translated into different languages

 

  • Taxpayers can find resources on IRS.gov that can help them file their tax return. One of these resources is Publication 5307, Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families. This publication is now available in several different languages.

 

  • This online publication is available on IRS.gov in these languages.
    • Chinese – Traditional
    • Chinese – Simplified
    • Spanish – Mainland
    • Spanish – Puerto Rico
    • Korean
    • Vietnamese
    • Russian

 

 

EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS

 

Veterans who own small businesses can follow the IRS on their smart phones

 

  • Veterans who are small business owners likely have lots of questions about their business taxes. National Veterans Small Business Week is as good a time as any other to connect with the IRS over social media.

 

  • These business owners can pull out their smart phone or their computer and follow the IRS on these social media sites and apps.

 

IRS.gov resources help small businesses have big success

 

  • National Veterans Small Business Week is the perfect time for veterans who are business owners to check out the IRS's online resources. Here are a few of the webpages that can help small businesses understand their tax responsibilities.

 

Small business owners should find out if they can benefit from claiming this deduction

 

  • The home office deduction can help small business owners save money on their taxes. Taxpayers can take this deduction when they file their taxes if they use a portion of their home exclusively, and on a regular basis.

 

IRS reminds employers about the benefits of EFTPS

 

  • The IRS wants small business owners who are employers to know that the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System has features that can help them in meeting their tax obligations. EFTPS can help employers whether they prepare and submit payroll taxes themselves or if they hire a payroll service provider to do it on their behalf.

 

IRS recommends business owners e-file payroll tax returns

 

  • IRS Forms 940, 941, 943, 944 or 945 are used to report employment tax information. The IRS recommends electronic filing, or e-filing, of these returns.

 

  • There are two options for electronically filing payroll tax returns:
    • Self-file
    • Have a tax professional file on behalf of the business

►THE BEST OF IRS.GOV

 

Tax Topics

 

 

 

IDENTITY THEFT / DATA THEFT / SCAM ALERTS

 

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for new version of SSN scam

 

  • Taxpayers should be on the lookout for new variations of tax-related scams. In the latest twist on a scam related to Social Security numbers, scammers claim to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s SSN. It’s yet another attempt by con artists to frighten people into returning ‘robocall’ voicemails. Make no mistake…it’s a scam.

 

 

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

 

From the Small Business Administration

 

  • Each year the SBA celebrates, connects and empowers service members during National Veterans Small Business Week, November 4-8, 2019. This marks the sixth annual NVSBW. This year’s theme is Mission #VetBiz Success, where we will highlight the tools and resources used to help veterans on their journey to small business success.

 

 

►e-NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA

 

e-News Subscriptions

 

  • The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Click above for information about subscribing.

 

IRS Social Media

 

  • The IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, products and services. Connect with the IRS through social media tools.