The IRS is providing several types of tax relief for those affected by hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’re monitoring the situation closely to resolve potential tax related issues as they’re identified. Check IRS.gov/hurricaneharvey and IRS.gov/hurricaneirmaoften for a current list of all tax relief available in these disaster areas and others.
IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Harvey; Parts of Texas Now Eligible Hurricane Harvey victims in parts of Texas have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. This relief also applies to Form 5500 series returns of eligible taxpayers.
Employers seeking ways to help employees and their family members affected by Hurricanes Harvey or Irma should consider the various relief made available by the Internal Revenue Service under Announcements 2017-11 and 2017-13 and Notice 2017-48.
Under Notice 2017-48, employers who maintain a leave-based donation program (there is still time to adopt one) can afford employees the opportunity to forgo their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for cash contributions made by the employer, before Jan. 1, 2019, to charitable organizations assisting those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The donated leave will be excluded from the donor employees’ income and wages and the employer will be able to deduct such contributions to a qualifying charitable organization as a business expense. As always, the Notice includes specific guidelines that must be followed in order for employers and employees to take advantage of this relief. Note that currently this relief is approved only for Hurricane
1. IRS provides help for Hurricane Harvey victims
The IRS is providing a variety of tax relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Check our webpage for the latest updates.
2. Beware of Hurricane Harvey fake charity scams
The IRS issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations.
3. More IRS disaster relief information available
Publication 3833, Disaster Relief, Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations
Two-part mini-course on disaster relief.
Additional information about IRS help for Hurricane Harvey victims is available on IRS social media sites, including the Twitter handle @IRSnews, following the hashtag #Harvey.
August 21, 2017
Authored by: Keith Kehrer
The IRS is seeking applicants for vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). The committee provides advice and public input on the various areas of tax administration served by the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE). Applications will be accepted through September 18, 2017.
We are very excited to announce that Bryan Cave was recognized in Legal 500 as one of the top law firms in the Nonprofit / Tax Exempt Organizations category. This is an honor and we are delighted that our Firm has been recognized along with the other top law firms in the United States that specialize in advising nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations.
The purpose of The Legal 500 is to help corporate counsel find the right advisors through its law firm rankings and editorial, which are free of charge to access. Rankings are based on feedback from 250,000 in-house peers and access to law firms deals and confidential matters, which are independently assessed by researchers.
We’ve recently updated the list of 403(b) pre-approved retirement plans that have received an IRS favorable opinion or advisory letter. A favorable opinion or advisory letter for a 403(b) pre-approved plan means that the IRS has determined that the plan satisfies the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) (these requirements are specifically outlined in the opinion or advisory letter).
Employers eligible to sponsor 403(b) retirement plans for their employees may want to consider adopting a pre-approved plan that has received a favorable letter instead of a having an individually designed plan.
- 403(b) Pre-Approved Plans for Eligible Employers – explains why eligible employers may want to opt for a pre-approved plan instead of an individually designed plan.
- List of 403(b) Pre-Approved Plans – contains information about the terms used in the pre-approved plan list and the remedial amendment period to correct certain errors
On Wednesday afternoon the White House again proposed eliminating the so-called death tax as part of its tax reform plan, but the details remain sparse. When pressed for specifics Director Cohn simply stated that with the implementation of the administration’s tax plan, the death tax would disappear.
The phrase “death tax” entered the popular lexicon by way of tax reformers wanting to summarize and caricature the several parts of the Federal transfer tax system.
What is the Death Tax?
The death tax could refer to the estate tax alone or to any combination of other taxes that grew out of the estate tax regime. The modern estate tax was introduced in 1916. In its current form it imposes a top rate of 40% on transfers above $5,490,000 per person made at death.
After the estate tax was instituted, savvy taxpayers quickly realized that a deathbed gift would avoid the estate
March 29, 2017
Authored by: Stephanie Moll
Billionaire David Rockefeller passed away this week at the age of 101. According to Forbes magazine, during his lifetime, the well-known philanthropist gave away nearly $2 billion.
In light of this newsworthy charitable donation, we thought now would be a good time to remind everyone of some of the basic income tax deductions available for gifts to charities.
Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) governs income tax deductions for charitable contributions. In the case of an individual making a cash gift to a Section 501(c)(3) organization classified as a “public charity” (such as churches, schools, hospitals, and governmental units), the gift is deductible for federal income tax purposes so long as the aggregate gifts do not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (“AGI”) for the taxable year.
In the case of a contribution of capital gain property to a public charity, a taxpayer can only deduct
A dangerous email scam currently is circulating nationwide and targeting employers, including tax exempt entities, universities and schools, government and private-sector businesses. The scammer poses as an internal executive requesting employee Forms W-2 and Social Security Number information from company payroll or human resources departments. They may even send an initial “Hi, are you in today” message before the request.
The IRS has established a process that will allow employers and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam. See details at Form W-2/SSN Data Theft: Information for Businesses and Payroll Service Providers. If notified in time, the IRS can take steps to prevent employees from being victimized by identity thieves filing fraudulent returns in their names. There also is information about how to report receiving the scam email even if you did not fall victim.
As a reminder, tax professionals who experience
March 28, 2017
Authored by: Keith Kehrer
Every year, the IRS issues its “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams list, a compilation of tactics and devices used by scam artists against taxpayers. While the threat exists year-round, the IRS promulgates the list ahead of filing season. As susceptible taxpayers prepare their returns, they face a higher risk of being targeted.
Included in the 2017 “Dirty Dozen” list are fake charities; however, this is hardly a new occurrence. Fraudulent charities and organizations have a long-standing history of soliciting donations from unsuspecting individuals. In its 2017 report, the IRS notes three steps taxpayers should take in making charitable contributions.
One: Keep your information private. Individuals are advised against sharing their personal information, such as a Social Security Number or passwords, as this is commonly used in identity theft. The IRS reminds individuals that a legitimate charity will never ask for such information in soliciting or