Revenooer Rants: Keep your hands on that passport
If you owe Uncle Sam some dough, that is.
Seems a recently enacted change to the Internal Revenue Code provides that if the IRS Commish certifies to the Secretary of State that you have a “seriously delinquent tax debt over $50,000,” Secretary Kerry can deny, revoke or limit the use of your passport! And the $50,000 threshold refers not only to the amount of tax due, but also includes interest and penalties! You will be considered “seriously delinquent” if a notice of lien or levy has been filed by the Revenooers.
It’s not enough, apparently, that the law already makes life difficult for those of you holding bank or brokerage accounts abroad — regardless of your payment status with IRS. Now, Congress has actually exercised its ability to restrict your travel rights!
As if that’s not enough for the tax cops in terms of recent reign-tightening on you, consider this: IRS has recently issued final regulations which authorize the disclosure of certain items of your tax return information to the Census Bureau! IRS has long had such a right — in connection with IRS complicity with Census for the purpose of, but only to the extent necessary in, the structuring of censuses and conducting related statistical activities authorized by law.
But now, the Secretary of Commerce has weighed in with IRS to provide even more info to enable him to reduce the number of in-person follow up visits required for non-responding housing units.
So, here comes IRS in authorizing disclosure of the following additional items of information (among others) on that Form 1098 you receive from your mortgage lender:
Payee/payer/employee taxpayer identification number and name (first, middle, last and suffix).
Street address, city, state and zip code.
And if you’re an “S” corporation or partnership, you may have noticed that the rate of IRS audits involving your entity of choice has recently increased.
IRS stats reveal that the rate of audits of these kinds of entities dramatically increased in 2015, while large “C” corporations (assets of $10 million and higher) enjoyed a decrease in their audit rates to the lowest level in ten years!
Last year, “S” corporations were audited at a rate of 11.11% higher than in 2014, and partnerships were subjected to IRS scrutiny at an 18.6% higher rate, while large corporate audits declined by 8.83%!
And finally, this week, take heart in the knowledge that if you’re a victim of identity theft with respect to your tax filings, you can now obtain copies of the phony returns filed with IRS by the identify thief.
In a recent break from prior practice, the Revenooers will now let you see (redacted) copies of fake returns ostensibly filed by you over the last six years. If this is you, check out 1.usa.gov/1IUOTMU/.
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER — This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn is a CPA, recently retired from the firm of Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at email@example.com.
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