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e-News for Tax Professionals

June 28, 2019

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Issue Number:  2019-22

Inside This Issue

1.     Register Now for the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums at National Harbor, Chicago

2.     IRS System Outage

3.     U.S.-French Agreement on Foreign Tax Credits

4.     Recent Office of Professional Responsibility Disciplinary Sanctions

5.     Department of Justice Judgments Against Tax Preparers

6.     Amended Tax Relief for Oklahoma and South Dakota Disaster Victims

7.     Two Census Tracts in Puerto Rico Certified as Qualified Opportunity Zones


1.  Register Now for the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums at National Harbor, Chicago


Register now to attend the 2019 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums at National Harbor outside Washington, D.C., and in Chicago. Advance electronic copies of the seminar materials are available online with your completed registration. For seminar materials, visit www.irstaxforum.com and use your user ID and password for access.

Tax professionals can earn up to 19 Continuing Education credits, hear directly from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and other senior IRS representatives, and network with peers in the industry.


2.  IRS System Outage


IRS Modernized e-File (MeF) will be upgrading systems over the summer and will be unavailable at certain times. The system shutdown will occur in two phases:

• 12:01 a.m. ET, July 18 to 12 p.m., July 22
• 12:01 a.m. ET, Aug. 3 to 12 p.m., Aug. 5

Plan accordingly as MeF submissions should not be made during the outage periods. A Quick Alert bulletin will be issued once MeF is available for submissions. 


3.  U.S.-French Agreement on Foreign Tax Credits


This year the United States and the French Republic memorialized through diplomatic communications an understanding that the French Contribution Sociale Generalisee (CSG) and Contribution au Remboursement de la Dette Sociale (CRDS) taxes are not social taxes covered by the Agreement on Social Security between the two countries. Accordingly, the IRS will not challenge foreign tax credits for CSG and CRDS payments on the basis that the Agreement on Social Security applies to those taxes.
 
Taxpayers have 10 years to file a claim for refund of U.S. tax with respect to a foreign tax credit. The 10-year period begins the day after the regular due date for filing the return (without extensions) for the year to which the foreign taxes relate. The IRS will update information on claiming these taxes as foreign tax credits soon.


4.  Recent Office of Professional Responsibility Disciplinary Sanctions


The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has released the names of 19 individuals recently disciplined. Published sanctions include censure, suspension or disbarment from practice before the Internal Revenue Service. The individuals are listed in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2019-22, dated May 28, 2019, pages 1262-1264.


5.  Department of Justice Judgments Against Tax Preparers


The Justice Department announced this week that a federal court in Orlando, Fla., recently barred a Florida tax return preparer and businesses from preparing federal tax returns. the government alleged that the defendants prepared tax returns making false or fraudulent claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Among the misconduct alleged, defendants reported phony business-related income and expenses, and job-related expenses, and claimed false education credits and charitable contributions.

Additionally, a Brooklyn tax preparer pleaded guilty to preparing fraudulent tax returns for clients and himself. The preparer pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding in the preparation of false income tax returns for clients, and one count of filing a false income tax return for himself and faces a statutory maximum of nine years in prison, as well as forfeiture and a fine. 

In the past decade, the Tax Division has obtained injunctions against hundreds of unscrupulous tax preparers. To review information about these cases, visit the Justice Department’s website.


6.  Amended Tax Relief for Oklahoma and South Dakota Disaster Victims


Storm victims in the Oklahoma counties of Alfalfa, Craig, Garfield, Kingfisher, Pawnee and Woods now qualify for tax relief following severe storms tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding beginning May 7. Additionally, storm victims in the South Dakota county of Turner qualify for tax relief following severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding that began on March 13.

Visit the IRS disaster relief page for all updates on tax relief for disaster victims.


7.  Two Census Tracts in Puerto Rico Certified as Qualified Opportunity Zones


Notice 2019-42 amplifies Notice 2018-48 by adding two additional census tracts located in Puerto Rico as Qualified Opportunity Zones. The notice provides that each population census tract that is a low-income community (LIC) in Puerto Rico will be certified and designated as a Qualified Opportunity Zone effective Dec. 22, 2017. Therefore, 100 percent of Puerto Rico’s LICs are deemed certified.


Updates on this and other TCJA provisions can be found on the Tax Reform page of IRS.gov.