Accounting Today - - Taxpractice - Mark A. Luscombe

TIGTA warns IRS of de­layed start to 2019 tax sea­son

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. — The high vol­ume of changes in the Tax Code, along with a short­ened cy­cle and missed dead­lines, are in­creas­ing the risk of a de­layed start to the 2019 tax-fil­ing sea­son, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port from the Trea­sury In­spec­tor Gen­eral for Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The IRS es­ti­mates that im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will re­quire cre­at­ing or re­vis­ing ap­prox­i­mately 450 forms, publi­ca­tions and in­struc­tions, and mod­i­fy­ing around 140 in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tems. The IRS in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy or­ga­ni­za­tion’s nor­mal dead­line for busi­ness units re­quest­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts and ser­vices for the next fil­ing sea­son is Jan. 31. Af­ter pas­sage of the TCJA, the IRS IT or­ga­ni­za­tion set up sev­eral in­terim dead­lines to fa­cil­i­tate timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law’s pro­vi­sions. How­ever, the busi­ness units missed the dead­lines for sub­mit­ting work re­quest no­ti­fi­ca­tions and busi­ness re­quire­ments, in­creas­ing the risk of a de­layed start to the 2019 fil­ing sea­son.

IRS ‘Fu­ture State’ is now just a 5-year plan

Wash­ing­ton, D.C. — In 2014, the IRS be­gan talk­ing up a new ini­tia­tive for in­ter­act­ing with tax­pay­ers on­line, call­ing it the “Fu­ture State” vi­sion, al­low­ing tax­pay­ers to com­mu­ni­cate with the IRS and deal with their taxes via the in­ter­net. The IRS is now phas­ing out the term, but in­cor­po­rat­ing some of the con­cepts in its five-year strate­gic plan, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port by the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice. As orig­i­nally con­cep­tu­al­ized, the Fu­ture State vi­sion would im­prove tax­payer ser­vice, en­force­ment and op­er­a­tions, while al­low­ing the IRS to adapt to its shrink­ing bud­get and lever­age its ag­ing tech­nol­ogy and bet­ter re­spond to the in­creas­ing com­plex­ity of the fed­eral tax sys­tem and chang­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of IRS ser­vices.

Tax­pay­ers have now had close to a year to eval­u­ate the new pro­vi­sions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How­ever, they have had much less time to look at pro­posed reg­u­la­tions in­ter­pret­ing those pro­vi­sions and are still await­ing some pro­posed reg­u­la­tions and any fi­nal reg­u­la­tions.

There have been sug­ges­tions that the 2019 tax fil­ing sea­son might be de­layed due to the in­abil­ity of the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice to process all of the changes in time. Even with a lot of ques­tions re­main­ing, tax­pay­ers should be think­ing about tak­ing steps prior to year-end to take ad­van­tage of the new pro­vi­sions in the law.

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