IRS – People with Foreign Accounts Reminded of the Extension to File 2019 FBAR by Oct. 31, Dec. 31 If Impacted by Certain Natural Disasters

The Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. citizens, entities and resident aliens with a foreign bank or financial account that they have until Oct. 31, 2020, to file their 2019 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

The IRS coordinated the extension from the usual Oct. 15 deadline with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for this year only to filers for 2019 calendar year FBARs. FBAR filers impacted by the California Wildfires, the Iowa Derecho, Hurricane Laura, the Oregon Wildfires and Hurricane Sally continue to have until Dec. 31, 2020, to file their FBARs.

Income Ranges for Determining IRA Eligibility Change for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service announced cost‑of‑living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2021 in Notice 2020-79, posted today on IRS.gov.

Highlights of changes for 2021

The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs and to claim the Saver’s Credit all increased for 2021.

To Help Non-filers, IRS Sets Nov. 10 as ‘National EIP Registration Day’ – Register at IRS.gov for Economic Impact Payment

The Internal Revenue Service has set Nov. 10 as “National EIP Registration Day,” as the agency and partners across the country launch a final push to encourage everyone who doesn’t normally file a tax return to register to receive an Economic Impact Payment.

“National EIP Registration Day” will take place just a few days ahead of the extended Nov. 21 registration deadline. This special event will feature support from IRS partner groups inside and outside of the tax community, including those that work with low-income and underserved communities. These groups will help spread the word about the new Nov. 21 deadline and, in some cases, provide special support for people who still need to register for the payments.

IRS Fights Fraud Aimed at Charities – Joins International Awareness Week

The Internal Revenue Service is combating fraud by once again joining organizations around the world to highlight the third annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Oct. 19-23.

International Charity Fraud Awareness Week (ICFAW) brings together everyone involved in the charity and not-for-profit sectors to raise awareness of and share good practices for tackling fraud and cybercrime. This award-winning campaign is led by a coalition of over 40 charities, regulators, law enforcement organizations, representative and umbrella bodies, and other not-for-profit stakeholders.

People Experiencing Homelessness May Qualify for an Economic Impact Payment (COVID Tax Tip)

People experiencing homelessness may be eligible for a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment and $500 for each qualifying child under age 17. To get this payment, they must register with the IRS by Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

If someone’s income is below $12,200, or $24,400 if they’re married, they probably don’t file a tax return. That means the IRS may not have enough information to issue their payment.

IRS Extends Economic Impact Payment Deadline to Nov. 21 to Help Non-filers

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is now Nov. 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline.

The IRS urges people who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after Nov. 21.

IRS Free File Marks Record Increase – Available Through Oct. 15

The Internal Revenue Service announced that Free File, the IRS-private sector partnership that offers free tax preparation products, scored a record percentage increase in new users as taxpayers turned to free name-brand providers in 2020.

IRS Free File online products marked a 50% increase this year as more than 4.1 million taxpayers used one of the free online partner products. Last year, more than 2.7 million taxpayers used Free File.

Oct. 15 Deadline Nears for Taxpayers Who Requested Tax Filing Extensions – Taxpayers Should File Electronically and Request Direct Deposit for Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers who filed an extension that the Oct. 15 due date to file their 2019 tax return is near. Taxpayers should file their tax returns on or before the Oct. 15 deadline. For those who still owe, pay as soon as possible to reduce any penalties and interest.

Convenient electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available. Taxpayers and tax professionals should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.

IRS Provides Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Sally – Oct. 15 Deadline, Other Dates Extended to Jan. 15

Victims of Hurricane Sally that began on Sept. 14 now have until Jan. 15, 2021 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced on September 24, 2020.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently this includes Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties in Alabama, but taxpayers in localities qualifying for individual assistance added later to the disaster area, elsewhere in the state and in neighboring states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

IRS Highlights Employer Credits for Businesses During Small Business Week

During Small Business Week, the Internal Revenue Service reminds business owners and self-employed individuals of the employer credits available to them during COVID-19.

These credits were specially created to help small business owners during this unprecedented time. During Small Business Week, the IRS wants to ensure all eligible people know about the relief these credits provide.

IRS Reminds Taxpayers of the Home Office Deduction Rules During Small Business Week

During Small Business Week, Sept. 22-24, the Internal Revenue Service wants individuals to consider taking the home office deduction if they qualify. The benefit may allow taxpayers working from home to deduct certain expenses on their tax return.

The home office deduction is available to qualifying self-employed taxpayers, independent contractors and those working in the gig economy. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the business use of home deduction from 2018 through 2025 for employees. Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home.

IRS Highlights Online Resources During Small Business Week – Many Resources Available in Multiple Languages

In support of National Small Business Week – Sept. 22 to 24 – the Internal Revenue Service is emphasizing the many IRS online resources available to help small business owners and self-employed individuals needing to handle the tax aspects of their business.

Resources in multiple languages

The IRS has a long history of providing resources in Spanish and commonly provides products in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian, such as the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center.

IRS – Drought-stricken Farmers, Ranchers Have More Time to Replace Livestock

Farmers and ranchers who were forced to sell livestock due to drought may have an additional year to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

To qualify for relief, the farm or ranch must be in an applicable region. This is a county or other jurisdiction designated as eligible for federal assistance plus counties contiguous to it. Notice 2020-74, posted today on IRS.gov, lists applicable regions in 46 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.

IRS Releases State-by-state Breakdown of Nearly 9 Million Non-Filers Who Will Be Mailed Letters About Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service today released a state-by-state breakdown of the roughly nine million people receiving a special mailing this month encouraging them to see if they’re eligible to claim an Economic Impact Payment.

The IRS will mail the letters to people who typically aren’t required to file federal income tax returns but may qualify for an Economic Impact Payment. The letter urges recipients to visit the special Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool on IRS.gov before the Oct. 15 deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment.

IRS Reminds Taxpayers Who Filed an Extension That Oct. 15 Due Date Approaches – File and Pay Electronically, Request Direct Deposit for Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers who filed an extension that the Oct. 15 due date to file 2019 tax returns is approaching. Taxpayers should complete their tax returns and file on or before the Oct. 15 deadline.

Convenient electronic filing options, including IRS Free File, are still available. Taxpayers and tax professionals should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments.

IRS Highlights Higher Penalties for Some Tax Returns Filed After Sept. 14

The Internal Revenue Service urges individuals who owe taxes but have not yet filed for 2019 to act now to avoid larger penalties that, by law, start after Sept. 14.

The tax deadline was July 15 this year. Taxpayers who submitted an extension have until Oct. 15 to file and do not face the failure to file penalty if they file their taxes by that deadline. But taxpayers need to remember that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Any taxes they owed after the July 15 deadline are subject to the failure to pay penalty and interest.

Third Quarter Estimated Tax Payments Due Sept. 15

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the self-employed, investors, retirees and others with income not subject to withholding that third quarter estimated tax payments for 2020 are due Sept. 15.

Taxes are paid as income is received during the year through withholding from pay, pension or certain government payments such as Social Security or unemployment; and/or making quarterly estimated tax payments.

IRS Expands Tax Help Into More Languages – Form 1040 Offered in Spanish and More Services, Information Available in Multiple Languages

As part of a larger effort to reach underserved communities, the Internal Revenue Service is taking a number of aggressive steps to expand information and assistance available to taxpayers in additional languages, including providing the Form 1040 in Spanish for the first time.

In addition to being available in English and Spanish, the 2020 Form 1040 will also give taxpayers the opportunity to indicate whether they wish to be contacted in a language other than English. This is a new feature available for the first time this coming filing season.

IRS to Mail Special Letter to Estimated 9 Million Non-filers, Urging Them to Claim Economic Impact Payment by Oct. 15 at IRS.gov

Later this month, the Internal Revenue Service will start mailing letters to roughly 9 million Americans who typically don’t file federal income tax returns who may be eligible for, but have not registered to claim, an Economic Impact Payment.

The letters will urge recipients to register at IRS.gov by Oct. 15 in order to receive their payment by the end of the year. Individuals can receive up to $1,200, and married couples can receive up to $2,400. People with qualifying children under age 17 at the end of 2019 can get up to an additional $500 for each qualifying child.

IRS Provides Tax Relief for Victims of California Wildfires – Oct. 15 Deadline, Other Dates Extended to Dec. 15

Victims of the California wildfires that began Aug. 14 now have until Dec. 15, 2020 to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.

The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently this includes Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties in California, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

As Peak Hurricane Season Nears, IRS Reminds People to Prepare for Natural Disasters

The Internal Revenue Service reminds people to create or maintain an emergency preparedness plan. A well-thought-out plan is a critical component for surviving natural disasters. Taxpayers, whether individuals, organizations or businesses, should take time now to create or update their emergency plans.

A solid plan includes securing and duplicating essential documents, creating lists of property and knowing where to find information once a disaster has occurred.

IRS: Unemployment Compensation is Taxable – Have Tax Withheld Now and Avoid a Tax-time Surprise

With millions of Americans now receiving taxable unemployment compensation, many of them for the first time, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded people receiving unemployment compensation (beneficiaries) that they can have tax withheld from their benefits now to help avoid owing taxes on this income when they file their federal income tax return next year.

13.9 million Americans to receive IRS tax refund interest; Taxable payments to average $18

This week the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will send interest payments to about 13.9 million individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax returns and are receiving refunds.

The interest payments, averaging about $18, will be made to individual taxpayers who filed a 2019 return by this year’s July 15 deadline and either received a refund in the past three months or will receive a refund. Most interest payments will be issued separately from tax refunds.

Now Available: IRS Form 1040-X Electronic Filing

Marking a major milestone in tax administration, the Internal Revenue Service announced that taxpayers can now submit Form 1040-X electronically with commercial tax-filing software.

As IRS e-filing has grown during the past 30 years, the 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, has been one of the last major individual tax forms that needed to be paper filed. Today’s announcement follows years of effort by the IRS, and the enhancement allows taxpayers to quickly electronically correct previously filed tax returns while minimizing errors.

IRS Takes New Steps to Ensure People With Children Receive $500 Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service continues to look for ways to help people who were unable to provide their information in time to receive Economic Impact Payments for their children. As part of that effort, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it will reopen the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn’t receive $500 per child payments earlier this year.

Here’s What Taxpayers Need to Know About the Home Office Deduction

The home office deduction allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct certain home expenses on their tax return. With more people working from home than ever before, some taxpayers may be wondering if they can claim a home office deduction when they file their 2020 tax return next year.

Here are some things to help taxpayers understand the home office deduction and whether they can claim it:

Dirty Dozen Part 2: Thieves Are Constantly Coming Up With Ways to Scam Taxpayers

This is the second of two tips exploring the IRS Dirty Dozen tax scam list. Tax scams tend to rise during tax season or during times of crisis. Scam artists are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal money and information from taxpayers.

Taxpayers should watch out for these scams.

Scammers targeting individuals with limited English proficiency: IRS impersonators and other scammers are targeting groups with limited English proficiency. These scams are often threatening in nature. Phone scams pose a major threat to people with limited access to information, including individuals not entirely comfortable with the English language.

IRS Unveils ‘Dirty Dozen’ List of Tax Scams for 2020 – Americans Urged to Be Vigilant to These Threats During Pandemic and Aftermath

The Internal Revenue Service announced its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams with a special emphasis on aggressive and evolving schemes related to coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments.

This year, the Dirty Dozen focuses on scams that target taxpayers. The criminals behind these bogus schemes view everyone as potentially easy prey. The IRS urges everyone to be on guard all the time and look out for others in their lives.

IRS Advice for Those Who Missed the July 15 Deadline – File Now to Avoid Bigger Bill

For those who missed the July 15 tax deadline and didn’t request an extension, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers about some important tips, including filing electronically as soon as possible to reduce potential penalties.

Some taxpayers may have extra time to file and pay any taxes due without penalties and interest. These include:

‘Where’s My Refund?’ Tool on IRS.gov Takes Guesswork Out of When to Expect Refunds

The IRS reminds taxpayers that one of the best ways to check on their refund is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app. Updated once a day, usually overnight, this useful tool gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it is approved.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and the fastest way to get a refund is to use IRS e-file and direct deposit. Taxpayers should also know they can have their refunds divided into up to three separate accounts.

IRA Contributions Made by July 15 Count as 2019 Tax Deduction

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded people that contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) made by the postponed tax return due date of July 15, 2020, are deductible on a 2019 tax return.

Taxpayers can file their 2019 tax return now and claim the deduction before the contribution is actually made. But the contribution must then be made by the July 15 due date of the return, not including extensions.

Taxpayers Need to Resume Payments by July 15

The IRS today reminds taxpayers who took advantage of the People First Initiative tax relief and did not make previously owed tax payments between March 25 to July 15 that they need to restart their payments.

As the IRS continues to reopen its operations across the country, taxpayers who were in payment agreements and skipped any payments from March 25 and July 15 should start paying again to avoid penalties and possible default on their agreements.

IRS Resources Available in English, Spanish and Other Languages to Help Taxpayers Still Needing to File Their 2019 Tax Returns

As the tax-filing deadline fast approaches, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers with limited English proficiency and who have yet to file their 2019 tax returns that there are a variety of ways to get help and information in languages other than English.

“Providing additional materials in more languages to help taxpayers is a priority for the IRS,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “These resources are just a start for the IRS. In the months ahead, we will be working to add more material on IRS.gov. We also continue to work with our partners in the tax community to help translate and share more tax materials into different languages. For example, we are extremely proud to have material related to Economic Impact Payments translated into more than 30 different languages with the help of our partners.”

The IRS provides some tax information on its IRS.gov website in up to seven languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Haitian-Creole.

To get information in one of these languages, taxpayers can click on the language dropdown tab at the top of IRS.gov pages. The tab displays the current language selection and other languages a taxpayer can choose to view translated content. IRS.gov pages translated into one or more languages also have links to available translations on the right side of the page, just below the title.

For example, the Let Us Help You page highlights IRS resources for taxpayers in six languages. This page offers information on notices, payments and numerous other topics. A helpful page for people wanting to plan for the future is the Steps To Take Now To Get A Jump On Next Year’s Taxes page, available in seven languages.

Other resources for people with limited English proficiency on IRS.gov include:

Watch out for scams targeted to non-English speakers

IRS impersonators and other scammers target people with limited access to information, including individuals not entirely comfortable with the English language. These scams are often threatening in nature and pose a major threat to these communities.

These scams frequently take the form of a “robocall” (a text-to-speech recorded message with instructions for returning the call), but in some cases may be made by an actual person. These con artists may have some personal data, including the taxpayer’s address, the last four digits of their Social Security number, among other things – making the calls seem more legitimate.

One common IRS impersonation scam involves the taxpayer receiving a telephone call threatening jail time, deportation or revocation of a driver’s license from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Taxpayers who are recent immigrants to the United States often are the most vulnerable and should ignore these threats and not engage the scammers.

People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information.

Information on how to Report Phishing and Online Scams is available in six languages.

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IRS Unclaimed Refunds of $1.5 Billion Waiting for Tax Year 2016 – Taxpayers Face July 15 Deadline (IR-2020-135)

Unclaimed income tax refunds worth more than $1.5 billion await an estimated 1.4 million individual taxpayers who did not file a 2016 federal income tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“The IRS wants to help taxpayers who are owed refunds but haven’t filed their 2016 tax returns yet,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Time is quickly running out for these taxpayers. There’s only a three-year window to claim these refunds, and the window closes on July 15. To claim the refund, a return for tax year 2016 must be filed by July 15, 2020.”

Relief for Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 Who Take Distributions or Loans from Retirement Plans (IR-2020-124)

The Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2020-50 (PDF) to help retirement plan participants affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus take advantage of the CARES Act provisions providing enhanced access to plan distributions and plan loans.  This includes expanding the categories of individuals eligible for these types of distributions and loans (referred to as “qualified individuals”) and providing helpful guidance and examples on how qualified individuals will reflect the tax treatment of these distributions and loans on their federal income tax filings.

IRS Reminder: File Now, Choose Direct Deposit or Schedule Tax Payments Electronically Before the July 15 Deadline (IR-2020-118)

As the July 15 tax-filing deadline − postponed from April 15 − draws near, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding all taxpayers who have yet to file their 2019 federal tax return to file electronically now, choose direct deposit for their refund, or pay any tax owed electronically.

Taxpayers who owe for tax year 2019 or need to pay 2020 estimated taxes originally due for the first quarter on April 15 or the second quarter on June 15 can schedule an electronic payment up to the July 15 due date.

IRS Warns Against COVID-19 Fraud – Other Financial Schemes (IR-2020-115)

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers to guard against tax fraud and other related financial scams related to COVID-19.

In the last few months, the IRS Criminal Investigation division (CI) has seen a variety of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) scams and other financial schemes looking to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers. CI continues to work with law enforcement agencies domestically and abroad to educate taxpayers about these scams and investigate the criminals perpetrating them during this challenging time.