Federal Tax News

The IRS has launched an “IRSNews” account on Instagram. According to the agency, more than 70% of adults between ages 18 and 24 are active on the social media site. “The IRS plans to use Instagram to better serve this segment of the population, sharing content on tax topics that affect all taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “This platform will help make people aware of important options they have during the upcoming filing season as well as other tax information they might not know.” To access IRSNews, go here: http://bit.ly/2B8QnYw.

The IRS has provided guidance on a new deferral option for certain stock-based compensation. The option was added by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It allows qualified employees of privately held corporations to defer paying income tax for up to 5 years on the value of qualified stock options and restricted stock units granted to them by employers. Generally, highly compensated officers and some others can’t make the election. Taxpayers can rely on guidance provided in Notice 2018-97 until proposed regulations are issued. Read the notice here: http://bit.ly/2UwcNLYT

The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) penalty can be assessed annually. A U.S. District Court has held that the monetary limit on the penalty for willfully failing to file a FBAR is an annual one. The maximum penalty for a willful violation is the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the balance due. The taxpayer, in this case, argued that the IRS assessed penalties that exceeded the $100,000 penalty cap. However, the court approved the IRS calculation. An FBAR is required of those who have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account. (Shinday, DC CA, 12/4/18)

Categories: February 2019, Monthly Bulletins
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