Announcements & Upcoming Events:
IRS General Employment Tax Issues Webinar Now Available On Demand!
This webinar is now archived on the IRS Video Portal. It’s critical for business owners to understand the various types of employment-related taxes they may be required to deposit and report. Watch General Employment Tax Issues webinar on-demand. Learn about: worker classification, Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, fringe benefits, officer compensation, and backup withholding and related information return penalties. Read more facts about this topic on our website, www.IRS.gov.
To view other archived webinars, please visit the IRS Video Portal and click the All Webinars link at the bottom of the page.
Affordable Care Act 101 Webinars for Small Business
The SBA and Small Business Majority are holding weekly Affordable Care Act 101 webinars. During the presentation, small business owners can learn about the law and what it means for their company and employees. Visit the web page above for a complete schedule and to register. Webinars are also offered in Spanish. See the page above for dates and to register.
New Business Tax Workshops – Washington State Department of Revenue
Learn the basics of Washington State taxes. This free workshop will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities. Tax reporting classifications, deductions, sales tax collection, and recordkeeping requirements will be discussed. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions regarding taxes that apply specifically to your business. To find out when the next workshop will be held in your area, and to register, see the link above. Can’t attend a workshop in person?Watch an online workshop or tutorial.
IRS Updates & News Releases:
Did you know? One of the best ways to get information is by visiting the IRS Small Business Tax Center where you can learn everything from how to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online to how to best navigate an audit.
For Small Businesses: IRS Raises Tangible Property Expensing Threshold to $2,500; Simplifies Filing and Recordkeeping
The Internal Revenue Service has simplified the paperwork and recordkeeping requirements for small businesses by raising from $500 to $2,500 the safe harbor threshold for deducting certain capital items. The change affects businesses that do not maintain an applicable financial statement (audited financial statement). It applies to amounts spent to acquire, produce or improve tangible property that would normally qualify as a capital item.
The new $2,500 threshold applies to any such item substantiated by an invoice. As a result, small businesses will be able to immediately deduct many expenditures that would otherwise need to be spread over a period of years through annual depreciation deductions. The new $2,500 threshold takes effect starting with tax year 2016. In addition, the IRS will provide audit protection to eligible businesses by not challenging use of the new $2,500 threshold in tax years prior to 2016. For taxpayers with an applicable financial statement, the de minimis or small-dollar threshold remains $5,000.
Further details on this change can be found in Notice 2015-82,
New Early Interaction Initiative Will Help Employers Stay Current with Their Payroll Taxes
The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new initiative designed to more quickly identify employers who are falling behind on their payroll or employment taxes and then help them get caught up on their payment and reporting responsibilities. The Early Interaction Initiative is designed to help employers stay in compliance and avoid needless interest and penalty charges. The initiative will seek to identify employers who appear to be falling behind on their tax payments even before an employment tax return is filed. The IRS will offer helpful information and guidance through letters, automated phone messages, other communications and in some instances, a visit from an IRS revenue officer.
In the past, the first attempt by the IRS to contact an employer having payment difficulties often did not occur until much later in the process, after the employment return was filed and the employer’s unpaid tax obligation had already begun to spiral out of control. Employers identified under this initiative may receive a letter reminding them of their payroll tax responsibilities and asking that they contact the IRS to discuss the situation. In addition, some employers may receive automated phone messages from the IRS providing information and assistance. Where appropriate, an IRS revenue officer will also contact some of these employers at their place of business.
A variety of useful information is available to employers on the IRS website. Visit IRS.gov and type “employment taxes” in the search box. See the full article for several helpful links.
IRS Criminal Investigation Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report
The Internal Revenue Service announced the release of its IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) annual report, reflecting significant accomplishments and enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2015. Focusing on tax-related identity theft, money laundering, public corruption, cybercrime and terrorist financing, IRS CI initiated 3,853 cases in FY 2015.
Identity Theft Tax Tips Available; Special Series to Help Taxpayers Available Through January
The Internal Revenue Service, state revenue departments and the tax industry today released the first in a series of special tax tips designed to provide people critical information to help protect their tax and financial data. The first of the Security Awareness Tax Tip series provides seven ways people can protect their computers, which takes on added importance as people prepare for the holidays and the 2016 tax season approaches. A new tip will be available each Mondaythrough the start of the tax season in January.
IRS Upgrades, Enhances FATCA Registration System
The Internal Revenue Service has upgraded the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Online Registration System, enabling sponsoring entities to register their sponsored entities to obtain a global intermediary identification number. Launched in 2013, the system allows the IRS to identify foreign financial institutions and certain other entities with FATCA obligations. These entities generally report on foreign financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers under the terms of FATCA or pursuant to the provisions of specific intergovernmental agreements (IGAs). The FATCA Online Registration System User Guide and FAQs have been updated for these enhancements. Additional information on this system is available at www.irs.gov/fatca.
New IRS Guidance to Simplify ABLE Program Administration
The Internal Revenue Service today announced three changes to the proposed rules for new tax-favored Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts for eligible disabled individuals that will be included in the final regulations when issued. These changes will make it easier for states to offer and administer ABLE programs. Notice 2015-81, posted today on IRS.gov, fully describes these changes.
Visit this page for the latest IRS tax tips. Here is a sample of the tips available:
Health Care Tax Tips
Check out the tax tips for your health care questions on this page.
Health Care Law: Tax Considerations for Employers with Fewer than 50 Employees
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace helps small businesses provide health coverage to their employees. The SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). This includes non-profit organizations. You can enroll in SHOP any time of year – there’s no restricted enrollment period. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov.
The Affordable Care Act and Employers
Information on Key Tax Provisions Affecting Employers