Tax Updates September 1

IRS Waives Penalty Automatically

More than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who were subject to a penalty for underestimated
tax payments for the 2018 tax year will automatically receive the waiver, the IRS has
announced . No action is required for eligible taxpayers to receive this waiver.
Additionally, taxpayers who already paid the penalty will receive refunds.

New Associate Chief Counsel Selected

The Income Tax and Accounting (ITA) Division has a new associate chief counsel in the
person of John Moriarty . This division provides legal advisory services regarding
fundamental rules of the federal tax system, including many income tax and tax
accounting issues. IRS Chief Counsel Mike Desmond calls him “an outstanding choice
for this important assignment.”

Tax Security Remains a Priority

The IRS continues to help tax professionals secure client data and reduce tax fraud.
“Taxes-Security-Together” – Step 5 reminds tax professionals to report data breaches
and thefts immediately, and to create a data recovery plan. If the IRS is notified quickly,
they can help stop fraudulent returns from being filed. The data recovery plan should
include the steps of notifying the IRS and law enforcement, other experts and officials,
and clients. This is the final step in the Taxes-Security-Together Checklist.

IRS Warns of New Email Scam

The IRS is warning taxpayers to be aware of a new email phishing/malware scam which
attempts to impersonate the IRS. Subject lines may include “Automatic Income Tax
Reminder” or “Electronic Tax Return Reminder.” The IRS reiterates that they DO NOT
contact taxpayers over email (or text message, social media, etc), and anything
purporting to be the IRS via email is not to be trusted. Malware can give imposters
access to taxpayer’s computer, files, even keystroke history, eventually giving them PIN
numbers and passwords to sensitive accounts. More information can be found at the
IRS’ Phishing and Online Scams page.