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Friday, September 19, 2014

AL business reject AL65-124 corrected with AL ver 11

We released an update to the Alabama business module yesterday (Sept 19) to fix the issue causing efile reject AL65-124

Download this module update, create a new efile, and send. If you received this reject or any other business return reject Sept 15th, you have a 10 day period to correct and resend any rejects for the return to be considered timely filed.

Business Alabama v11 release notes:

CALCULATIONS
   a) No changes.

 FORMS
   a) No changes
   
PRINTING
   a) Corrected 2D Barcode that was incorrectly outputting the zipcode for Form AL BPT-IN
       in the C Corp, S Corp & Partnership Packages

ELECTRONIC FILING
    a) Corrected calculation that was causing reject code AL65-124
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GA acks delayed

Georgia Dept of Revenue has notified software vendors that acks are delayed
Specifically, corporate and partnership return acks are mentioned as delayed


Friday, September 12, 2014

Upcoming e-file deadlines and Important e-Filing Tips

Upcoming e-File Deadlines
September 15
E-file deadline for returns with Forms 1120, 1120S, 1041 orForm 1065
Note:
 You have a 10 day perfection period to retransmit rejected timely filed business returns. 

October 15
E-file deadline for 1040 returns on extension

October 20
Last day to re-transmit timely filed rejected returns

View the e-File Calendar
NOTE: Be sure to track your e-filed returns and see the exact field causing the IRS reject. Click here for instructions
Important e-Filing Tips
Run diagnostics to view diagnostic errors AND validation errors. Diagnostic and validation errors are two separate notifications that must be cleared to create the e-file. Learn more about these errors

Pick up your e-File acknowledgements (acks). Be sure to check for acks after critical deadlines. This will allow you to view and fix any rejects within the allotted time frame. 

You can also schedule automatic ack retrieval through your TaxWise program. The Schedule Ack Retrieval feature allows TaxWise to automatically connect to the Electronic Filing Center and pick up any available acknowledgements. To learn more about this option, access Help in the TaxWise program.

Consider unlinking state returns from federal returns before transmitting the e-file. Linked state returns (with a separate e-file created) cannot be submitted until the federal return is accepted by the IRS, but unlinked state returns can be submitted at any time. The federal return is not required to be accepted before the state return is submitted for processing. For state MeF returns, TaxWise will default to linked. However, you may elect to send the state as unlinked by making a selection on the state form
Extended and Late Returns
Remember to keep TaxWise up-to-date as you prepare and e-file extended and late returns. You can easily check for updates using Get Program Updatesand Get Module Updates on the Communications menu. Or download updates from theTaxWise Solution Center.


Monday, September 8, 2014

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Sep. 8, 2014)

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Sep. 8, 2014)

When the House returns to Washington on September 8, they are expected to vote on an omnibus jobs package to the Senate that includes all the legislation previously passed by the House. The package is not expected to pass the Senate, however. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on September 5 released a 224-page report summarizing the subcommittee’s bipartisan investigation into problems with how the IRS has processed applications for tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(4). The IRS announced that the interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning October 1, 2014, will remain at 3 percent for overpayments (2 percent in the case of a corporation), 3 percent for underpayments and 5 percent for large corporate underpayments.

Congress

The House returns to Washington on September 8 with a busy legislative agenda set by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., but little chance that any of the GOP priorities will make it past Senate Democrats, reach President Obama’s desk and be signed into law (TAXDAY, 2014/09/08, C.1). One measure that is likely to win approval, however, is a continuing resolution to fund government operations into the new fiscal year. According to a scheduling memo from McCarthy released on September 4, the GOP plans to send an omnibus jobs package to the Senate that includes all the legislation previously passed by the House. The jobs legislation includes the American Research and Competitiveness Bill (HR 4438), the America's Small Business Tax Relief Bill (HR 4457), the S Corporation Permanent Tax Relief Bill (HR 4453), and the permanent bonus depreciation bill (HR 4718). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has blocked consideration of those bills, in part, because the revenue costs of the legislation are not offset.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on September 5 released a 224-page report summarizing the subcommittee’s bipartisan investigation into problems with how the IRS has processed applications for tax-exempt status under Code Sec. 501(c)(4) (TAXDAY, 2014/09/08, C.2). The subcommittee also released over 1,700 pages of documents from the IRS and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), including emails, correspondence, memoranda, charts, handwritten notes, reports, and analyses.

Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who oversee health policy, released a joint report on September 3 that they say dispels eight major claims from the Obama administration (TAXDAY, 2014/09/04, C.2). The joint report from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Senate Finance Committee claims that, in promoting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148), the Obama administration made numerous claims about how the legislation would change the health insurance marketplace for the better and improve affordability. The report states that, instead of increasing access to affordable insurance, many enrollees are coping with higher premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Moreover, instead of allowing policyholders to keep their doctors, provisions in the law have led insurance companies to craft narrower networks that sometimes exclude key hospitals and providers. The authors also said that, instead of boosting the economy and helping to create jobs, the law’s taxes and mandates have been a deterrent to businesses expanding or hiring new employees, further hindering a fragile economic recovery.

The Senate Finance Committee plans to examine the tax code in relation to pension and retirement rules, Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a memo to reporters on September 2 (TAXDAY, 2014/09/04, C.1). A hearing on the subject is expected later in September. As the Finance Committee continues to work on comprehensive tax reform this fall, Wyden said it would take a close look at pension and retirement rules in the tax code to make improvements wherever they are needed. The committee will hold hearings on retirement security towards the end of September, according to Wyden. He also noted that, exactly 40 years ago, President Ford signed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) into law.

Treasury

Return Preparer Complaint Process. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has reported that the IRS’s tax return preparer complaint process was not timely, accurately or consistently processed (Ref. No.: 2014-40-056; TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, T.1). TIGTA’s audit report identified a number of complaints that were not entered into inventory until 34 to 64 days after their receipt.

Treasury Secretary on Loopholes. In celebration of the Treasury Department’s 225th anniversary, Secretary Jack Lew on September 4 restated the mission of the department to provide economic security for working-class Americans (TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, T.2). He said in particular that the Treasury would continue its work to close wasteful tax loopholes that reward American companies for shipping jobs overseas.

IRS

Action on Decision. The IRS has announced that it will not acquiesce to the Tax Court’s decision in J.R. Dixon, 141 TC —No. 3, Dec. 59,628 (TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, I.1). The Tax Court concluded that the taxpayers could make payments to their corporation to cover employment taxes owed by the corporation, and that the corporation could designate the amounts toward the taxpayers’ withheld income taxes and their individual income tax liabilities.

Domestic Investment Yields. The IRS has provided domestic asset/liability percentages and domestic investment yields needed by foreign life insurance companies and foreign property and liability insurance companies to compute their minimum effectively connected net investment income under Code Sec. 842(b) for tax years beginning after December 31, 2012 (Rev. Proc. 2014-53; TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, I.2).

IRS Officials Discuss Retirement Plan Corrections. During a September 4 IRS webinar, IRS officials reviewed current retirement plan correction programs within the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, including procedures and principles (TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, I.4). Topics covered included Rev. Proc. 2013-12, plan documentation tips, and submission of applications to the Voluntary Correction Program.

Over- and Underpayment Interest Rates. The IRS has announced that the interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning October 1, 2014, will remain at 3 percent for overpayments (2 percent in the case of a corporation), 3 percent for underpayments and 5 percent for large corporate underpayments (IR-2014-86, Rev. Rul. 2014-23; TAXDAY, 2014/09/04, I.1).

SOI Summer Bulletin. The Statistics of Income (SOI) Bulletin for summer 2014 is now available and features the most recent data available from various tax and information returns filed by U.S. taxpayers (IR-2014-85; TAXDAY, 2014/09/03, I.1). Articles on foreign-controlled domestic corporations and on municipal bonds are included in this issue.

Miscellaneous

Appeals Court Revisits PPACA Ruling. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on September 4 agreed to reexamine its earlier ruling (Halbig v. Burwell, CA-D.C., 2014-2 ustc ¶50,366; TAXDAY, 2014/07/23, J.4) striking down subsidies for policies issued through the federal health exchange created by the PPACA (TAXDAY, 2014/09/05, J.3). A split three-judge panel of the court ruled in July against the government on the issue of whether the health insurance premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B can be provided to individuals who obtain individual coverage on the federal exchange. Arguments are scheduled for December 17. The decision vacates the earlier ruling and staves off a possible hearing by the Supreme Court. In Halbig, a two-judge majority on the three-judge panel found that the statutory language was not ambiguous. On the same day in July, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit took the opposite position in King v. Burwell, CA-4, 2014-2 ustc ¶50,367, finding that the meaning of the PPACA language was ambiguous. In King, the Fourth Circuit deferred to the IRS’s interpretation, which the court believed was in keeping with the overall structure of the PPACA, and upheld Reg. §1.36B-2(a)(1).

PPACA Costs Examined. Thirty-five percent of manufacturers and 20 percent of service firms in New York reported that the PPACA increased their costs significantly in 2014, according to the New York Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey and Business Leaders Survey. They indicated that their health care costs have gone up in 2014, with manufacturers reporting a median 10-percent increase and service firms a 9-percent increase. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve, in its Business Outlook Survey for August, found a similar impact on the bottom line. Eighteen percent of manufacturers increased the number of workers who are part-time due to the PPACA. In addition, 13 percent of firms increased the amount of work that they outsource to other firms in response to the PPACA. Close to 29 percent of firms increased the prices that they charge to consumers due to the PPACA.

Inversions Report. Congressional and administrative proposals that fail to address the underlying incentives driving inversions put 42,000 U.S. jobs at risk of going overseas, according to new research from the American Action Forum (AAF), a center-right think tank. The AAF study, released on September 4, also found that the federal tax code risks sending $988 billion in U.S.-based capital overseas. Placing a value on the potential equity flight is uncertain, according to the study’s author, but based on estimates, roughly 15 percent, or $988 billion in U.S.-based capital, is at risk of moving overseas. The largest American firms have nearly 299,000 headquarters employees, many of which would be at risk for having their positions relocated abroad. If roughly 15 percent of U.S.-based market capital is at risk, it suggests a proportional overseas relocation of 42,000 U.S. jobs, the study determined.

By Jeff Carlson, Stephen K. Cooper and Jennifer Cordaro, CCH News Staff

IRS accepting efiles normally

(Posted 9-8-2014) IRS transmissions are running normally this morning. Any efiles that we held over the weekend have been sent to the agencies this morning.



(posted 9-5-2014) IRS Extended Maintenance Window this weekend

IRS issued a Quick Alert for their extended maintenance this weekend.
You may continue sending efiles to CCH SFS this weekend; and we will hold the efiles to send them all Monday morning.


Subject: QuickAlerts - Technical - Extended Maintenance Window for the Modernized e-File (MeF) Testing and Production Environments

The MeF Sunday maintenance build window is being extended on Sunday, September 7, 2014. The system will be unavailable from 1:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Eastern. The build will deploy critical system updates. This extended window impacts the MeF Testing and Production Environments.
Thank you in advance for refraining from accessing the MeF Testing and Production Systems during this period.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C. (Sept. 2, 2014)

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C. (Sept. 2, 2014)

During the week of August 25, the CBO released its updated budget and economic outlook, the House Oversight Committee continued to call for a special counsel to investigate the IRS, and another possible corporate inversion came to light. Also during the week, the IRS issued a warning regarding a pervasive phone scam, as well as debt straddle rules, the new priority guidance plan, REIT qualification guidance and other pieces of guidance.

If federal tax laws and federal spending remain unchanged in the coming decade, then revenues will not keep up with spending due to health and retirement programs for the aged, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in its updated budget and economic outlook (TAXDAY, 2014/08/28, C.1). According to the report released by CBO director Douglas Elmendorf on August 27, the fiscal year 2014 deficit will amount to $506 billion, which is approximately $170 billion less than the 2013 deficit.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce, called on the Obama administration to focus on Defense Department contractors and employees who have unpaid federal tax liabilities (TAXDAY, 2014/08/28, C.2). Tester said these individuals who hold high security clearances are a threat to national security because of their unpaid tax debts.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., faulted that the Justice Department’s (DOJ) investigation into IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, and called for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Service (TAXDAY, 2014/08/27, C.1).

House Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., said the proposed merger between Burger King and Canadian food chain Tim Hortons Inc., highlights the need for Congress to act on legislation to diminish the incentives for corporate inversions (TAXDAY, 2014/08/27, C.2). Burger King executives defended the company’s planned merger, telling reporters on August 26 that the companies are seeking to expand international growth, not cut taxes through a corporate inversion.

Treasury

FATCA IGA. The United States has reached a new Model 1 intergovernmental agreement with the Republic of Lithuania to implement the provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) (TAXDAY, 2014/08/28, T.1). The agreement addresses the parties’ obligations to obtain and exchange information regarding reportable accounts, the time and manner for exchanging information, the application of FATCA to financial institutions in Lithuania, collaboration on compliance and enforcement, and consistency in the application of FATCA to partner jurisdictions.

TIGTA Report. The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported that improvements are needed to the IRS External Leads Program, which receives leads from partner organizations about questionable tax refunds, to allow the IRS to more timely verify leads with their external partners (Ref. No.: 2014-40-057; TAXDAY, 2014/08/27, T.2). TIGTA recommended that the IRS establish more consistent time frames to verify leads based on analysis of current and historical lead data.

IRS

Phone Scam Tips. The IRS has issued a consumer alert providing taxpayers with tips to protect themselves from telephone scam artists calling and pretending to be with the IRS (IR-2014-84; TAXDAY, 2014/08/29, I.1).

Draft PPACA Forms. The IRS has released draft instructions for Forms 1095-A, 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C that will be used for reporting medical care coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (TAXDAY, 2014/08/29, I.4). Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, is used to report information about family members who enroll in a qualified health plan through the Marketplace. Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, is used by employers with 50 or more full-time employees to report the information required under Code SecS. 6055 and 6056 about offers of health care coverage and enrollment in health care coverage for their employees. Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, must be used to report to the IRS summary information for each employer and to transmit Forms 1095-C to the IRS.

Debt Straddle Rules. Final regulations were issued under Code Sec. 1092, relating to the application of the straddle rules to a debt instrument (T.D. 9691; TAXDAY, 2014/08/27, I.1). The final regulations clarify that a taxpayer’s obligation under a debt instrument can be a position in actively traded personal property that is part of a straddle.

Priority Guidance Plan. The IRS has released the 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan. The plan contains 317 projects that are priorities for allocation of IRS resources offices during the 12-month period from July 2014 through June 2015 (TAXDAY, 2014/08/27, I.4). The IRS has also released its fourth-quarter update to the 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan, which includes eight additional projects.

Highway Use Tax. Owners of heavy highway vehicles were reminded that the federal highway use tax return is due on September 2, 2014 (IR-2014-82; TAXDAY, 2014/08/25, I.2). The September 2 due date generally applies to Form 2290 and the accompanying tax payment for the tax year that begins on July 1, 2014, and ends on June 30, 2015.

REIT Qualification Guidance. The IRS has provided guidance regarding aspects of a taxpayer’s qualification as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the context of transactions involving debt secured by real estate the fair market value of which has declined (Rev. Proc. 2014-51; TAXDAY, 2014/08/25, I.4).

Contraceptive Coverage Guidance. The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL), and Treasury have responded to two recent Supreme Court rulings by issuing interim final and identical proposed regulations allowing an alternative to the use of EBSA Form 700 (T.D. 9690; NPRM REG-129507-14; NPRM REG-129786-14; TAXDAY, 2014/08/25, I.5). They are also issuing proposed regulations that would extend the current religious employer accommodation for nonprofits to certain closely held for-profit entities.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sorting through the Affordable Care Act, including the Health Care Reform Library and New ACA Webinars

Sorting through the Affordable Care Act

Your clients are relying on you to answer questions like:
•  Do I qualify for the new Premium Tax Credit?
•  Am I exempt?
•  Am I meeting the requirements of the new law?
 
Be your clients' hero with our Health Care Reform Library. You'll have access to a one-stop, comprehensive solution with explanations, analysis, client letters, decision trees, and other practice aids. Learn More
 
NEW ACA Webinar dates added

Be prepared to advise your clients on the myriad of compliance issues under this complex law.

Two new webinars have been added to our upcoming schedule:
Affordable Care Act: Understanding the Individual and Employer Mandates
Friday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern
Learn More
Affordable Care Act: Understanding and Avoiding the New Tax Penalties
Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern
Learn More
Don't pay full price
Browse the online catalog of CCH books including the U.S. Master Tax Guide, 2015 here
Wolters Kluwer, CCH Tax Data Chosen by IRS 
The data provided includes information from the powerfulIntelliConnect tax and accounting research platform. Read More

$100 Off CAS w/Payroll - 5 days only! Use Promo 157
Master workflow efficiency and maintain control of your clients' data. Learn More




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Labor Day Holiday Closings and Transmission Schedules

We wish you an enjoyable Labor Day holiday! All CCH Small Firm Services offices will be closed Monday, September 1, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Most agencies are not processing efiles over the holiday weekend. Therefore, CCH SFS will stop transmissions to all agencies Friday August 29th at 6pm. EROs may continue sending efiles to us, but we will hold those until transmissions resume Tuesday morning, September 2nd. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Get your FREE "Understanding the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit Guide" here.

Get your FREE Understanding the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit Guide

click  here.

Don't let clients be surprised by ACA penalties. With our new and authoritative ACA resources, you will be ready to answer your clients' questions and ensure compliance.

Be sure to contact your Account Manager at 800-495-4626 for more information about the ACA resources available         

Monday, August 25, 2014

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Aug. 25, 2014)

CCH Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.,(Aug. 25, 2014)

It was a quiet week on Capitol Hill as the August congressional recess continues, although a group of senators pointed out the need for a clear overview of federal tax incentives targeted at higher education and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan expressed his opinion that the tax deduction for charitable contributions should not be changed. The IRS issued guidance in several areas, including the low-income housing credit, exempt facility bonds, Puerto Rico pension plans and the September AFRs.

Congress

The tax deductibility of charitable donations made by affluent Americans should not be changed, according to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, C.1). Speaking on the CNBC program "Squawk Box" on August 20, Ryan stated that the charitable donation deduction should be reformed in order to entice more people to give before the April 15th tax filing deadline.

College students and their families need a clear overview of federal tax incentives targeted at higher education, a group of 12 U.S. senators said in an August 18 letter to the Departments of Treasury and Education (TAXDAY, 2014/08/20, C.1). In the effort led by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the senators asked that the Obama administration create a simple-to-understand guide to education tax benefits and that students be informed of their estimated tax benefits when filing out federal student aid forms.

Treasury

U.S.-Sweden FATCA Agreement. The United States has reached a new Model 1 type intergovernmental agreement with Sweden to implement the provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) (TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, T.1). The agreement addresses the parties’ obligations to obtain and exchange information regarding reportable accounts, the time and manner for exchanging information, the application of FATCA to financial institutions in Sweden, collaboration on compliance and enforcement, and consistency in the application of FATCA to partner jurisdictions.

Medical Device Tax. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported that the IRS needs to improve the accurate reporting and payment of the 2.3-percent medical device excise tax (Ref. No.: 2014-43-043; TAXDAY, 2014/08/20, T.1). As of January 1, 2013, manufacturers, producers and importers became responsible for the collection of the tax and filing of Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. TIGTA found that the number of Forms 720 filed reporting the medical device excise tax and the revenue reported were lower than the Joint Committee on Taxation had originally estimated.

Corporate Inversions. Do not expect a quick solution to the growing problem of corporate inversions, a spokesman for the Treasury Department said on August 18 (TAXDAY, 2014/08/19, T.1). "The issues are complex, so the work will not be done in a week or two. Nonetheless, the secretary is hoping to have recommendations from his team in the near future," stated the spokesman.

IRS

Statistics of Income. The IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) Division announced the availability of Statistics of Income—2012, Individual Income Tax Returns Complete Report (Publication 1304) (IR-2014-83; TAXDAY, 2014/08/25, I.3). The report discusses changes in tax law for 2012 and includes many statistical tables, broken down and grouped by type of returns filed, sources of income, exemptions and itemized deductions, and tax computation.

IMRS. Practitioners and industry organizations representing small business and self-employed (SBSE) taxpayers can report systemic and practice issues to the issue management resolution system (IMRS) maintained by the IRS Stakeholder Liaison (SL) (TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.3). SL official Yolanda Ruiz provided an update on August 21 on the IMRS, including practical tips and updates on hot topics.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The IRS has revised guidance that provides temporary relief for agencies and owners from various requirements relating to the low-income housing credit for projects located in major disaster areas, i.e., areas for which a major disaster has been declared by the president and designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as eligible for assistance (Rev. Proc. 2014-49; TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.4). The updated guidance also provides emergency housing relief for individuals who are displaced by a major disaster from their principal residences in certain major disaster areas.

Exempt Facility Bonds. A new revenue procedure is intended to facilitate emergency housing relief after major disasters by providing temporary relief from certain exempt facility bond requirements for qualified residential rental projects (Rev. Proc. 2014-50; TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.5). The procedure authorizes, but does not require, bond project operators to provide emergency housing to displaced individuals during a temporary housing period.

Puerto Rico Pension Plans. The IRS ruled that trusts of pension plans qualified only under the Puerto Rico tax code may participate in 81-100 group trusts (Rev. Rul. 2014-24; TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.6). The ruling also clarifies that assets held by certain separate accounts maintained by insurance companies may be invested in 81-100 group trusts and provides limited transition relief.

Fraternal Beneficiary Societies. As part of the overall IRS outreach to practitioners, IRS tax law specialists discussed the basics of two types of tax-exempt "fraternal" organizations during an August 21, 2014, phone forum (TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.9).

Budget Cuts. The IRS has been operating under tight budgetary constraints in recent years, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told practitioners (TAXDAY, 2014/08/22, I.10). The Service has also been affected by sequestration.

September 2014 AFRs. The IRS has prescribed various rates for federal income tax purposes for September 2014 (Rev. Rul. 2014-22; TAXDAY, 2014/08/21, I.1).

Whistleblower Memorandum. The Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, John M. Dalrymple, has issued a memorandum on the review of the IRS whistleblower program (TAXDAY, 2014/08/21, I.3). The object of the review was to improve the timeliness and quality of decisions as the IRS evaluates and acts on whistleblower information.

Reproduction/Substitute Returns. The IRS has provided the specifications for the private printing of red-ink substitutes for the 2014 revisions of information returns, preparing acceptable substitutes of the official forms, and using official or acceptable substitute forms to furnish information to recipients (Rev. Proc. 2014-44; TAXDAY, 2014/08/19, I.1). The procedures cover Forms 1096, 1097-BTC, 1098 series, 1099 series, 3921, 3922, 5498 series, W-2G and 1042-S.

Farm Special Use Value. A listing of the average annual effective interest rates on new loans under the Farm Credit System has been issued by the IRS (Rev. Rul. 2014-21; TAXDAY, 2014/08/18, I.1). The rates are used in computing the special use value of farm real property for which an election is made under Code Sec. 2032A.

By Stephen K. Cooper and Jennifer Cordaro, CCH News Staff