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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

State acks: outstanding four or more days

Updated 4-23-14 at 10am
The top 10 states with outstanding acks from 4 or more days ago are:

517Missouri Individual Returns **notified vendors that they are still working thru last week's returns
74Wisconsin Individual Returns
43Mississippi Individual Returns
43North Carolina Individual Returns
23Maine Individual Returns
19District Of Columbia Individual Returns
13Tennessee Individual Returns
12South Carolina S Corporate Returns
11Minnesota Property Tax Returns
9Indiana Individual Returns

If you have any outstanding acks for returns sent prior to April 10th, please contact support so we can research those individually. For any returns sent after April 10th, no action is needed provided you have confirmed that we received the return using the Return Query tool on the Solution Center

Friday, April 18, 2014

IR-2014-55: Sign Up Now for the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums and Save Money


Sign Up Now for the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums and Save Money

Videos:
2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums
Foros Tributarios Nacionales del IRS para 2014
For this and other videos YouTube/IRSVideos

WASHINGTON — The IRS invites enrolled agents, certified public accountants, certified financial planners and other tax professionals to register for the 2014 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums.  Those who sign up by the pre-registration date will save $130 per attendee off the on-site price.

The IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are three-day events that provide tax professionals with the most up-to-date information on federal and state tax issues presented by experts from the IRS and its partner organizations through a variety of training seminars and workshops.

2014 Registration Fees, Dates and Locations:

The cost of enrollment for those who pre-register is $225 per person, a savings of $130 off the late or on-site registration price of $355.  Pre-registration ends two weeks prior to the start of each forum.

Location
Forum Dates
Pre-Registration Deadline for $225 rate
Chicago
July 1 – 3
June 17
San Diego
July 15 – 17
July 1
New Orleans
July 22 – 24
July 8
National Harbor, Md. (Washington, DC)
Aug. 19 – 21
Aug. 5
Orlando, Fla.
Aug. 26 – 28
Aug. 12

More than 40 separate seminars and workshops are being offered, and enrolled agents and certified public accountants may earn up to 18 Continuing Professional Education Credits in each location.  Additionally, these seminars may qualify for continuing education credit for certified financial planners, pending review and acceptance by the Certified Financial Planner Board.

A few days before the start of each forum, attendees will be able to download, print or to load onto their mobile devices slide presentations of seminars that they are interested in.

National Participating Association Members

Members of the participating associations below qualify for discounted enrollment costs if they meet the pre-registration deadlines above. Members who meet the early registration deadline would pay $215 and should contact their association directly for more information:

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)
  • National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP)
  • National Society of Accountants (NSA)
  • National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP)

Exhibit Hall

In addition to the seminars, the forums also feature a two-day expo with representatives from tax, financial, and business communities offering their products, services, and expertise designed with the tax professional in mind. 

In a survey of 2013 attendees, the forums received an overall 94% percent satisfaction rate. 2014 marks the 24th year that the IRS has hosted these forums to help educate and interact with the tax professional community.

Registration Information

For more information, or to register online, visit www.irstaxforum.com.

View Presentations from Past Forums

 
 
 

Best Practices: April 15th state ack processing


Updated 4-21-14 at 8:30am
Most state acks are caught up today from April 15th backlog.

The top states with outstanding acks back to April 15th are:
SC 968
MO 553 **notified vendors that they are still working thru last week's returns
NJ 245
TN corp 100
NJ 1040 extensions 86
MS 46
KY 45
DC 27
NC 25
TN Scorp 19
If you have any outstanding acks for returns sent prior to April 10th, please contact support so we can research those individually. For any returns sent after April 10th, no action is needed provided you have confirmed that we received the return using the Return Query tool on the Solution Center.




Updated 4-18-14 at 10am
IRS acks are now current.
States are processing slowly, but are not caught up from all the states yet. We expect to receive acks all through the weekend and even into Monday.

If you have any outstanding acks for returns sent prior to April 10th, please contact support so we can research those individually.  For any returns sent after April 10th, no action is needed provided you have confirmed that we received the return using the Return Query tool on the Solution Center.

We are researching 10 known states with outstanding acks greater than five days for the following:
DC, GA, NJ, NC, OK, SC, VT
and TN Corporate
NC and SC have about 300 outstanding return acks
The other states each have less than 15 outstanding return acks




Updated 4-17-14 at 10am
At last check, we had 75 outstanding federal acks from April 15th and 45 outstanding from April 16th

note: 2011 and 2012 prior year federal returns sent this week have not been ack'd yet

Updated 4-17-14 at 8:30am
Acks are still coming in slowly; at last check, we had approximately 40,000 outstanding IRS acks.









IRS is still within their published 48 hour ack processing times; we continue to access their site every few minutes to pull down available acks.


State acks will also be delayed, possibly even until Friday or Monday.

Also be aware that you could see acks processed out of order and this is to be expected. You could see state acks before federal acks. You could see acks for returns sent later in the day BEFORE you receive acks for returns sent earlier in the day.

NOTE: Use the Return Query tool on the Solution Center to view real-time status.

Updated 4-16-2014 at 7pm
Acks are still coming in slowly; at last check, we had approximately 150,000 outstanding IRS acks.
 
 










 
Updated 4-16-2014 at 2pm
We have received approximately 100,000 more IRS acks since 9:30am today.
 
 
Updated 4-16-2014 at 9:30am

Efiles sent by the midnight deadline April 15th were sent timely to the agencies.

Please be patient as the agencies struggle to deliver acks for this enormous last day volume.

Two-thirds of the federal acks for returns sent April 15th have been received and delivered to the EROs.
The remaining one-third of our federal acks will be delivered throughout the day today and possibly even tomorrow.  IRS is still well within their published ack processing times; we continue to access their site every few minutes to pull down available acks.

State acks will also be delayed, possibly even until Friday or Monday. 

Also be aware that you could see acks processed out of order and this is to be expected. You could see state acks before federal acks. You could see acks for returns sent later in the day BEFORE you receive acks for returns sent earlier in the day. 

NOTE: Use the Return Query tool on the Solution Center to view real-time status. 



Posted 4-15-2014 Don’t wait until the last minute - E-file throughout the day

Individual E-file Deadline is April 15th midnight.

Important: E-file often throughout the day and at least two hours before the deadline to better ensure your returns are processed by the deadline.  Remember that the earlier you efile, the sooner you will receive your acks. As the day progresses, IRS and state acks are expected to take much longer to return.


For those returns that you may not complete by the deadline, consider e-filing extensions now to avoid the last minute scramble. See Answer ID 957 on the TaxWise Solution Center

Thursday, April 17, 2014

State withdrawals may take several days

Minnesota released this statement about ACH bank withdrawals.
Other states will probably follow similar timelines





We have received inquiries from taxpayers questioning why their payment doesn’t show as coming out of their bank account. The taxpayers bank will generally show the payment coming out of their account 2-3 days after it was requested. However, taxpayers will receive credit for the payment as of the date they requested it.



Visit our website:
www.revenue.state.mn.us

IR-2014-54: As the Tax Season ends, IRS answers: Where’s My Refund?


As the Tax Season ends, IRS answers: Where’s My Refund?

WASHINGTON — With the close of the tax filing season, the vast majority have filed their income tax returns and received their income tax refunds. As of last Friday, the IRS had received almost 113 million tax returns and issued more than 85 million refunds, about 78 percent of all the refunds the agency will issue this year.

However, taxpayers who have not yet received their refunds can use the “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov or on the smartphone application IRS2Go 4.0 to find out about the status of their income tax refunds. As of April 11, 2014, Where’s My Refund? has been accessed almost 160 million times.

The Where’s My Refund? tool enables taxpayers to track the status of their refund. Initial information will normally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives the taxpayer’s e-filed return or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a paper return to the IRS. The system updates only once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check more often.

Taxpayers should have their Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount when accessing Where’s My Refund?

Taxpayers can find more information about refunds and other tax topics at IRS.gov.

[The filing season statistics table follows.]

–30–

2014 FILING SEASON STATISTICS
Cumulative statistics comparing 4/12/13 and 4/11/14
Individual Income Tax Returns:
2013
2014
% Change
Total Receipts
112,403,000
112,741,000
0.3
Total Processed
103,880,000
110,266,000
6.1
 
 
 
 
E-filing Receipts:
 
 
 
TOTAL          
99,787,000
101,289,000
1.5
Tax Professionals
62,163,000
61,956,000
-0.3
Self-prepared
37,624,000
39,332,000
4.5
 
 
 
 
Web Usage:
 
 
 
Visits to IRS.gov
278,307,884
251,540,768
-9.6
 
 
 
 
Total Refunds:
 
 
 
Number
84,581,000
85,262,000
0.8
Amount
$229.607
billion
$234.547
billion
2.2
Average refund
$2,715
$2,751
1.3
 
 
 
 
Direct Deposit Refunds:
 
 
 
Number
69,680,000
69,924,000
0.3
Amount
$202.188
Billion
$202.167
billion
-0.01
Average refund
$2,902
$2,891
-0.4

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Massachusetts and OH RITA extends state tax filing deadline

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue said Tuesday that because of delays with their electronic filing system they have extended the deadline for taxpayers to file their Massachusetts Personal Income Tax returns — or to file for an extension — until midnight on Friday

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/massachusetts_extends_state_ta.html


Ohio RITA
RITA will extend filing deadline for municipal taxes to Monday
The OH Regional Income Tax Agency extended Tuesday's filing deadline for municipal income taxes until next Monday.
http://www.cleveland.com/brecksville/index.ssf/2014/04/rita_will_extend_filing_deadli.html


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best Practices: efiling extensions

Important:  E-file often throughout the day and at least two hours before the deadline to ensure your returns are processed by the deadline.

For those returns that you may not complete by the deadline, consider e-filing extensions now to avoid the last minute scramble.


Refer to the Efile Calendar, on the Solution Center "Calendars and Charts" link for all deadlines
https://support.taxwise.com/support/CalendarsAndCharts.aspx



The following information was taken from Program Help. Please refer to these KB articles as well.

http://cchsfs-taxwise.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/957/kw/extension

http://cchsfs-taxwise.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1660/kw/extension/related/1

http://cchsfs-taxwise.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13408/kw/extension/related/1

http://cchsfs-taxwise.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14922/kw/state%20extension  (TaxWise supports the following state extensions: LA, MA, MD,  and NY. Some other states allow an automatic extension without a form...please check your state form instructions to determine whether or not a state form must be mailed)

Completing Form 4868 for Electronic Filing


Steps for Filing Form 4868 Without Direct Debit

  1. Complete the client’s return as accurately as possible.
  2. On the Main Information Sheet, select Form 4868 without direct debit in the PIN section. No PINs are required for taxpayers or ERO in this case.
  3. Open Form 4868 and select the check box at the top of the form labeled Check here if using this form. When you select the check box, TaxWise overrides and locks in lines 4 and 5, estimate of total tax liability and total payments.
  4. Enter the amount being paid, if any.
  5. Do one of the following:
  6. Run diagnostics from inside the return and click the Extension E-File button.
  7. With the return closed, click the Tools menu and select Make Extension e-files.



Later, when you are ready to e-file the completed return, select The income tax return check box in the PIN section of the Main Information Sheet. TaxWise clears the extension check box. Enter the required PIN information before creating the e-file for the return.

Steps for Paying a Balance Due with Direct Debit and using the Practitioner PIN Signature Method

  1. Complete the client’s return as accurately as possible.
  2. Open the Main Information Sheet and go to the PIN section near the bottom of the form.
  3. Enter your Practitioner PIN.
  4. Select the check box below your Practitioner PIN indicating you are using the Practitioner PIN filing method to file Form 4868 with direct debit.
  5. In the next section, select Form 4868 with direct debit.
  6. Complete the entries on the Main Information Sheet that become required when direct debit and the Practitioner PIN are used:
  7. Current date in the PIN section
  8. Taxpayer and spouse PINs - these PINs provide the electronic signature authorizing the direct debit.
  9. Open Form 4868 and select the check box at the top of the form labeled Check here if using this form.
  10. Enter the amount you are paying on line 7.
  11. Open the form called ACH EXT and enter the amount to be debited, bank Routing Transit Number, taxpayer account number, and date for the withdrawal to be made.
  12. When filing Form 4868 with direct debit and you are using the Practitioner PIN signature method, you must print Form 8878 and the taxpayer and/or spouse and ERO must sign it. You must keep this form on file for three years from the return due date or IRS received date, whichever is later. See IRS instructions for Form 8878 for more information.
  13. Do one of the following:
  14. Run diagnostics from inside the return and click the Extension E-File button.
  15. With the return closed, click the Tools menu and select Make Extension e-files.

Later, when you are ready to e-file the completed return, select The income tax return in the PIN section of Main Info. TaxWise clears the extension check box.

Steps for Paying a Balance Due with Direct Debit and using the Self-Select PIN Signature Method

  1. Complete the client's return as accurately and completely as possible.
  2. Open the Main Information Sheet and select Form 4868 with direct debit in the PIN section.
  3. Enter your ERO PIN, but do not select the check box just under your ERO PIN.
  4. Complete the entries on the Main Information Sheet that become required:
  5. Taxpayer and spouse date of birth, if not already filled in at top of Main Info
  6. Taxpayer and/or spouse 2012 AGI or 2012 PIN
  7. Current date in the PIN section
  8. Taxpayer and spouse PINs - these PINs provide the electronic signature authorizing the direct debit.
  9. Open Form 4868 and select the check box at the top of the form labeled Check here if using this form. Also enter the amount you are paying on line 7.
  10. Open the form called ACH EXT and enter the amount to be debited, bank Routing Transit Number, taxpayer account number, and date for the withdrawal to be made.
  11. If the taxpayer or spouse authorizes the ERO to enter his PIN instead of entering it himself, you must print Form 8878 and the taxpayer and/or spouse must sign it. You must keep this form on file for three years from the return due date or IRS received date, whichever is later. See IRS instructions for Form 8878 for more information.
  12. Do one of the following:
  13. Run diagnostics from inside the return and click the Extension E-File button.
  14. With the return closed, click the Tools menu and select Make Extension e-files.

Later, when you are ready to e-file the completed return, select The income tax return in the PIN section of Main Info. TaxWise clears the extension check box.


Completing Form 7004 for Electronic Filing

To e-file an extension using Form 7004, use the following steps:

  1. Open the return for which you wish to complete the extension and fill in the information regarding the company name.
  2. Select Yes to the Do you want to electronically file this return? question.
  3. Select either Form 7004 without direct debit or Form 7004 with direct debit for the What form(s) are you e-filing using PINs? question.
  4. Enter the information for the Signing officer for e-filing, Officer Information, and Preparer Information.
  5. Add Form 7004 to the return, and then select the check box at the top of the page to indicate if you are using this form.
  6. Run diagnostics and correct any errors you may receive.
  7. Click Extension E-File to create an e-file.
  8. Close the return, and then select Send Federal/State Returns to on the Communications menu.

Best Practice: Sending Unlinked State Efiles

(this is pulled from the Help Files)

Unlinked State Returns


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.

An example of an unlinked state return is when no Federal return is required to be filed, but the state return is required. You would be allowed to send this unlinked state return without having to send the Federal return
 

Linked vs. Unlinked State Returns

TaxWise supports both linked and unlinked returns for MeF state e-files.

Linked State Returns

Linked state returns (with a separate e-file created) cannot be submitted until the Federal return is accepted by IRS.
The linked state e-file is displayed in the Select Returns to File dialog as locked. It cannot be selected and transmitted until the IRS Acpt column of the Federal e-file shows True, meaning the IRS has accepted the return. For this reason, you might consider sending your state returns unlinked to meet the April 15th efile deadline.
If the Federal return is rejected by IRS, TaxWise will delete any associated state e-files that are waiting to be transmitted. Once you correct the return, be sure you recreate the state e-file in addition to the Federal e-file.

Unlinked State Returns

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.
An example of an unlinked state return is when no Federal return is required to be filed, but the state return is required. You would be allowed to send this unlinked state return without having to send the Federal return.
Unlinked state returns work the same, in theory, as state-only returns did.
For state MeF returns, TaxWise will default to linked. However, the ERO/Preparer may elect to send the state as unlinked by making a selection on the state form.

Note- KS and OK do not allow unlinked state efiles

Monday, April 14, 2014

IR-2014-53: IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam


IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam

WASHINGTON – As the 2014 filing season nears an end, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another strong warning for consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide. These scams won’t likely end with the filing season so the IRS urges everyone to remain on guard.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.

People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile - apparently to scare their potential victims.

Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov.  Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.  This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.

Federal Module Update ver 7 and States available only on Solution Center thru April 20


During the last weeks of tax season, we will continue to release state or other module updates as needed, but these updates tend to be very specific fixes for a specific situation.  To prevent all customers from having to automatically update during your busy time, we will make a short-term change to our updating procedure.

New updates will only be available on the Solution Center page and will not be automatically downloaded through the EFC.  This will allow you to download and process these updates at your convenience, instead of receiving them as previously scheduled or automatic updates, which may not be convenient for you during this time of year.

After April 20th, we will once again provide updates automatically through the EFC, as we have done all year.

The following modules have been posted this week to the Solution Center only:

Federal 1040 Individual verion 7 (see release notes below)
Business ND, MD, MN, and NY

Individual CA, HI, and CO


Fed 1040 Release Notes:

CALCULATIONS

     a) Social security worksheet - corrected an issue where the lump

        sum election would not be used if all social security income was

        from prior years.

     b) Schedule A, line 13 - corrected the application of the AGI

        limitation for married filing separate filers.

     c) Form 8959, line 19 - calculation has been changed to include

        amounts in Form W-2, box 12 that are coded "B" or "N".

     d) Form 8960 - corrected an issue that would stop Form 8960 from

        loading when income was offset by capital gain losses or Schedule E

        losses.

 

PRINTING

     a) Added revised laser forms for

        Schedule H, page 2 - Household Employment Taxes

        Form W7 - Application for Taxpayer ID Number

 

ELECTRONIC FILING

     a) Form W2, line 14 - added a diagnostic to require a description

        when an amount is entered.

     b) Form 1116 AMT, line 10 - corrected an issue causing the validation

        error "the ForeignTaxCrCarrybackOrOverAmt element is invalid".

     c) Form 8283, line 1d - corrected a MeF binding error for the VIN

        and the vehicle donation indicator.