FY 2016 budget provisions would expand authority for regulation, correctable errors. Refund fraud, especially that caused by identity theft, remains “an ongoing battle” for the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen said in testimony about the 2015 tax season before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight. “For that reason, and in spite of our budget constraints, we have continued to focus as much of our resources as possible on improving our efforts against identity theft,” he said, improving filters used to detect suspicious returns as they come in at a rate of more than 2 million suspicious returns so far, which is over 500,000 more than last year at this time.
Budget cuts remain a concern. By CPA Trendlines Research No matter what you think of your 2015 tax season, the IRS thinks it had it worse. Commissioner John Koskinen testified about the season before the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, and said even opening on schedule was a “major accomplishment” because of additional preparation needed for the Affordable Care Act and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, as well as a system update reflecting December’s tax extender legislation.
Tax professionals kept 59 percent of the e-filing segment. When all the clicking and cursing was done, the IRS had received more than 132.2 million individual tax returns this year, up 0.8 percent from 2014. As of April 17, it had processed 126.1 million of them, up 0.4 percent from last year and a rate of 95.4 percent for the season’s receipts. RELATED: Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor
Identity theft also is part of the program. The IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division is conducting fewer investigations with reduced staff, but there still is plenty of activity in its Refund Fraud Program, which includes the Return Preparer Program and the Questionable Refund Program.
Investigations are down 20 percent. By CPA Trendlines Research Despite high-profile victories in the Credit Suisse and Bank Leumi cases, the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division is struggling with lower staffing levels and a continuing decline in the number of cases pursued.
After a bad year for many practitioners, watch for the consolidation and shakeout to come. By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines Research Before Busy Season 2015 had even begun, tax professionals were worrying most about the new rules and regulations they’d be facing, among them, the Affordable Care Act. Join the survey; get the results Indeed, so-called Obamacare loomed largely over the 2015 season, but practitioners found bigger problems with Form 3115, tougher competition and fee pressures. So much so, that a significant number of practitioners swore this tax season would be their last. And with merger season coming close on the heels of busy season, the profession should brace for a new wave of consolidation and shakeout, according to the […]
Nearly 100 million individual returns have been filed. With the tax season winding down, the IRS had received more than 99 million individual tax returns as of April 3, down 0.8 percent from 2014. More than 97.9 percent of those had been processed – 97 million, down 1.2 percent from last year. RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers
The CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer 2015: Join the survey. Get the results By CPA Trendlines Research As results pour in from the final days of the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer 2015, it’s clear that practitioners’ experiences range widely, from outright euphoria to bleak despair. See Comprehensive Coverage of Busy Season 2015 Here are a few the latest comments, verbatim… Better than last year. Volume is up significantly and good smoothness of preparation svc and knowledge of clients. We added a small tax practice in an adjoining town I didn’t have any clients with Obamacare non-compliance