Inside these posts: IRS

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IRS awards $4.5M to whistleblower

An in-house accountant who raised a red flag about a tax lapse that his employer then ignored, leading him to tip off the IRS, has received $4.5 million in the first IRS whistleblower award. The accountant’s tip netted the IRS $20 million in taxes and interest from the errant financial-services firm. Get the full story »

Most tax audits done by mail

Of the more than 1.6 million Americans who were slapped with audits last year, 78 percent dealt with correspondence audits, while only 22 percent were asked to come in for an in-person examination. Get the full story »

IRS targets millionaires in audits

Audits of millionaires, especially those making more than $10 million, surged 73 percent last year, hitting more than 18 percent of taxpayers in the highest income bracket, according to recently released statistics from the IRS. Get the full story »

IRS offers new amnesty to offshore tax cheats

Wealthy tax evaders with assets stashed offshore can come clean with U.S. authorities under a new amnesty program with reduced penalties, the government said Tuesday.

“It gives people a chance to come in before we find them,” Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman said. The new effort follows a 2009 amnesty program, which lured 15,000 taxpayers with hidden accounts. Get the full story »

New IRS smart phone app to track tax refunds

The Internal Tax Revenue introduced its first smart phone app on Monday, called IRS2Go, which allows taxpayers to check the status of their refunds and find other tax information.

IRS2Go is a step toward “modernizing the agency and engaging taxpayers where they want when they want it,” the IRS said a press release. Get the full story »

Love, and itemized tax returns, to be in air Feb. 14

The Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday that Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — will be the first day it will accept all itemized tax returns.

Late last year, the IRS said it would need extra time to reprogram its processing systems because Congress acted so late this year in cleaning up the tax code. Get the full story »

IRS: Tax changes to delay filing for some

Some taxpayers will be unable to file returns until mid-to-late February because of recent tax breaks approved by Congress in its lame-duck session, the IRS said Thursday.

Congress approved tax breaks for higher education tuition, state and local sales taxes and out-of-pocket expenses for teachers in kindergarten through high school. Get the full story »

Brokerages to report cost basis under new IRS rule

The New Year’s celebrations will barely be over before financial advisers face their first challenge for 2011 — new rules requiring brokerages to tell Uncle Sam how much investors paid for stocks.

The cost-basis reporting rules are designed to ensure people do not understate investment gains or overstate investment losses to minimize their taxes. Get the full story »

Wealthiest targeted as IRS audits jump 11%

The Internal Revenue Service is making it riskier to cheat on your taxes.

The tax agency increased the number of returns it audited by nearly 11 percent this year. Statistics released Wednesday show that wealthy taxpayers were most likely to be targeted. Get the full story »

IRS can hold tax hikes at bay for a bit

If U.S. lawmakers fail to renew Bush-era tax cuts before the end of the year, the Internal Revenue Service could offer millions of Americans an immediate respite from higher taxes.

That could mean a time-out for anxious investors worried that nearly every taxpayer will take a hit amid the tepid economic recovery and give breathing room to millions of employers waiting for clarity. Get the full story »

IRS has $4M in undeliverable Illinois refunds

The Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday it currently holds $164.6 million in undelivered refund checks for 111,893 nationwide taxpayers. Four million of that money is set aside for 3,618 Illinois taxpayers. The IRS was initially unable to deliver the checks because of mailing address errors.

Congress sets sights on alternative minimum tax

Bipartisan leaders in Congress are vowing to spare more than 21 million taxpayers from significant tax increases when they file their returns next spring by adjusting the alternative minimum tax before the end of the year. Get the full story »

U.S. says number of rich paying estate tax drops

The wealthy few who pay a tax on inheritances has dropped significantly over the last decade, according to data released by the U.S. government on Friday. Get the full story »

IRS: Tax refunds on debit cards

A new Treasury Department program program would issue tax refunds on debit cards to those without bank accounts, in a move to get Americans their refunds quickly and saving the government the cost of printing and mailing checks.

IRS to clarify rules for tax professionals

The Internal Revenue Service is trying to make the rules clearer for attorneys, certified public accountants and other tax professionals who practice before the agency.

The tax authority on Thursday proposed changes to the rulebooks for tax professionals,  a set of Treasury standards known as Circular 230. A goal is to better define what tax advisers can and cannot do and to establish new rules on preparing tax returns. Get the full story »