Below is a selection of recent news and updates for tax and accounting professionals.
Time to Renew PTINs
The IRS would like to remind tax return preparers to renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) before they expire on December 31, 2019.
“Last year we issued more than 813,000 PTIN’s and are asking tax preparers to renew now to avoid a last-minute rush,” said IRS Return Preparer Office Director Carol Campbell. “Having this essential element done now will make the transition to tax season much easier.”
Tax preparers with who have a PTIN issued or renewed in 2019 should use online renewal to speed up the process, which can take four to six weeks to turn around if submitted by mail.
To renew your PTIN online:
- Go to IRS.gov/tax-professionals
- Select “Renew or Register” button
- Enter the user ID and password to login to the online PTIN account.
- Follow the prompts to verify information and answer a few questions.
Once completed, users will receive confirmation of their PTIN renewal. There is no fee for renewing or obtaining a PTIN for 2020. However, tax preparers who do not have a valid PTIN may be subject to penalties.
Tax Inflation Adjustments for 2020 Tax Year
The Internal Revenue Service announced the tax year 2020 annual inflation adjustments on November 6, 2019. Revenue Procedure 2019-44 provides details for more than 60 tax provisions, including the tax rate schedules and other tax changes.
The tax law change covered in the Revenue Procedure was added by the Taxpayer First Act of 2019, and the failure to file penalty to $330 for returns due after the end of 2019 was increased. From 2021 forward, the new penalty will be adjusted for inflation.
The adjustments for the 2020 tax year are typically used on tax returns filed in 2021.
New Expense Deduction Guidance
The IRS issued new guidance for taxpayers who wish to claim certain deductible expenses in order to bring the deductions into line with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Revenue Procedure 2019-46 contains the revised rules for using the optional standard mileage rates in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expense purposes.
The new guidance also delineates how to substantiate the amount of an employee’s ordinary and necessary travel expenses reimbursed by an employer using the optional standard mileage rates. Taxpayers are not required to use the process described in the publication but must substantiate the actual allowable expenses through recordkeeping.
Revenue Procedure 2019-46 contains these items as well as other guidance related to unreimbursed business expenses, and costs of operating an automobile in the course of business. Download Rev. Proc. 2019-46 here.