IRS Finally Issues Cryptocurrency Updates

By: Eric P. Rothenberg, Esq. – [Published Article] For the first time since the IRS issued guidance in 2014 [See IRS Notice 14-21], the IRS has twice spoken on the subject of cryptocurrency despite Congress practically begging for guidance in September 2018 [See letter to the IRS dated September 19, 2018 from the House Ways and Means Committee]. And while the IRS did answer some questions, there are still far too many left out. On October 10, 2019 the IRS released IR-2019-167 which they thought was “additional guidance”. It’s only a one-page release but it does reference new frequently asked questions [FAQ’s]. The FAQ’s on cryptocurrency comprise 43 questions. Nearly all of those FAQ’s are no news at all and merely state the obvious once the IRS declared in 2014 that cryptocurrency was considered by them to be “property” and not currency nor a security [See IRS Notice 14-21]. The

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It’s Not Too Late for a Portability Election

Posted by Robert L. Arone – New Opportunity for Late Portability Just Opened Up by IRS Portability has brought both convenience and confusion to the estate planning community. Available for surviving spouses after 2011, portability allows an unused estate tax exemption to be transferred from a deceased spouse to his or her surviving spouse. While this sounds like an appealing prospect to look into for your clients, it has come with its fair share of hassle thanks to ever-shifting policies and narrow windows of time in which to take action. Taking advantage of portability has been harder in practice than was anticipated. IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-34 Previously, surviving spouses had a mere 15 months (9 months plus a 6-month automatic extension) in which to elect portability after the death of their partner. As you know, your clients are only human: The experience of losing a spouse is always a trying

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IRS Uses Private Collection Companies

By Eric P. Rothenberg, Esq. – The Internal Revenue Service [“IRS”] announced on April 5th , 2017 that they will begin to use private collection agencies to collect back taxes owed. Soon, the IRS will begin its process of sending letters to certain taxpayers that their past due federal tax accounts are being turned over to a private debt collection agency. This isn’t the first time they had this program. It’s a renewed program that uses private-sector collection agencies (PCA) which were first authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation [“FAST”] Act of 2015. “Here’s a simple rule to keep in mind. You won’t get a call from a private collection firm unless you have unpaid tax debts going back several years and you’ve already heard from the IRS multiple times,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The people included in the private collection program typically already know they have a

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