IRS Updates & Info

  • Important News listings containing Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) holders & Enrolled Agents information will no longer include email addresses
    The Return Preparer Office made this decision after carefully considering the challenges related to the interests of data security and protection, especially those directed at tax return preparer information. Please share this information with tax professionals.

    e-Services Moves to Secure Access Protection December 10 - Starting Dec. 10, 2017, all e-Services users must register through a new, more rigorous identity proofing process called Secure Access.
    Any e-Services user who has not previously created a Secure Access account through Get Transcript Online, IP PIN tool, View Balance or by exception processing in recent days must validate their identity through this more rigorous process. This also includes all TIN Matching users and users who received Letter 5903 last December and authenticated by telephone.
    This new process is not optional on the part of the IRS or its online users. We apologize for the short notice, but as you know we’ve been planning this move for more than a year. The IRS must make this change to meet federal information system standards. Additionally, cybercriminals increasingly are targeting tax professionals to steal e-Services usernames and passwords, putting taxpayer data at risk.
    In recent years, we authenticated each e-Services user individually. When you registered for e-Services, you were asked for your name, address, social security number, your date of birth, adjusted gross income and filing status. That limited amount of information no longer is enough to meet federal information system standards. Users will continue to be authenticated as individuals.
    Here’s how Secure Access helps –
    •                     First, it strengthens the initial identity proofing process to make sure the person registering is who they say they are.
    •                     Second, it strengthens security through a two-factor authentication process for returning users that helps prevent account takeover by cybercriminals. Two-factor authentication means you must have your credentials (username and password) plus a security code sent to your mobile phone or generated by your IRS2Go app each time you log in.
    Once you have authenticated your identity and established a Secure Access account for e-Services, there is no further action required. Please note: Under Secure Access, you can no longer script the login process.
    Learn more about the steps you must take to successfully complete the Secure Access process, alternatives to online processing and how to use the IRS2Go app. See “Important Update about Your e-Services Account” at
  • IRS Statement on 2018 Filing Season Start Date
    The IRS has not yet announced a date that it will begin accepting individual tax returns for the 2018 tax filing season. At the present time, the IRS is continuing to update its programming and processing systems for 2018. In addition, the IRS continues to closely monitor potential legislation that could affect the 2018 tax season, including a number of “extender” tax provisions that expired at the end of 2016 that could potentially be renewed for tax year 2017 by Congress. The IRS anticipates it will not be at a point to announce a filing season start date until later in the calendar year. The IRS will continue to work closely with the nation’s tax professionals and software community as preparations continue for the 2018 tax filing season.
    Speculation on the Internet that the IRS will begin accepting tax returns on Jan. 22 or after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday in January is inaccurate and misleading; no such date has been set.
    Refund Timing
    In addition, the IRS cautions taxpayers from relying on misleading refund charts on the internet that project tax refund dates. Any speculation about refund dates in 2018 is premature. In addition, these refund charts can overlook that many different factors affect the timing of tax refunds, ranging from the accuracy of information on the return to whether a taxpayer files electronically. In addition, the IRS and state revenue departments have increased their security protocols against identity theft and refund fraud, which also can affect the timing of federal and state refunds.
    The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. The tool is updated no more than once a day so you don’t need to check more often. If you use a mobile device you can download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.  E-File coupled with Direct Deposit remains the fastest way for taxpayers to receive their refunds.
    Due to law changes first affecting last year’s returns, the IRS cannot issue refunds for tax returns claiming the EITC or ACTC before mid-February. This law requires the IRS to hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC or ACTC. However, there is no need to wait to file such returns since the IRS will process them to the point of refund and then begin refund release when permitted by law. 
    Using Truncated Taxpayer Identification Numbers on Forms W-2
    Proposed regulation REG-105004-16, Use of Truncated Taxpayer Identification Numbers on Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Furnished to Employees, was filed with the Federal Register on 9/20/17.
    The due date for submitting comments on the proposed regulations is December 18, 2017. Send comments via the portal, or by mail to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-105004-16), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044.
    IR-2017-1802018 PTIN Renewal Period Underway for Tax Professionals – The Internal Revenue Service today reminded the nation’s more than 727,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2018. All current PTINs will expire Dec. 31, 2017.
    Upcoming Events

    IRS Web Conferences for Tax Practitioners:
    • Understanding the 2017 Tax Law Updates -  December 14, 2017 (POSTPONED)
    • Racing Towards Year End: Employment Tax Reminders - December 14, 2017
      Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT, 11:00 a.m. MT, 10:00 a.m. PT, 9:00 a.m. Alaska, 8:00 a.m. Hawaii –Aleutian Time Zone
      Registration: Visit Internal Revenue Service Webinar website.
    Communication Activities
    • (12/1/17) IRS Video Tax Tip: IRS Tax Calendar English | Spanish | ASL — IRS YouTube channels provide short, informative videos on various tax related topics in English, Spanish and ASL. Subscribe today: and
    • (12/1/17) IR-2017-198 National Tax Security Awareness Week No. 5: Small Businesses: Be Alert to Identity Theft -- The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry joined together to warn small businesses to be on-guard against a growing wave of identity theft against employers.
    • (11/30/17) IR-2017-197 National Tax Security Awareness Week No. 4: Employers, Payroll Officials, Avoid the W-2 Email Scam -- The IRS, state tax agencies and private-sector tax groups warned the nation’s business, payroll and human resource communities about a growing W-2 email scam that threatens sensitive tax information held by employers.
    • (11/29/17) IR-2017-196 National Tax Security Awareness Week No. 3: Victims of Data Breaches Should Consider These Steps — The number of data breaches was already on a record pace for 2017 before the reported theft of nearly 145 million Americans’ names, addresses and Social Security numbers brought the issue to the forefront.
    • (11/28/17) IR-2017-195 Get Ready for Taxes: Offers Free Tax Help -- As tax filing season approaches, the IRS encourages taxpayers to visit first for tax tools and resources before calling.
    • (11/28/17) IR-2017-194 National Tax Security Awareness Week No. 2: Don’t Take the Bait; Avoid Phishing Emails by Data Thieves -- With the approach of the holidays and the 2018 filing season, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry urge people to be on the lookout for new, sophisticated email phishing scams that could endanger their personal information and next year’s tax refund.
    • (11/27/17) IR-2017-193 National Tax Security Awareness Week No. 1: Online Security - Seven Steps for Safety -- During the online holiday shopping season, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry remind people to be vigilant with their personal information. While shopping for gifts, criminals are shopping for credit card numbers, financial account information, Social Security numbers and other sensitive data that could help them file a fraudulent tax return.
    • (11/22/17) IR-2017-192 IRS Offers Small Businesses a One-Stop Resource Center for Help Preparing, Filing and Paying Taxes — Small businesses across the country are preparing for their special day -- Small Business Saturday – taking place on Nov. 25.
    • (11/21/17) IR-2017-191 Get Ready for Taxes: Donations May Cut Tax Bills - The IRS reminds taxpayers looking to maximize their tax savings before the end of the year to consider charitable giving.
    • (11/22/17) Tax Tip 2017-81 Taxpayers can use IRS Select Check tool before Donating on Giving Tuesday – Giving Tuesday is an annual event celebrated the week after Thanksgiving to kick off the season of charitable giving Taxpayers making donations may be able to deduct them on their tax return. As people are deciding where to make their donations, the IRS has a tool that may help.
    • 11/21/17) Tax Tip 2017-80 Five Things to Remember about Hobby Income and Expenses — From scrapbooking to glass blowing, many Americans enjoy hobbies that are also a source of income. A taxpayer must report income on their tax return even if it is made from a hobby.
    • (11/20/17) Tax Tip 2017-79 National Tax Security Awareness Week: Data Protection Tips to Help Taxpayers, Businesses - The IRS is partnering with state tax agencies, the tax industry and groups across the country to host the second annual National Tax Security Awareness Week.
    Legislative Updates
    • (11/30/17) N-2017-71 (pdf 28KB) Notice-2017-71 provides that any act performed for the 2016 taxable year of a partnership, REMIC, or certain other entities will be treated as timely for all purposes under the Code, except with respect to interest, if the act would have been timely if the Surface Transportation Act had not changed the due date for partnership returns.
    • (11/22/17) RP-2017-60 (pdf 24KB) Revenue Procedure-2017-60 provides a safe harbor that allows an individual to deduct the amounts paid to repair damage to his or her personal residence caused by deteriorating concrete foundations containing the mineral pyrrhotite.
    Other News
    • The following IRS webinar is now archived and available for viewing on the IRS Video Portal :
      "Don’t Take the Bait:  Protect Your Clients and Protect Yourself” (from November 1, 2017)
      To view other archived webinars, please visit the IRS Video Portal and click the All Webinars link at the bottom of the page.
    •  Refundable Credit Due Diligence Training Now Available - A free IRS training course is available in both English and Spanish to help paid tax preparers understand and meet their due diligence requirements when completing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other refundable credit returns. The course is scenario-based and offers Continuing Education credit for completing the course. Check the tax preparer toolkit on for more information.
    • Taxpayer Identification Matching Tools Learn how to perfect your payee data before filing Forms 1099 and W-2 using the IRS Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Matching Program and the Social Security Number Verification Service offered by the Social Security Administration.
    • Third Party Payer Arrangements Many employers use a third party to perform acts such as withholding, reporting and paying federal employment taxes on wages paid for the employer. Learn about some of the issue indicators and audit tips used on audits of these employers.
    • Student FICA Exception FICA tax generally applies to wages paid to an employee on account of employment. Learn when the FICA exception applies to an employee who has the status of a student.
    IRS Videos: