In order to survive in the tax or finance industry, one needs to stay updated at every step. However, the continually changing tax laws and regulations can make it challenging to keep up. It can further result in inaccuracy during tax filing, delayed returns, or lack of documentation.

Accounting/Tax News You Missed In 2020Tax preparers need to remain updated with news from reliable sources to stay aware of the accounting and tax reforms. To help tax professionals through this tax season, here is a compiled list of accounting/ tax news one might have missed in 2020.

1. Tax Day Pushed To July 15

March 21, 2020– Following the President’s emergency declaration in the state due to the widespread of COVID-19, IRS has extended the filing deadline from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.0

Taxpayers can postpone their federal income tax payments without the risk of increased penalties or interest rates. There is no need to file any other form to benefit from the same. IRS will be updating any updates related to the pandemic on their official page for Coronavirus.

2. Accounting Firms Go Remote With The Outbreak Of Coronavirus

March 16, 2020– With the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the accounting firms worldwide are opting for remote working to limit the spread of the pandemic.

Clayton &McKervey, a Michigan-based accounting firm, is encouraging video conferencing rather than face-to-face meetings. Also, Marcum LLP, one of the largest independent accounting and advisory service firm, has shifted to remote working completely starting from March 17 (Tuesday), keeping in mind the need for social distancing. Going virtual on a short distance is causing security concerns amongst smaller firms that don’t have a robust system in place to adapt to such a situation.

Recommended Reading: Coronavirus – Embrace Remote Working With QuickBooks Hosting

3. TurboTax Phishing Scam Taking Rounds

March 06, 2020– The phishing scam involving professional tax software by Intuit, TurboTax, is going around this tax season. The email comprises of the attached excel sheet with the subject line, “Your TurboTax case is open,” and the body text reading that the taxpayers return will be rejected until a suitable request is sent.

The scam was first discovered by Trustware, a cybersecurity management service. Once the users open the malicious excel sheet, it tricks them into enabling macros in the sheet, after which a code is released in the background leading to data theft.

4. Interest Rates To Remain Unchanged For The Second Quarter

February 28, 2020– As per the announcement made by Internal Revenue Service (IRS), interest rates will remain the same for the second quarter beginning from April 1, 2020. The assigned rates will be as given below:

  • Non-corporate: 5% for overpayments and underpayments.
  • Corporate: 4% for overpayments and 5% for underpayments
  • Corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000: 2.5% for the portion
  • Large corporate: 7% for underpayment

Additionally, for the taxpayers except for corporations, the underpayment and overpayment rates are determined by the federal-short term rates plus 3% points.

5. Credit Karma Sold To Intuit

February 24, 2020– The industrial giant in the field of accounting, Intuit Inc., confirmed its investment in the fintech startup, Credit Karma, for 7.1 billion in cash and stock.

Credit Karma had been the direct competition for Intuit’s tax filing products by offering free filing and tax preparation to its users. Credit Karma has more than 100 million registered and 37 million active monthly users overall. It generated annual revenue of $1 billion in 2019. Intuit will be running the startup as a standalone function managed under the co-founder of Credit Karma, Kenneth Lin.

6. Identity Theft Central Launched By IRS

February 3, 2020– Taking online identity thefts and other security threats into consideration, IRS has launched Identity Theft Central to tackle these issues. It is expected to improve the online experience of taxpayers. IRS will be available 24/7 at https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-central.

Also, the revenue service will be taking steps to increase awareness and outreach to ensure security against various “Dirty Dozen” attacks, including phishing scams, phone scams, return preparer fraud, and more. One can find specified information for taxpayers, tax professionals, and businesses concerning identity theft on the Identity Theft Central page.

7. Student Loan COD Relief Extended For More Taxpayers

January 16, 2020– The cancellation-of-debt (COD) relief, which was earlier provided to the students from Corinthian Colleges or American Career Institutes Inc. by the Education Department under the discharge process of “Closed School” or “Defense to Repayment” is extended to more taxpayers that have faced a similar problem.

IRS would provide the COD relief to the students affected by the closure of schools orwere the victims of some fraud.

8. 2020 Filing Season Opened On January 27

January 6, 2020January 27, 2020 (Monday) had been set as the starting date for the 2020 tax season. It also marked the day IRS would start accepting paper and electronic returns. Around 150 million individual taxpayers are expected to file taxes for the year 2019. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig encouraged electronic filing for quicker refunds.

9. IRS Releases Annual Report For 2019

January 6, 2020– IRS issued a 2019 annual report that constitutes a 41-page document providing an overview of the gross tax collected, services offered, and ongoing compliance sectors. IRS also shared progress reports, data about its workforce, strategic plan for the upcoming years, and implementation of new tax laws in this report.

Tax preparers can have a further look at the report here.

10. Discontinuation Of Accountex USA

January 3, 2020– Organizers of the accounting conference, Accountex announced that it would no longer be held in the USA. Accountex had switched to trade show from a conference model from the year 2018. The meeting will take place in London and Manchester (UK) this year. The last Accountex USA conference was held in Boston, the USA, in 2019.

To Sum It Up

The news mentioned above is a highlight of the significant events that have occurred in the year 2020 so far. In order to keep up with the tax reforms and other updates in the accounting industry, it is essential to check reliable sources only.

Do you know any other major highlights that we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.

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