October Tax News

This year sure is flying by! While we’re about to slow down and engage in a series of family holidays that all seem to involve eating large quantities of food, the IRS doesn’t seem to be slowing down. We’ve got a lot to cover in this month’s Tax News Recap!

PTINS Tax-News

First and foremost, have you renewed your PTIN? You need to before the end of the year!

PTIN requirements are here.

Delayed Start to the Season

I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but due to the high volume of tax law changes, the 2019 tax season will likely be delayed. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration warned of this in a new report released at the beginning of the month.

According to Accounting Today, “The IRS estimates that implementation of the law will require creating or revising approximately 450 forms, publications and instructions, and modifying around 140 information technology systems to ensure it can accommodate the newly revised tax forms.”

If that does happen, bookmark this oldie-but-goodie blog post about financing operations while you wait for the tax season to start.

Guidance on the Meals and Entertainment Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was supposed to eliminate deductions for expenses pertaining to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation. However, it looks like the IRS will allow taxpayers to deduct 50% of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer (or an employee of the business) is present at the meal, and the food or beverages aren’t considered to be “lavish or extravagant.” You can read the IRS guidance on meals and entertainment here.

The First Federal Sentencing of a Legal Cannabis Business Owner for Tax Crimes

As you know, cannabis has been legalized in some states. This month, we saw the first sentencing for tax crimes related to a “Cannabusiness”. The owner pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file income tax returns in connection with his cannabis stores. Let that be a lesson to the cannabis entrepreneurs out there! If you prepare taxes in a state where it’s legal, you may want to get to know your local Cannabusinesses to recruit them as clients. Accounting Today has the full story.

Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Michael

The IRS recently announced an extended deadline for taxpayers affected by Hurricane Michael. They now have until Feb. 28, 2019, to file individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments.

Reminder: Time to Reach Out for Year-End Planning

Have you reached out to clients yet about year-end planning? With the looming Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it’s going to be important for clients to make appointments with you. Some clients may not even be aware of the changes. Time to reach out!

Get Out the Vote

Finally, here’s your reminder to get out on November 6th and vote! Every election is important and every vote counts. Here’s some information about election day.

Now that you’ve got the rundown, mark your calendars to join Ty on Wednesday, Oct. 31, for our Tax News Today LIVE! She’ll be covering these topics and more AND she’ll be answering your questions. Join us on our Facebook page at 1 p.m. EST.