Tax News Recap: Gifts, Grifts, & Data Shifts


As the old adage goes, April showers bring May flowers. That especially rings true in the tax world! With Tax Season 2019 officially in the books, tax pros finally have some time to stop and smell the roses. Whether you’ve been relaxing, tying up loose business ends, or taking care of some spring cleaning, catch up on May’s biggest tax stories.

Tax Season 2019 By The Numbers

The numbers are in, and boy do they paint an interesting picture. This tax season was easily one of the most complicated in recent memory. After getting off to a slow start, we saw less refunds, more inquiries, and overall about the same number of returns filed by pros vs. e-file despite the new tax law. Accounting Today has a great tax season recap.

More Good News For Morehouse Grads: They Likely Won’t Owe Taxes On Gift From Billionaire

It was the graduation speech heard around the world. During the 2019 commencement address at Morehouse College, self-made billionaire Robert F. Smith announced that he was paying the student debt for the entire class. The best part? Because the gift will be fulfilled via a grant, there’s likely no tax implication for the students. That wouldn’t have been the case had the philanthropist paid tuition while the students attended the school, making the gift all the sweeter. Read all about it here.

IRS Estimates Over A Quarter of EITC Payments Were Improper

Simply put, that’s $18.4 billion in payments that were issued incorrectly in just one year. Granted, the IRS did issue a report saying that tax credits including the ETIC weren’t being reported properly, which probably has something to do with the high rate. Even so, that’s a LOT of payments! Accounting Today has the details.

IRS To Probe Free File Program

A flurry of complaints has the IRS investigating whether or not certain tax software companies are actively impeding taxpayers from accessing free-file software. A class-action suit against TurboTax has already been lodged in San Francisco. We’ll be keeping an eye on this story as it continues to unfold in the coming months. More on that here.

Super Fan Wins 100 Years Of Football Tickets And Gets An Assist On His Taxes

Many have dreamed of winning a sweepstakes, but few come with no tax-strings attached. That’s the luck of the draw for Gregory Hampton, a lifelong NY Giants fan, who won 100 years of season tickets in an NFL contest. The best part? The prize pack includes a grossed up amount to cover any tax burden on the winnings. Touchdown, Mr. Hampton! Get the scoop here.

The Year of the Tax Professional

It’s no secret amongst tax pros how important the job has become in recent years. At a conference last month, Avalara Co-Founder & CEO Scott MacFarlane emphasized the crucial role tax pros play as rapid digitization & new laws take effect. Cheers to the year of the tax professional!

Want even more tax news and tax talk? Don’t miss our next Tax News Live Facebook Broadcast Thursday, June 20th at 1pm. Head over to our Facebook Page and give us a “Like” and “Follow” so you get notified when we go live.