Daily Tax Update - March 10, 2014: IRS Recommends Small Business Review Health Care Tax Credit Information

IRS RECOMMENDS SMALL BUSINESSES REVIEW HEALTH CARE TAX CREDIT INFORMATION: The IRS suggested that small employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees review the small business health care tax credit. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit page on IRS.gov has information and resources designed to help small employers determine if they qualify for the credit and then calculate it correctly. These include a 2013 tax credit estimator, examples of typical tax savings under various scenarios and answers to frequently-asked questions.

IRS SEEKS VOLUNTEERS TO SERVE ON TAXPAYER ADVOCACY PANEL:  The IRS is seeking volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP).  According to the IRS, “The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement.”

Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate said, “In trying to comply with an increasingly complex tax system, taxpayers may find they need different services than the IRS is currently providing. The TAP is vital because it provides the IRS with the taxpayers’ perspective as well as recommendations for improvement. This helps the IRS deliver the best possible service to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations.”

IRS REMINDS HOME-BASED BUSINESSES OF SIMPLIFIED OPTION DEDUCTION: The IRS said that people with home-based businesses can choose a “new simplified option” for claiming the deduction for business use of a home.

According to the IRS, “The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet, will reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on small businesses by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually. The new option is available starting with the 2013 return taxpayers are filing now.”

Further details on the home office deduction and the new option can be found in Publication 587.

MISCELLANEOUS GUIDANCE RELEASED: 
Revenue Procedure 2014-24, provides a determination by the Commissioner that if an affiliated group that meets the conditions described therein actually failed to file a Form 1122, the affiliated group is treated as if it filed such form and thus joined in the making of a consolidated return by the affiliated group.

Notice 2014-17 provides guidance related to per capita distributions to members of Indian tribes held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior.