IRS HELPS CITIZENS ABROADWASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury have released guidance on the estimated tax penalty for citizens or residents of the United States living and working abroad.

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, enacted in May 2006, changed the maximum amount of foreign-earned income and housing costs that can be excluded from gross income, increasing the amount of foreign-earned income that may be excluded to $82,400 and limiting the amount of housing costs that may be excluded or deducted.

The act also changed a provision so that the tax applicable to income not covered by the foreign-income exclusion would be calculated as though the exclusion had not been elected.

The changes are effective for years beginning after Dec. 31, 2005, but because they are retroactive to the beginning of the year, people relying on the law as it existed may have underpaid their estimated liabilities for 2006. The IRS will waive those additions as long as the underpayment is attributable to the changes.

PWC BUYS INDIAN TAX PRACTICE

MUMBAI - PricewaterhouseCoopers has taken over the tax practice unit of an Indian financial services firm to create the largest accounting firm in the country.

Financial terms of PwC's deal for RSM Advisory Services Private Ltd. were not disclosed. The deal will be completed April 1. The combined operation, including RSM's 500 employees, will have a staff of more than 4,000 in India and operate under the PwC name. All RSM partners will become partners at PwC.

According to published reports, PwC's pre-merger revenues in India were approximately $150 million in U.S. dollars. After the merger, PwC's revenues should grow by another $30 million to $50 million.

IRS ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENTS

WASHINGTON - Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark W. Everson has announced the selection of a new chief human capital officer and a new chief of agency-wide shared services.

Robert Buggs has served as the agency's deputy chief human capital officer since 2004, though he has more than 15 years of experience with the IRS, working in areas ranging from labor relations to the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

He has shared program oversight and responsibility for formulating and implementing human capital strategies, policies and programs for more than 100,000 IRS employees.

Jim Falcone has more than 33 years of experience at the service, managing operations support programs at the field and national levels.

As chief of shared services, Falcone will lead an organization that develops procedures and implements policy for the IRS's internal real estate and facilities management, diversity programs, and personnel, procurement and customer support activities.

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