IRS OFFERS FORECLOSURE VICTIMS ADVICEWashington, D.C. - The Internal Revenue Service is reaching out to former homeowners who have suffered foreclosure and now are being hit with taxes on any money they were forgiven on their mortgages.

The effort comes after Senate Finance Committee members urged the IRS to do more to help families who have lost their homes in a foreclosure and are now facing unexpected tax bills. In response, the IRS opened a new section of its Web site that offers information about provisions that could reduce the tax bite for people who have lost their homes.

The site now includes a worksheet that is supposed to help borrowers find out if any of the relief provisions apply to them. Taxpayers who discover they do owe the additional tax can also find a form online that will let them request a payment agreement with the IRS. The IRS noted that in some cases eligible taxpayers may qualify to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount due using an offer in compromise. However, the IRS is still taking a hard line on taxing certain people who may have lost their homes. The agency noted that relief could be limited or even unavailable in some situations - for example, when part of a home was rented out or used for business purposes.


New York - The American Institute of CPAs has sent comments to the Internal Revenue Service recommending changes in the redesigned form for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations.

While the AICPA acknowledged that the draft redesign of Form 990 contained many improvements to provide transparency of reporting, the institute also complained of the extra burden. "We believe the Form 990 and related instructions must be clear as to reporting requirements," said the letter from Naomi Horsager, chair of the AICPA's 990 Task Force. "However, this objective should be balanced by the fact that the administrative burdens of compliance must be reasonable."

The redesigned form includes an executive summary, which the AICPA agreed could be valuable. But the institute disagreed with some of the elements that needed to be included in the summary.

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