The Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice proposing some requirements for employee consents that can be used to support a claim for refund of employment taxes.
Notice 2015-15 contains a proposed revenue procedure that provides the requirements for employee consents to support claims employment tax refunds. The proposed rules would allow electronic consents and requests comments about the consent process and requirements.
The proposed revenue procedure would provide guidance to employers on employee consents used to support a claim for refund for overpaid taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.
The IRS noted that questions have arisen concerning what information must be provided in an employee consent and whether an employee consent may be requested, furnished, and retained in an electronic format. The proposed revenue procedure clarifies that, in addition to providing the relevant name, address, and taxpayer identification number, a valid employee consent must identify the basis of the claim for refund and be signed by the employee under penalties of perjury.
The proposed revenue procedure also provides guidance as to what constitutes “reasonable efforts” to secure an employee consent when a consent is not obtained. The proposed revenue procedure permits, but does not require, the employee consent to be requested, furnished, and retained in an electronic format, as an alternative to a paper format.
The IRS cautioned that the proposed procedure is not intended to require employers to solicit new employee consents for those requested prior to the date of publication of the final revenue procedure in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.
However, the IRS said an employer can rely on this proposed revenue procedure for employee consents requested before the date that the final revenue procedure is published.
Notice 2015-15 will appear in the March 2, 2015 Internal Revenue Bulletin 2015-09.
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