IRS EXPANDS IDENTITY THEFT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Washington, D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service is expanding a program nationwide to help law enforcement get access to tax return data.

The nationwide expansion aims to help state and local enforcement authorities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia obtain tax return information in an effort to investigate and prosecute cases involving the growing problem of identity theft-related tax fraud.

More than 1,560 waiver requests have been received since the Law Enforcement Assistance Program's inception from over 100 state and local law enforcement agencies in the nine states participating in the pilot. The expansion took effect on March 29.

"The results of the pilot illustrate that this works as an innovative tool for law enforcement to help pursue tough identity theft situations," said IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller in a statement. "This program is an effective way for law enforcement to work with the IRS to pursue identity thieves and protect taxpayers. Expanding the program and making it permanent on a nationwide basis makes sense for victims, as well as law enforcement and tax administration."

The IRS also announced continued progress on several areas involving identity theft, including resolution of more victim cases and continued emphasis on criminal investigations

Since the start of 2013, the IRS has worked with victims to resolve and close more than 200,000 cases. This is in addition to the expanded Identity Protection PIN, or IP PIN, pilot, an initiative to protect victims with previously confirmed cases of identity theft by creating an additional layer of security on these accounts.

The IRS has issued more than 770,000 IP PINs to identity theft victims at the start of this tax filing season.

Since October, there have been more than 670 criminal identity theft investigations opened. The criminals being sentenced are spending an average of four years in custody with sentences as long as 20 years.

 

IRS PROPOSES REGULATIONS FOR CHARITABLE HOSPITALS

Washington, D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations on the requirement that charitable hospitals conduct community health needs assessments and adopt implementation strategies at least once every three years.

The proposed regulations, which were formally published in early April, also discuss the related excise tax and reporting requirements for charitable hospitals and the consequences for failure to satisfy the requirements.

Under the Affordable Care Act, a charitable hospital needs to conduct a community health needs assessment at least once every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified. The CHNA must take into account input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community served by the hospital facility, including those with special knowledge of or expertise in public health.

The CHNA must also be made widely available to the public. A hospital organization that fails to meet the CHNA requirements for any taxable year is subject to a $50,000 excise tax.

The hospital must also report the amount of any excise tax imposed on its annual Form 990 information return. Hospitals also need to report on the Form 990 how the organization is addressing the needs identified in each CHNA, and describe any needs that are not being addressed, along with the reasons why the needs are not being addressed.

Hospital organizations whose 2012 tax years began after March 23, 2012, are required to complete all of the questions on their 2012 Form 990, Schedule H, the IRS noted.

Hospital organizations whose 2012 tax years began on or before March 23, 2012, are required to complete all parts and sections of Schedule H for tax year 2012, with the exception of Part V, Section B, Lines 1-8, regarding community health needs assessments.

For the text of the proposed regulations, see the "Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions" or the "New Requirements for 501(c)(3) Hospitals under the Affordable Care Act" pages on IRS.gov.

The IRS said that it continues to welcome public input on the new requirements for charitable hospitals under the Affordable Care Act. Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by July 5, 2013.

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