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It's a pillar of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) 2017 and it's about to appear in the Federal Register. And it makes the USA very unusual in recognising the realities of depreciation in a disposable world. And then they go and stuff it up.

The USA's Internal Revenue Service has, albeit belatedly, joined its Treasury sibling, FinCEN, in concluding that there really is no material difference between using virtual currencies and USD or other currencies. In a notice issued this week, it's made clear: if you price and are paid for your goods or services in bitcoin or any other virtual currency, you are liable for trading profits in exactly the same way as if you priced them, and were paid, in fiat currencies.

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Someone's got to pay for the wall! The Internal Revenue Service yesterday reiterated its warning that taxpayers may not be able to renew a current passport or obtain a new passport if they owe federal taxes. To avoid delays in travel plans, taxpayers need to take prompt action to resolve their tax issues. Here is the official notice (verbatim).

The pent-up energy in the US government is being released apace. And, of course, the Inland Revenue Service is required to find the money the government needs and, as the shutdown demonstrated, it really doesn't hold much in reserve. And so, within hours of getting back to work, the IRS has issued a warning notice about something employers must do by.., oh, yes, today.

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Two related statements from the IRS and other agencies highlight two specific risks. The first is password security and the second is phishing, etc. scams. By the way, "Summit Partners" (which appears in the statements) isn't a firm - it's someone's idea of a buzzword. Ignore it. It only means "other government agencies." Also, they have one thing dangerously wrong.

And, we're back. Once more, the authorities in the USA are reminding people that fraudsters use natural disasters as the hook for their activities.

A press release from the USA's Inland Revenue Service is headed "Many corporations will pay a blended federal income tax." For heaven's sake: what sounds like something special is nothing of the kind and is an example of buzzword-mania when simplicity would better serve the audience. It's time that government departments stopped trying to sound trendy and just said what they need to say.

Here's what the IRS needed to say.

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Wherever you are in the world, the so-called Nigerian Scam is alive and well and yesterday's notice from the USA's Internal Revenue Service is the release that will launch a thousand scams - and probably many, many more. It's so serious that the subject line in the e-mail from the IRS raised spam / scam alerts in the Vortex Centrum monitoring system, which can't be good.

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The USA's fascination with finding names of laws that can be turned into snappy acronyms reached new levels in December 2015 when it past the FAST Act. The name, Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act gives no hint as to what it does. It's a highly aggressive tactic against taxpayers with unsettled debt. The Act has crept up pretty much unnoticed but it is being implemented starting this month.

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The creation of the new, PoTUS Trump-driven tax regime with effect from 1 January, only a week after the law was passed and that being a week everyone was off partying, is leading to a flurry of activity in government offices. The first important documents to come out of the Inland Revenue Service are "withholding tables" that relate to deduction of income tax at source.

"Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Pay cheque Changes by February," says the IRS in a statement.

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What do "trusted seller" and "Better Business Bureau member" mean in real life? As an overseas customer of Vesper & Co, sellers of collectable watches apparently with offices in New York found out, they mean you are on your own if the seller decides to misdescribe goods and then to ignore the purchaser.

A Bill passed by the House of Representatives, part of the US Congress, in September has far reaching implications for the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) specifically to prevent, in some circumstances, seizure and forfeiture of moneys relating to Bank Secrecy Act offences.

When you come across an American person or company, anywhere in the world, who is or appears to be failing to pay federal taxes properly due, under US law, you can make a report to the Inland Revenue Service and, in some cases, receive a very substantial reward - as much of 30% of the tax recovered. And it's independent of FATCA.

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New York state is one of a number of US states that now require taxpayers in the state to provide a driving licence or other state (not necessarily NY)-issued identification when taxpayers file returns electronically. Federal tax systems do not have a similar requirement.

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