IRS Announces New Fast Track Mediation-Collection Program

IRS ANNOUNCES NEW FAST TRACK MEDIATIONCOLLECTION PROGRAM

The IRS has recently replaced its 16 year old mediation program with a new and improved Fast Track Mediation-Collection (FTMC) program. The program is directed at resolving certain collection cases and issues which include offer-in-compromise (OIC) and trust fund recovery penalty (TFRP) cases on an expedited basis. The mediation will be presided over by a neutral mediator assigned by the Office of Appeals.
FTMC may be used only when all other collection issues are resolved but for the issue(s) for which FTMC is being requested. The issue must be fully developed with clearly defined positions by both parties, which must be summarized in writing, so the un-agreed issues can be resolved quickly, usually within 30 or 40 calendar days. Participation in FTMC is optional for both Collection and the taxpayer.

FTMC is generally appropriate for:

• Legal and factual issues,
• Certain OIC cases or issues, and
• Certain TFRP cases or issues

All other issues should be closely scrutinized to determine the eligibility to utilize this program.


A request to participate in FTMC must include a Form 13369, Agreement to Mediate, signed by parties, and both parties' written summaries of their positions. After approval the taxpayer will be contacted for a pre-mediation conference and will progress from there. If denied there are unfortunately no appeals and the decision is final.

Due to the complexities involved with this expedited mediation program it is best to consult a professional.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Health Coverage Essentials – What You Should Know

Health Coverage Essentials What You Should Know

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare or ACA, was approved by the Supreme Court in June of 2012 and began mandating certain provisions (laws) on employers on a sliding scale for future years. With 2017 steadily approaching, here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to providing health care coverage to your employees.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers known as “Applicable Large employers” are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. These provisions subject large employers, defined as employers with 50 or more full-time employees, to either provide affordable coverage or pay a penalty to the IRS. The following is a list of a few key terms related to healthcare coverage and how it might affect you:

Affordable Coverage: Coverage is considered affordable by ACA standards if the lowest-cost self-only health plan is 9.5% or less of your full-time employee’s household income. Although the calculations for the affordable coverage are based on household income, the mandates only require the employee and the employee’s children under the age of 26 to be covered.

Minimum essential coverage: For purposes of reporting by applicable large employers, minimum essential coverage means coverage under an employer-sponsored plan. It does not include fixed indemnity coverage, life insurance or dental or vision coverage.

Minimum value coverage: An employer-sponsored plan provides minimum value if it covers at least 60 percent of the total allowed cost of benefits that are expected to be incurred under the plan.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

No Penalty for Hardship Distributions Paid to Hurricane Matthew Victims

No Penalty for Hardship Distributions Paid to Hurricane Matthew Victims

In an attempt to provide relief for those impacted by Hurricane Matthew, the IRS has allowed affected taxpayers to take out loans or distributions from their qualified retirement plans. This applies to participants of 401(k) retirement plans, 403(a) and 403(b) qualified annuities, and 457(b) deferred-compensation plans. The loan proceeds are generally tax free so long as they are repaid in five or less years. In addition, while IRA participants may not take loans from their plans, they may be able to take distributions. These distributions will be considered taxable hardship distributions and therefore will not be subject to the 10% early withdrawal tax. Loans or distributions from qualified plans must be made between October 4, 2016 and March 15, 2017.

“Affected individuals” for the purpose of this relief are those whose principal residence or place of work was located in a federally declared disaster area on October 3, 2016. Qualifying distributions may be taken by the plan holder for his own benefit, or on behalf of the plan holder’s spouse or linear relatives, assuming they meet the aforementioned residence requirements. Currently, qualifying counties are located in parts of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. For a full, updated list of counties that qualify as federally declared disaster areas see FEMA’s website.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Voters Approve State Income Tax Hikes for the Nation’s Wealthiest Individuals

Voters Approve State Income Tax Hikes for the Nations Wealthiest Individuals

On November 8th, more than just the next President of the United States had been decided. On each state’s ballot, voters were able to choose whether or not certain measures would be passed, many of which related to taxation. Most notably, voters in both California and Maine chose to raise taxes on the highest income earners in the states. While California has had the highest top income tax rate in the country for years, with this year’s vote extending the temporary tax hikes through 2030, the same cannot be said for Maine. Experiencing a slight tax cut in 2016 from 7.95% to 7.15%, the highest income earners in Maine will be subject to a 10.15% state income tax in 2017, making it the second highest state income tax rate in the country, only behind California at 13.3%.

However, for taxpayers living in California and Maine, there may be a silver lining in the form of the expected Federal tax cuts that have been proposed by President-elect Trump; please see our recent tax alert “Reviewing President Elect Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan – Part 1 Individual Tax” for the highlights of the expected Federal tax cuts.

For more information, or if you have any questions about this or any other tax matter, please contact your Wilkin & Guttenplan advisor or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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