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Daily News

Below please find daily updates pertaining to the latest in financial, business, and tax news:

US Energy Administration

Permian region natural gas prices fall as production continues to grow

Wed, Jul 18, 2018

The natural gas spot price spread between the Permian Basin, as priced at the Waha Hub in western Texas, and the U.S. national benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana has grown considerably in the past year. Natural gas prices at Waha are nearly a dollar per million British thermal units (MMBtu) lower than Henry Hub prices. This spread widened as the ability to transport the increased natural gas prod...

U.S. refinery capacity virtually unchanged between 2017 and 2018

Mon, Jul 16, 2018

As of January 1, 2018, U.S. operable atmospheric crude distillation capacity totaled 18.6 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd), a slight decrease of 0.1% since the beginning of 2017 according to EIA’s annual Refinery Capacity Report. Annual operable crude oil distillation unit (CDU) capacity had increased slightly in each of the five years before 2018....

The United States continues to export MTBE, mainly to Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela

Fri, Jul 13, 2018

U.S. exports of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a motor gasoline additive, totaled 38,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2017, primarily to Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela. MTBE was once commonly used in the United States but was phased out in the late 2000s as a result of water contamination concerns. Since then, fuel ethanol has replaced MTBE as a gasoline additive....

Wind generators cost declines reflect technology improvements and siting decisions

Thu, Jul 12, 2018

Between 2010 and 2016, the capacity-weighted average cost (real 2016$) of U.S. wind installations declined by one-third, from $2,361 per kilowatt (kW) to $1,587/kW, based on analysis in the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (DOE/EERE) Wind Technology Market Report. The reasons for this decline include improving technology and manufacturing capability ...

Natural gas-fired electricity generation this summer expected to be near record high

Wed, Jul 11, 2018

EIA’s July 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects natural gas-fired power plants to supply 37% of U.S. electricity generation this summer (June, July, and August), near the record-high natural gas-fired generation share in summer 2016. EIA forecasts the share of generation from coal-fired power plants will drop slightly to 30% in summer 2018, continuing a multi-year trend of lower coal-f...

China is a key destination for increasing U.S. energy exports

Tue, Jul 10, 2018

In recent years, as its domestic energy consumption has grown, China has become a more significant destination for U.S. energy exports. In particular, China has been among the largest importers of U.S. exports of crude oil, propane, and liquefied natural gas....

Taxpayer Advocate Service Feed

NTA Blog: Overall the Filing Season at Taxpayer Assistance Centers Ran Smoothly, But Room for Improvement Remains

Wed, Jul 11, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. In my most recent Annual Report to Congress, I focused on Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) as one of the Most Serious Problems facing taxpayers. My concerns about ...

NTA Blog: “Real” vs. “Unreal” Audits and Why This Distinction Matters

Fri, Jul 06, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. Around five months ago, in my 2017 Annual Report to Congress, I identified IRS audit rates and the distinction between “real” and “unreal” au...

Success Story: TAS Advocates for Penalty Abatement

Thu, Jul 05, 2018

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy. A taxpayer came to TAS for assistance because the IRS assessed a penalty for not reporting income accurately. The taxpayer relied on a t...

NTA Blog: A Few Thoughts About The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Fiscal Year 2019 Objectives Report

Wed, Jun 27, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. In lieu of posting a blog this week I would ask that you check out my June Report to Congress instead. In my preface you will find some extraordinary information, st...

National Taxpayer Advocate releases Fiscal Year 2019 Objectives Report to Congress

Wed, Jun 27, 2018

The National Taxpayer Advocate released her Fiscal Year 2019 Objectives Report to Congress today. In it, she reviews the 2018 filing season, addresses challenges facing the IRS, and identifies TAS’s priority issues for fiscal year (FY) 2019. Taxpayer Service Challenges  In her preface to the report, the NTA focuses on the IRS’s customer service challenges. She states in the cu...

Tax Changes

Wed, Jun 27, 2018

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NTA Blog: Participants in the Sharing Economy Lack Adequate Guidance From the IRS

Wed, Jun 20, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. In my most recent Annual Report to Congress, I included the IRS’s efforts to reach out to participants in the sharing economy (also know as the “gig econ...

NTA Blog: The IRS’s Continued Refusal to Exclude Already Open TAS Cases From the Passport Certification Program Violates Taxpayer Rights

Thu, Jun 14, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. In January, I wrote my third blog about the IRS’s new program to certify the seriously delinquent tax debts of taxpayers for the purposes of passport denial, l...

NTA Blog: One Year Later, The IRS Has Not Adjusted Its Private Debt Collection Initiative To Minimize Harm To Vulnerable Taxpayers

Wed, Jun 06, 2018

Subscribe to the NTA’s Blog and receive updates on the latest blog posts from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. Additional blogs from the National Taxpayer Advocate can be found at www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/blog. Since the IRS implemented the private debt collection (PDC) initiative last year, I have been concerned that taxpayers whose debts are assigned to private collection...

IRS Announces Webinar on the 2019 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Grant Application Process

Thu, May 31, 2018

The IRS announced today that the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program Office will host two webinars on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, and Tuesday, June 12, 2018. The webinars are to provide potential applicants with information about the application requirements and process. The intended audience for this webinar include applicant’s proposing to open or expand the work of existing: Clinical progra...