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IRS News: 2017_08

IRS News: 2017_08


August 2017 


 See Webinars for Small Businesses for upcoming National and Local Webinars

 Click HERE for videos recently posted to the IRS Video Portal.


IRS Website Provides Tools to Help Small Businesses Understand Employment Taxes

  • The IRS offers small businesses many free products to help them understand and comply with the law. Products ranging from online calculators, printable calendars, step-by-step guides and a series of educational webinars are all available on
  • PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS PAGE for more information on Social Security and Medicare Taxes, Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax, Depositing Employment Taxes, and Reporting Employment Taxes.

Tips on How to Handle an IRS Letter or Notice

  • The IRS mails millions of letters every year to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. Keep the following suggestions in mind on how to best handle a letter or notice from the IRS:
  • Do not panic. Simply responding will take care of most IRS letters and notices.
  • Do not ignore the letter.
  • Respond timely
  • See the article above for more tips.

Taxpayers Should Review Their Withholding; Avoid Having Too Much or Too Little Federal Income Tax Withheld

  • The IRS encourages taxpayers to consider checking their tax withholding, keeping in mind several factors that could affect potential refunds or taxes they may owe in 2018.
  • Reviewing the amount of taxes withheld can help taxpayers avoid having too much or too little federal income tax taken from their paychecks. Having the correct amount taken out helps to move taxpayers closer to a zero balance at the end of the year when they file their tax return, which means no taxes owed or refund due.
  • The IRS offers several online resources to help taxpayers bring taxes paid closer to what they owe. They are available anytime on They include:
  • Self-employed taxpayers, including those involved in the sharing economy, can use the Form 1040-ES worksheet to correctly figure their estimated tax payments. If they also work for an employer, they can often forgo making these quarterly payments by instead having more tax taken out of their pay.

Private Debt Collection

  • The IRS began a new private collection program of certain overdue federal tax debts selecting four contractors to implement it.
  • These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working them.
  • The IRS will give taxpayers and their representative written notice that the accounts are being transferred to the private collection agencies. The agencies will send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.
  • Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit, iTunes or gift card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on Your Tax Bill. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.

New on

  • Inst. 941-X (PR), Instructions for Form 941-X (PR), Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund (Puerto Rico Version)
  • Form 14751, Certified Professional Employer Organization Surety Bond
  • Form W-8BEN-E, Certificate of Entities Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities)
  • Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization Customer Reporting Agreement
  • Inst. 8973, Instructions for Form 8973, Certified Professional Employer Organization/Customer Reporting Agreement
  • Pub. 957, Reporting Back Pay and Special Wage Payments to the Social Security Administration
  • Inst. W-2 and W-3, Instructions for Forms W-2 and W-3, Wage and Tax Statement and Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements
  • Pub. 1179, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns
  • Pub. 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Tax Forms and Schedules


Tax Scams – How to Report Them

  • Participating in an illegal scheme to avoid paying taxes can result in imprisonment and fines, as well as the repayment of taxes owed with penalties and interest. If you become aware of any abusive tax scams, please report them to the appropriate contact below.
  • How Do You Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity? This quick reference chart outlines how to report suspected tax fraud activity in different situations.
  • Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts. This page looks at the different scams affecting individuals, businesses, and tax professionals and what do if you spot a tax scam.


IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Involving Bogus Certified Letters; Reminds People to Remain Vigilant Against Scams, Schemes this Summer

  • The IRS is warning people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details.
  • In the latest twist, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the card is linked to the EFTPS system when, in fact, it is entirely controlled by the scammer. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax payment is made.

Now Available: Public List of Certified Professional Employer Organizations

 The IRS has published a list of organizations certified as professional employer organizations (CPEO) on a new CPEO Public Listings Page.

HSA Amounts for 2018 are listed in Rev. Proc. 2017–37, found in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2017-21.


From the FTC: Some of the most popular scams targeting small businesses attempt to trick companies into paying money they don’t owe.

Right now, the Federal Trade Commission is warning about two specific scams:

  • The Supply Swindle starts when unordered office supplies arrive at your business. Scammers then send a falsified invoice billing you for the items.
  • The patent and trademark scheme has scammers sending out mail and emails that offer bogus services for a fee and appear to be from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


NEW!  View Your Account Information

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter

Recent Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts

Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

Federal Trade Commission:

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