We are pleased to provide you with IRS news and information. We hope that the information will be helpful
►UPCOMING WEB CONFERENCES
Please check Webinars for Small Businesses for upcoming National and Local Webinars.
Click HERE for webinars and videos recently posted to the IRS Video Portal.
- Myth 1: All Refunds Are Delayed
- Myth 2: Delayed Refunds, those Claiming EITC and/or ACTC, will be Delivered on Feb. 15
- Myth 3: Ordering a Tax Transcript a “Secret Way” to Get a Refund Date
- Myth 4: Calling the IRS or a Tax Professional Will Provide a Better Refund Date
- Myth 5: Calling the IRS is the Most Convenient Way to Get Answers to Tax or Refund Questions
- Myth 6: The IRS will Call or Email Taxpayers about Their Refund
- The IRS Tax Calendar for Small Businesses and Self-Employed is a free tool offered by the IRS to help you keep track of upcoming tax due dates. Available in both online and Spanish language versions at the IRS Tax Calendar page on IRS.gov.
- The IRS has seen an increasing number of taxpayers subject to estimated tax penalties, which apply when someone underpays their taxes. The number of people who paid this penalty jumped from 7.2 million in 2010 to 10 million in 2015, an increase of nearly 40 percent. The penalty amount varies, but can be several hundred dollars.
- The IRS urges taxpayers to check into their options to avoid these penalties. Adjusting withholding on their paychecks or the amount of their estimated tax payments can help prevent penalties. This is especially important for people in the sharing economy, those with more than one job and those with major changes in their life, like a recent marriage or a new child.
- Consider using the IRS Online Payment Agreement
- Learn what to do if you can’t pay your tax bill in full within 120 days. Watch this
IRS YouTube video to see if you’re eligible for an online payment agreement.
- To help the tax community track information related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS has created a special page on IRS.gov to highlight provisions of the new law. The frequently updated page will include a “one-stop” listing of new legal guidance, news releases, Frequently Asked Questions, and other information related to TCJA.
- Tax professionals should bookmark the page and check it regularly for the latest information as the IRS works to implement changes.
- The Budget Bipartisan Act of 2018 was signed Feb. 9 and retroactively extended and modified numerous tax provisions covering 2017. The IRS is incrementally updating the needed forms, and completing programming and testing of our processing systems to reflect each provision of the legislation.
►Identity Theft / Data Theft / Scam Alerts
- The IRS is warning taxpayers of a quickly growing scam involving erroneous tax refunds being deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS also offered a step-by-step explanation for how to return the funds and avoid being scammed.
- Following up on a Security Summit alert issued Feb. 2, the IRS issued this additional warning about the new scheme after discovering more tax practitioners’ computer files have been breached. In addition, the number of potential taxpayer victims jumped from a few hundred to several thousand in just days. The IRS Criminal Investigation division continues its investigation into the scope and breadth of this scheme.
- These criminals have a new twist on an old scam. After stealing client data from tax professionals and filing fraudulent tax returns, these criminals use the taxpayers’ real bank accounts for the deposit.
- Thieves are then using various tactics to reclaim the refund from the taxpayers, and their versions of the scam may continue to evolve.
- The IRS announced steep declines in tax-related identity theft in 2017, attributing the success to the Security Summit initiatives that help safeguard the nation’s taxpayers.
►EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS:
Ensure You Have Access to FIRE System Before You Need It
- If you plan to submit 1099’s through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system, ensure you can access the system before the Feb. 28 and March 31 deadlines to file. A valid username, password, PIN and secret phrase are required for a successful login.
- If you encounter difficulties logging in, check that you have correctly entered your information. If you get locked out of your FIRE account, call Information Returns Customer Service at 866-455-7438 (International toll call at 304-263-8700) for assistance with resetting your password, PIN, or secret phrase. Before calling, have your business name, employer identification number, and user ID on hand. Do not revert to paper filing.
- Plan ahead as wait times might be longer than usual if you call close to the filing deadline.
You can find more information on the FIRE landing page on IRS.gov. (Updated February 20 – good info!)
►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES
- YouTube video: Preparing an Audit Proof Tax Return(used with permission)
►IN EVERY ISSUE
If you’re an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to view:
o Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
o The balance for each tax year for which you owe
o Up to 18 months of your payment history
o Key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.
Loads of info here, including:
Want to see if the letter you got is really from the IRS? Many (but not all) IRS letters and notices listed here.
We send out emails each time there’s a new tax scam. It gets confusing to remember all of them. You don’t have to! This page lists ALL scams targeting taxpayers, tax professionals and others.
- Not every data breach results in identity theft, and not every identity
theft is tax-related identity theft.
Federal Trade Commission:
- Individuals: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
- Business:https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/privacy-and- security/data-security