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tax and other legal items

Published: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 01:00:00 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 1997-2015, Frank C. Carnahan, all rights reserved

How to know it's really the IRS calling or knocking on your door

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers and how you can determine whether a contact you received is truly from an IRS employee. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. There are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations, but even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called "notices") from the IRS in the mail.

Private Collection of Some Overdue Federal Taxes Starts in April

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Starting in April 2017, the IRS will begin sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. The new program authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015 enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government's behalf, unpaid tax debts.

Eligible small businesses can apply all or part of their research credit against their payroll tax liability instead of just their income tax liability

Tue, 04 Apr 2017 13:00:00 GMT

An eligible small business with qualifying research expenses can choose to apply up to $250,000 of its research credit against its payroll tax liability, by filling out Form 6765, Credit for Increasing Research Activities, and attaching it to a timely-filed business income tax return. After choosing this option, a small business claims the payroll tax credit by filling out Form 8974, Qualified Small Business Payroll Tax Credit for Increasing Research Activities. This form must be attached to its payroll tax return, for example Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. This will benefit any eligible startup that has little or no income tax liability.

IRS Tips about the sharing ecnomy

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

If taxpayers use one of the many online platforms to rent a spare bedroom, provide car rides, or a number of other goods or services, they may be involved in the sharing economy, and sharing economy activity is taxable. The IRS now offers a Sharing Economy Tax Center, to help taxpayers find the resources they need to help them meet their tax obligations

Tax Credit for Retirement Savings Contributions

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Taxpayers who contribute to a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or an IRA, may be able to claim the Nonrefundable Saver's Credit. The maximum contribution is $2,000 per person. Those filing a joint return can also contribute $2,000 for the spouse.The credit cannot be more than the amount of tax that a taxpayer would otherwise pay in taxes. This credit will not change the amount of refundable tax credits

The IRS has established a process for employers and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

A dangerous email scam currently is circulating nationwide and targeting employers, including tax exempt entities, universities and schools, government and private-sector businesses. The scammer poses as an internal executive requesting employee Forms W-2 and Social Security Number information from company payroll or human resources departments. They may even send an initial "Hi, are you in today" message before the request. The IRS has established a process that will allow employers and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam.

IRS Updates Allowable Living Expense Standards for 2017

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Collection Financial Standards are used to help determine a taxpayer's ability to pay a delinquent tax liability. Allowable living expenses include those expenses that meet the necessary expense test. The necessary expense test is defined as expenses that are necessary to provide for a taxpayer's (and his or her family's) health and welfare and/or production of income.

The IRS has updated its policy covering Offer in Compromise? applications

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Beginning with Offer applications, the IRS will return any newly filed Offer in Compromise application received on or after March 27, 2017 if the applicant has not filed all required tax returns. Any application fee included with the OIC will also be returned. Any initial payment required with the returned application will be applied to reduce your balance due. This policy does not apply to current year tax returns if there is a valid extension on file.

Taxpayer Allowed Only One "Opportunity" To Challenge Penalty Assessment

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT

In Keller Tank Services II, Inc., CA-10, February 21, 2017, the Tenth Circuit held that the Tax Court properly decided that a taxpayer was not entitled to challenge a penalty in a collection due process (CDP) hearing assessed against it after previously challenging the penalty with IRS appeals. In so doing, the appeals court affirmed that it was reasonable to interpret the applicable statute as only offering one chance to challenge an assessment.

IRS Guide to Community-Based Free Tax Preparation

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:00:00 GMT

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs help people every year. Through these IRS-sponsored programs, millions of lower-to-moderate income individuals and families get their taxes done free. The IRS works with local community groups to train and certify VITA and TCE volunteers to offer this service. Eligible taxpayers, including those with disabilities or limited English, should take advantage of these free programs.

IRS Refundable Credit Resources

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Information on other refundable credits along with the Additional Child Tax Credit refundable portions,r Lifetime Learning Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and a Child-Related Tax Benefits comparison chart

Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Information on getting the Earned Intome Tax Credit

The IRS is sending Letter 5025-H to tax preparers who completed returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

The IRS is sending Letter 5025-H to tax preparers who completed returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit for taxpayers reporting income they received as household employees but without a Form W-2 to substantiate the income. These preparers may not have met their EITC due diligence requirements.

IRS warns of the return of the W2 Scam aimed at tax and payroll professionals

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

Cybercriminals tricked payroll and human resource officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs and income information. The thieves then attempted to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds. This phishing variation is known as a "spoofing" e-mail. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the "CEO" sends an email to a company payroll office or human resource employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs. The following are some of the details that may be contained in the emails: * Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review. * Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary). * I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

IRS web page lets you find out how much you owe

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

If you're an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to find out: (1) Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day, and (2) the balance for each tax year for which you owe. Your balance will update no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Once you view your balance, you can immediately choose a payment option. The IRS recommends that you make a note of the amount before doing so. To register for this service, you need: (i) Your Social Security Number; (ii) date of birth; (iii) filing status; (iv) mailing address from latest tax return; (v) access to your email account; (vi) your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan; and (vii) a mobile phone with your name on the account.

Use IRS Publication 2043 to Set Refund Expectations for 2017

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT

IRS Publication 2043, IRS Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community, was updated for 2017. The publication provides the latest refund information and guidelines to advise clients who are expecting refunds. This year's update includes information about a new law that requires the IRS to hold refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. The IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, these refunds likely will not reach taxpayers until the week of Feb. 27.