Most of us think of the IRS as that government organization that collects taxes from individuals and organizations. However, the IRS does other work as well. This includes keeping tax information safe from fraudsters and thieves. Thus the IRS has a new press release from the Security Summit during Tax Security Week (Dec. 3-7) entitled “It’s shopping season for identity thieves, too.”
The end of the year tends to be a flurry of closing out the books, managing holiday staffing and panicking about the New Year. Most businesses have already dealt changes in the new tax plan, but there are several useful tips from financial experts that can enable owners to enter the new year with a running start.
The Internal Revenue Service recently released its annual report on criminal enforcement in fiscal 2018, which ended September 30. The announcement touted that the Criminal Investigation team is using “cutting-edge technology combined with sophisticated investigative work.”
The last quarter of the year is upon us. This makes it the perfect time to discuss changes to tax obligations under the Tax Cut and Jobs Creation Act signed at the end of 2017. There are changes that directly address business owners and freelancers.
The scammers come out around tax time. For many tax-paying Americans that means April 15, but those who filed an extension must pay by October 15. According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers need to be on the lookout for scammers who use this date as an excuse to try and steal money or personal information from unsuspecting victims.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Boston-based Wayfair Inc. in 2018, determining that states could levy sales tax upon internet retailers who are based in other states. The court also suggested that there should be a checklist of rules that go with this new tax law.
The IRS provides a lot of helpful information, but it is not always clear whether making certain tax deductions are legitimate. The web site is a good place to start, but it does not provide all the answers. Smart filers want to get the maximum number deductions to reduce the amount they are obligated pay but there are ground rules.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that those who owe more than $51,000 to the IRS will be prevented from getting a new or renewing their passport. This new law, which went into effect in March 2018, could affect an estimated 363,000 people who fall into this category. At this point, the government is not revoking the passports of those who owe money. It will also send a notice to citizens if their passport application privileges have been revoked.
There are few pieces of mail that are more likely cause your heart to skip a beat than an envelope from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS mails millions of letters for a variety of reasons. Likely the happiest reason is a refund check, the most difficult will be an audit. The organization understands that some have a hard time dealing with all the paperwork and may not even be comfortable interacting with a large government organization. They have now issued a list of do’s and don’ts if you receive correspondence from the taxman. These include:
In the past few years, the Internal Revenue Service has had several setbacks. With budget cuts and the resulting layoffs, the tax collection agency is somewhat understaffed. With fewer personnel on hand, the IRS is not able to audit as many tax returns as it could in previous years. This is good news for many taxpayers: Your chance of being audited is fairly low.