Everyone should know how the IRS contacts taxpayers. This will help people avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information.
Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers:

  • The IRS doesn't normally initiate contact with taxpayers by email.

  • The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social media.

  • When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.  Fraudsters will send fake documents through the mail, and in some cases will claim they already notified a taxpayer by U.S. mail.

  • Depending on the situation, IRS employees may first call or visit with a taxpayer. In some instances, the IRS sends a letter or written notice to a taxpayer in advance, but not always.

  • IRS revenue agents or tax compliance officers may call a taxpayer or tax professional after mailing a notice to confirm an appointment or to discuss items for a scheduled audit.

  • Private debt collectors can call taxpayers for the collection of certain outstanding inactive tax liabilities, but only after the taxpayer and their representative have received written notice.

  • IRS revenue officers and agents routinely make unannounced visits to a taxpayer’s home or place of business to discuss taxes owed, delinquent tax returns or a business falling behind on payroll tax deposits. IRS revenue officers will request payment of taxes owed by the taxpayer. However, taxpayers should remember that payment will never be requested to a source other than the U.S. Treasury.

  • When visited by someone from the IRS, the taxpayers should always ask for credentials. IRS representatives can always provide two forms of official credentials: a pocket commission and a Personal Identity Verification Credential.

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News

Get Ready for Taxes: Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season

WASHINGTON --The IRS reminds taxpayers to keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Certain key information from their prior year return may be required to file in 2019.

This is the fifth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers Get Ready for the upcoming tax filing season. The IRS has recently updated its Get Ready page with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Keeping copies of prior year tax returns saves time. Often previous tax information is needed to file a current year tax return or to answer questions from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers claiming certain securities or debt losses should keep their tax returns and documents for at least seven years.

Use a tax return to validate identity

Taxpayers using tax filing software for the first time may need their adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from their prior year’s tax return to verify their identity. Learn more at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. Those who need a copy of their tax return should first check with their software provider or tax preparer. Taxpayers can also obtain a free tax transcript from the IRS, or for a fee, order a copy of their tax return.

Read more ...

Get Ready for Taxes: Here's how the new tax law revised family tax credits

WASHINGTON – More families will be able to get more money under the newly-revised Child Tax Credit, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

This is the third in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. Additionally, the IRS has recently updated a special page on its website with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax reform legislation passed in December 2017, doubled the maximum Child Tax Credit, boosted income limits to be able to claim the credit, and revised the identification number requirement for 2018 and subsequent years. The new law also created a second smaller credit of up to $500 per dependent aimed at taxpayers supporting older children and other relatives who do not qualify for the Child Tax Credit.

Read more ...

Ways the IRS may contact you

Everyone should know how the IRS contacts taxpayers. This will help people avoid becoming a victim of scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with a goal of stealing personal information.
Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers:

Read more ...

Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Paycheck Changes by February

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today released Notice 1036, which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law.

The updated withholding information, posted today on IRS.gov, shows the new rates for employers to use during 2018. Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Feb. 15, 2018. They should continue to use the 2017 withholding tables until implementing the 2018 withholding tables.

Many employees will begin to see increases in their paychecks to reflect the new law in February. The time it will take for employees to see the changes in their paychecks will vary depending on how quickly the new tables are implemented by their employers and how often they are paid — generally weekly, biweekly or monthly.   The new withholding tables are designed to work with the Forms W-4 that workers have already filed with their employers to claim withholding allowances. This will minimize burden on taxpayers and employers. Employees do not have to do anything at this time.

Read more ...

Standard Mileage Rates for 2018 Up from Rates for 2017

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

Read more ...

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Bartering and trading? Each transaction is taxable to both parties

    Sometimes, when the right opportunity presents itself, you may be able to pay for goods and services that you need or want by trading goods that you own, or providing a service that you can perform in return. An example of this is if you own a lawn maintenance company and receive legal services from an attorney and pay for those services by providing an agreed upon amount of mowing and maintenance services at the attorney's home or place of business.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • Business Credit Card

    Use your credit card to buy equipment and supplies that you will need in the upcoming year. Charges on your credit card for deductible business expenses are allowed in the year you make the purchase, not in the year the charge is paid. Pay off your credit card after the beginning of the year and avoid finance charges.
Friday, 22nd February 2019
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Weekly Tax Tip

22 February 2019

Weekly tips to help you better understand tax and financial situations.

Tax Tips Personal

  • IRA Contributions for Military Personnel

    Nontaxable combat pay is considered compensation

    Members of the military serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zone localities can now put money into an IRA, even if they received tax-free combat pay. Under the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act,

    Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • Mileage Rates

     

    Beginning January 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups, or panel trucks) are:
    • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
    • 17 cents per mile for all miles driven for medical or moving purposes; and
    • 14 cents per mile for all miles drive for charitable purposes.