Washington — The Internal Revenue Service announced the successful start of its new web-based system — IRS Direct Pay — on IRS.gov, which lets taxpayers pay their tax bills or make estimated tax payments directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or pre-registration.

“IRS Direct Pay reflects our latest effort to add more online tools to provide additional service options to help taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

WASHINGTON — As of April 18, almost 46 million returns were e-filed from home computers, more than the total from home computers for all of 2013. The IRS has received more than 131 million returns, of which 88 percent were e-filed.

The IRS also projects that almost 5 million taxpayers will amend their returns by filing http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-1040X,-Amended-U.S.-Individual-Income-Tax-Return">Form 1040X during 2014. Taxpayers who need to amend their returns should file this form only after filing the original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, taxpayers must file Form 1040X within 3 years,

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number.‬

The fake emails may include the following message: “Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance.”‬

WASHINGTON — Refunds totaling almost $760 million may be waiting for an estimated 918,600 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2010, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. However, to collect the money, a return for 2010 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

"The window is quickly closing for people who are owed refunds from 2010 who haven't filed a tax return," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "We encourage students, part-time workers and others who haven't filed for 2010 to look into this before time runs out on April 15."

In a breach involving Social Security numbers, the state Department of Labor said Friday that a printing error caused nearly 27,000 people to receive someone else's information on unemployment compensation forms.

Since unemployment compensation is taxable, the labor department is required to inform individuals annually about the amount they had received on a tax form.

On 27,000 of the 250,000 forms — known as UC-1099G — that have been mailed out to people who applied for unemployment benefits, information on the top portion of the form is correct. But in a case of double-printing, the bottom half includes the name, address, and Social Security number of another person.

IR-2013-100, Dec. 18, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to receive refunds.

The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.

Abrupt Reversal Follows Data Breach Of Debit Cards Handled by JP Morgan Chase

HARTFORD — In an abrupt reversal, the state tax department decided Monday to immediately suspend the debit card program for tax refunds and instead issue paper checks to more than 5,000 taxpayers in the coming weeks.

The change was prompted by a computer data breach of the debit cards in a system handled by JP Morgan Chase, the international banking giant that was sharply criticized by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's tax commissioner, Kevin B. Sullivan. Sullivan is trying to reopen the contract with the bank as soon as possible after saying that it had been involved in a "wholly unacceptable failure to provide a timely response'' about the data breach.

"I am wildly unhappy with the level of customer service of JP Morgan Chase," Sullivan said Monday. "This has been a great frustration."

Tax Tips Small Business

  • Employee Meals: When Does the 50-Percent Limit Apply?

    Don't reduce your deduction if you aren't required to

    In most cases, an employer is only allowed to deduct one-half of the expense that is paid to employees for meals. However, in some instances, the full amount is allowed.

    Read more ...

Small Business Quick Tip

  • SS Wage Base

    The Social Security wage base increases to $118,500 in 2016. This means that you are no longer required to withhold social security tax for employees after meeting this threshold. However, you are required to withhold Medicare taxes regardless of the amount of wages paid.
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Tax Tips Personal

  • Cleaning Out Your Closets?

    Items you donate may not qualify for a deduction

    It used to be that you could take all your unused clothing and household items to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or thrift store and reap a nice charitable contribution deduction.

    Read more ...

Personal Quick Tip

  • Mutual Fund Cost Basis

    If you own mutual funds, it is important to keep track of your reinvested dividends. These dividends increase your cost basis resulting in a lower capital gain when you sell the fund.