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IRS, Partners Urge Taxpayers to Beware of IRS Impersonations and Tax Scams

If you get a call from the “IRS” threatening you with lawsuits or jail unless you pay up immediately … Guess what? It’s a scam.

IRS impersonation and tax scams by phone, email, postal mail and text are ongoing. Criminals use more  and more creative ploys to trick taxpayers and tax preparers. Don’t be a victim.

The IRS, state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry are asking for your help in the effort to combat identity theft and fraudulent returns. Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference.

That’s why for the second year in a row, we launched a public awareness campaign that we call “Taxes. Security. Together.” And, we’ve launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals.

IRS Reminds Business Owners of New W-2 Filing Deadline

In October 2016, the IRS issued a reminder to employers and small-business owners of a new January 31 deadline for submitting Forms W-2 and certain Forms 1099-MISC to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The accelerated deadline, which was enacted as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act passed in late 2015, is designed to help the IRS spot refund fraud and issue refunds more quickly.

The filing deadline covers employer copies of Forms W-2 and Forms 1099-MISC that report nonemployee compensation, such as payments to independent contractors. Employers previously had until the end of February (if filing by paper) or March (if filing electronically) to submit their forms to the SSA.

Three Financial Issues to Watch Under the New Administration

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Between now and then, attention should largely focus on efforts to facilitate an orderly transfer of power, but there will be no shortage of conjecture over what may happen after the inauguration. While changes are likely, the specifics and scope will take time to unfold. For now, here are three key financial issues to watch.

Affordable Care Act

Since its enactment in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, has faced intense partisan conflict. The ACA became a central issue during the presidential campaign, with Trump vowing to "repeal and replace" the legislation.1 In the late days of the campaign, criticism of the ACA was underscored by news reports of rising premium costs and health-care providers leaving the exchanges.

Employers that hire Holiday Help: Understand the Health Care Law’s Rules Around Seasonal Workers

 

As an employer, your size – for purposes of the Affordable Care Act –  is determined by the number of your employees. If you hire seasonal or holiday workers, you should know how these employees are counted under the health care law.

Employer benefits, opportunities and requirements are dependent upon your organization’s size and the applicable rules. If you have at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, on average during the prior year, you are an ALE for the current calendar year.  However, there is an exception for seasonal workers.

Reminder to Businesses: Special Tax Benefits Still Available in 40 Designated Empowerment Zones

Eligible businesses can still claim Empowerment Zone tax benefits through the end of this year. Empowerment Zones are certain urban and rural areas where employers and other taxpayers qualify for special tax benefits.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Agriculture designated 40 economically distressed locations as empowerment zones. Find a list of them in the instructions to IRS Form 8844.

Key Empowerment Zone tax benefits include:

Renewing Your ITIN? Here’s Where to Get Help

 

As the year-end draws near, taxpayers with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number set to expire are encouraged to start the renewal process now. This will help to avoid delays at tax time. The IRS issues ITINs to people with a federal tax filing or reporting requirement who don’t have and cannot get a Social Security number. 

Find help renewing an ITIN here:

IRS, Partners Offer Tips to Protect Data from Online Threats

 

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry urge you to join their effort to combat identity theft by doing more to protect personal and financial data from online threats.

Working in partnership with you, we can make a difference. That’s why for the second year in a row, we have embarked on a public awareness campaign called “Taxes. Security. Together.” And, we’ve launched a series of security awareness tips that can help protect you from cybercriminals. This is all part of the Security Summit effort, a joint effort between the IRS, the states and the private-sector tax industry.

Here’s an overview of basic steps to help protect your data: