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2022 Best of the Best

November 23, 2022

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us again.  This is our third year receiving this award and we would not continue to grow and serve our community if it wasn't for our amazing clients who are like family to us.  Thank you for allowing us to serve your accounting and tax needs. Here's to another successful year!

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Service providers, others may receive 1099-Ks for sales over $600 in early 2023

October 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers earning income from selling goods and/or providing services that they may receive Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third-Party Network Transactions, for payment card transactions and third-party payment network transactions of more than $600 for the year.
There is no change to the taxability of income; the only change is to the reporting rules for Form 1099-K. As before, income, including from part-time work, side jobs or the sale of goods, is still taxable. Taxpayers must report all income on their tax return unless it is excluded by law, whether they receive a Form 1099-NEC, Nonemployee Compensation; Form 1099-K; or any other information return.
The IRS emphasizes that money received through third-party payment applications from friends and relatives as personal gifts or reimbursements for personal expenses is not taxable.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) lowered the reporting threshold for third-party networks that process payments for those doing business. Prior to 2022, Form 1099-K was issued for third party payment network transactions only if the total number of transactions exceeded 200 for the year and the aggregate amount of these transactions exceeded $20,000. Now a single transaction exceeding $600 can trigger a 1099-K.
The lower information reporting threshold and the summary of income on Form 1099-K enables taxpayers to more easily track the amounts received.
Generally, greater income reporting accuracy by taxpayers also lowers the need and likelihood of later examination.

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A New Member of our Work Family

July 25, 2022

We would like to congratulate our office manager, Daniela, and her husband, Marcos, on the birth of their first child! Baby Girl Maya was born on July 25, 2022, and is healthy and as cute as a button.  Congrats to you both!

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The IRS Addresses Skyrocketing Gas Prices

June 16, 2022

The cheapest regular gas within five miles of me in suburban Chicago earlier this week was $5.34 a gallon.
It may be higher or lower in your area, but no matter where you’re located, the surge in gas prices is hitting wallets hard. It’s also making it more costly for volunteers and staff to use their personal vehicles for church business.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has responded to the skyrocketing costs of gas. The agency recently announced it will increase the standard mileage rate for business travel to 62.5 cents—a 4-cent increase—effective July 1.

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IRS issues information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients and recipients of the third round of Economic Impact Payments; taxpayers should hold onto letters to help the 2022 Filing Season experience

December 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will issue information letters to Advance Child Tax Credit recipients starting in December and to recipients of the third round of the Economic Impact Payments at the end of January. Using this information when preparing a tax return can reduce errors and delays in processing.

The IRS urged people receiving these letters to make sure they hold onto them to assist them in preparing their 2021 federal tax returns in 2022.

Watch for advance Child Tax Credit letter

To help taxpayers reconcile and receive all of the Child Tax Credits to which they are entitled, the IRS will send Letter 6419, 2021 advance CTC, starting late December 2021 and continuing into January. The letter will include the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021 and the number of qualifying children used to calculate the advance payments. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with their tax records.

Families who received advance payments will need to file a 2021 tax return and compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments they received in 2021 with the amount of the Child Tax Credit they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.

The letter contains important information that can make preparing their tax returns easier. People who received the advance CTC payments can also check the amount of their payments by using the CTC Update Portal available on IRS.gov.

Eligible families who did not receive any advance Child Tax Credit payments can claim the full amount of the Child Tax Credit on their 2021 federal tax return, filed in 2022. This includes families who don't normally need to file a tax return.

Economic Impact Payment letter can help with the Recovery Rebate Credit

The IRS will begin issuing Letter 6475, Your Third Economic Impact Payment, to EIP recipients in late January. This letter will help Economic Impact Payment recipients determine if they are entitled to and should claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax year 2021 tax returns that they file in 2022.

Letter 6475 only applies to the third round of Economic Impact Payments that was issued starting in March 2021 and continued through December 2021. The third round of Economic Impact Payments, including the "plus-up" payments, were advance payments of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit that would be claimed on a 2021 tax return. Plus-up payments were additional payments the IRS sent to people who received a third Economic Impact Payment based on a 2019 tax return or information received from SSA, RRB or VA; or to people who may be eligible for a larger amount based on their 2020 tax return.

Most eligible people already received the payments. However, people who are missing stimulus payments should review the information to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2020 or 2021.

Like the advance CTC letter, the Economic Impact Payment letters include important information that can help people quickly and accurately file their tax return.

More information about the advance Child Tax CreditEconomic Impact Payments and other COVID-19-related tax relief may be found at IRS.gov.

As the 2022 tax filing season approaches, the IRS urges people to make sure an accurate tax return and use electronic filing with direct deposit to avoid delays.

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IRS issues standard mileage rates for 2022

December 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2022 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2022, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 58.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 2.5 cents from the rate for 2021,

  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, up 2 cents from the rate for 2021 and

  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2021.

The standard mileage rate for business use is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

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IRS provides revised questions and answers for 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit

December 10, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today updated frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit PDF (FS-2021-17). Individuals who didn't get the full first and second Economic Impact Payments may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.

The first and second rounds of Economic Impact Payments were issued in 2020 and early 2021. The first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments were advance payments of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit claimed on a 2020 tax return.

Individuals who are missing the first or second stimulus payments should review the revised answers to determine their eligibility and whether they need to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit for tax year 2020. If they're eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, they will need to file a 2020 tax return if they have not filed yet or amend their 2020 tax return if it's already been processed.

These FAQs are being issued to provide general information to taxpayers and tax professionals as expeditiously as possible

More information about reliance is available.

More information on the Recovery Rebate Credit is available on IRS.gov.

Financial Consultation

Get ready for taxes: What's new and what to consider when filing in 2022

December 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today encouraged taxpayers to take important actions this month to help them file their federal tax returns in 2022, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments and advance Child Tax Credit payments.

This is the second in a series of reminders to help taxpayers get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. A special page, updated and available on IRS.gov, outlines steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier in 2022.

Here are some key items for taxpayers to consider before they file next year.

Check on advance Child Tax Credit payments

Families who received advance payments will need to compare the advance Child Tax Credit payments that they received in 2021 with the amount of the Child Tax Credit that they can properly claim on their 2021 tax return.

Taxpayers who received less than the amount for which they're eligible will claim a credit for the remaining amount of Child Tax Credit on their 2021 tax return. Taxpayers who received more than the amount for which they're eligible may need to repay some or all of the excess payment when they file.

In January 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6419 with the total amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments taxpayers received in 2021. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about advance Child Tax Credit payments with their tax records.

See Reconciling Your Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Your 2021 Tax Return for more information.

Eligible families who did not get monthly advance payments in 2021 can still get a lump-sum payment by claiming the Child Tax Credit when they file a 2021 federal income tax return next year. This includes families who don't normally need to file a return.

Economic Impact Payments and claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit

Individuals who didn't qualify for the third Economic Impact Payment or did not receive the full amount may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit based on their 2021 tax information. They'll need to file a 2021 tax return, even if they don't usually file, to claim the credit.

Individuals will also need the amount of their third Economic Impact Payment and any Plus-Up Payments received to calculate their correct 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit amount when they file their tax return. Ensuring they use the correct payment amounts will help them avoid a processing delay that may slow their refund.

In early 2022, the IRS will send Letter 6475 that contains the total amount of the third Economic Impact Payment and any Plus-Up Payments received. People should keep this and any other IRS letters about their stimulus payments with other tax records. Individuals can also log in to their IRS.gov Online Account to securely access their Economic Impact Payment amounts.

See IRS.gov/rrc for more information.

Financial Advisor

Expanded tax benefits help individuals and businesses give to charity during 2021; deductions up to $600 available for cash donations by non-itemizers

September 17, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service today explained how expanded tax benefits can help both individuals and businesses give to charity before the end of this year.

The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted last December, provides several provisions to help individuals and businesses who give to charity. The new law generally extends through the end of 2021 four temporary tax changes originally enacted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Here is a rundown of these changes.

Deduction for individuals who don't itemize; cash donations up to $600 qualify

Ordinarily, individuals who elect to take the standard deduction cannot claim a deduction for their charitable contributions. The law now permits these individuals to claim a limited deduction on their 2021 federal income tax returns for cash contributions made to certain qualifying charitable organizations. Nearly nine in 10 taxpayers now take the standard deduction and could potentially qualify to claim a limited deduction for cash contributions.

These individuals, including married individuals filing separate returns, can claim a deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made to qualifying charities during 2021. The maximum deduction is increased to $600 for married individuals filing joint returns.

Cash contributions to most charitable organizations qualify. However, cash contributions made either to supporting organizations or to establish or maintain a donor advised fund do not qualify. Cash contributions carried forward from prior years do not qualify, nor do cash contributions to most private foundations and most cash contributions to charitable remainder trusts. In general, a donor-advised fund is a fund or account maintained by a charity in which a donor can, because of being a donor, advise the fund on how to distribute or invest amounts contributed by the donor and held in the fund. A supporting organization is a charity that carries out its exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations, usually other public charities. See Publication 526, Charitable Contributions for more information on the types of organizations that qualify.

Cash contributions include those made by check, credit card or debit card as well as amounts incurred by an individual for unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with the individual's volunteer services to a qualifying charitable organization. Cash contributions don't include the value of volunteer services, securities, household items or other property.

100% limit on eligible cash contributions made by itemizers in 2021

Subject to certain limits, individuals who itemize may generally claim a deduction for charitable contributions made to qualifying charitable organizations. These limits typically range from 20% to 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI) and vary by the type of contribution and type of charitable organization. For example, a cash contribution made by an individual to a qualifying public charity is generally limited to 60% of the individual's AGI. Excess contributions may be carried forward for up to five tax years.

The law now permits electing individuals to apply an increased limit ("Increased Individual Limit"), up to 100% of their AGI, for qualified contributions made during calendar-year 2021. Qualified contributions are contributions made in cash to qualifying charitable organizations.

As with the new limited deduction for nonitemizers, cash contributions to most charitable organizations qualify, but, cash contributions made either to supporting organizations or to establish or maintain a donor advised fund, do not. Nor do cash contributions to private foundations and most cash contributions to charitable remainder trusts

Unless an individual makes the election for any given qualified cash contribution, the usual percentage limit applies. Keep in mind that an individual's other allowed charitable contribution deductions reduce the maximum amount allowed under this election. Eligible individuals must make their elections with their 2021 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

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Here are some facts about how the IRS communicates with taxpayers; avoid scams!

August 24, 2021

If the IRS does call a taxpayer, it should not be a surprise because the agency will generally send a notice or letter first. Understanding how the IRS communicates can help taxpayers protect themselves from scammers who pretend to be from the IRS with the 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. Do not reply to an email from someone who claims to be from the IRS because the IRS email address could be spoofed or fake. Emails from IRS employees will end in IRS.gov.

  • The agency does not send text messages or contact people through social media. Fraudsters will impersonate legitimate government agents and agencies on social media and try to initiate contact with taxpayers.

  • When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, the first contact is normally by letter delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Debt relief firms send unsolicited tax debt relief offers through the mail. Fraudsters will often claim they already notified the 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. Taxpayers can search IRS notices by visiting Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter. However, not all IRS notices are searchable on that site and just because someone references an IRS notice in email, phone call, text, or social media, does not mean the request is legitimate.

  • 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. The IRS encourages taxpayers to review, How to Know it's Really the IRS Calling or Knocking on Your Door: Collection.

  • 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. Private debt collection should not be confused with debt relief firms who will call, send lien notices via U.S. Mail, or email taxpayers with debt relief offers. Taxpayers should contact the IRS regarding filing back taxes properly.

  • 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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Child tax Credit: New update address feature available with the IRS online portal

August 20, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new feature allowing any family receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments to quickly and easily update their mailing address using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, found exclusively on IRS.gov. This feature will help any family that chooses to receive their payment by paper check avoid mailing delays or even having a check returned as undeliverable.

Any family can easily have their September check and all future checks sent to their new address by using the portal to make an address change request. To have the change take effect in September, people need to complete the request before midnight Eastern Time on Monday, August 30. Families can still make changes after that date, but their request will not be effective until the next scheduled monthly payment.

If you change your mailing address using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal, the IRS will use this updated address for all future IRS correspondence so the address change feature can also be helpful to taxpayers that are receiving payments by direct deposit. For example, the IRS will mail a year-end summary statement (Letter 6419) to all taxpayers who have received advance Child Tax Credit payments during 2021 and having a current address on file with the IRS will ensure prompt delivery of this statement.

Families will need Letter 6419 to quickly and accurately fill out their 2021 federal income tax return next year. This is important because, for most families, the advance payments they are receiving during 2021 cover only half of the total credit. They will claim the remaining portion on their 2021 tax return.

The address change feature joins a growing set of services available through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Available only on IRS.gov, the portal already allows families to verify their eligibility for the payments and then, if they choose to:

  • Switch from receiving a paper check to direct deposit;

  • Change the account where their payment is direct deposited; or

  • Stop monthly payments for the rest of 2021.

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Tips for Taxpayers to Make Filing Easier

January 20, 2021

To speed refunds and help with their tax filing, the IRS urges people to follow these simple steps:

  • File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds.

  • Check IRS.gov for the latest tax information, including the latest on Economic Impact Payments. There is no need to call.

  • For those who may be eligible for stimulus payments, they should carefully review the guidelines for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Most people received Economic Impact Payments automatically, and anyone who received the maximum amount does not need to include any information about their payments when they file. However, those who didn't receive a payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Tax preparation software, including IRS Free File, will help taxpayers figure the amount.

  • Remember, advance stimulus payments received separately are not taxable, and they do not reduce the taxpayer's refund when they file in 2021.

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2021 Tax Filing Season Begins February 12, 2021

January 15, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service announced that the nation's tax season will start on Friday, February 12, 2021, when the tax agency will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns.
The February 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the December 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.
This programming work is critical to ensuring IRS systems run smoothly. If filing season were opened without the correct programming in place, then there could be a delay in issuing refunds to taxpayers. These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return.
To speed refunds during the pandemic, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically with direct deposit as soon as they have the information they need. People can begin filing their tax returns immediately with tax software companies, including IRS Free File partners. These groups are starting to accept tax returns now, and the returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting February 12.
"Planning for the nation's filing season process is a massive undertaking, and IRS teams have been working non-stop to prepare for this as well as delivering Economic Impact Payments in record time," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Given the pandemic, this is one of the nation's most important filing seasons ever. This start date will ensure that people get their needed tax refunds quickly while also making sure they receive any remaining stimulus payments they are eligible for as quickly as possible."
Last year's average tax refund was more than $2,500. More than 150 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, with the vast majority before the Thursday, April 15 deadline.
Under the PATH Act, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds and claims from being issued, including to identity thieves.
The IRS anticipates a first week of March refund for many EITC and ACTC taxpayers if they file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns. This would be the same experience for taxpayers if the filing season opened in late January. Taxpayers will need to check Where's My Refund for their personalized refund date.
Overall, the IRS anticipates nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically with direct deposit if there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically. To avoid delays in processing, people should avoid filing paper returns wherever possible.

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2021 Income Tax Planning

November 19, 2020

2020 has been filled with ups and downs that have given even the strongest of us unexpected financial issues, health situations, child care shortages, and other personal and professional challenges not faced in recent years.  Income taxes, income, deductions, stimulus, COVID legislation...all stress inducing topics for most.  Let us help you make this coming income tax filing an easy process, as we answer your questions, ease your anxieties, and help you to get the most out of the challenges of 2020.  
Check out the new tab at the top that will help you with your questions regarding your 2021 deductions.  If you are a business owner, we have plenty of information for you as well.  Check it out, and let us know how we can help make 2021 get off to a better start.

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IRS extends Economic Impact Payment deadline to Nov. 21 to help non-filers

October 5, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is now November 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline.

The IRS urges people who don't typically file a tax return – and haven't received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after November 21.

"We took this step to provide more time for those who have not yet received a payment to register to get their money, including those in low-income and underserved communities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS is deeply involved in processing and programming that overlaps filing seasons. Any further extension beyond November would adversely impact our work on the 2020 and 2021 filing seasons. The Non-Filers portal has been available since the spring and has been used successfully by many millions of Americans."

Special note: This additional time into November is solely for those who have not received their EIP and don't normally file a tax return. For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, that deadline date remains October 15.

To support the ongoing EIP effort, many partner groups have been working with the IRS, helping translate and making available in 35 languages IRS information and resources on Economic Impact Payments.

To help spread the word, the IRS sent nearly 9 million letters in September to people who may be eligible for the $1,200 Economic Impact Payments but don't normally file a tax return. This push encourages people to use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov.

"Time is running out for those who don't normally file a tax return to get their payments," Rettig added. "Registration is quick and easy, and we urge everyone to share this information to reach as many people before the deadline."

While most eligible U.S. taxpayers have automatically received their Economic Impact Payment, others who don't have a filing obligation need to use the Non-Filers tool to register with the IRS to get their money. Typically, this includes people who receive little or no income.

The Non-Filers tool is secure and is based on Free File Fillable Forms, part of the Free File Alliance's offering of free products on IRS.gov.

The Non-Filers tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples, and $12,200 for singles who could not be claimed as a dependent by someone else. This includes couples and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

Anyone using the Non-Filers tool can speed the arrival of their payment by choosing to receive it by direct deposit. Those not choosing this option will get a check.

Beginning two weeks after they register, people can track the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool, available only on IRS.gov.

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Automatic Extension Filing Deadline

September 24, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers who filed an extension that the October 15 due date to file 2019 tax returns is approaching. Taxpayers should complete their tax returns and file on or before the October 15 deadline. Although October 15 is the last day for most people to file, some taxpayers may have more time. They include:

  • Members of the military and others serving in a combat zone. They typically have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file returns and pay any taxes due.

  • Taxpayers in federally declared disaster areas who already had valid extensions. For details, see the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers who did not request an extension and have yet to file a 2019 tax return can generally avoid additional penalties and interest by filing the return as soon as possible and paying any taxes owed.

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COVID-19 Delays

September 1, 2020

It’s taking the Internal Revenue Service longer to process mailed documents including:

  • Paper tax returns, and

  • All tax return related correspondence.

They are processing all mail in the order it was received. Do not file a second tax return or call the IRS.

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Consumer Alerts of Tax Scams

September 1, 2020

Note that the IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.

  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

For more information on tax scams, please see Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts. For more information on phishing scams, please see Suspicious emails and Identity Theft

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