Tax Security 2.0 – A ‘Taxes-Security-Together’ Checklist – Step 3 The IRS, states and tax industry partners today warned tax professionals to beware of the continuing threat of phishing emails, which remain the most common tactic used by cybercriminals to steal sensitive data. The reminder came as the IRS and its Security Summit partners urged tax professionals to take time this summer to review their data security protections. To help this effort, the Summit partners prepared a special “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist as a starting point. “You can take all the cybersecurity steps in the world, but tax professionals and others in the business world should remember you are only as safe as your least educated employee,” said Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner. “Cybercriminals use phishing emails and malware to gain control of computer systems or to steal usernames and passwords. These can provide a treasure trove of information that can lead to tax-related identity theft.” Educating personnel on the dangers of phishing emails is the third item on the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist. This summer awareness initiative also has covered deploying the “Security Six” basic steps to protect computers and email as well as creating a data security plan. Although the Security Summit — … Read More
Individual Taxpayers Can View Their Tax Account Info – Here’s How Taxpayers with questions about their federal tax accounts can logon to IRS.gov for answers. Individual taxpayers can login to the View Your Account Information page to view specific details about their federal tax account information. Taxpayers can view: Their payoff amount, which is updated for the current day. The balance for each tax year for which they owe taxes. Their payment history. Key information from the their most current tax return as originally filed. After viewing their information, a taxpayer can: Select an electronic payment option. Set up an online payment agreement. Go directly to Get Transcript. Taxpayer’s balance will update no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight. Taxpayers should also allow 1 to 3 weeks for payments to show up in the payment history. To access their information online, taxpayers must register through Secure Access. This is the agency’s two-factor authentication process that protectspersonal info. Taxpayers can review the Secure Access page process prior to starting registration. Taxpayers can also visit IRS.gov to use many other self-service tools and helpful resources. These include “Where’s My Refund?” and the IRS2Go app. These are the best ways for … Read More
Summer Webinars – Get 'em while it's HOT! Cool off with the best tax instruction out there from the comfort of your home, favorite cafe, or pool! To register or for more course details, please visit the NSTP website. NEW WEBINAR!VV. Subchapter S Challenges Before and After the Creation of §199A Qualified Business Income, 4 CE August 8, 2019, 10:00 am-2:00 pm PT Instructor: Paul La Monaca, CPA, MST This course introduces Professionals to the Federal tax issues of operating a small business as a Subchapter S-Corporation. The course reviews planning issues and opportunities and discussions of its §199A QBI Deduction. The course will discuss benefits and burdens of filing the Form 1120-S. The issue of basis and loss limitation will be reviewed and discussed. To register or for more course details, please visit the NSTP website. JJ. Tax Court Cases That Impact Your Practice 4 CE August 9, 2019, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm PT Instructor: Paul La Monaca, CPA, MST This course introduces Tax Professionals to a variety of Federal Tax Court Cases involving issues related to individuals and small businesses.Tax Professionals will be reminded of the importance of stressing record keeping responsibilities of taxpayers and how the Tax Court operates … Read More
Taxes-Security-Together Checklist – Step 2: Written Data Security Plan The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry today reminded all “professional tax preparers” that federal law requires them to create a written information security plan to protect their clients’ data. The reminder came as the IRS and its Security Summit partners urged tax professionals to take time this summer to review their data security protections. To help them in this complex area, the Summit created a special “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist as a starting point. “Protecting taxpayer data is not only a good business practice, it’s the law for professional tax preparers,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Creating and putting into action a written data security plan is critical to protecting your clients and protecting your business.” Creating a data security plan is the second item on the “Taxes-Security-Together” Checklist. The first step for tax professionals involved deploying the “Security Six” basic steps to protect computers and email. Although the Security Summit — a partnership between the IRS, states and the private-sector tax community — is making major progress against tax-related identity theft, cybercriminals continue to evolve, and data thefts at tax professionals’ offices remain a major threat. Thieves use … Read More
PTIN Message for Tax Professionals Tax professionals specializing in estate and trust returns must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and renew it annually. The PTIN is required of paidprofessionals who prepare or assist in preparing certain federal tax returns, which includes Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. Failing to enter a PTIN or entering an expired or suspended PTIN can result in a $50 penalty per return and could cause processing delays for clients. The IRS has urged the estate and trust community, especially financial institutions offering services to clients, to ensure that staff who prepare or assist in preparing Forms 1041 have PTINs. PTINs cannot be shared among staff. Each paid professional must have his or her own PTIN. Obtaining or renewing a PTIN takes only a few minutes and can be done online. Preparers can obtain a PTIN for 2019 now and renew that PTIN between October and December for 2020. Visit www.irs.gov/ptin to start.
Truncated Taxpayer Identification Numbers Rules – Final Regulations The IRS has issued final regulations that amend existing regulations to permit employers to voluntarily truncate employees' social security numbers (SSNs) on Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that are furnished to employees. The final regulations do not allow truncated numbers on W-2 forms filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA). In 2014, the IRS issued final regulations authorizing the use of truncated taxpayer identification numbers (TTINs) on certain payee statements and certain other documents. The 2014 regulations were in response to concerns about the risks of identity theft, including its effect on tax administration. Prior to being amended by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, Code Sec. 6051(a)(2) specifically required employers to include their employees' SSNs on copies of Forms W- 2 that are furnished to employees. The PATH Act amended Code Sec. 6051(a)(2) by striking "his social security account number" from the list of information required on Form W-2 and inserting "an identifying number for the employee" instead. Because an SSN is no longer required by Code Sec. 6051, in 2017, IRS issued proposed regs to permit employers to truncate employees' SSNs to appear in the … Read More