IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Using Taxpayer Advocate Service Numbers

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Scams

IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Using Taxpayer Advocate Service Numbers

The Internal Revenue Service is warning the public about a new phone scam.  A twist on the IRS impersonation phone scam, criminals fake calls from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS. Similar to other IRS impersonation scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS. In this most recent scam variation, callers “spoof” the telephone number of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service office in Houston or Brooklyn. Calls may be ‘robo-calls’ that request a call back. Once the taxpayer returns the call, the con artist requests personal information, including Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). TAS can help protect your taxpayer rights. TAS can help if you need assistance resolving an IRS problem, if your problem is causing financial difficulty, or if you believe an IRS system or procedure isn’t working as it should. TAS does not initiate calls to taxpayers “out of the blue.” Typically, a taxpayer would contact TAS for help first, and only then would TAS reach out to the taxpayer. In other variations of the IRS impersonation phone scam, fraudsters demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card … Read More

TAX FILING DEADLINE POSTPONED UNTIL JUNE 29 FOR VICTIMS OF HURRICANE MARIA IN PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

The IRS has extended tax deadlines for affected individuals and businesses until June 29, 2018, for the following localities: In the U.S. Virgin Islands (starting Sept. 16, 2017): Islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. In Puerto Rico (starting Sept. 17, 2017): In any of the 78 municipalities. The disaster relief page on the IRS website has details on the returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time. Following the IRS extension, affected individuals and businesses will have until June 29, 2018, to file their 2017 tax returns and pay any taxes due on those returns. This relief also includes individual estimated tax payments, payroll and excise tax returns, corporate income tax returns originally due or on extension during the relief period and tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with an original deadline falling during this period. This relief also applies to taxpayers who had a valid extension to file their 2016 return that was due to run out on October 16, 2017, and which was already postponed until January 31, 2018. The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwise apply for 2017 tax returns. The IRS automatically … Read More

IRS REMINDS HURRICANE VICTIMS OF SPECIAL EITC OPTION FOR 2017: IR 2018-10

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

In a news release, IRS has reminded hurricane victims of a special computation method allowing them to use either current or prior year’s income for purposes of claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC). To qualify for EITC, an eligible taxpayer must meet basic rules and have earned income from an employer or be self-employed (either running a business or farm). This includes home-based businesses, the sharing economy and employment in the service, construction and agriculture industries. In addition, certain disability payments may qualify as earned income for EITC purposes. The EITC Assistant, available on IRS.gov, can help taxpayers determine eligibility and estimate the amount of their credit. Hurricane relief. Following the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, Congress passed the “Disaster Tax Relief and Airway Extension Act of 2017” (the Act), which was signed into law by President Trump on September 29, 2017. Among the relief provided in the Act was the option for a “qualified individual” (see below) to use either current or prior year’s income for purposes of claiming the EITC. Specifically, under the Act, if the earned income of a qualified individual for the tax year which includes the applicable date (i.e., the dates shown in the … Read More

LIKE HARVEY, RETIREMENT PLANS CAN MAKE LOANS, HARDSHIP DISTRIBUTIONS TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IRMA

NSTPRetirement

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Irma and members of their families. This is similar to relief provided last month to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Participants in 401(k) plans, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, as well as state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules. Though IRA participants are barred from taking out loans, they may be eligible to receive distributions under liberalized procedures. Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in disaster areas affected by Hurricane Irma and designated for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For a complete list of eligible localities, visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Jan. 31, 2018. The IRS is also relaxing procedural and administrative rules that normally apply to retirement plan loans and hardship distributions. As a result, eligible retirement plan participants will be able to access their money more quickly with a minimum … Read More

IRS GIVES TAX RELIEF TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANE IRMA; LIKE HARVEY, EXTENSION FILERS HAVE UNTIL JANUARY 31 TO FILE; ADDITIONAL RELIEF PLANNED

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Tax Relief

Hurricane Irma victims in parts of Florida and elsewhere have until January 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today. Today’s relief parallels that granted last month to victims of Hurricane Harvey. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on October 16, and businesses with extensions that run out on September 15. “This has been a devastating storm for the Southeastern part of the country, and the IRS will move quickly to provide tax relief for victims, just as we did following Hurricane Harvey,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS will continue to closely monitor the storm’s aftermath, and we anticipate providing additional relief for other affected areas in the near future.” The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. Parts of Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are currently eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area, including those in other states, will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The current list of eligible localities is always available … Read More

IRS GIVES TAX RELIEF TO VICTIMS OF HURRICANE HARVEY; PARTS OF TEXAS NOW ELIGIBLE; EXTENSION FILERS HAVE UNTIL JAN. 31 TO FILE:

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

Hurricane Harvey victims in parts of Texas have until January 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out on October16th, and businesses with extensions that run out on September 15th. “This has been a devastating storm, and the IRS will move quickly to provide tax relief to hurricane victims,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS will continue to closely monitor the storm’s aftermath, and we anticipate providing additional relief for other affected areas in the near future.” The IRS is now offering this expanded relief to any area designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently, 18 counties are eligible, but taxpayers in localities added later to the disaster area will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief. The tax relief postpones various tax filing and payment deadlines that occurred starting on August 23, 2017. As a result, affected individuals and businesses will have until January 31, 2018, to file returns and pay any taxes that were originally due during this period. This includes the September 15, 2017 and January 16, … Read More