Thursday, June 15, 2017

IRS warns of new twist to old phone scams

An article published by Forbes, 6/15/2017

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that scammers are taking a break. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning about a new telephone scam.
In the scam, callers posing as IRS representatives advise potential victims that two certified letters were sent to the taxpayer in the mail but were returned as undeliverable. The callers then threaten to arrest the potential victim if a payment is not immediately made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the purchase of the card is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) system: it is not.
To ensure that the potential victim doesn’t back out, the caller warns the taxpayer not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax payment is made. This should be a red flag. You should always have the opportunity to contact your tax professional before resolving a tax dispute. Additionally, if you’re not sure that you owe taxes, you always have the opportunity to hang up and call the IRS directly (1.800.829.1040) for more information. Don’t be pressured into making a spur of the moment payment.
The scammers are hoping that you’ll recognize the EFTPS: it’s a real government system used for paying your federal taxes electronically. Paying taxes through EFTPS is free through the U.S. Department of Treasury and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card, so don’t be fooled. Also, the EFTPS is an automated system, which means that you won’t receive a phone call from the IRS. It’s one of a number of ways that you can pay what you owe (you can find out more about how to pay your taxes here).
If all of this sounds familiar, it is. Scammers have been targeting taxpayers by pone for years.  In the most popular version of the scam, IRS impersonators call and demand payments on iTunes and other gift cards.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said about the latest scam, “This is a new twist to an old scam. Just because tax season is over, scams and schemes do not take the summer off. People should stay vigilant against IRS impersonation scams. People should remember that the first contact they receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call.”
Other IRS and tax-related scams involve the nonexistent “Federal Student Tax” and scams targeting tax professionals.

As a reminder, the IRS will never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill (this is true even with the use of private debt collectors).
  • 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.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Don’t engage or respond with scammers. Here’s what to do if you receive a suspicious phone call or message:
  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, and you do not owe tax, or if you are immediately aware that it’s a scam, don’t engage with the scammer and do not give out any information. Just hang up.
  • If you receive a telephone message from someone claiming to be from the IRS, and you do not owe tax, or if you are immediately aware that it’s a scam, don’t call them back.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, and you owe tax or think you may owe tax, do not give out any information. Call the IRS back at 1.800.829.1040 to find out more information.
  • You can also contact TIGTA to report scam calls by calling 1.800.366.4484 or by using the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” form on their website. You may also want to report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission by using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report persons pretending to be from the government; please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Don’t fall for the tricks. Keep your personal information safe by remaining alert. For tips on protecting yourself from identity theft related tax fraud, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2016

IRS Warns About ‘Federal Student Tax’ Scams

A new IRS warning about scammers targeting students and parents.
Telephone scammers may target students and parents during the back-to-school season and demand payments for such non-existent taxes as the “Federal Student Tax,” the IRS has warned.
IRS impersonators may call students and demand that money be wired immediately to pay a fake federal student tax, according to the Service. As in other similar scams, if the taxpayer doesn’t comply, the scammer becomes aggressive and threatens to report the student to the police to be arrested.
JLDEServices.com

Friday, August 5, 2016

IRS Rolling Out Mandatory ITIN Renewals

The Internal Revenue Service is making some important changes in the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number program that will require many ITIN holders to renew their numbers under a law passed by Congress last December.

The IRS plans to begin the renewals in October. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, also known as the PATH Act, requires ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years to be renewed. Otherwise they will no longer be valid for use on a tax return unless the taxpayer renews it. ITINs are frequently used by foreign nationals, resident aliens and undocumented workers.
ITINs issued by the IRS before 2013 that have been used on a federal tax return in the past three years will need to be renewed starting this fall. The IRS is putting in place a rolling schedule for the renewals to help taxpayers.

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Overtime Rules changing December 1, 2016

Are you an employer? If so, you’ve got a major challenge to accomplish in the next few months.
Most businesses aren’t ready for the new overtime and worker classification changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that the Department of Labor recently published, which will impact to millions of U.S. workers and their employers. The rules go into effect December 1, unless Congress intervenes to prevent or modify them.
Why do these changes matter? Because it will almost certainly affect how you pay at least some of your employees. In brief, if you have a salaried worker making under $46,467 per year, you will either need to give them a pay increase, cut them to hourly, or start paying them overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week.
“Businesses aren’t really aware of the significance of these rule changes,” said Tara Wolckenhauer, Division VP at ADP. “We really need to communicate to them the impact of these rules, if they do go into effect. How will it impact the way we work, how it will change internal workflows, and what businesses need to be doing to prepare.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 18 Deadlines

Individual tax returns are due April 18th, as Saturday, April 16, 2016 is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, and the holiday is observed on Friday, April 15th.  However, because Patriot's Day will be observed on April 18 in Maine and Massachusetts, residents of those states will have until April 19th to file and pay their taxes.

This also means that by statute you have until April 18th to amend a 2012 return to claim a refund.

A nonresident alien completing a Form 1040NR generally needs to file by June 15th.  However, nonresident aliens who have wages paid in the United States or receive non-employee compensation in the United States need to file by April 18th.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Consumer Alert: Scammers change tactics, once again impersonating IRS agents

Aggressive and threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain a major threat to taxpayers, but now the IRS is receiving new reports of scammers calling under the guise of verifying tax return information over the phone. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards. The IRS wants to remind taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that continually change.