Rob Arena Arena and Associates, Inc. – IRS Enforcement Changes

If you are in need of help with your IRS tax liability – there is no better name in professional help than Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc. Check our website at aataxhelp.com for more information. Call 303-847-4038 for a free consultation.

3/31/2017

Internal Revenue Service enforcement action was down in 2016. The IRS has experienced continuing budget cuts and this is being reflected in a reduced number of audits, liens and levies. The lower oversight and enforcement action also lowered collection figures. The lower lien figures may forecast and uptick in activity for 2017 as the IRS guidelines for liens have not changed and therefore a backlog of work exists.

Arena and Associates, Inc. – Rob Arena – IRA Contributions

If you are in need of help with your IRS tax liability – there is no better name in professional help than Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc. Check our website at aataxhelp.com for more information. Call 303-847-4038 for a free consultation.

3/15/2017

Tax Time Guide: Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2016

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that they still have time to contribute to an IRA for 2016 and, in many cases, qualify for a deduction or even a tax credit.

This is the eighth in a series of 10 IRS tips called the Tax Time Guide. These tips are designed to help taxpayers navigate common tax issues as this year’s tax deadline approaches.

Available in one form or another since the mid-1970s, individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) are designed to enable employees and the self-employed to save for retirement. Contributions to traditional IRAs are often deductible, but distributions, usually after age 59½, are generally taxable. Though contributions to Roth IRAs are not deductible, qualified distributions, usually after age 59½, are tax-free. Those with traditional IRAs must begin receiving distributions by April 1 of the year following the year they turn 70½, but there is no similar requirement for Roth IRAs.

Most taxpayers with qualifying income are either eligible to set up a traditional or Roth IRA or add money to an existing account. To count for a 2016 tax return, contributions must be made by April 18, 2017. In addition, low- and moderate-income taxpayers making these contributions may also qualify for the saver’s credit when they complete their 2016 tax returns.

Generally, eligible taxpayers can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA. For someone who was at least age 50 at the end of 2016, the limit is increased to $6,500. There’s no age limit for those contributing to a Roth IRA, but anyone who was at least age 70½ at the end of 2016 is barred from making contributions to a traditional IRA for 2016 and subsequent years.

The deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA is generally phased out for taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan whose incomes are above certain levels. For someone covered by a workplace plan during any part of 2016, the deduction is phased out if the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for that year is between $61,000 and $71,000 for singles and heads of household and between $0 and $10,000 for those who are married filing separately. For married couples filing a joint return where the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range for the deduction is $98,000 to $118,000. Where the IRA contributor is not covered by a workplace retirement plan but is married to someone who is covered, the MAGI phase-out range is $184,000 to $194,000.

The deduction for contributions to a traditional IRA is claimed on Form 1040 Line 32 or Form 1040A Line 17. Any nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA must be reported on Form 8606.

Even though contributions to Roth IRAs are not tax deductible, the maximum permitted amount of these contributions is phased out for taxpayers whose incomes are above certain levels. The MAGI phase-out range is $184,000 to $194,000 for married couples filing a joint return, $117,000 to $132,000 for singles and heads of household and $0 to $10,000 for married persons filing separately. For detailed information on contributing to either Roth or Traditional IRAs, including worksheets for determining contribution and deduction amounts, see Publication 590-A, available on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers whose employer does not offer a retirement plan may want to consider enrolling in myRA®, a retirement savings plan offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It’s safe, affordable and a great option for people who don’t have a retirement savings plan at work. Taxpayers can direct deposit their entire refund or a portion of it into an existing myRA – Retirement Account.  For further details and to open a myRA account online, visit www.myRA.gov.

Also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, the Saver’s Credit is often available to IRA contributors whose adjusted gross income falls below certain levels. For 2016, the income limit is $30,750 for singles and married filing separate, $46,125 for heads of household and $61,500 for married couples filing jointly.

Eligible taxpayers get the credit even if they qualify for other retirement-related tax benefits. Like other tax credits, the Saver’s Credit can increase a taxpayer’s refund or reduce the taxes they owe. The amount of the credit is based on a number of factors, including the amount contributed to either a Roth or Traditional IRA and other qualifying retirement programs. Form 8880 is used to claim the Saver’s Credit, and its instructions have details on figuring the credit correctly.

Arena and Associates, Inc. – Rob Arena – IRS Electronic Payment

If you are in need of help with your IRS tax liability – there is no better name in professional help than Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc. Check our website at aataxhelp.com for more information. Call 303-847-4038 for a free consultation.

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Issue Number:    IR-2017-59

Inside This Issue

Tax Time Guide: Electronic Payment/Payment Agreement Options Available to Those Who Owe Taxes

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that it’s easier than ever to pay taxes electronically. For those unable to pay on time, several quick and easy solutions are available.

This is the seventh in a series of 10 IRS tips called the Tax Time Guide. Taxpayers can use these tips to find solutions to common tax issues as the April 18 tax deadline approaches.

Taxpayers who owe taxes can now choose among several quick and easy electronic payment options, including the following:

  • Electronic Funds Withdrawal allows taxpayers to e-file and pay from their bank account when using tax preparation software or a tax professional. EFW is only available when electronically filing a tax return.
  • Direct Pay. Available at IRS.gov/directpay, this free online tool allows taxpayers to securely pay their taxes directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or preregistration. Taxpayers can schedule payments up to 30 days in advance. Those using the tool will receive instant confirmation when they submit their payment.
  • Credit or Debit Card. Taxpayers can pay online, by phone or with their mobile device through any of the authorized debit and credit card processors. The processor charges a fee. The IRS doesn’t receive or charge any fees for payments made with a debit or credit card. Go to https://www.irs.gov/payments for authorized card processors and phone numbers.
  • IRS2Go. The IRS2Go mobile app is free and offers taxpayers the option to make a payment with Direct Pay for free or by debit or credit card through an approved payment processor for a fee. Download IRS2Go free from Google Play, the Apple App Store or the Amazon App Store.
  • Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. This free service gives taxpayers a safe and convenient way to pay individual and business taxes by phone or online. To enroll or for more information, call 800-555-4477, or visit eftps.gov.
  • Cash. Taxpayers paying with cash can use the PayNearMe option. Payments are limited to $1,000 per day, and a $3.99 fee applies to each payment. The IRS urges taxpayers choosing this option to start early, because PayNearMe involves a four-step process. Initiating a payment well ahead of the tax deadline will help taxpayers avoid interest and penalty charges. The IRS offers this option in cooperation with OfficialPayments.com/fed and participating 7-Eleven stores in 34 states. Details, including answers to frequently asked questions, are at IRS.gov/paywithcash.

Taxpayers can electronically request an extension of time to file. An extension of time to file is not an extension to pay. Taxes are still due by the original due date. Taxpayers can get an automatic extension when making a payment with Direct Pay, Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by debit or credit card. Select “Form 4868” as the payment type to receive the automatic extension.

Taxpayers who choose to pay by check or money order should make the payment out to the “United States Treasury.” To help ensure that the payment gets credited promptly, also enclose a Form 1040-V payment voucher. Also, print on the front of the check or money order: “2016 Form 1040”; name; address; daytime phone number; and Social Security number.

Taxpayers can view their federal tax account balances online. It’s safe, secure and available on the “Finding out How Much You Owe” page on IRS.gov. They can also access payment options or apply for an installment agreement on this page.

The IRS advises taxpayers to file either an income tax return or a request for a tax-filing extension by this year’s April 18 deadline to avoid late-filing penalties. This penalty can be ten times as costly as the penalty for paying late.

Taxpayers who owe, but can’t pay the balance in full, do have options. Often they qualify for one of several relief programs, including:

  • Payment Plans, Installment Agreements — Most people can set up a payment plan with the IRS online in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement application to set up a short-term payment plan of 120-days or less, or a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months. With the Online Payment Agreement, no paperwork is required, there is no need to call, write or visit the IRS and qualified taxpayers can avoid the IRS filing a Notice of Federal Tax Lien unless it previously filed one. Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov and mailed along with a tax return, IRS bill or notice.
  • Offer In Compromise — Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination on their ability to pay. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier, a free online tool available on IRS.gov.

Other tips in the Tax Time Guide series are available on IRS.gov.

 

Arena and Associates, Inc. – Rob Arena – IRS Data Retrieval

If you are in need of help with your IRS tax liability – there is no better name in professional help than Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc. Check our website at aataxhelp.com for more information. Call 303-847-4038 for a free consultation.

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Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, and Other Practitioner Activities By State:

Nationwide Webinars

Alabama
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Arizona
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California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
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Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
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North Dakota
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South Carolina
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3/10/2017

 

1.     IRS, Department of Education Statement‎ about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

2.     IRS Seeks Applications for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee

3.     Received Letter 5903? Additional Staff Available Starting Tuesday to Revalidate Your Identity for e-Services

4.     New Date for “Working with the IRS Office of Appeals” Webinar

5.     Tax Scams via Video Relay Service (VRS)

6.     Tax Pros: Do you use social media? Follow @IRStaxpros on Twitter

 

1.  IRS, Department of Education Statement‎ about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov is currently unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, at this time, the IRS anticipates the online data tool will be unavailable for several weeks.

While the Data Retrieval Tool is offline, the IRS offered other ways for students and families to find the tax information they need to complete student financial aid applications.

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2.  IRS Seeks Applications for the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee

The IRS is seeking qualified applicants for nomination to the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC).

The ETAAC provides an organized public forum for discussion of electronic tax administration issues such as prevention of identity theft and refund fraud in support of the overriding goal that paperless filing should be the preferred and most convenient method of filing tax and information returns. ETAAC members will work closely with the Security Summit, a joint effort of the IRS, state tax administrators and tax software industry to fight electronic fraud.

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3.  Received Letter 5903? Additional Staff Available Starting Tuesday to Revalidate Your Identity for e-Services

If you received Letter 5903, e-Services Revalidation, you must revalidate your identity. For a limited time, the e-Services Help Desk will have additional staff available to only assist tax professionals who need to revalidate their identity to have their e-Services registration account reinstated.   Additional assistors will be in place Tuesday, March 14 through Friday, March 17.

E-Services registration accounts were suspended for tax professionals who received Letter 5903 and failed to revalidate their identities within the required 30-day time period. The IRS urges tax professionals who need to revalidate their identity to do so now when extra staff is on hand and not wait until there is an emergency need to access their e-Services accounts.

Letter recipients must revalidate even if they are infrequent users of e-Services or its tools.  As a reminder Authorized IRS e-file Providers must ensure the IRS has current information by reviewing and updating their IRS e-file application within 30 days of a change which requires access to your e-Services registration account. Letter 5903 was issued to those tax professionals who have access to sensitive taxpayer data through e-Services and who have accessed their accounts in the past year. This is part of the IRS’ ongoing effort to strengthen security around certain self-help tools on IRS.gov and better protect taxpayer and tax professional data.

More information is available at www.irs.gov/eservices.

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4.  New Date for “Working with the IRS Office of Appeals” Webinar

Register here to watch “Working with the IRS Office of Appeals — What to Expect,” a free 90-minute webinar, on May 3 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Topics include information on the role of Appeals, an overview of Appeals policies and procedures, and an outline of case procedures for examination and collection cases.

Certificates of completion are being offered. Earn one continuing education credit in Federal Tax.

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5.  Tax Scams via Video Relay Service (VRS)

The IRS warns the deaf and hard of hearing community about an increasing number of tax scammers that use Video Relay Services (VRS). Learn more in this IRS YouTube video.

Watch this and other videos on the IRS’s YouTube Channel.

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6.  Tax Pros: Do you use social media? Follow @IRStaxpros on Twitter

The IRS has a Twitter account that provides news and guidance for tax professionals.

Get the latest by following us at https://twitter.com/irstaxpros.

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Arena and Associates – Tax Time is Here

Don’t wait to settle your tax debt until the IRS is knocking on your door. Get help today. Call Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc., for immediate tax debt relief. Licensed tax professional with over 20 years of experience in solving IRS claims.

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3/8/2017

Inside This Issue

Tax Time Guide: Save Time, Make an Appointment before Visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that service at all of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers is now by appointment. Appointment service saves taxpayers time by ensuring they get the help they need without having to wait in line.

Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov to find quick tax-related answers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant is an excellent resource to get answers to commonly-asked questions.

This is the fifth in a series of 10 IRS tips called the Tax Time Guide. It is designed to assist taxpayers as they approach this year’s tax filing deadline, April 18.

Many people come to Taxpayer Assistance Centers looking for tax forms such as Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, when they are readily available on IRS.gov. Some libraries and other locations also may carry the most commonly used tax forms and schedules.

Other self-service options easily found on IRS.gov include refunds, transcripts and tax payments. Taxpayers who visit IRS offices to make routine tax payments should consider online payment alternatives. They can pay online, by phone or via a mobile device and get instant confirmation their payment has been sent.

If taxpayers need their prior-year adjusted gross income to complete the electronic filing process they should use Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail or review other options. Be aware that ordering a tax transcript will not reveal a refund delivery date. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool has the most up-to-date information on refunds.

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Arena and Associates – IRS Technical Guidance

Call Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc., for immediate tax debt relief. Licensed tax professional with over 20 years of experience in solving IRS claims.

Useful Links:

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Stakeholders Partners’
Headliners

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IMRS

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Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, and Other Practitioner Activities By State:

Nationwide Webinars

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina

North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
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Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
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3/4/2017

Inside This Issue

 

1.     IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Open for Registration

2.     Refunds Totaling $1 Billion Available for Those Who Have Not Filed a 2013 Tax Return

3.     Special Enrollment Exam Fee

4.     LB&I Compliance Campaign Webinars

5.     Online Resources for IP PIN and Transcripts

6.     YouTube: IRS Taxes-Three Easy Ways to Pay

7.     IRS Criminal Investigation Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report

8.     IRS Reaches 100th eBook Milestone

9.     Technical Guidance

 

1.  IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Open for Registration

The 2017 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums are now open for registration. Join tax professionals at five locations across the country for three days of continuing education, workshops and exhibits of new products and services.

 

As a tax professional you can earn up to 18 CPE credits, network with your peers and learn from subject matter experts from the IRS and its association partners.

 

For more information or to register, visit the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum website at www.irstaxforum.com.

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2.  Refunds Totaling $1 Billion Available for Those Who Have Not Filed a 2013 Tax Return

Unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated one million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return.

To claim this money, taxpayers must file a 2013 tax return with the IRS no later than April 18.

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3.  Special Enrollment Exam Fee

Effective March 1, the fee for taking each of the three parts of the Special Enrollment Examination increased from $109 to $111.94. The increase is due to a change to the vendor’s portion of the fee by $2.94. The IRS portion of the fee is unchanged.

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4.  LB&I Compliance Campaign Webinars

The IRS Large Business and International (LB&I) Division will participate in a series of webinars in collaboration with various stakeholders to provide tax practitioners with information about its new compliance campaigns.

KPMG will host the first in the series, scheduled for March 7, at 2 p.m. EST. This 75-minute webinar will focus on the campaign process, how campaigns are being implemented and how they will impact taxpayers.

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5.  Online Resources for IP PIN and Transcripts

At this time of the year, some of your clients are seeking their Identity Protection PINs or are in need of a tax transcript. For inquiries about IP PIN and transcripts, guide them to the most appropriate service options on IRS.gov:

Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) – If your client lost a CP01A letter and needs an IP PIN, he or she can go to Get an IP PIN or Retrieve Your IP PIN on IRS.gov for retrieval options. Users must validate their identities. If unable to validate, your client should call the Identity Theft toll-free line to have the information mailed. If your client moved after Jan. 1, 2017, he or she will need to file a paper return without an IP PIN.

Tax Transcripts – If your client needs a tax transcript, suggest www.IRS.gov/transcript. The IRS Get Transcript tool allows taxpayers who can validate their identities to view and download transcripts. Alternatively, transcripts can be sent by mail in five to 10 days. Taxpayers may also order a transcript by mail by calling the automated phone transcript service at 800-908-9946. Tax professionals with a power of attorney form on file also may access their clients’ transcripts via e-Services.

Reminder: All Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) nationwide now operate by appointment. Most questions can be answered online at IRS.gov without visiting a TAC. Taxpayers who need in-person assistance can make an appointment online.

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6.  YouTube: IRS Taxes-Three Easy Ways to Pay

Learn about all the payment options available to taxpayers in this new YouTube video.

Watch this and other videos on the IRS’s YouTube Channel

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7.  IRS Criminal Investigation Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report

The IRS Criminal Investigation Division this week released its annual report, assessing criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2016.

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8.  IRS Reaches 100th eBook Milestone

The IRS recently published its 100th eBook, a key milestone in an effort to share information in ways that meet the changing needs of taxpayers.

IRS eBooks enable you to read and review some of the most commonly used IRS tax products. You can view the 1040 instructions, Publication 17, and other popular tax publications using a mobile device such as a smart phone, tablet or eReader.

The complete list of eBook publications is available at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/ebooks. Tax publications are also available on IRS.gov for free downloading in PDF and HTML versions.

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9.  Technical Guidance

Notice 2017-20 extends the period for an employer that provides a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), which was added to the Internal Revenue Code by the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), to furnish an initial written notice to its eligible employees regarding the QESHRA. The period is extended from March 13, 2017 (90 days after the Cures Act was enacted) to at least 90 days after additional guidance regarding the contents of the QSEHRA notice is issued. The notice also provides transition relief from penalties for failure to furnish the written notice until after further guidance has been issued.

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Arena and Associates – Free Tax Help

Don’t wait to settle your tax debt until the IRS is knocking on your door. Get help today. Call Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc., for immediate tax debt relief. Licensed tax professional with over 20 years of experience in solving IRS claims.

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3/2/2017

Inside This Issue

Free Help Preparing Tax Returns Available Nationwide

IRS YouTube Videos:

Free Help Preparing Your Tax Return: English | Spanish | ASL

WASHINGTON –– The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers today that they may be eligible to receive free tax help at nearly 12,000 preparation sites nationwide. The sites, generally located at community and neighborhood centers, provide tax assistance to taxpayers with low- and moderate-incomes and the elderly.

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to individuals who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and individuals with limited English proficiency who need assistance in preparing their taxes. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 and older. The IRS certified VITA and TCE volunteers are trained to help with many tax questions, including credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a significant tax credit for workers who earned $53,505 or less in 2016. Last year, more than 27 million eligible workers and families received almost $67 billion in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,455. The maximum EITC amount for 2016 is $6,269 for qualifying families with three or more children. In order to receive the credit, eligible taxpayers must file a tax return, even if they do not have a filing requirement. The VITA and TCE programs can help answer many EITC questions and help taxpayers claim the credit if they qualify. Taxpayers may also use the IRS.gov EITC Assistant to help them determine their eligibility.

Before visiting a VITA or TCE site, taxpayers should review Publication 3676-B to be aware of the services provided. To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, taxpayers can use the VITA and TCE locator tool available on IRS.gov, download the IRS mobile app IRS2GO or call 800-906-9887.

For assistance preparing a tax return at a VITA or TCE site, taxpayers must bring all required documents and information including:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID) for taxpayer and spouse
  • Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for those who do not have a Social Security number
  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
  • Birth dates for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents
  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers and other payers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received
  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available
  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check
  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms
  • Total amount paid for daycare services and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number
  • Forms 1095-A, B and C,  Health Coverage Statements
  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

In addition, the military and the IRS join together to provide free tax assistance to military personnel and their families. The Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) consists of the tax program coordinators for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The AFTC oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families. Volunteers can also address military specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits and the effect of the EITC guidelines.

In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, most sites will file returns electronically for free. Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest and most accurate way to file. The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in 21 days or less. Paper returns take longer to process. Taxpayers who chose to file electronically and owe, can make a payment by the April 18, 2017, deadline using Direct Pay. This IRS free service allows taxpayers to make secure payments from a checking or savings account It also allows the taxpayer to get an automatic extension of time to file when Direct Pay is used to make a payment.

Taxpayers that prefer to file their tax returns electronically have the option of using IRS Free File. IRS Free File offers brand-name tax software to taxpayers who earned $64,000 or less in 2016 to file their returns free. Taxpayers who earned more can use Free Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. IRS Free File is only available through the IRS website by visiting IRS.gov/freefile.

 

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Arena and Associates, Inc. – IRS tax filing

cThe IRS is aggressive when it comes to tax collection. You can’t afford to not have a qualified Tax Professional like Rob Arena at Arena and Associates, Inc. helping you to stop the harassment. Call 303-847-4038.

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2_22_2017

Inside This Issue

IRS Makes Approved Form 1023-EZ Data Available Online

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today that publicly available information from approved applications for tax exemption using Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption, is now available electronically for the first time.

The data on IRS.gov is available in spreadsheet format and includes information for approved applications beginning in mid-2014, when the 1023-EZ form was introduced, through 2016. The information will be updated quarterly, starting with the first quarter of calendar year 2017. The IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities division approved more than 105,000 applications for exemption submitted on the Form 1023-EZ from 2014 through 2016.

Previously, Form 1023-EZ data was only available through a lengthier process that included completing and submitting Form 4506-A to the IRS.

“The new online availability of Form 1023-EZ data is an important step forward and will allow taxpayers to more easily research information on tax-exempt organizations,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The IRS is committed to ongoing improvements in taxpayer service across the agency and we continue to look for innovative ways like this to provide taxpayers the information they need, when they need it.”

Information in the Form 1023-EZ includes basic identifying information such as the name of the organization, Employer Identification Number and the names of officers, directors and trustees. The Form also contains information regarding items such as the organizing documents, state of incorporation, purpose and activities of the organization.

Form 1023-EZ must be filed electronically. The IRS reminds filers that they should not include Social Security numbers on their submissions.

This is part of continuing effort to provide information about the tax-exempt community. In June 2016, the IRS announced that it was making publicly available data on electronically filed Forms 990 in machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services.

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Inside This Issue

IRS Includes Falsifying Income Scam in 2017 List of “Dirty Dozen”

IRS YouTube Videos:

Dirty DozenEnglish | Spanish | ASL

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today continued issuing its annual list of common tax scams by warning taxpayers to avoid schemes to erroneously claim tax credits. This year’s “Dirty Dozen” includes falsifying income to claim tax credits.

“Taxpayers should ensure all the information they provide on their tax return is accurate,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Falsifying income to claim tax credits is against the law. Taxpayers are legally responsible for all the information reported on their tax returns.”

The “Dirty Dozen,” a list compiled annually by the IRS, describes a variety of common scams that taxpayers may encounter. Many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their returns or hire others to help them.

Scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them.

Don’t Make Up Income

Some people falsely increase the income they report to the IRS. This scam involves inflating or including income on a tax return that was never earned, either as wages or self-employment income, usually to maximize refundable credits.

Much like falsely claiming an expense or deduction you did not pay is not right, claiming income you did not earn is also inappropriate. Unscrupulous people do this to secure larger refundable credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and it can have serious repercussions. Taxpayers can face a large bill to repay the erroneous refunds, including interest and penalties. In some cases, they may even face criminal prosecution.

Fake Forms 1099-MISC

The IRS cautions taxpayers to avoid getting caught up in scheme disguised as a debt payment option for credit cards or mortgage debt. It involves the filing of a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, and/or bogus financial instruments such as bonds, bonded promissory notes or worthless checks.

Con artists often argue that the proper way to redeem or draw on a fictitious held-aside account is to use some form of made-up financial instrument such as a bonded promissory note that purports to be a debt payment method for credit cards or mortgage debt. Scammers provide fraudulent Form(s) 1099-MISC that appear to be issued by a large bank, loan service and/or mortgage company with which the taxpayer may have had a prior relationship, to further perpetrate the scheme. Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, may also be used by participants in this scam to assign fiduciary responsibilities to the lenders.

Taxpayers may encounter unethical return preparers who make them aware of these scams. Remember: Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else.

Choose Return Preparers Carefully

It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don’t understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren’t entitled to in order to increase their fee. Every year, these types of tax preparers face everything from penalties to jail time for defrauding their clients.

To find tips about choosing a preparer, better understand the differences in credentials and qualifications, research the IRS preparer directory, and learn how to submit a complaint regarding a tax return preparer, visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro.

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Arena and Associates, Inc. – Rob Arena -IRS to Contract with Private Collection Agencies for Back Taxes

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Tax debt, Collection, Back taxes, harassment

IR-2016-125, Sept. 26, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress last December, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, outstanding inactive tax receivables. As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

CBE Group
1309 Technology Pkwy
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Conserve
200 CrossKeys Office park
Fairport, NY 14450

Performant
333 N Canyons Pkwy
Livermore, CA 94551

Pioneer
325 Daniel Zenker Dr
Horseheads, NY 14845

These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases.

The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer.

Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

The IRS will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion and understand their rights and tax responsibilities, particularly in light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment.

Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS.gov/payments. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.

The IRS will continue to keep taxpayers informed about scams and provide tips for protecting themselves. The IRS encourages taxpayers to visit IRS.gov for information including the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page.

For more information visit the Private Debt Collection page on IRS.gov.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/new-private-debt-collection-program-to-begin-next-spring-irs-to-contract-with-four-agencies-taxpayer-rights-protected

If you are contacted by IRS Collections or one of these newly contracted collection agents don’t try to handle it yourself. Call 303-847-4038 and get professional help from Arena and Associates, Inc.