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
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
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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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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myRA

Tax Professionals Home

All Forms and Pubs

Stakeholders Partners’
Headliners

Training and
Communication Tools

IMRS

e-Services

Taxpayer Advocate Service

Disaster Relief

Internal Revenue Bulletins

IRS Social Media

Upcoming Events

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
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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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 – 2013 Tax Refunds

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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3_1_2017

Inside This Issue

IRS Has Refunds Totaling $1 Billion for People Who Have Not Filed a 2013 Federal Income Tax Return

IRS YouTube Videos:

Refund: Claim It or Lose ItEnglish | Spanish | ASL

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return.

To collect the money, taxpayers must file a 2013 tax return with the IRS no later than this year’s tax deadline, Tuesday, April 18.

“We’re trying to connect a million people with their share of 1 billion dollars in unclaimed refunds for the 2013 tax year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “People across the nation haven’t filed tax returns to claim these refunds, and their window of opportunity is closing soon. Students and many others may not realize they’re due a tax refund. Remember, there’s no penalty for filing a late return if you’re due a refund.”

The IRS estimates the midpoint for potential refunds for 2013 to be $763; half of the refunds are more than $763 and half are less.

In cases where a tax return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund. If they do not file a return within three years, the money becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury. For 2013 tax returns, the window closes April 18, 2017. The law requires taxpayers to properly address mail and postmark the tax return by that date.

The IRS reminds taxpayers seeking a 2013 refund that their checks may be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2014 and 2015. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS, or a state tax agency, and may be used to offset unpaid child support or past due federal debts, such as student loans.

By failing to file a tax return, people stand to lose more than just their refund of taxes withheld or paid during 2013. Many low-and-moderate income workers may have been eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2013, the credit was worth as much as $6,044. The EITC helps individuals and families whose incomes are below certain thresholds. The thresholds for 2013 were:

  • $46,227 ($51,567 if married filing jointly) for those with three or more qualifying children;
  • $43,038 ($48,378 if married filing jointly) for people with two qualifying children;
  • $37,870 ($43,210 if married filing jointly) for those with one qualifying child, and;
  • $14,340 ($19,680 if married filing jointly) for people without qualifying children.

Current and prior year tax forms (such as the Tax Year 2013 Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ) and instructions are available on the IRS.gov Forms and Publications page or by calling toll-free: 800- TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). Taxpayers who are missing Forms W-2, 1098, 1099 or 5498 for the years 2013, 2014 or 2015 should request copies from their employer, bank or other payer.

Taxpayers who are unable to get missing forms from their employer or other payer should go to IRS.gov and use the “Get Transcript Online” tool to obtain a Wage and Income transcript.  Taxpayers can also file Form 4506-T to request a transcript of their 2013 income. A Wage and Income transcript shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Taxpayers can use the information on the transcript to file their tax return.

State-by-state estimates of individuals who may be due 2013 tax refunds:

State or District Estimated

Number of

Individuals

Median

Potential

Refund

Total

Potential

Refunds*

Alabama 18,100 $729 $17,549,000
Alaska 4,700 $917 $5,665,000
Arizona 24,800 $650 $22,642,000
Arkansas 9,900 $722 $9,571,000
California 97,200 $696 $93,406,000
Colorado 20,200 $699 $19,454,000
Connecticut 11,500 $846 $12,691,000
Delaware 4,300 $776 $4,321,000
District of Columbia 3,200 $762 $3,341,000
Florida 66,900 $776 $67,758,000
Georgia 34,400 $671 $32,082,000
Hawaii 6,500 $793 $6,876,000
Idaho 4,500 $619 $3,919,000
Illinois 40,000 $834 $42,673,000
Indiana 21,700 $788 $22,060,000
Iowa 10,200 $808 $10,193,000
Kansas 11,100 $746 $10,700,000
Kentucky 12,900 $772 $12,627,000
Louisiana 20,300 $767 $21,209,000
Maine 4,000 $715 $3,645,000
Maryland 22,200 $770 $23,080,000
Massachusetts 23,000 $838 $24,950,000
Michigan 33,600 $763 $33,998,000
Minnesota 15,600 $691 $14,544,000
Mississippi 10,400 $702 $10,041,000
Missouri 22,400 $705 $20,787,000
Montana 3,600 $727 $3,480,000
Nebraska 5,300 $745 $5,084,000
Nevada 12,300 $753 $12,078,000
New Hampshire 4,400 $892 $4,930,000
New Jersey 29,900 $873 $33,207,000
New Mexico 8,100 $753 $8,162,000
New York 54,700 $847 $59,416,000
North Carolina 29,800 $656 $26,874,000
North Dakota 2,900 $888 $3,209,000
Ohio 36,000 $749 $34,547,000
Oklahoma 17,700 $773 $17,979,000
Oregon 15,500 $658 $14,188,000
Pennsylvania 39,400 $835 $41,078,000
Rhode Island 2,900 $796 $2,906,000
South Carolina 12,100 $674 $11,267,000
South Dakota 2,700 $823 $2,709,000
Tennessee 19,500 $743 $18,829,000
Texas 104,700 $829 $115,580,000
Utah 7,900 $667 $7,443,000
Vermont 2,000 $747 $1,859,000
Virginia 29,000 $752 $29,578,000
Washington 27,600 $829 $30,330,000
West Virginia 5,000 $855 $5,258,000
Wisconsin 12,700 $675 $11,619,000
Wyoming 2,800 $911 $3,189,000
Totals 1,042,100 $763 $1,054,581,000

* Excluding the Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits.

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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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Avoid Today’s Rush: Use IRS.gov for Faster Service

WASHINGTON – The Tuesday after Presidents Day marks the single busiest day of the year for telephone calls and visits to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers can find answers faster to most of their questions by using IRS.gov.

The IRS anticipates a high volume of calls today. At peak times, the IRS expects to field thousands of calls per hour. Also, taxpayers are reminded that they need an appointment to visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center.

Whether calling about refunds due, taxes owed, a tax law question, requesting a tax form or inquiring about 2015 adjusted gross income, answers can be found at IRS.gov.

Where’s My Refund? has been updated for those refunds containing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit that had been held by law. Barring other issues, taxpayers should see those refunds in their financial accounts beginning the week of Feb. 27.

Just a reminder that “Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily so checking it multiple times per day will not produce new or different results. To use “Where’s My Refund?”, taxpayers need their Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, filing status (single, married filing jointly, etc.) and the exact amount of the refund claimed.

To review online options, visit IRS.gov/avoidtherush where there’s a list of frequent questions and links to other services.

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Inside This Issue

IRS Summarizes “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for 2017

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WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced the conclusion of its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams. The annual list highlights various schemes that taxpayers may encounter throughout the year, many of which peak during tax-filing season. Taxpayers need to guard against ploys to steal their personal information, scam them out of money or talk them into engaging in questionable behavior with their taxes.

“We continue to work hard to protect taxpayers from identity theft and other scams,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers can and should stay alert to new schemes which seem to constantly evolve. We urge them to do all they can to avoid these pitfalls – whether old or new.”

This is the third year the IRS has highlighted its Dirty Dozen list in separate releases over 12 business days. Taxpayers are encouraged to review the list in a special section on IRS.gov and be on the lookout for these con games.

Perpetrators of illegal schemes can face significant fines and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice to shut down scams and prosecute the criminals behind them. Taxpayers should keep in mind that they are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. Be sure the preparer is up to the task. For more see the Choosing a Tax Professional page.

Here is a recap of this year’s “Dirty Dozen” scams:

Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or refund. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information. (IR-2017-15)

Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. (IR-2017-19)

Identity Theft: Taxpayers need to watch out for identity theft especially around tax time. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue the criminals that file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number. Though the agency is making progress on this front, taxpayers still need to be extremely cautious and do everything they can to avoid being victimized. (IR-2017-22)

Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service. There are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. (IR-2017-23)

Fake Charities: Be on guard against groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations. (IR-2017-25)

Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated refunds. Be wary of anyone who asks taxpayers to sign a blank return, promises a big refund before looking at their records or charges fees based on a percentage of the refund. Fraudsters use flyers, advertisements, phony storefronts and word of mouth via community groups where trust is high to find victims. (IR-2017-26)

Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers. The credit is usually limited to off-highway business use, including use in farming. Taxpayers should also avoid misuse of the research credit. Improper claims often involve failures to participate in or substantiate qualified research activities and/or satisfy the requirements related to qualified research expenses. (IR-2017-27)

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds. Think twice before overstating deductions such as charitable contributions and business expenses or improperly claiming credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. (IR-2017-28)

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Don’t invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers are sometimes talked into doing this by con artists. Taxpayers should file the most accurate return possible because they are legally responsible for what is on their return. This scam can lead to taxpayers facing large bills to pay back taxes, interest and penalties. In some cases, they may even face criminal prosecution. (IR-2017-29)

Abusive Tax Shelters: Don’t use abusive tax structures to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them. The vast majority of taxpayers pay their fair share, and everyone should be on the lookout for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true. When in doubt, taxpayers should seek an independent opinion regarding complex products they are offered. (IR-2017-31)

Frivolous Tax Arguments: Don’t use frivolous tax arguments to avoid paying tax. Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims even though they have been repeatedly thrown out of court. While taxpayers have the right to contest their tax liabilities in court, no one has the right to disobey the law or disregard their responsibility to pay taxes. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. (IR-2017-33)

Offshore Tax Avoidance: The recent string of successful enforcement actions against offshore tax cheats and the financial organizations that help them shows that it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. Taxpayers are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting caught up on their tax-filing responsibilities. The IRS offers the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program  to enable people to catch up on their filing and tax obligations. (IR-2017-35)

 

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Avoid the Rush: Be Prepared to Validate Identity if Calling the IRS

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service said mid-February marks the agency’s busiest time of the year for telephone calls. The IRS is reminding taxpayers who have questions about their tax accounts to be prepared to validate their identity when speaking with an IRS assistor. This will help avoid the need for a repeat call.

The IRS recognizes the importance of protecting taxpayers’ identities. That’s why IRS call center assistors take great care to make certain that they only discuss personal information with the taxpayer or someone authorized to speak on the taxpayer’s behalf.

Customer service representatives can answer refund questions beginning 21 days after the return was filed. Taxpayers should use “Where’s My Refund?” to track the status of their refund. Taxpayers who are e-filing their return and need their prior year adjusted gross income should use the Get Transcript tool on IRS.gov. IRS telephone assistors cannot provide prior-year adjusted gross income over the phone for filing purposes.

Where’s My Refund?” will be updated Feb. 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before Feb. 18, some taxpayers may see a projected date or a message that the IRS is processing their return.

By law, the IRS is required to hold EITC and ACTC refunds until Feb. 15. However, taxpayers may not see those refunds until the week of Feb. 27. Due to differing timeframes with financial institutions, weekends and the Presidents Day holiday, these refunds likely will not start arriving in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27 — if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit.

The IRS phone assistors do not have additional information on refund dates beyond what taxpayers have access to on “Where’s My Refund?”. Given high call volumes, taxpayers should not call unless directed to do so by the refund tool. In addition, a common myth is that people can get their refund date earlier by ordering a tax transcript. There is no such “secret” option to find a refund date by calling the IRS or ordering a transcript; just check “Where’s My Refund?” once a day.

If Calling About a Personal Tax Account

Before calling about a personal tax account, have the following information handy:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for those listed on the tax return
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for those without a Social Security number (SSN)
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
  • Prior-year tax return. The IRS may need to verify identity before answering certain questions
  • A copy of the tax return in question
  • Any letters or notices received from the IRS.

If Calling About a Letter 4883C

At this time of year, the IRS begins sending letters to taxpayers inquiring about suspicious tax returns it has identified. It’s important for the IRS and the taxpayer to confirm whether or not the taxpayer actually filed the return in question. Taxpayers have 30 days to call, which allows time to avoid the rush around Presidents’ Day.

To expedite the process when calling, taxpayers MUST have:

  • The IRS letter
  • Copy of prior year tax return (if filed)
  • Current year tax return (if filed)
  • Any supporting documents for each year’s return (such as W-2’s, 1099’s, Schedule C, Schedule F, etc.)

If Calling About Someone Else’s Account

IRS call center assistors will only speak with the taxpayer or their legally designated representative. Before calling, have the following information handy:

If Calling About a Deceased Taxpayer

Be prepared to fax:

To better serve taxpayers around the President’s Day holiday, the peak time of the year for telephone calls to the IRS, the IRS toll-free lines will be open Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (callers’ local time) and Monday, Feb. 20, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (callers’ local time).

This tip is part of the IRS Avoid the Rush news release series designed to provide taxpayers with the information they need, when they need it. More details on this series, including information on additional online resources, are available on IRS.gov.

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