IRS Tax News

  • 02 Oct 2016 3:22 PM | Anonymous

    The IRS is answering questions from practitioners following announcement that e-Services is migrating to the Secure Access authentication process. Frequently asked questions and answers are available on IRS.gov.

    E-Services users can find out more about Secure Access, which goes into effect Oct. 24, at Important Update about Your e-Services Account. Step-by-step instructions are available at Secure Access: How to Register for Certain Online Self-Help Tools.


  • 26 Sep 2016 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    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/Pay Your Tax Bill. 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.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    The IRS is testing expanded criteria for streamlined processing of taxpayer requests for installment agreements. The test runs through Sept. 30, 2017. During this test, more taxpayers will qualify to have their installment agreement requests processed in a streamlined manner.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Do you have a client who filed for an extension and faces an Oct. 17 filing deadline? The adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from the client’s 2014 return may be needed to electronically file a tax return.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:50 AM | Anonymous

    One of the highest priorities at the IRS is to protect taxpayer and tax preparer data as well as IRS systems. Starting in October, the IRS will strengthen sign-in procedures for e-Services. As part of that effort, all users must re-register and validate their identities, most using the Secure Access authentication process. Learn more: Important Update for Your e-Services Account.


  • 23 Sep 2016 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners this week issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on the lookout for fake IRS tax bills that may arrive by email, as an attachment, or by mail purportedly related to the Affordable Care Act.

    For more information on scams as well as steps you can take to boost your security, visit Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself on IRS.gov.


  • 02 Sep 2016 1:50 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today warned tax professionals of a new wave of attacks that allow identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns by remotely taking over practitioners’ computers.

    As part of the Security Summit effort, the IRS urged tax professionals to review their tax preparation software settings and immediately enact all security measures, especially those settings that require usernames and passwords to access the products.  The IRS is aware of approximately two dozen cases where tax professionals have been victimized in recent days.

    The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry – working as partners in the Security Summit – recently launched the Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign to increase awareness that criminals increasingly are targeting tax professionals and the taxpayer data they possess. 

    "This latest incident reinforces the need for all tax professionals to review their computer settings as soon as possible," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen‎. "Identity thieves continue to evolve and look for new areas to exploit‎, especially as our fraud filters become more effective. The prompt identification of these attacks is another example of the great benefits that result from the close‎ working relationship the IRS now has with the tax industry and the states through the Security Summit initiative. Information is flowing more rapidly between our groups as we continue‎ our efforts to protect taxpayers."

    These attacks come as the Oct. 17 deadline approaches for extension filers. The IRS first warned of a similar remote take-over attack in the spring, just ahead of the April 15 deadline, another peak period for tax professionals.

    Thieves are able to access tax professionals’ computers and use remote technology to take control, accessing client data and completing and e-filing tax returns but directing refunds to criminals’ own accounts.

    Victims in the tax community learned of these thefts while reconciling e-file acknowledgements.

    In addition to activating security measures for tax software products, IRS urges all tax preparers to take the following steps:

    • Run a security “deep scan” to search for viruses and malware;
    • Strengthen passwords for both computer access and software access; make sure your password is a minimum of eight digits (more is better) with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters and change them often;
    • Be alert for phishing scams: do not click on links or open attachments from unknown senders;
    • Educate all staff members about the dangers of phishing scams in the form of emails, texts and calls;
    • Review any software that your employees use to remotely access your network and/or your IT support vendor uses to remotely troubleshoot technical problems and support your systems. Remote access software is a potential target for bad actors to gain entry and take control of a machine.

    In addition, the IRS recently issued instructions to tax professionals on how to monitor their PTIN activity.

    Tax professionals should review Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, a Guide for Your Business, which provides a checklist to help safeguard taxpayer information and enhance office security. Also, practitioners should review Data Breach Information for Tax Professionals for information on what action they should take if they do become victims.


  • 24 May 2016 8:20 AM | Anonymous

    As you are transitioning into the next filing season, remember to take time to review your e-file application information through e-services. Your e-file application information should be updated within 30 days of any changes, such as individuals involved, addresses or telephone numbers. Failure to do so may result in the inactivation of your EFIN.

    Your application should only include individuals as Principals who are authorized to act for the entity in legal and/or tax matters. For example:

    • Sole Proprietor is the Principal
    • Partnership should list each partner who has 5% or more interest in the partnership
    • Corporation should list the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer

    Your application should also include a Responsible Official. A Responsible Official is an individual with authority over the Provider’s IRS e-file operation at a location, is the first point of contact with the IRS and has authority to sign revised IRS e-file applications. The Responsible Official may oversee IRS e-file operations at one or more offices, but must be able to fulfill identified responsibilities for each of the offices. If one individual cannot fulfill these responsibilities, add Responsible Officials to the e-file application.

    Note: Only individuals involved in the operation of the business can be on the e-file application.

    For more information see Frequently Asked Questions and Publication 3112.


  • 16 May 2016 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    You are cordially invited to attend our upcoming South Atlantic Area Webinar on“Appeals Judicial Approach and Culture (AJAC) and the Appeals Process” to be held on Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Eastern Standard Time.  We encourage you to join us for this highly informative webinar.  An IRS Appeals Team Manager will be sharing a great deal of valuable information and resources on how IRS Appeals is implementing policy clarifications and procedural changes to ensure its actions are consistent with its purpose to settle disputes on an impartial basis. Some of these changes affect Compliance procedures before and after a case is sent to Appeals. In addition, updates on the Fast Track Settlement Program will be discussed. Two CE credits will be offered for attending this free webinar. 

    For more details and to register for the event, please CLICK HERE.

  • 06 Apr 2016 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    IRS YouTube Videos

    WASHINGTON — As reports of phone scams as well as email phishing schemes continue across the country, the Internal Revenue Service warned taxpayers of a new phishing scam targeting Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia residents.

    This time, the email scammers are citing tax fraud and trying to trick victims into verifying “the last four digits of their social security number” by clicking on a link provided. The criminals specifically state that this is for tax filers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. As a further attempt to trick residents of the Capital region, the email scam even suggests that information from recent data breaches across the nation may be involved.  

    “As we approach the final days of this filing season, we continue to see these tax scams evolve.” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “We don’t send emails like this, and there’s no special effort underway for people in the District, Virginia and Maryland. As these criminals shift their tactics, the IRS remains committed to quickly warning the taxpayers who may be targeted. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for these scams.”

    Last February, the IRS announced a 400 percent increase of these scams being reported when compared to the same period last year. As the email scams increase, the IRS continues its efforts to protect taxpayers, and has teamed up with state revenue departments and the tax industry to make sure taxpayers understand the dangers to their personal and financial data as part of the “Taxes. Security. Together” campaign.

    In general, the IRS has added and strengthened protections in our processing systems this filing season to protect the nation's taxpayers. For this tax season, we continue to make important progress in stopping identity theft and other fraudulent refunds.

    Protect Yourself

    Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.

    If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov. Learn more by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page.

    It is important to keep in mind that the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS has information online that can help protect taxpayers from email scams.

    Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

    Don’t be fooled by scammers. Stay safe and be informed.


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