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Scam Update, 2017

November 29, 2017

As we’ve said before, here and when you call us, the IRS almost always contacts you via mail. That’s US Postal Service mail, not email.

There are a few exceptions to the rule, when they might come to your house, but only when there is a serious problem such as an overdue bill or return (that they would already have notified you about previously), but they do not as a rule initiate contact by calling you on the phone.

This is the link to an IRS Tip which explains in detail how you can tell the difference between a legitimate IRS Agent and a Scammer:  IRS Info on Scams

Call us any time if you have any questions about IRS inquiries, we are here to help.

IRS Changes Tax Return Deadlines for some Business Returns

June 29, 2017

The IRS has changed, quite dramatically, the due dates for Tax returns and other forms required to be filed by individuals and businesses. We have posted a full list of updated dates due on our Forms page as a pdf for download.

Some of you may have noticed that the dates had changed this past year, but it’s part of larger overall changes being implemented by the IRS, so it’s a moving target for business owners.

Summary of major changes as follows:

Partnership returns (IRS Form 1065)

  • March 15, 2017
  • Extended deadline is September 15, 2017

C-Corporation income tax returns (IRS Forms 1120) 

  • April 17, 2017 for C-corporations on a calendar year
  • Extended deadline is October 16, 2017
  • The deadline for C-corp returns is the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation’s fiscal year if the corporation is on a fiscal rather than a calendar year. The exception is corporations with a fiscal year from July 1 to June 30. In this case, the first deadline remains Sept. 15, the 15th day of the third month following the end of the fiscal year. The extended deadline remains Feb. 15, or five months after the first deadline, through fiscal years ending June 30, 2026.​

Trust and estate income tax returns (IRS Form 1041)

  • April 17, 2017
  • Extended deadline is October 2, 2017.

For Businesses who are required to file 1099 forms:

February 1, 2017

  • Deadline for employers to mail out Forms W-2 to their employees and for businesses to furnish Forms 1099 statements reporting, among other things, non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan.

For these business returns, the due date remains the same:

S-Corporation returns (IRS Form 1120-S)

  • March 15, 2017 for corporations on a calendar year
  • Extended deadline is September 15, 2017

 

Please call the office if you have any questions about due dates.  207-879-7000.

 

 

 

IRS Scammers Are At It Again!

January 25, 2016

A recent article in the Portland Press Herald outlined a perennial problem for taxpayers: scammers impersonating the IRS in a phone call demanding payments.

This preys on taxpayer fear of the IRS based on popular perceptions that the taxing authority is a terrifying foe with infinite powers. Keep in mind, the IRS never contacts taxpayers by phone, only by mail. So if you have the “IRS” on the phone, it’s a scam.

More details in the article in the Press Herald article.

And be careful!downloadl!

Our New Stepped Up Security Measures

December 29, 2015

Identity theft is a current and horrifyingly repetitive occurrence  that has increased the need and demand for higher levels of information safety on an individual and organizational level.  We have recently adopted a new and higher level of document security so that we can better protect our clients.

Unfortunately, the downside of this is to put you, our clients, through more hoops to get your information from us.  Passwords, encryption, the lack of ability to get easy and immediate access to information, all of it is putting more and more burden on consumers, but the alternative seems worse.  Much worse.

You will find that when we are emailing you confidential documents they will be coming to you as encrypted attachments. You only need to click on the “Download Attachment” link and supply your name and the document will decrypt and open.  When you reply to us, your emails to us will be encrypted as well.

When we send emails requesting information, we will be adding an “Upload Documents” link, so that you can upload any documents from your computer and send them directly, and securely, to us.

The level of encryption we are using (AES 256-bit encryption) used by companies seeking the highest level of protection.  Which now includes us.

We will also be using an electronic signature on Forms 8879, Authorization to Efile. You will receive a link, forms to download and review, and you will be signing the form with your mouse. And returning it to us by secure email.

And for some clients who have a need to access or exchange many documents, we will have secure password protected folders that you can access at any time which will be solely restricted for your use.

So in summary, we are trying to get tax information to you more safely, even if it means a bit more work for us and for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we implement these new measures.

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Cyber Security Continues To Be a Nightmare Issue

August 6, 2015

First Target and Anthem breaches, now the Office Of Personnel Management for the US Government.   It seems as if it never ends, so we all need to increase our awareness of it.

For those of you who are employed by the US Government and may have had your personal information stolen in this recent hacking of computer records, you may want to take steps now.

Many times, criminals hold off using this information as the the theft is recent, high profile, and is causing the most scrutiny. Once things die down, and people are lulled into a sense of security, often the thieves will sell or use this information.

Most disturbing is the fact that most users have the same passwords for all their logins, and many of them are associated with credit cards or bank accounts. So once the information, including security question answers, has been stolen, it is fairly easy for these hackers to hack into other accounts or exploit relationships users have with other entities.

What to do?  The best advice is to change all your passwords regularly and to use passwords that are completely dissimilar from each other, have alpha-numeric and special characters in it. One easy way is to download or buy a password protection app like One Password (works across devices – I use this), Last Pass, and many other programs that can create and manage random passwords.

If you are a Government employee, you may want to check out this article which recommends getting an IRS Issued IP PIN number for filing your tax return. Check out this link to learn more.

For more information on the IRS Identity Protection PIN number, click this link.

Please call if you need anymore information on this or other identity theft problems.

Identity Theft Problems

March 25, 2015

indexEvery day there’s something in the news about identity theft.  Our clients are contacting us all too regularly for information on this unfortunate topic, and we have put together this little packet of information.

Many of problems stem from security breaches and hacking of websites such as Target, Home Depot and Anthem.

Please give us a call if you suspect you have a problem, and we will be happy to help you. In the meantime, you can download and read these guidelines that we have collected from various sources.

Link below:

Identity Theft Tips

 

 

 

Did You Know? You Can Learn About Money Management From Downton Abbey

March 3, 2013

Are  you a fan of the PBS series Downton Abbey, as I am?  The series takes place before and after the first World War and follows the Crawley family as they learn to face a modern world of  new machines, politics, and attitudes, including, gulp, women’s rights!  All set against an economic climate that does not bode well for the continued support of the giant family mansion and numerous servants.  In today’s terminology, not a sustainable model.  Yet we are fascinated by the drama and the interior shots of that house — but it’s hard to miss some of the money management lessons shown as the Earl of Grantham finds himself disappointed and puzzled by the rapid departure of all his traditional assumptions, especially in the arena of personal finance.

The Wall Street Journal did a funny send up, but there are plenty basics that we can all learn from. Lots of the advice has to do with wills and trusts, and although we are almost 100 years after Downton, that advice still holds true.

Link to the story, as long as they leave it up: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323293704578330243703304194.html

 

 

Beware of Bogus IRS Emails

March 3, 2013

A new crop of emails is making its way to unsuspecting taxpayer’s email boxes in a new attempt to part you from your personal identification information.   The IRS does not initiate contract with taxpayers by email or social media channels — so if you get anything in that manner, you can be sure it’s a scam!

IRS report on phishing as it’s called:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing

If you see anything in your mailbox that is from the IRS, just delete it without reading, or even opening!

 

 

 

 

The IRS will never send you an email

August 24, 2012

Just a reminder to you that phishers, email scammers, or whatever you may call them have been very active in the last several weeks. If you receive an email that appears to be from the IRS, it is most certainly not. Please do not respond or reply, just delete. This is just another con game being played by criminals trying to get personal financial data from individuals.

The text of these emails is something like this — I know, I just received about 8 of them myself this month!

They come from an address at IRS.gov, which is the legitimate domain of the IRS, but they are not being sent from there.

Date:           Fri, 24 Aug 2012 09:39:26 -0500

From:           “Internal Revenue Service” <support@irs.gov>

Subject:           Federal Tax payment canceled

Your Tax transaction (ID: 399036515389), recently from your bank account was returned by the your financial institution.

Canceled Tax transaction

Tax Transaction ID:          399036515389

Reason for rejection          See details in the report below

Tax Transaction Report          tax_report_399036515389.doc (Microsoft Word Document)

Internal Revenue Service, Metro Plex 1, 8401 Corporate Drive, Suite 300, Landover, MD 20785

Latest in iPhone Apps

August 24, 2010

I recently started using an iPhone, and I’m still trying to figure out how to use it! It came with many “apps” installed, yet I feel many of them are silly, or even worse, useless. For instance, Shazam, the app that helps you find the name of a song you hear playing whose title you have forgotten….. For me, that’s not a killer app!!

As I discover apps that have real usefulness, especially business usefulness, I’m going to share them here.

One I really like is “White Pages Mobile” – if you’re on the road, away from home and computer, and you need a phone number quickly, you can use this – you also get the address and other info. And when you look at your call log, you will see the actual name, not just the number, of the party you just called. Just used this last weekend.

Attorney at Law
Tax & Estate Planning

This is still the guiding principle of the firm: to listen carefully and to develop individualized solutions that include both short and long-term thinking.

We are small, but we deliver consistent value to clients and have for more than 20 years.