Every Halloween, children knock on doors pretending they are everything from superheroes to movie stars. Scammers, on the other hand, don’t leave their impersonations to one day. They can happen any time of the year.
People can avoid taking the bait and falling victim to a scam by knowing how and when the IRS does contact a taxpayer in person.
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Aug. 28, 2017 WASHINGTON –– Hurricane Harvey victims in parts of Texas have until Jan. 31, 2018, to file certain individual and business tax returns and make certain tax payments, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
Con artists often approach victims in their native language, threaten them with deportation, police arrest and license revocation, among other things.
“These scammers continue to adapt and evolve, and the IRS continues to receive reports of these schemes using multiple languages trying to find victims across the country,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.
If you discover an error after filing your return, you may need to amend your return. The IRS may correct mathematical or clerical errors on a return and may accept returns without certain required forms or schedules.
In these instances, there's no need to amend your return. However, do file an amended return if there's a change in your filing status, income, deductions, or credits. Use Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040 (PDF), Form 1040A (PDF), Form 1040EZ (PDF), Form 1040NR (PDF), Form 1040NR-EZ (PDF), or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS.
You can also use Form 1040X to make a claim for a carryback due to a loss or unused credit; however, you may also be able to use Form 1045 (PDF), Application for Tentative Refund, instead of Form 1040X. Also, if the Form 8938 (PDF), Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, applies to you, file it with an annual return or an amended return. See the Form 8938 Instructions for more information.
Learn more about income tax planning from the Zinner & Co. tax team
Many clients ask if it is more advantageous to pay quarterly tax estimates or utilize their tax withholding. I wish there were a simple, cookie-cutter answer. However, as no two taxpayers are alike, the same goes for the manner in which one can pay one’s taxes.
Both methods of paying income tax have their pros and cons. The best selection depends on your personal preference and, more so, financial situation. A majority of self-employed individuals must utilize quarterly payments. However, if you have an income source such as retirement distributions, social security or employee wages, you have the option of withholding tax from those income streams in lieu of paying quarterly.
I pay all the taxes owed, and not a penny more” – Mitt Romney
For many taxpayers, the dread of gathering information, preparing a tax return, and filing it is tedious and time consuming. However, just as the sun shines brightest after a rain, cheers and smiles replace the angst of prep when the tax refund check makes its way to the bank account.
“I’m going to … take a trip, buy a TV, go shopping…” After all, a common thought when receiving the refund is “it’s my money AND it is a refund! I should live a little.”
How private debt collection works
The IRS reminds people to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to dupe taxpayers as the private debt collection program begins.
Starting this month, a new program will transfer some long-standing tax bills over to private firms. The only outside agencies authorized to contact taxpayers about their unpaid tax accounts will be one of four firms authorized under the new private debt collection program. Even then, any affected taxpayer will be notified first by the IRS, not the private collection firm.
IR-2017-80, April 12, 2017
WASHINGTON — With the April 18 deadline fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service today offered taxpayers still working on their 2016 taxes a number of tips.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to file electronically. Doing so, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. And best of all, there is a free option for everyone. Whether filing electronically or on paper, be sure to keep a copy of your tax return.
In addition, the IRS offers these last-minute tips: