Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

Relief for taxpayers affected by reduction of maximum deductible health savings account contributions

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Team on May 22, 2018 12:57:49 PM

Taxpayers who have healthcare coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

HDHPs, health insurance plans with lower premiums and higher deductibles than a traditional health plan, are a requirement for having a health savings account.

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Topics: IRS, health care

IRS To End Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Mar 14, 2018 3:59:05 PM

The IRS announced today that it was going to end the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) by September 28, 2018.  The Service is giving taxpayers just over six months’ notice of the program closure to allow any taxpayers who wish to do so the opportunity to take advantage of the program before then.

The current program has been in place since 2014 and is, actually, a modified version of the one that was originally launched in 2012.  The programs have afforded taxpayers to voluntarily resolve past non-compliance issues related to unreported foreign financial assets, as well as failures to file foreign information returns. 

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Topics: foreign assets, Howard Kass, IRS

Where's My Refund? Impatient or important,  when to call the IRS

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 21, 2018 1:04:15 PM
If you are a taxpayer who has filed their income tax early, you may be wondering what is taking your IRS refund so long. It seems waiting for the refund becomes a test of patience. But when should your patience give way to persistence and determine when to make a call to the IRS?  

According to the  IRS.gov,  the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, although some require additional time. You should only call if it has been:
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Topics: Howard Kass, Brett W. Neate, IRS

IRS Requires Taxpayers to Validate ID

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 17, 2018 8:34:00 AM

The IRS recently announced additional requirements for taxpayers and tax professionals to verify their identities when they call as part of security efforts.

Taxpayers and professionals should have the following documents ready when they call:

  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for those who were named on the tax return in question
  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter if the taxpayer has one in lieu of a Social Security number (SSN)
  • Filing status – Single, Head of Household, Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate
  • The prior-year tax return. Telephone assistors may need to verify taxpayer identity with information from the return before answering certain questions
  • A copy of the tax return in question
  • Any IRS letters or notices received by the taxpayer
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Topics: fraud, Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, IRS

But, It’s My Money! What you need to know before withdrawing funds from your 401k

Posted by Silvia McClellan, CPA on Feb 16, 2018 4:17:00 PM

Many folks faced the new year with a fresh-start mindset, new goals, and a handful of resolutions. For some, 2017 is still at the top-of-mind with credit card balance carry-overs and a loan or two. For others, the new year brings ideas of travel, home renovations, or major purchases. 

Regardless of the intent, oftentimes folks think they can simply borrow or withdraw from their 401(k) to pay for these things when their bank account is not liquid.  After all, the money is theirs and just “sitting” untouched.  So why not tap into the account – life is short, right?

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Topics: Retirement Planning & IRAs, IRS, Silvia McClellan

Scam Alert: Fraudsters Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Feb 15, 2018 10:46:42 AM

Some taxpayers receive emails that appear to be from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP) about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, trying to trick victims into providing personal and financial information.

 Do not respond or click any link. If you receive this scam, forward it to phishing@irs.gov and note that it seems to be a scam phishing for your information.

TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer’s personal and financial information.

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Topics: Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Business - Management, Issues & Concerns, Taxes - Individual, tax, cybersecurity, IRS

Trick? How to Know if the Knock on Your Door is Actually Someone from the IRS

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Oct 31, 2017 8:00:53 AM

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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Topics: Howard Kass, Gary Sigman, Brett W. Neate, IRS

Taxpayers Who are Victims of Domestic Abuse Should Know Their Rights

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Oct 19, 2017 11:26:44 AM
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Topics: Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, IRS

IRS Gives Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Harvey; Parts of Texas Now Eligible; Extension Filers Have Until Jan. 31 to File

Posted by Zinner & Co. on Aug 29, 2017 10:29:44 AM

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.

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Topics: Howard Kass, Taxes - Corporate & Business, Taxes - Planning, Rules and Returns, Taxes - Individual, IRS

IRS Warns of New Phone Scam Involving Bogus Certified Letters; Reminds People to Remain Vigilant Against Scams, Schemes this Summer

Posted by Howard J. Kass, CPA, AEP®, CGMA, Partner on Jun 21, 2017 2:31:10 PM
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service again warned people to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details. 
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Topics: fraud, Howard Kass, income tax, IRS


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