Zinner & Co. Blog and Newsroom

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

IRS Alerts Taxpayers with Limited English Proficiency of Ongoing Phone Scams; Urges Caution Before Paying Unexpected Tax Bills

Posted by Brett W. Neate, CPA, MTax on Jun 8, 2017 1:17:56 PM
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service continues to warn taxpayers with limited English proficiency of phone scams and email phishing schemes that continue to occur across the country. 

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.

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Topics: Brett W. Neate, Credit card fraud, IRS

Oops. What you need to know if you discover an error after you have filed your income tax return.

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on May 17, 2017 4:13:48 PM

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

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Topics: Taxes - Individual, IRS, Matt Szydlowski

Pay Me Now, Pay Me Later: Should you pay quarterly estimates or utilize tax withholdings?

Posted by Matt Szydlowski, CPA on May 8, 2017 9:58:48 AM

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. 

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Topics: Taxes - Individual, income tax, IRS, Matt Szydlowski

I Just Received a Huge Tax Refund! Why this may not be a good thing to brag about…

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on May 5, 2017 3:49:45 PM

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.”

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Topics: Taxes - Individual, income tax, IRS

4 Ways to Spot IRS Debt Collection Scammers

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Apr 17, 2017 5:36:00 PM

Extracted in part from https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-alerts-taxpayers-with-limited-english-proficiency-of-ongoing-phone-scams-urges-caution-before-paying-unexpected-tax-bills

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. 

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Topics: fraud, Howard Kass, Brett W. Neate, IRS

IRS Offers Last-Minute Filing Tips

Posted by Zinner & Co. Tax Department on Apr 13, 2017 8:11:00 PM

From IRS.gov 

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:

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Topics: Howard Kass, Brett W. Neate, Taxes - Individual, IRS

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