Sign Up for IRS Summertime Tax Tips

If you are interested in receiving helpful consumer tips this summer to get a jump start on this year’s taxes, consider joining the more than 660,000 subscribers who already receive IRS Tax Tips. Starting July 1, the IRS began offering its Summertime Tax Tips series, which includes useful information in English and Spanish. Tax Tips subscribers receive a new tip via email three times a week during July and August. They also get a Tax Tip each weekday during the tax filing season. The IRS also issues Special Edition Tax Tips on important tax topics throughout the year. IRS Tax [...]

July 24th, 2015|General Consulting, Our Office|Comments Off on Sign Up for IRS Summertime Tax Tips

Thoughts on the IRS Data Breach

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Tuesday that a brute force hacking attempt has compromised approximately 104,000 taxpayer accounts through the utilization of the “Get Transcript” tool located on  Hackers utilized information gleaned from black market sources to answer identity verification questions and receive confidential information from the IRS system. The IRS reports that the system has been used 23 million times to provide taxpayers important information about their tax accounts as well as wage and earnings information.  “It is important to understand less than one half of one percent of successful requests were fraudulent,” said Aaron Blau, a [...]

May 27th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Thoughts on the IRS Data Breach

Five Tax Filing Predictions for 2015

The IRS audited 0.86 percent of all individual income tax returns last year, the lowest coverage rate since 2004. And The Washington Post reports that IRS service is, well, abysmal. IRS National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson testified that as of February 14, “only 43 percent of the people who called IRS…were able to reach a human being.” So, where does this leave us this tax season? The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), the association that represents the federally licensed tax practitioners who hold the highest credential awarded by the IRS, has released some prognostications for 2015. 1)     The number [...]

March 13th, 2015|Personal Tax|Comments Off on Five Tax Filing Predictions for 2015

Recordkeeping & Jon Stewart on the Internal Revenue Service

Jon Stewart, king of all snark, recently took on the IRS in this June 24 segment. Stewart skewered the IRS for shoddy record keeping policies (6 months for e-mails?) and storage processes. In addition, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Rep. Darrel Issa was not immune to criticism for his behavior during IRS Commissioner Koskinen's testimony. The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive   The Blau Company, Ltd. recommends that you retain documents using the following guidelines: Tax Returns - Permanent Tax Return Source Docs (W-2s, 1099s, etc) - 7 Years Bank/Credit [...]

July 1st, 2014|Business Tax, Personal Tax|Comments Off on Recordkeeping & Jon Stewart on the Internal Revenue Service

IRS Video on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams to Watch For

Every year the IRS releases it's "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams.  The purpose is to educate taxpayers of scams which harm thousands of taxpayers each year.   These scams can bilk taxpayers of tax refunds, stolen money from bank accounts, or other identity related theft.  Here are some examples: Pervasive Telephone Scams - Fake IRS agents who threaten taxpayers into paying fake taxes or penalties Phishing - unsolicited e-mails which look official but direct taxpayers to non-IRS pages in an effort to steal personal information.  The IRS WILL NEVER contact you via e-mail. Free Money from Inflated Refunds - [...]

June 30th, 2014|Business Tax, General Consulting, Personal Tax|Comments Off on IRS Video on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams to Watch For

IRS Warns of Rise in Identity Theft

What is 'Identity Theft?' Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as name, social security number, or other information, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. How can Identity Theft Affect Me? Generally, an identity thief will use legitimate identity information to fraudulently file an income tax return using phony information to claim a refund to which they are not entitled. Taxpayers are generally unaware this has occurred until they attempt to file their tax returns.  Upon e-filing of the return, the processing is halted for a 'duplicate return' rejection code. You may also discover [...]

May 1st, 2014|Personal Tax|Comments Off on IRS Warns of Rise in Identity Theft

Beware of New Telephone Scam

The IRS is warning taxpayers about a new phone scam which targets taxpayers throughout the country.  Phone scammers call taxpayers and are told they owe money to the IRS, and if they refuse to pay immediately, that the police will come and place them in custody.  Taxpayers are told that they must pay via a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer The IRS will NEVER contact you requesting payment pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Additionally, the IRS never uses local police to aprehend tax scofflaws, and would NEVER arrest an individual for the small amounts these scammers are using [...]

February 11th, 2014|General Consulting|Comments Off on Beware of New Telephone Scam

The Top 25 Things Wrong With IRS

We are always interested in the goings-on in Washington DC.  From last weeks NAEA E@lert, we provide you a peek behind the curtain, as Bob Kerr summarizes Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen's bi-annual report to congress:   The National Taxpayer Advocate's Annual Report to Congress landed with a thud yesterday in Washington, DC. The 60+ page executive summary kept NAEA Senior Government Relations chief Bob Kerr company on yesterday's flight from DC to Sacramento and he offers the following observations:  The NTA, Nina Olson, focuses on IRS' deteriorating customer service: "If you are a tax professional trying to resolve a problem for [...]

January 13th, 2014|Business Tax, Personal Tax|Comments Off on The Top 25 Things Wrong With IRS

IRS Announces Delay in Filing Season

The start of the 2014 filing season, according to the IRS, will start no earlier than January 28 and no later than February 4. The Internal Revenue Service has blamed the later-than-planned start on a backlog of work resulting from the recent federal government shutdown. The effect of the shutdown on Blau Company clients should be minimal, as there is only a small handful of clients who come in prior to February 1.  So long as there are no considerable changes to tax law between now and the end of November 20, 2013, we should be able to begin preparing [...]

October 25th, 2013|Business Tax, Our Office, Personal Tax|Comments Off on IRS Announces Delay in Filing Season
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