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IRS News for Business

IRS NEWS FOR BUSINESS

October 2017

UPCOMING WEB CONFERENCES

See Webinars for Small Businesses for upcoming National and Local Webinars

Click HERE for videos recently posted to the IRS Video Portal.

October 18th or 19th – Understanding Tax Relief for Victims of Disasters

(Closed captioning only offered for the 19th)

►DISASTER NEWS

The IRS has issued many notices regarding Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. How do you stay up to date?

How can you help those who are affected?

  • Some employers will allow an employee to donate leave. The employer will send cash to a charitable organization. Details in Notice 2017-52
  • Retirement plans such as 401(k)s can make loans and hardship distributions to victims and members of their families.

    • This broad-based relief means that a retirement plan can allow a victim of Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma to take a hardship distribution or borrow from the victim’s retirement plan.
    • It also means that a person who lives outside the disaster area can take out a retirement plan loan or hardship distribution and use it to assist a son, daughter, parent, grandparent, or other dependent who lived or worked in the disaster area.
    • See IR-2017-138, Aug. 30, 2017 for Hurricane Harvey
    • See IR-2017-151, Sept. 12, 2017 for Hurricane Irma

►NEWS

Make a Difference, Become a Community Tax Volunteer

  • The IRS is looking for community volunteers to provide free tax preparation and help to their neighbors and other area residents in 2018.
  • The IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. These two programs offer free tax help across the country for people with low-to-moderate incomes, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency and Native Americans. This year, VITA and TCE volunteers prepared more than 3.5 million federal tax returns for all types of taxpayers at no cost.

Reminder about W-2 and 1099-MISC due dates

  • The IRS reminds you and your clients that the PATH Act requires you to file Forms W-2 and W-3 with the Social Security Administration by January 31, whether filing paper forms or electronically.
  • It also requires you to file Form 109-MISC, when reporting non-employee compensation payments in Box 7, with the Internal Revenue Service by January 31.

Private Debt Collection

  • Before the debt collection firm contacts the taxpayer, the IRS will send Notice CP40 and Publication 4518, What You Can Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency.

View Your Account Information

  • The new tools will allow you to view your Tax Account on-line.
  • You will be able to view:
    • Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
    • The balance for each tax year for which you owe
    • Up to 18 months of your payment history
    • Key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.

TAXES. SECURITY. TOGETHER. (Identity Theft)

Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

  • The W-2 scam – called a business email compromise or BEC – is one of the most dangerous phishing email schemes trending nationwide from a tax administrative perspective.
  • In 2017, the IRS saw the number of businesses, public schools, universities, tribal governments and non profits victimized by the W-2 scam increase to 200 from 50 in 2016. Those 200 victims translated into several hundred thousand employees whose sensitive data was stolen.
  • Be aware of the Federal Trade Commission’s useful links for Individuals and Businesses.
  • Individuals: https://www.identitytheft.gov/
  • Businesses: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/privacy-and-security/data-security

Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts

Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance

►Employers

Employers Should Remind Some Workers To Renew Their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

  • An individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).