IRS Tax News

  • 15 Jun 2022 1:35 PM | Anonymous

    Audience: Payroll Industry, Tax Professionals, Small Business and Self Employed, Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Financial Institutions

    Beginning September 2022, IRS will transition filers who received their FIRE Transmitter Control Codes(TCC) prior to September 26, 2021, to the new Information Returns Application for Transmitter Control Code (IR-TCC). As part of this transition, Form 4419, Revise Existing TCC for FIRE, will be phased out effective August 1, 2022. Your TCC will remain valid for use until August 1, 2023, after that date, any FIRE TCC that does not have a completed IR-TCC Application will be dropped and will not be available for e-file.     

    What you need to do:

    • Beginning in September 2022, access the IR-TCC Application to submit your application and update your information.

    Note: You will have to validate your identity using the latest IRS authentication process.

    • If you do not plan to immediately complete the IR TCC application, you must take the following actions:

    By August 1, 2022, ensure the information on your application (submitted via Form 4419) contains the current contact’s name, current email address and current telephone number. Also, please verify the company’s current legal name is correct (spelling, abbreviations, special characters and spacing) to match IRS records.

    IMPORTANT - If your legal business name isn’t correct, you won’t be able to log into the FIRE System to file electronically. These changes must be received by August 1, 2022, to ensure the information can be updated timely. Once the transition is complete, the Form 4419, Revise Existing TCC for FIRE, will no longer be available. You’ll need to complete the online IR Application for TCC process to make updates to your application.

    By August 1, 2023, you must complete the new IR-TCC Application process to continue to file electronically and retain use of your current TCC(s). If you complete the IR-TCC Application after this date you will be issued new TCC(s).
  • 13 Jun 2022 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service announced the selection of Guy Ficco as the next Deputy Chief for IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). He will oversee 20 field offices and 11 foreign posts, including approximately 2,000 special agents investigating tax fraud and other financial crimes.

    “The Deputy Chief position demands someone with vast experience in tax law and financial crimes, but also a passionate leader who can further the development of CI’s workforce”, said Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation. “After nearly three decades serving our agency in various roles, Guy’s experience will prove invaluable as we continue uncovering financial crimes around the world.”

    Ficco currently serves as IRS-CI’s Executive Director of Global Operations where he oversees CI’s policies related to investigations, as well as the agency’s international footprint. He provides executive leadership over CI’s Financial Crimes, Asset Recovery and Investigative Services, Special Investigative Techniques, and Narcotics and National Security sections, as well as CI’s International Field Operations. 

    Ficco will replace Jim Robnett, who will be retiring July 15 after 36 years of service at the IRS, 28 of which were with IRS-CI.

    In previous IRS-CI positions, Ficco served as Special Agent in Charge, providing oversight and direction in matters relating to criminal investigation activities and programs for the Philadelphia Field Office. Additionally, during his tenure he held various leadership roles including Supervisory Special Agent in the Washington Field Office, Senior Analyst in both Financial Crimes and International Operations sections, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Washington Field Office, Director of Special Investigative Techniques, Washington DC, and long-term actor for Deputy Director, Strategy.

    Ficco served as a Congressional Fellow through the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, assigned to the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in the Senate Homeland Security Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in Accounting from Dominican College in New York. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner and joined IRS Criminal Investigation in 1995.

    IRS-CI is the criminal investigative arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. IRS-CI special agents are the only federal law enforcement agents with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, boasting a nearly 90 percent federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 11 attaché posts abroad.


  • 10 Jun 2022 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    Cryptocurrency, non-filing, abusive syndicated conservation easement, abusive micro-captive deals make list

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today wrapped up its annual "Dirty Dozen" scams list for the 2022 filing season, with a warning to taxpayers to avoid being misled into using bogus tax avoidance strategies.

    The IRS warned taxpayers to watch out for promoters peddling these schemes. As part of its mission, the IRS is focused on high-income taxpayers who engage in various types of tax violations, ranging from the most basic, failing to file returns up to sophisticated transactions involving abusive syndicated conservation easement deals and abusive domestic micro-captive insurance arrangements.

    “These tax avoidance strategies are promoted to unsuspecting folks with too-good-to-be-true promises of reducing taxes or avoiding taxes altogether,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Taxpayers should not kid themselves into believing they can hide income from the IRS.  The agency continues to focus on these deals, and people who engage in them face steep civil penalties or criminal charges.”

    The IRS publishes the Dirty Dozen as part of a broad ranging effort to inform taxpayers.  People should be careful not to get conned into using well-worn abusive arrangements with high fees as well as the other Dirty Dozen schemes.

    The IRS has stepped up efforts on abusive schemes in recent years. As part of this wider effort, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel announced earlier this year it would hire up to 200 additional attorneys to help the agency combat abusive syndicated conservation easements and micro-captive transactions as well as other abusive schemes. (IR-2022-17).

    Last week, the IRS kicked off the 2022 Dirty Dozen list (IR-2022-113) with four heavily promoted abusive deals that taxpayers need to avoid. The IRS followed this up with a number of common scams that can target average taxpayers. These consumer-focused scams can prey on any individual or organization, steal sensitive financial information or money, and in some cases leave the taxpayer to clean up the legal mess.

    For today’s conclusion of the Dirty Dozen, the IRS highlights four other schemes that typically target high-net-worth individuals who are looking for ways to avoid paying taxes. Solicitations for investment in these schemes are generally more targeted than solicitations for widespread scams, such as email scams, that can hit anyone.

    Hiding assets in what the taxpayer hopes is an anonymous account or simply not filing a return in the hopes of staying off the grid are tax avoidance scams that have been around for decades. The IRS remains committed to stopping these methods of cheating that short-change taxpayers who reliably pay their fair share of taxes every year.

    The IRS warns anyone thinking about using one of these schemes – or similar ones – that the agency continues to improve work in these areas thanks to new and evolving data analytic tools and enhanced document matching. These Dirty Dozen schemes cover:

    Concealing Assets in Offshore Accounts and Improper Reporting of Digital Assets:
    The IRS remains focused on stopping tax avoidance by those who hide assets in offshore accounts and in accounts holding cryptocurrency or other digital assets.

    International tax compliance is a top priority of the IRS. New patterns and trends emerging in complex international tax avoidance schemes and cross-border transactions have heightened concerns regarding the lack of tax compliance by individuals and entities with an international footprint. As international tax and money laundering crimes have increased, the IRS continues to protect the integrity of the U.S. tax system by helping American taxpayers to understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by enforcing the law with integrity and fairness, worldwide.

    Over the years, numerous individuals have been identified as evading U.S. taxes by attempting to hide income in offshore banks, brokerage accounts or nominee entities. They then access the funds using debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers or other arrangements. Some individuals have used foreign trusts, employee-leasing schemes, private annuities and structured transactions attempting to conceal the true owner of accounts or insurance plans.

    U.S. persons are taxed on worldwide income. The mere fact that money is placed in an offshore account does not put it out of reach of the U.S. tax system.  U.S. persons are required, under penalty of perjury, to report income from offshore funds and other foreign holdings. The IRS uses a variety of sources to identify promoters who encourage others to hide their assets overseas.

    Digital assets are being adopted by mainstream financial organizations along with many other parts of the economy. The proliferation of digital assets across the world in the last decade or so has created tax administration challenges regarding digital assets, in part because there is an incorrect perception that digital asset accounts are undetectable by tax authorities. Unscrupulous promoters continue to perpetuate this myth and make assertions that taxpayers can easily conceal their digital asset holdings.

    The IRS urges taxpayers to not be misled into believing this storyline about digital assets and possibly exposing themselves to civil fraud penalties and criminal charges that could result from failure to report transactions involving digital assets.

    "The IRS is able to identify and track otherwise anonymous transactions of international accounts as well as digital assets during the enforcement of our nation's tax laws," Rettig said. "We urge everyone to come into compliance with their filing and reporting responsibilities and avoid compromising themselves in schemes that will ultimately go badly for them."

    High-income individuals who don’t file tax returns: The IRS continues to focus on people who choose to ignore the law and not file a tax return, especially those individuals earning more than $100,000 a year.

    Taxpayers who exercise their best efforts to file their tax returns and pay their taxes, or enter into agreements to pay their taxes, deserve to know that the IRS is pursuing others who have failed to satisfy their filing and payment obligations. The good news is most people file on time and pay their fair share of tax.

    Those who choose not to file a return even when they have a legal filing requirement, and especially those earning more than $100,000 per year who don’t file, represent a compliance problem that continues to be a top priority of the IRS.

    Here’s a key reminder for taxpayers who may be wrongly persuaded that not filing their return is a smart move. The Failure to File Penalty is initially much higher than the Failure to Pay Penalty. It is more advantageous to file an accurate return on time and set up a payment plan if needed than to not file. The Failure to File Penalty is generally 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. The penalty generally will not exceed 25% of unpaid taxes. The Failure to Pay Penalty is generally 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month the tax remains unpaid. The penalty will not exceed 25% of unpaid taxes.

    If a person’s failure to file is deemed fraudulent, the penalty generally increases from 5 percent per month to 15 percent for each month or part of a month the return is late, with the maximum penalty generally increasing from 25 percent to 75 percent.

    Abusive Syndicated Conservation Easements: In syndicated conservation easements, promoters take a provision of the tax law allowing for conservation easements and twist it by using inflated appraisals of undeveloped land (or, for a few specialized ones, the facades of historic buildings), and by using partnership arrangements devoid of a legitimate business purpose. These abusive arrangements do nothing more than game the tax system with grossly inflated tax deductions and generate high fees for promoters.

    The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid becoming ensnared in these deals sold by unscrupulous promoters. If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. People can risk severe monetary penalties for engaging in questionable deals such as abusive syndicated conservation easements.

    In the last five years, the IRS has examined many hundreds of syndicated conservation easement deals where tens of billions of dollars of deductions were improperly claimed. It is an agency-wide effort using a significant number of resources and thousands of staff hours. The IRS examines 100 percent of these deals and plans to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. Hundreds of these deals have gone to court and hundreds more will likely end up in court in the future.

    “We are devoting a lot of resources to combating abusive conservation easements because it is important for fairness in tax administration,” Commissioner Rettig stated. “It is not fair that wage-earners pay their fair share year after year but high-net-worth individuals can, under the guise of a real estate investment, avoid millions of dollars in tax through overvalued conservation easement contributions.”  

    Abusive Micro-Captive Insurance Arrangements: In abusive "micro-captive" structures, promoters, accountants, or wealth planners persuade owners of closely held entities to participate in schemes that lack many of the attributes of insurance.

    For example, coverages may "insure" implausible risks, fail to match genuine business needs or duplicate the taxpayer's commercial coverages. The "premiums" paid under these arrangements are often excessive and are used to skirt the tax law.

    Recently, the IRS has stepped up enforcement against a variation using potentially abusive offshore captive insurance companies. Abusive micro-captive transactions continue to be a high-priority area of focus.

    The IRS has conducted thousands of participant examination and promoter investigations, assessed hundreds of millions of dollars in additional taxes and penalties owed, and launched a successful settlement initiative. Additional information regarding the settlement initiative can be found at IR-2020-26. The IRS’s activities have been sustained by the Independent Office of Appeals, and the IRS has won all micro-captive Tax Court and appellate court cases, decided on their merits, since 2017.


  • 09 Jun 2022 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    Announcement 2022-13 advises that the Internal Revenue Service is revising the optional standard mileage rates that were provided in Notice 2022-3, 2022-2 I.R.B. 308, for substantiating the costs of operating an automobile for business, medical or moving purposes.  Beginning July 1, 2022, the rates are 62.5 cents per mile for business use of an automobile and 22 cents per mile for costs of using an automobile as a medical or moving expense.  Notice 2022-3 is modified.

    Announcement 2022-13 will be in IRB:  2022-26, dated June 27, 2022.


  • 09 Jun 2022 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final 6 months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes.

    For the final 6 months of 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of the year. The new rate for deductible medical or moving expenses (available for active-duty members of the military) will be 22 cents for the remainder of 2022, up 4 cents from the rate effective at the start of 2022. These new rates become effective July 1, 2022. The IRS provided legal guidance on the new rates in Announcement 2022-13, issued today.

    In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2022. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year. For travel from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2022, taxpayers should use the rates set forth in Notice 2022-03.

    "The IRS is adjusting the standard mileage rates to better reflect the recent increase in fuel prices," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "We are aware a number of unusual factors have come into play involving fuel costs, and we are taking this special step to help taxpayers, businesses and others who use this rate.”

    While fuel costs are a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

    The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

    Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

    The 14 cents per mile rate for charitable organizations remains unchanged as it is set by statute.

    Midyear increases in the optional mileage rates are rare, the last time the IRS made such an increase was in 2011.

    Mileage Rate Changes

     

    Purpose

    Rates 1/1 through 6/30/22

    Rates 7/1 through 12/31/22

    Business

    58.5

    62.5

    Medical/Moving

    18

    22

    Charitable

    14

    14


  • 09 Jun 2022 2:09 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today advised taxpayers who missed the April tax deadline that they can usually avoid a larger penalty by filing their 2021 federal income tax return and paying any tax due by Tuesday, June 14.

    To avoid the larger penalty, the IRS must receive the return by June 14. This means that a return mailed on that date will not qualify. For that reason, the IRS urges everyone to file electronically by June 14.

    In addition, taxpayers can also limit late-payment penalties and interest charges by paying their tax electronically. The fastest and easiest way to do that is with IRS Direct Pay, a free service available only on IRS.gov. Several other electronic payment options are also available. Visit IRS.gov/Payments for details.

    How the penalty works
    Those who miss the June 14 cutoff will normally face a minimum late-filing penalty, also known as a failure-to-file penalty. By law, If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is either $435 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that the penalty will equal the tax due if the taxpayer owes $435 or less. If they owe more than $435, then the minimum penalty will be at least $435.

    Under the normal calculation, this penalty is 5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month that the return is late, up to a maximum of 25%. Visit IRS.gov/Penalties for details.

    The late-filing penalty will stop accruing once the taxpayer files. In addition, the separate late-payment penalty and interest will stop accruing as soon as the tax is paid. The taxpayer need not figure any of these charges. Instead, the IRS will bill them for any amount due.  

    Other filing deadline rules
    Some taxpayers get more time to file, even if they didn’t request an extension. These special deadlines affect penalty and interest calculations for those who qualify, such as members of the military serving in combat zones, taxpayers living outside the U.S. and those living in declared disaster areas.

    Combat zone taxpayers
    Military service members and eligible support personnel serving in a combat zone have at least 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file their tax returns and pay any tax due. A complete list of designated combat zone localities can be found in Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, available on IRS.gov.

    Combat zone extensions also give affected taxpayers more time for a variety of other tax-related actions, including contributing to an IRA. Various circumstances affect the exact length of the extension available to taxpayers. Details, including examples illustrating how these extensions are calculated, are in the Extensions of Deadlines section in Publication 3.

    Taxpayers outside the United States
    U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico have until June 15, 2022, to file their 2021 tax returns and pay any tax due.

    The special June 15 deadline also applies to members of the military on duty outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico who do not qualify for the longer combat zone extension. Affected taxpayers should attach a statement to their return explaining which of these situations apply.

    Though taxpayers abroad get more time to pay without penalty for late payment, interest is due on any unpaid tax from this year’s April 18 deadline. The interest rate is currently 4% per year, compounded daily. The interest rate rises to 5% on July 1, 2022. For more information about the special tax rules for U.S. taxpayers abroad, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, on IRS.gov.

    Disaster Areas
    The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with an IRS address of record located in a federally declared disaster area when at least one area qualifies for FEMA's Individual Assistance program. Ordinarily, this means that taxpayers need not contact the IRS to get disaster tax relief. For details on all available relief, visit the Around the Nation page on IRS.gov.

    Penalty relief for some
    Taxpayers who have filed and paid on time and have not been assessed any penalties for the past three years often qualify to have the penalty abated. See the First-Time Penalty Abatement page on IRS.gov. A taxpayer who does not qualify for this relief may still qualify for penalty relief if their failure to file or pay on time was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. Anyone who receives a penalty notice from the IRS should read it carefully and follow its instructions for requesting relief. See Penalty Relief in IRS.gov for the types of penalty relief and how to make the request.

    In addition to penalties, interest will be charged on any tax not paid by the regular April due date. For individual taxpayers, it’s the federal short-term interest rate plus 3 percentage points. This means that until June 30, the rate is 4% per year, compounded daily. Starting July 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, the rate will be 5% per year, compounded daily. Interest rates are subject to change quarterly.

    Interest stops accruing as soon as the tax is paid in full. By law, interest cannot be abated.

    Ways to pay
    Many taxpayers mistakenly delay filing because they are unable to pay what they owe. Often, these taxpayers qualify for one of the payment options available from the IRS. These include:

     Installment Agreement – An installment agreement, or payment plan, allows a taxpayer to pay over time. Individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can request a payment plan using the IRS’s Online Payment Agreement application.

    Those who have a balance under $100,000 may also qualify for a short-term payment plan of up to 180 days. The plan can be set up in minutes and requesters receive immediate notification of approval. To reduce the chance of default and avoid having to write and mail a check each month, taxpayers can select the direct debit option for making these payments. For other ways to set up a payment plan, visit Payment Plans, Installment Agreements.

    • Offer in Compromise — Some struggling taxpayers may qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an offer in compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.

    Check withholding

    Taxpayers who owe tax for 2021 can avoid having the same problem for 2022 by increasing the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks. For help determining the right amount to withhold, use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov.


  • 09 Jun 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today announced that spear phishing is the 8th item on the 2022 "Dirty Dozen" scams warning list and a serious problem because it can be tailored to attack and steal the computer system credentials of any small business with a client data base, such as tax professionals' firms.

    "Tax professionals generally relax a little after filing season and many take a well-deserved vacation but don't let your IT defenses down," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Spear phishing remains one of the biggest threats to the tax industry and other client-based enterprises."

    Spear phishing is an email scam that attempts to steal a tax professional's software preparation credentials. These thieves try to steal client data and tax preparers' identities in an attempt to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds. Spear phishing can be tailored to attack any type of business or organization, so everyone needs to be on the lookout and not rush to act when a strange email comes in.

    The IRS has compiled the annual “Dirty Dozen” list for more than 20 years as a way of alerting taxpayers and the tax professional community about scams and schemes. The list is not a legal document or a literal listing of agency enforcement priorities. It is designed to raise awareness among a variety of audiences that may not always be aware of developments involving tax administration.

    “Dirty Dozen” scams tend to be most prevalent during the filing season but criminals are busy all year long.

    The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax community – working together as the Security Summit – continue to see an increase in this scheme attacking the tax professional community.

    The latest phishing email uses the IRS logo and a variety of subject lines such as "Action Required: Your account has now been put on hold." The IRS has observed similar bogus emails that claim to be from a "tax preparation application provider." One such variation offers an "unusual activity report" and a solution link for the recipient to restore their account.

    Emails claiming "Your account has been put on hold" are scams. The scam email will send users to a website that shows the logos of several popular tax software preparation providers. Clicking on one of these logos will prompt a request for tax preparer account credentials.

    The IRS warns tax pros not to respond or take any of the steps outlined in the email. Similar emails include malicious links or attachments that are set up to steal information or to download malware onto the tax professional's computer.

    In this case, if recipients enter their credentials into the pop-up window, thieves can use this information to file fraudulent returns by using credentials that were provided by the tax professional. For more information, see IR-2022-36.


  • 08 Jun 2022 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – Suspicious communications in all its forms designed to either trick, surprise or scare someone into responding before thinking is No. 7 on the 2022 "Dirty Dozen" scams warning list, the Internal Revenue Service announced today, warning everyone to be on the lookout for bogus calls, texts, emails and posts online to gain trust or steal.

    Criminals have used these methods for years and they persist because these tricks work enough times to keep the scammers at it. Victims are tricked into providing sensitive personal financial information, money or other information. This can be used to file false tax returns and tap into financial accounts, among other schemes.

    “If you are surprised or scared by a call or text, it’s likely a scam so proceed with extreme caution,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “I urge everyone to verify a suspicious email or other communication independently of the message in question.”

    The IRS has compiled the annual Dirty Dozen list for more than 20 years as a way of alerting taxpayers and the tax professional community about scams and schemes. The list is not a legal document or a literal listing of agency enforcement priorities. It is designed to raise awareness among a variety of audiences that may not always be aware of developments involving tax administration.

    As part of the Security Summit effort with the states and the nation’s tax industry, the IRS has made great strides in preventing and reducing tax-related identity theft. But it remains a serious threat to taxpayers and tax professionals who don't adequately protect Social Security numbers (SSN) and other personal information.

    For example, criminals can quickly file a fake tax return using a stolen SSN in the hope that it has not already appeared on another filed return. People frequently don't know they are a victim of identity theft until they are notified by the IRS of a possible issue with their tax return or their return is rejected because the SSN appears on a return already filed.

    Here are some common scams the IRS continues to see. Taxpayers should take extra caution with these schemes, which continue to evolve and change:

    Text message scams: These scams are sent to taxpayers' smartphones and can reference things like COVID-19 and/or "stimulus payments." These messages often contain bogus links claiming to be IRS websites or other online tools. Other than IRS Secure Access, the IRS does not use text messages to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. The IRS also will not send taxpayers messages via social media platforms.

    If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited SMS/text that appears to be from either the IRS or a program closely linked to the IRS, the taxpayer should take a screenshot of the text message and include the screenshot in an email to phishing@irs.gov with the following information:

    • Date, time and time zone they received the text message
    • Phone number that received the text message
    • The IRS reminds everyone NOT to click links or open attachments in unsolicited, suspicious or unexpected text messages whether from the IRS, state tax agencies or others in the tax community.

    Email phishing scams: The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail. If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited fraudulent email that appears to be from either the IRS or a program closely linked to the IRS, report it by sending the email as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov. The Report Phishing and Online Scams page at IRS.gov provides complete details.

    Phone scams: The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent or threatening messages. In many variations of the phone scam, victims are told if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Other verbal threats include law-enforcement agency intervention, deportation or revocation of licenses.

    Criminals can fake or "spoof" caller ID numbers to appear to be anywhere in the country, including from an IRS office. This prevents taxpayers from being able to verify the caller’s true number. Fraudsters also have spoofed local sheriff's offices, state departments of motor vehicles, federal agencies and others, to convince taxpayers the call is legitimate.

    The IRS (and its authorized private collection agencies) will never:

    • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payments.
    • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
    • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
    • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

    Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks should never be made payable to third parties. For anyone who doesn't owe taxes and has no reason to think they do: Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately. For more information, see IR-2022-25.


  • 08 Jun 2022 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who pay estimated taxes that the deadline to pay their second quarter tax liability is June 15.

    Taxes are pay-as-you-go
    This means taxpayers need to pay most of the tax they expect to owe during the year, as income is received. There are two ways to do that:

    1. Withholding from pay, pension or certain government payments such, as Social Security.
    2. Making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year.

    Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that isn’t subject to withholding. This includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, rent, gains from the sale of assets,
    prizes and awards.

    Taxpayers may also have to pay estimated tax if the amount of income tax being withheld from their salary, pension or other income isn’t enough. If necessary, those who receive a salary or wages can avoid having to pay estimated taxes by asking their employer to withhold more tax from their earnings. To do this, taxpayers should submit a new Form W-4 to their employer. There is a special line on Form W-4 for them to enter the additional amount they want their employer to withhold.

    Who must pay estimated tax?
    Individuals, including sole proprietors, partners and S corporation shareholders, generally have to make estimated tax payments if they expect to have a tax liability of $1,000 or more when they file their return.

    Individual taxpayers can use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant online to see if they are required to pay estimated taxes. They can also see the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, for more details on who must pay estimated tax.

    Corporations generally have to make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $500 or more when they file their return. Corporations can see Form 1120-W, Estimated Tax for Corporations, for more information.

    Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, has additional details, including worksheets and examples, that can be especially helpful to those who have dividend or capital gain income, owe alternative minimum tax or self-employment tax, or have other special situations.

    How to avoid an underpayment penalty
    Taxpayers can avoid an underpayment penalty by owing less than $1,000 at tax time or by paying most of their taxes during the year. Generally, for 2022 that means making payments of at least 90% of the tax expected on their 2022 return, or taxpayers who pay at least 100 percent of the tax shown on their return for tax year 2021.

    Special rules apply to some groups of taxpayers, such as farmers, fishers, certain higher income taxpayers, casualty and disaster victims, those who recently became disabled, recent retirees and those who receive income unevenly during the year. For more information, refer to Form 1040-ES.

    Generally, taxpayers should make estimated tax payments in four equal amounts to avoid a penalty. However, if they receive income unevenly during the year, they may be able to vary the amounts of the payments to avoid or lower the penalty by using the annualized installment method. Taxpayers can use Form 2210, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts, to see if they owe a penalty for underpaying their estimated tax.

    Third quarter payments are due September 15 and the final estimated tax payment for tax year 2022 is due on Jan. 17, 2023.

    Tax Withholding Estimator
    The Tax Withholding Estimator offers a step-by-step method for effectively ensuring taxpayers have the right amount of tax withheld from their paychecks or other income that is subject to withholding.

    Using the Tax Withholding Estimator can help taxpayers prevent having too little tax withheld and facing an unexpected tax bill or penalty at tax time next year.

    How to pay estimated taxes
    An electronic payment is the fastest, easiest and most secure way for individuals to make an estimated tax payment. Taxpayers can securely log into their IRS Online Account or use IRS Direct Pay to submit a payment from their checking or savings account. Taxpayers can also pay using a debit, credit card or digital wallet. Taxpayers should note that the payment processor, not the IRS, charges a fee for debit and credit card payments. Both Direct Pay and the pay by debit, credit card or digital wallet options are available online at IRS.gov/payments and through the IRS2Go app.

    Taxpayers can also use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) to make an estimated tax payment.

    Corporations must use electronic funds transfer to make all federal tax deposits (such as deposits of employment, excise and corporate income tax). This includes installment payments of estimated tax. Generally, an electronic funds transfer is made using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). However, if the corporation does not want to use EFTPS, it can arrange for its tax professional, financial institution, payroll service, or other trusted third party to make electronic deposits on its behalf.

    If taxpayers opt to mail a check or money order, they should make them payable to the "United States Treasury."

    Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, includes instructions to help taxpayers figure their estimated taxes. For information on all payment options, visit IRS.gov/payments.

    IRS.gov assistance 24/7
    Tax help is available 24/7 on IRS.gov. The IRS website offers a variety of online tools to help taxpayers find answers to common tax questions. For example, taxpayers can search the Interactive Tax Assistant, Tax Topics and Frequently Asked Questions to get answers to common questions.

    The IRS is continuing to expand ways to communicate to taxpayers who prefer to get tax information in other languages. The IRS has posted translated tax resources in 20 other languages on IRS.gov. For more information, see We Speak Your Language.


  • 07 Jun 2022 1:56 PM | Anonymous

    WASHINGTON – As the 6th item on the 2022 "Dirty Dozen" scams warning list, the Internal Revenue Service today cautioned taxpayers with pending tax bills to contact the IRS directly and not go to unscrupulous tax companies that use local advertising and falsely claiming they can resolve unpaid taxes for pennies on the dollar.

    “No one can get a better deal for taxpayers, than they can usually get for themselves by working directly with the IRS to resolve their tax issues,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Taxpayers can check online for their best deal, as well as calling a specialized collection line where they can get fast service by using voice and chat bots or opting to speak with a live phone assistor."

    Offer in Compromise (OIC) "mills" make outlandish claims usually in local advertising regarding how they can settle a person’s tax debt for pennies on the dollar. The reality usually is that taxpayers pay the OIC mill a fee to get the same deal they could have gotten on their own by working directly with the IRS.

    The IRS has compiled the annual Dirty Dozen list for more than 20 years as a way of alerting taxpayers and the tax professional community about scams and schemes. The list is not a legal document or a literal listing of agency enforcement priorities. It is designed to raise awareness among a variety of audiences that may not always be aware of developments involving tax administration.

    OIC mills are a problem all year long but tend to be more visible right after the filing season is over and taxpayers are trying to resolve their tax issues perhaps after receiving a balance due notice in the mail.

    For those who feel they need help, there are many reputable tax professionals available, and there are important tools that can help people find the right practitioner for their needs. IRS.gov is a good place to start scoping out what to do.

    These "mills" contort the IRS program into something it's not — misleading people with no chance of meeting the requirements while charging excessive fees, often thousands of dollars.

    An "offer," or OIC, is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that resolves the taxpayer's tax debt. The IRS has the authority to settle, or "compromise," federal tax liabilities by accepting less than full payment under certain circumstances. However, some promoters are inappropriately advising indebted taxpayers to file an OIC application with the IRS, even though the promoters know the person won't qualify. This costs honest taxpayers money and time.

    Before taxpayers start investing time to do the paperwork necessary to submit an offer, they’ll want to check out the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool to make sure they’re eligible to file one. (Note: even though individuals and businesses can submit an offer, the tool is currently only available to individuals.)

    The IRS also created an OIC video playlist that leads taxpayers through a series of steps and forms to help them calculate an appropriate offer based on their assets, income, expenses and future earning potential. Find these helpful, easy to navigate videos at irsvideos.gov/oic.

    The IRS reminds taxpayers that under the First Time Penalty Abatement policy, taxpayers can go directly to the IRS for administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be added to their tax debt.

    OIC mills are one example of unscrupulous tax preparers. Taxpayers should be wary of unscrupulous “ghost” preparers and aggressive promises of manufacturing a bigger refund.

    Ghost preparers: Although most tax preparers are ethical and trustworthy, taxpayers should be wary of preparers who won't sign the tax returns they prepare, often referred to as ghost preparers. For e-filed returns, the "ghost" will prepare the return, but refuse to digitally sign as the paid preparer.

    By law, anyone who is paid to prepare, or assists in preparing federal tax returns, must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on the return.

    Inflated refunds: Not signing a return is a red flag that the paid preparer may be looking to make a quick profit by promising a big refund or charging fees based on the size of the refund.
    Unscrupulous tax return preparers may also:

    • Require payment in cash only and will not provide a receipt.
    • Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits.
    • Claim fake deductions to boost the size of the refund.
    • Direct refunds into their bank account, not the taxpayer's account.

    Choose wisely. The Choosing a Tax Professional page on IRS.gov has information about tax preparer credentials and qualifications. The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications can help identify many preparers by type of credential or qualification.

    Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else.


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