I Received a Letter From the IRS, Now What?!

The IRS will send millions of correspondence for different reasons. We wanted to share some information we received about what you should do when you receive a letter from the IRS.

Here’s what to do:
  1. Don’t Panic! Responding will take care of any issues.
  1. Read Carefully:  There can be many reasons for receiving a letter from the IRS. Most deal with tax returns or accounts. The letter will provide specific instructions and details about what to do so it is important to read the letter carefully and more than once.
  1. Is the letter asking for something? It might be about changes to your account, taxes owed, or a payment request. Sometimes, they may ask for more information on the issue discussed.
  1. Is it about changes to a return? If the letter indicates a change or correction to your tax return, review the changes and compare it with your original return (You should always have your own copy).
  1. Is a reply necessary? There is no need for a reply unless instructed, or if you need to make a payment.
  1. Don’t agree with your notice? Respond! There is a contact stub at the bottom of each letter so you may respond and explain why you disagree. Be sure to include any supporting documents for the IRS and allow up to 30 days for a response. Always send this type of correspondence certified and keep copies of everything you send.
  1. No appointments necessary: If you need to call, use the phone number that is on the upper right hand corner of the notice. Have your tax return and notice in hand for reference.
  1. Keep Records! Always keep copies of any notices that you receive along with your tax records.
  1. Be aware of scams: The IRS will never send you an e-mail or contact your through social media and ask for financial information. They will never demand a specific form of payment such as a prepaid card. For information on payment options, click here.

For more information on the IRS Collection Process, see Publication 594, or to make a payment, visit IRS.gov/payments.

Business Resource Partners has been happy to serve you this tax season and we look forward to 2017! We have our Enrolled Agent on staff who will directly represent you to the IRS and assist in tax planning for you and your business. We offer more than just bookkeeping and taxes for your business! For a complete list of our services, please visit our Services page.
Our sister company, Almond Street Business Center offers a variety of services for your company as well. You may also click any of the links below for more information.

SBRN Lunch With the Experts: Change in Venue!

SBRN Lunch with the Experts:
Web Marketing Trends for 2017 and Optimizing for Mobile Device
The Florida SBDC Network assists thousands of new and growing businesses by providing services to help them successful in their decisions. They will be hosting a no-cost training session to help you better plan for the ever growing virtual trends this year.
Effective marketing for your business can make all the difference in its success. Learn from the experts how to expand your customer base with new trends and strategies!

When?
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What time?
11:30AM to 1:00 PM

Where? (CHANGE FROM ORIGINAL LOCATION)
1250 North Hancock Road Clermont FL, 34711
Building 2, Room 102 & 103

How do I sign up?
This event is free but registration is required and seats are filling up fast! Visit the registration page to secure our seat to this event.
For information on this, and future events of the SBRN, see the flyer we have included below.

“NEW” IRS Collection Tactic

The IRS has sent us an interesting article that will affect many tax payers, we wanted to share this with you before the end of tax season.

Starting this month, the IRS will be using four private-sector collection agencies (PCA) to collect unpaid tax debts on the government’s behalf. This is authorized under a federal law that was enacted by congress in December of 2015. These are tax debts that are not currently being worked on and were assessed years ago. If a tax payer is being assigned to a private firm, there would have been multiple attempts to contact by the IRS in the past years.

  • How is this going to work?

The IRS will send an official letter to the tax payer and his or her tax representative informing them that they will be assigned to a PCA and will be given the name and contact information for the PCA. This mailing will also include a copy of Publication 4518 of what to expect.

Once your letter is sent, the designated private firm will send a letter to the tax payer with information that will assure that the transfer and all future collection calls are legitimate.

Important: The PCA are authorized to discuss payment options and payment agreements. However, all payments must be made directly to the IRS via check, or electronically. Never make a payment to a private firm or anyone besides the IRS or U.S Treasury. For more info on payment options, click here.

For a list of the agencies selected, visit this page.

  • Prepare for phone scams!

There will be scammers who jump at this opportunity to pose as PCA employees. It is important to know that these agencies will only be assigned if you owe money from previous tax years. You will be made aware about these PCAs before you hear from them.

The IRS or PCA will never:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment using a specific method such as prepaid card or wire transfer
  2. Threaten to call local police or other law-enforcement groups
  3. Demand payment without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed
  4. Ask for any credit or debit card numbers over the phone

You don’t need to wait for a call or letter from the IRS! It is important to always come forward and pay what you owe, or set up a payment plan. For a list of ways to take advantage of this, visit IRS.gov.Tax filing deadline is approaching soon! Business Resource Partners has an Enrolled Agent on staff who will directly represent you to the IRS if ever needed. We would be happy to prepare and file your business and personal taxes! Give us a call to set up an appointment (321) 236-2771 or visit us at 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 3711.

Is Your Personal Information REALLY Protected?

Protecting your personal information such as social security number and finances is always important any time of year, but most importantly during tax time.
We found an article published on the IRS.gov website about protection specific to computers and we wanted to share some key facts.
The IRS says to treat your personal information like cash, don’t hand it out to just anyone. Much of your information can be taken and used to steal your identity and open new accounts. Be wary of websites or people asking for personal information claiming that it is necessary, many scammers will attempt just about anything to get this information from you.
What practical steps can you take to protect yourself better?
  1. Avoid Phishing Scams:
Scammers can pose as banks, credit card companies, IRS, or third party working for governing authorities. Different methods can be used to get your attention such as winning something, urgent personal information update requirements. Never open an attachment or link of a suspicious e-mail. These oftentimes contain malware and can harm or hack your computer and information.
  1. Protect Personal Data:
Do not carry your social security card with you or anything that may include this number. Do not include this number when filling out forms on paper or online. Scammers will ask you to include this number in documents even when it is not needed.
  1. Use Strong Passwords:
When creating or updating passwords to your online data, always use 10-12 characters. Try not to use common information such as important dates or names. Be as unpredictable as possible! Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and never send these through text or email. Always use a secure Wi-Fi network to prevent other networks from accessing your information.
  1. Use Security Software:
Always have security software installed on your computer. Most come with a pre-installed firewall, but it is important to have one that protects from viruses, Trojans, spyware and adware. Parents, use the parental control options and educate children about suspicious websites and emails.
  1. Back Up Files:
It is important to always save important documents such as tax returns, finances, etc into a removable USB as a back up. Have paper copies to help in the next year’s tax preparation and always keep track of where these are stored and who has access to them.
Business Resource Partners will help with your tax needs including preparation and e-filing. Time is almost out for tax filing! Give us a call or stop by our office to meet with one of our tax prep experts!

Tax Credit For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient!

If you made your home more energy efficient in 2016, you may qualify for a tax credit this year! We received this great article from the IRS and we wanted to share some main points that stood out. For this, and many more publications, visit the IRS.gov website.

Non-Business Energy Property Credit

  • This credit counts for 10% of the cost of qualified energy saving items. These items include adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors, and certain roofs. It does not include the cost to install these items.
  • The credit amount for each type of property has a different dollar limit rather than a percentage. For example, any installation costs of high efficiency heating and air-conditioning, water heaters, or stoves that burn biomass fuel.
  • This credit has a maximum lifetime limit of $500, only $200 of this limit may be used for windows.
  • The main home must be in the U.S and the non-business energy property credit is only available for existing homes.
  • Always have a written certification from the manufacturer that this product does qualify for the tax credit. This will usually be posted on the website. Always keep the original copy with your tax records and not attached to your tax return.
  • You may claim the credit on your 2016 tax return if you did not reach the lifetime limit in the past years.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit:

  • This credit is 30% of the cost alternative energy installed in or on a home, including cost of installation.
  • Qualified materials include: solar hot water heaters, solar electric equipment, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.
  • If the credit is more than the tax owed, carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return. There is no dollar limit on the credit for most types of property.
  • The home does not have to be your main home unless the alternative energy equipment is qualified fuel cell property. The residential energy efficient property credit is for both existing home and homes under construction. It is available through 2016.

For Residential Energy Credits, use Form 5695.

Business Resource Partners offers more than just bookkeeping services. We provide tax preparation and filing for both personal and business tax returns. We have a specialized team who is here to help!

We have extended our business hours this tax season and we are ready to work around your busy schedule!

Call us at (321) 236-2771 or visit 310 Almond Street Clermont, FL 34711.

 

Great News! Enhanced Services at Business Resource Partners!

We have some exciting news to share with you!

We are now offering both business and personal tax return preparation. We have extended our business hours on Tuesday through Friday until 7:30pm, and Saturdays from 9am-2pm. We are happy to offer other hours by appointment to accommodate your schedule.

Our team of experts is happy to help with all of your tax needs. Our dedicated staff speak several different languages including Spanish and German. We are looking forward to assisting you with all personal and business tax returns.

Our team of professionals represent many facets of Accounting:

~Lorrie Reid, our owner and founder, has completed the Annual Filing Season Program, a brand new certification from the IRS

~Michael Jacobson holds a Masters Degree in Accounting

~Mythili Richards, our IRS Enrolled Agent, is certified to represent you to the IRS in the event of a tax issue

~Stephanie Rubin is our Payroll Specialist/Office Manager

~Andrea Gregori is our multi-talented Administrative Assistant

We look forward to working with you!

Call us at (321) 236-2771 for further information and appointments, or visit us at 310 Almond Street, Clermont FL 34711.

 

OVERTIME LAW – Important News for Employers

The new overtime rule will not be going into effect on Dec 1st. At least temporarily the ruling has been blocked by an injunction issued by a federal district court in Texas. This injunction extends nationwide. Click to read more on the Overtime Law and the Injunction.

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Beware of Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices

As the year ends and tax season starts, the first scam warnings have arrived. This notice was sent regarding fake IRS tax bills related to the Affordable Care Act. Please read the below information (IRS Tax Tips 9/23/2016) or click this link to get redirected the IRS.gov website.

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Issue Number: IRS Special Edition Tax Tip 2016

Inside This Issue

Beware of Fake IRS Tax Bill Notices

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners are warning taxpayers and tax professionals of fake IRS tax bills related to the Affordable Care Act.

The IRS has received numerous reports of scammers sending a fraudulent version of a notice- labeled CP2000 – for tax year 2015. The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.

This scam may arrive by email, as an attachment, or by mail. It has many signs of being a fake:

– The CP2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address;

– The letter says the issue is related to the Affordable Care Act  and requests information regarding 2014 coverage;

The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C;

– Requests checks made out to I.R.S. and sent to the “Austin Processing Center” at a post office box.

IRS impersonation scams take many forms: threatening phone calls, phishing emails and demanding letters. Learn more at Reporting Phishing and Online Scams. The IRS does not initiate unsolicited email contact or contact by social media.

An authentic CP2000 notice is used when income reported from third-party sources such as an employer does not match the income reported on the tax return. Unlike the fake, it provides extensive instructions to taxpayers about what to do if they agree or disagree that additional tax is owed. A real notice requests that checks be made out to “United States Treasury.”

The IRS and its Security Summit partners – the state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry – are conducting a campaign to raise awareness among taxpayer and tax professionals about increasing their security and becoming familiar with various tax-related scams. Learn more at Taxes. Security. Together. or Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself.

Share this tip on social media — #IRStaxtip: Beware of Fake #IRS #Tax Bill Notices. http://go.usa.gov/xKe69

 

 

Netflix’s House of Cards Teaches Us On Why Most Companies Fail

Contributed by:  Michael Jacobson

HOC

As I read this article (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-netflix-house-cards-can-teach-us-why-most-companies-abbott), I learned that the chief reason businesses fail is because they do not follow a Core vs. Critical principle emphasized in business. In order to elaborate, the Core is what your business is all about. The Critical is the challenge in delivering the business product or service to your customers.

People love Netflix due to “House of Cards” and other unique programming. In order for the company to satisfy the customers and realize its Core, Netflix had to deliver streaming quality, Critical, so customers would pay for the service. Customers do not care how House of Cards is delivered to them as long as they can watch the program wherever and whenever they desire. Netflix knew Amazon Web Services already offered excellent streaming software. Netflix used what was already existing so it could focus on gaining strength in content selection. Netflix did not have to go through the hardship of building its own streaming software. The company partnered with Toshiba and Panasonic so they could accomplish their Critical and bring Netflix-ready devices available for use. The company “outsourced Critical to remain focused on Core.”

HOC2Businesses fail because they lack partners to take on the Critical. Once you get your partners in your Critical, then Business Resource Partners is the perfect partner for your Core. We help you with having a complete set of financials that are understandable to you. When you have a complete set of books, you are ready for your taxes, your banker and much more. Be sure to call Business Resource Partners when you are ready for a partner in your Core.