Latest IRS Updates and News Releases

Identity Theft: Keeping Your Business & Your Customers Safe

To register, click here:  https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1147/12536

A FREE webinar for small business organizations and their members, presented by the Federal Trade Commission,

Internal Revenue Service and the Small Business Administration

 

Thursday, February 11

9:00—10:15 am Alaska | 10:00—11:15 am Pacific | 11:00 am—12:15 pm Mountain

 

Speakers from the FTC and IRS will discuss:

  • How businesses can avoid being victims of ID theft
  • How businesses can protect themselves and their customers
  • Who to contact/what to do if they suspect they are a victim of ID theft
  • Ways IRS and FTC are combating ID theft
  • Lessons from FTC cases about good data security practices for businesses
  • Where to find ID theft resources on the FTC and IRS websites

 

The US Small Business Administration will give a brief overview of the programs and services they have available to small business owners.

 

Before registering, be sure your spam filter is set to accept email from our webinar provider – confirmation and reminder emails will appear with the name “Internal Revenue Service SBSE Stakeholder Liaison Field” and will be from the email address no-reply@webcaster4.com. If you have any problems registering, contact us directly at SL.northwest@irs.gov

 

SBA Free Workshop Thursdays (many are offered both in person and online):

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seattle-free-workshop-thursdays-february-11-tickets-20702622100

 

Tax Talks: What You Need to Know About Small Business Taxes

February 11, 2016 | 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Learn the basics of small business taxes. Tax professionals will help you understand your tax reporting responsibilities. Topics include: record keeping, expenses and deductions, estimated taxes, home offices, and areas that may trigger an unwanted IRS tax audit. This event will be offered at the Seattle SBA office and also be broadcast as a live webinar.

 

Tax Talks: Small Business Tax Deductions and Credits

February 11, 2016 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Begin with an overview of deductions and credits as they apply to business taxes. This seminar will review definitions, documentation that is required to verify a business expense, and list common deductions and credits business can take. There will also be a discussion how one should be planning and strategizing using this information. This event will be offered at the Seattle SBA office and also be broadcast as a live webinar.

 

To attend either workshop in person please register here: https://SeattleFreeWorkshopThursdaysFeb11.eventbrite.com

To attend virtually register here: https://OnlineFreeWorkshopThursdaysfeb11.eventbrite.com

Call 206-553-7310 for more information.

 

Other SBA workshops can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/wa/seattle

Free Tools for Starting a Business

February 10, 2016 | 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Auburn WorkSource

2702 "I" Street NE, Auburn, WA, 98002

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/auburn-free-tools-for-starting-a-business-tickets-20236999410

 

Thinking about starting a business? You may be surprised to learn how many free and low-cost tools are available to you.  Attend this workshop to learn about finding a business mentor or coach, market research tools, templates for writing a business plan, options for financing and government contracting opportunities.

 

SCORE Workshops

SCORE offers workshops designed to give you the skills necessary to start your own successful business.

Seattle: http://seattle.score.org/localworkshops

Feb 3, Mar 2 -- Starting a New Business

Feb 26 -- Understanding Financial Statements

Spokane: http://scorespokane.org/workshops

Feb 3, Mar 2 -- How to Start a New Business

Bellingham: https://bellingham.score.org/

Feb 20 -- Starting or Managing Your Own Business

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 


 

IRS Updates & News Releases:

Did you know? One of the best ways to get information is by visiting the IRS Small Business Tax Center where you can learn everything from how to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) online to how to best navigate an audit.

 

Identity Theft Video Series Available; Special Series to Help Taxpayers Avoid Pitfalls and Stay Safe Online

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Identity-Theft-Video-Series-Available-Special-Series-to-Help-Taxpayers-Avoid-Pitfalls-and-Stay-Safe-Online

In coordination with the state revenue departments and the tax industry, the Internal Revenue Service released the first in a series of YouTube video tax tips designed to provide people critical information to help protect their tax and financial data.  The videos, part of the continuing Security Summit effort combating identity theft and refund fraud, are part of an ongoing effort to educate taxpayers and provide them tools to stay safe online. The first of the Security Awareness YouTube videos includes tips from four state officials reminding taxpayers to check online accounts for problems, look for secure sites when shopping online and be careful to avoid phishing scams.

 

IRS YouTube Security Summit Video Series:
Video #1: Security Summit Identity Theft Tips OverviewEnglish
Video #2: What Changes Can Taxpayers Expect this Year? English
Video #3: Check your Credit Report Annually is availableEnglish
Video #4: Secure Your Tax Return is availableEnglish
Video #5: Be Careful When Using Wi-FiEnglish
Video #6: Update Your Password Regularly English
Taxes.Security.Together.: English

 

IRS Statement on the Opening of the 2016 Filing Season

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Opening-of-the-2016-Filing-Season

The IRS has successfully opened its systems for the 2016 tax filing season. More than 150 million individual returns are expected this filing season for tax year 2015. Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.

 

IRS Free File Launches; Offers More Free Federal and Free State Tax Software Options

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Free-File-Launches-Today-Offers-More-Free-Federal-and-Free-State-Tax-Software-Options

The Internal Revenue Service and Free File Alliance announced the launch of Free File with many changes and updates for 2016, including more free state tax return options and easier Form W-2 imports. There are 13 brand-name tax software providers making their federal tax return products available for free. Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $62,000 or less during 2015 are eligible for at least one, if not more, of the 13 tax software products. The income limitation is $2,000 higher than last year. For taxpayers who earned more than $62,000, there’s Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms.

 

IRS Ready to Start 2016 Tax Season; Encourages use of IRS.gov and e-File; Works with States, Industry on Identity Theft Refund Fraud

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Ready-to-Start-2016-Tax-Season-Encourages-use-of-IRS-gov-and-e-File-Works-with-States,-Industry-on-Identity-Theft-Refund-Fraud

The nation’s 2016 individual income tax filing season opened Jan. 19, with more than 150 million tax returns expected to be filed this year. People will have several extra days to file their tax returns this year. Taxpayers have until Monday, April 18 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax due because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., falling on Friday, April 15. Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts will have until Tuesday, April 19 because of Patriot’s Day observances on April 18. The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,797.

 

IRS YouTube Videos
When Will I Get My Refund: English | Spanish
Welcome to Free File: English
IRS Tax Payment Options: English

 

How New Identity Security Changes May Affect Taxpayers for 2016

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/How-New-Identity-Security-Changes-May-Affect-Taxpayers-for-2016

The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry have taken new steps for 2016 to protect you and help reduce the risk of identity theft affecting your tax returns this filing season. The new measures attack tax-related identity theft from multiple sides. Many changes will be invisible to you but invaluable to the IRS, states and tax industry in protecting you. See the article for some important changes you may see.  And while we’re working to strengthen tax-filing security, we’re also asking taxpayers to take steps to help protect their information as part of our “Taxes.Security.Together” campaign.  The full article has highlights and frequently asked questions.

 

IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Identity-Theft-Victim-Assistance-How-It-Works

The IRS knows identity theft can be frustrating and confusing for victims. When it comes to tax-related identity theft, the Internal Revenue Service wants to resolve cases as quickly as possible. The IRS has worked hard to help victims of identity theft by making improvements and shortening the time it takes to resolve these complex situations.

Each taxpayer’s experience will vary, depending on whether they tell the IRS they may be a tax-related identity theft victim or the agency informs them there may be have been a suspicious tax return filed with their name on it. Further, the IRS may not realize the taxpayer is an identity theft victim until their return has been processed or an audit has been initiated. See the full article for a general outline of what you can expect.

 

National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress; Focuses on IRS’s Future Plans for Taxpayer Service

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/National-Taxpayer-Advocate-Delivers-Annual-Report-to-Congress;-Focuses-on-IRSs-Future-Plans-for-Taxpayer-Service

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson has released her 2015 annual report to Congress, expressing concern that the IRS may be on the verge of dramatically scaling back telephone and face-to-face service it has provided for decades to assist the nation’s 150 million individual taxpayers and 11 million business entities in complying with their tax obligations.  The report reiterates a recommendation the Advocate made in June that the IRS release its “Future State” plan documents, provide additional detail about their anticipated impact on taxpayer service operations, and solicit comments from the public.  The report also recommends that Congress conduct oversight hearings on the plan.

Complete Report: 2015 Annual Report to Congress

 

Help for International Taxpayers Begins on IRS.gov; Six YouTube Videos Now Available to Assist

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Help-for-International-Taxpayers-Begins-on-IRSgov-Six-YouTube-Videos-Now-Available-to-Assist

The Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. taxpayers living abroad, as well as other international taxpayers, that IRS.gov provides the best starting place for getting answers to their important tax questions. This filing season, six new YouTube videos on common issues that international taxpayers face are also available. The International Taxpayers page on IRS.gov is packed with information designed to help taxpayers living abroad, resident aliens, nonresident aliens, residents of U.S. territories and foreign students. The web site also features a directory that includes overseas tax preparers.

 

Filing Season Update on IP PINs

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Filing-Season-Update-on-IP-PINs

Due to an error, taxpayers are receiving Identity Protection PIN letters with an incorrect year listed. Taxpayers and tax professionals should be advised the IP PIN listed on the CP 01A Notice dated Jan. 4, 2016, is valid for use on all individual tax returns filed in 2016. The notice incorrectly indicates the IP PIN issued is to be used for filing the 2014 tax return when the number is actually to be used for the 2015 tax return. The IRS emphasizes the IP PIN listed on the CP 01A notice is valid for the 2015 returns. Taxpayers and their tax professionals should use this PIN number for 2015 tax returns.  The IRS apologizes for the confusion and any inconvenience.

Update: The IRS began mailing follow-up notices to these taxpayers in mid-January noting that the IP PIN they received is still valid despite the incorrect reference to the year.

For more information, see the questions and answers in the full article.

 

Internal Revenue Service Reminds Taxpayers to Plan Ahead If You Need a Tax Transcript

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Internal-Revenue-Service-Reminds-Taxpayers-to-Plan-Ahead-If-You-Need-a-Tax-Transcript

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the quickest way to get a copy of their tax transcript is to order it online using the Get Transcript application on IRS.gov. By planning ahead, they should receive their transcript in the mail within five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request online. The IRS continues to work to bring the viewable/printable functionality of the application back online in the near future with enhanced identity protection security features. In the meantime, taxpayers can still request a mailed transcript by going online to Get Transcript.

 

2016 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced

https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2016-Standard-Mileage-Rates-for-Business-Medical-and-Moving-Announced

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

 

Tax Tips

http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Tax-Tips

Visit this page for the latest IRS tax tips.  Here is a sample of the tips available:

Six Reasons to E-file your Taxes in 2016

IRS, States and Tax Industry Deploy New Safeguards for 2016

Tips to Keep Your Tax Records Secure; Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Tips to Protect Your Personal Information While Online

Get to Know Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Who Can Represent You Before the IRS?

 

Health Care Tax Tips

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Health-Care-Tax-Tips2

Check out the tax tips for your health care questions on this page.

Are You an Applicable Large Employer? Review Your Status Annually

Five ACA Facts for Applicable Large Employers

Getting Ready to File Your Tax Return: Health Coverage Reporting Requirement

Getting Ready to File Your Tax Return: Health Coverage Exemptions and Payments


Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace

https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace helps small businesses provide health coverage to their employees. The SHOP Marketplace is open to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs). This includes non-profit organizations. You can enroll in SHOP any time of year - there’s no restricted enrollment period. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov.

The Affordable Care Act and Employers
Information on Key Tax Provisions Affecting Employers