Latest IRS Updates and News Releases
Small Business Administration Workshops
SBA offers a variety of workshops, some online and others in person.
Seattle - Free Workshop Thursdays – June 23
Online Free Workshop Thursdays – June 23
SCORE offers workshops designed to give you the skills necessary to start your own successful business.
July 6, Aug 3 -- Starting a New Business
June 17, July 21, Aug 5 – Understanding Financial Statements
There are also a number of online workshops available: https://seattle.score.org/onlineworkshops/tab-a
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.
IRS Launches More Rigorous e-Authentication Process and Get Transcript Online
With the assistance of top digital experts at U.S. Digital Service and other security authorities, the Internal Revenue Service launched a more rigorous e-authentication process for taxpayers that will significantly increase protection against identity thieves impersonating taxpayers to access tax return information through the IRS Get Transcript online service. This enhanced authentication process will also provide a foundation for additional IRS self-help services in the future. After being disabled last spring, Get Transcript Online is now available for all users to access a copy of their tax transcripts and similar documents that summarize important tax return information.
As part of the new multi-factor process, the IRS will send verification, activation or security codes via email and text. The IRS warns taxpayers that it will not initiate contact via text or email asking for log-in information or personal data. The IRS texts and emails will only contain one-time codes. See Fact Sheet 2016-20 for details on what you need to successfully access Get Transcript Online.
Winners of “Tax Design Challenge” Announced; Taxpayer Experience of the Future Illustrated with Creative Displays of Tax Data
The Internal Revenue Service announced the winners of its first crowdsourcing competition, called the “Tax Design Challenge,” that encouraged innovative ideas for the taxpayer experience of the future. The three-week competition invited the public to imagine the taxpayer experience of the future and specifically design an online experience that better organizes and presents a person’s tax information. The goal was to make it easier for a person to manage their tax responsibilities, and use their own tax data to make informed and effective decisions about their personal finances.
IRS Warns of Latest Scam Variation Involving Bogus “Federal Student Tax”
The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning to taxpayers about bogus phone calls from IRS impersonators demanding payment for a non-existent tax, the “Federal Student Tax.” The scammers try to convince people to wire money immediately to the scammer. If the victim does not fall quickly enough for this fake “federal student tax”, the scammer threatens to report the student to the police.
Remember, the IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting FTC.gov and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint.” Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
- If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.
More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on IRS.gov.
IRS Explains Application Process for New Certified Professional Employer Organization Program
The Internal Revenue Service today released further details on how a business entity can become certified under the tax agency’s new certified professional employer organization (CPEO) program. These organizations handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs. To become and remain certified under the new program, CPEOs must meet tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding and other requirements. Under the revenue procedure, interested applicants will be able to apply electronically (paper applications will not be accepted) and submit supporting documents through a new online system. For more information, see Revenue Procedure 2016-33.
Don’t Forget to Report Certain Foreign Accounts to Treasury by the June 30 Deadline
The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who have one or more bank or financial accounts located outside the United States, or signature authority over such accounts that they may need to file an FBAR by Thursday, June 30. In general, the filing requirement applies to anyone who had an interest in, or signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2015.
IRS Makes Electronically Filed Form 990 Data Available in New Format
The Internal Revenue Service announced that the publicly available data on electronically filed Forms 990 will now be available for the first time in a machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services (AWS). The publicly available data does not include donor information or other personally identifiable information. Today’s launch of this effort marks an important step forward in access to this important public data. Previously, this Form 990 data was only available in image files.
Health Care Tax Tips
Check out the tax tips for your health care questions on this page.
Online Tools Help Individuals and Employers Estimate Health Care Law’s Effect on Taxes
Five Facts about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace
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