Latest IRS Updates and News Releases
Announcements & Upcoming Events:
Free IRS Webinars
Understanding Payment Options – Part II
This free web conference will provide an overview of Payment Options. The presentation will focus on Installment agreements, Online Payment Agreement application, Offers in Compromise and OIC Pre-qualifier tool.
April 20, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. Pacific
Register & Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/20319
April 20, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific (closed captioning offered)
Register & Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/20320
Understanding Form 8300
(Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business)
June 15, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. Pacific
Register & Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/20341
June 15, 2017 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific (closed captioning offered)
Register & Attend: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/1148/20342
Seattle SBA Jump Start Workshop Series Returns - Registration Now Open
The SBA Seattle District Office is pleased to announce the anticipated return of the Jump Start workshop series, a free four-day workshop series aimed at new and aspiring small businesses. The series is offered as part of the National Small Business Week celebration. You are welcome to sign up for one class, one day, or the whole series, but space is limited so early registration is encouraged. All classes will be held in-person only at the SBA Seattle District Office from Tuesday, May 16 to Friday, May 18.
Here is the 2017 Jump Start schedule:
Tuesday, May 16
9 - 10:30 a.m. | Make the Most of Your Elevator Speech
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | So You Want to be A Small Business Owner?
12:30 - 1 p.m. | Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Networking 101
1:15 - 2:45 p.m. | Your Business Plan: Part 1 - Business Canvas Model
Wednesday, May 17
9 - 10:30 a.m. | Choosing the Right Business Structure
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Does Your Business have a B.A.I.L Team?
12:30 - 1 p.m. | Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Employee Benefits 101
1:15 - 2:45 p.m. | Your Business Plan: Part 2 - Customers & Markets
Thursday, May 18
9 - 10:30 a.m. | Meet the Lenders: Getting Money for Your Business
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Alternative Financing: A Panel Discussion
12:30 - 1 p.m. | Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Exporting 101
1:15 - 2:45 p.m. | Your Business Plan: Part 3 - Financing & Cash Flow
Friday, May 19
9 - 10:30 a.m. | Elements of Strategic Marketing
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Which Social Media Site is Right for You?
12:30 - 1 p.m. | Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Blogging 101
1:15 - 2:45 p.m. | Pitch for Success
To register, please visit: www.tinyurl.com/2017SeattleJumpStart.
Small Business Administration Workshops
SBA offers a variety of workshops, some online and others in person. Check the Events Calendar for a complete list.
Also check out the SBA Learning Center for a variety of free online courses, available anytime! Here is an example of one:
Financing Options for Small Businesses
This self-paced training exercise is an introduction to financing options for your business. Topics include determining your financial needs, loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors, crowd funding and other financial options available to small businesses. Duration: 30 minutes
SCORE offers workshops designed to give you the skills necessary to start your own successful business.
May 3 -- Starting a New Business
Apr 21, May 31 – Taxes on Small Business
Apr 20, June 1 -- Understanding Financial Statements
May 3 -- Starting a New Business
There are also a number of online workshops available: https://seattle.score.org/onlineworkshops/tab-a
Business Impact NW
Launch & Grow Your Business
April 27 to June 8, 2017 -- 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Harborstone Credit Union - Lakewood
This course will teach you how to start and grow your business. During seven sessions, participants will learn how to manage, market and finance their businesses, with a focus on writing a business plan. Participants will also enjoy networking with other people who are starting or running businesses.
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 Extends Call Service Hours to Assist Taxpayers on Saturdays – April 8 and 15
To help meet the high demand to its toll-free call center that typically comes as the tax deadline nears, the Internal Revenue Service is extending its customer service hours. The first two weeks of April are typically some of the busiest times of the year for IRS telephone assistors, as they field thousands of calls per hour. The IRS reminds taxpayers that most questions can be answered online by using the numerous tools available at IRS.gov. The IRS toll-free telephone lines will be available Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (callers’ local time) and Saturday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (callers’ local time). The toll-free line is 800-829-1040.
Please remember that all IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers now require an appointment for most services. Instead of going directly to a local IRS office with a tax issue, taxpayers should call 844-545-5640 to reach an IRS representative, who is trained to either help them resolve it or schedule an appointment to get them the help they need. The tax deadline of Tuesday, April 18, is later this year due to several factors.
IRS Offers Free Help for Last-Minute Filers
The Internal Revenue Service wants taxpayers who have yet to file their 2016 federal income tax return to know they can still get last-minute free tax help. Taxpayers can choose to either use IRS Free File or go to a community tax-help site for free tax preparation and assistance.
Private Collection of Some Overdue Federal Taxes Starts in April; Those Affected Will Hear First From IRS; IRS Will Still Handle Most Tax Debts
Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress in December 2015, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf, unpaid tax debts. Usually, these are unpaid individual tax obligations that are not currently being worked by IRS collection employees and often were assessed by the tax agency several years ago. Taxpayers being assigned to a private firm would have had multiple contacts from the IRS in previous years and still have an unpaid tax bill.
Avoid Common Tax-Filing Errors; IRS Encourages e-filing, Careful Review
As the April 18 income tax filing deadline approaches, millions of taxpayers may be rushing to complete their taxes and many may realize they're going to need more time. The IRS encourages taxpayers to take extra time to complete their tax return if needed. Rushing to complete a tax return at the last minute can result in mistakes. Making a mistake on a tax return means it will likely take longer for the IRS to process it. That could delay a tax refund. Avoid many common errors by filing electronically. IRS e-file is the most accurate way to file your tax return. Seven out of ten taxpayers can use IRS Free File software at no cost. See the article for more helpful tips to avoid some common tax-filing errors.
IRS Reminder to Taxpayers Who Haven’t Filed 2013 Returns: Time is Running Out; Agency has $1 Billion in Refunds
The IRS reminded taxpayers that unclaimed federal income tax refunds totaling more than $1 billion may be waiting for an estimated 1 million taxpayers who did not file a 2013 federal income tax return. But time is running out. To claim this money, taxpayers must file a 2013 federal tax return by April 18, 2017.
Tax Professionals Warned of e-Services Scam; Urged to be Wary of Schemes as Filing Season Deadline Approaches
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to beware of phishing email scams claiming to be from IRS e-Services and of schemes in general as the April 18 deadline nears. The IRS noted a particular surge in the past 24 hours related to a phishing email scam that seeks to steal practitioners’ usernames and passwords for IRS e-Services. The subject lines on these scam emails vary but they generally are related to e-Service account closures.
For Small Business Startups, IRS Explains New Option for Claiming Research Credit; Option Still Available for Those That Already Filed
The IRS issued interim guidance explaining how eligible small businesses can take advantage of a new option enabling them to apply part or all of their research credit against their payroll tax liability, instead of their income tax liability. Notice 2017-23 provides guidance on a new provision included in the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act enacted in December 2015. This new option will be available for the first time to any eligible small business filing its 2016 federal income tax return this tax season. Those who already filed still have time to choose this option. The option to elect the new payroll tax credit may especially benefit any eligible startup that has little or no income tax liability. To qualify for the new option for the current tax-year, a business must have gross receipts of less than $5 million and could not have had gross receipts prior to 2012.
IRS Releases FY 2016 Data Book Showing Range of Tax Data, Including Service and Enforcement Changes
The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2016 IRS Data Book, a snapshot of agency activities for the fiscal year. The 2016 IRS Data Book describes activities conducted by the IRS from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, and includes information about returns filed, taxes collected, enforcement, taxpayer assistance, the IRS budget and workforce as well as other data. This edition contains charts that show trends such as increases in telephone service and declines in enforcement activities when compared to 2015.
Free File Tops 50 Million Users; Saves Taxpayers $1.5 Billion Since Inception
The Internal Revenue Service announced that Free File – the pioneering public-private partnership that makes free tax software available to 70 percent of taxpayers – recently surpassed 50 million users since the program started.
Since 2003, the 50 million taxpayers who used this free tax service saved approximately $1.5 billion based on a conservative estimate of $30 per tax software product. Taxpayers who earned $64,000 or less can choose from among a dozen, brand-name software products offered by leading private-sector companies for free. Taxpayers who made more than $64,000 may use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of Internal Revenue Service paper forms. Free File is available exclusively at www.irs.gov/freefile.