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IRS Alerts Payroll and HR Professionals to Phishing Scheme Involving W-2s

The Internal Revenue Service is telling payroll and human resources professionals to Beware!

There is yet another emerging phishing email scheme that claims to be from company executives and requests personal information on employees.

The IRS has learned this scheme – part of the surge in phishing emails seen this year – already has claimed several victims. That’s because payroll and human resources offices mistakenly email payroll data, including W-2 forms. They contain Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information to cybercriminals posing as company executives.

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Last Minute Tax Tips

Time is ticking to April 18, the deadline in which to file your tax forms.

About 25 percent of Americans wait until the last couple of weeks before Tax Day to send their forms to Uncle Sam. Remember: the longer you wait, there’s more of a chance that you’ll make a mistake. Here are some tips for the stragglers:

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Reduce Your Taxes in Retirement

With a limited income, most retirees would much rather use their money for a night on the town, as opposed to handing it over to the good ol’ USA. Thankfully, by working with TaxRevo, there are ways to decrease your tax load.

  • Strategically use tax-advantaged accounts. There is plenty of debate over which retirement accounts offer the most benefits. Be diversified to have more flexibility.

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Avoid an Audit

No one welcomes an IRS audit. TaxRevo does everything in our power to ensure your returns are clean, organized and detailed. But that doesn't mean an audit is impossible.

The word is that the IRS is facing even leaner times and there will be fewer audits in 2016. But that is not a reason to be reckless. Below are six rules we follow to help keep our clients' tax returns from being flagged. When we meet in the upcoming days, we look forward to discussing our strategy in greater detail:

Rule 1 – Give them what they expect

The IRS is always flagging returns that don't stack up with others in the same tax bracket or industry. Maximize your deductions, of course, but make sure they are categorized correctly to avoid the dreaded red flag.

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TaxRevo Fun Fact

Wyoming is the state with the lowest tax bill. On average, residents have a state and local tax bill of $2,365 per year. The weather may be brutal at times, but Wyoming also has the fifth lowest tax on alcohol to help keep you warm. Furthermore, Wyoming ranks number one in infrastructure, education, health, safety, and pollution metrics.

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Message from Joseph (Yossi) Reich, CPA, TaxRevo Manager

Even though we are smack in the middle of tax season, don’t feel you need to rush to file your taxes by April 18. Rather, it is more important to ensure you have all your documents in order and all questions answered so TaxRevo can prepare an accurate filing for you.

So often we see people in a rush to file their tax paperwork to get refunds. But, in the rush, many times they fail to include all the necessary paperwork, requiring Uncle Sam to dig through the filings and ask for more information. 

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Your 2016 Tax Savings Checklist

Now is the time to be gathering your receipts and making arrangements to visit us at TaxRevo. As you collect what you can, we want to provide a quick list of the tax deductions we will be looking for, as we file on your behalf.

  • Medical – Certain unreimbursed costs are deductible, but must follow a formula based on your income. Health insurance premiums are also deductible, as well as mileage to and from the doctor, at 23 cents a mile. Remember that your dependents’ medical expenses also count for deductions.

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Phishing Remains on the IRS Annual “Dirty Dozen” List for 2016

This tax season, the IRS is once again warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. These “phishing” schemes continue to be on the annual IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.

Here is the typical scam: Criminals pose as a person or organization you trust and/or recognize. They may hack an email account and send mass emails under another person’s name. They may pose as a bank, credit card company, tax software provider or government agency. Criminals go to great lengths to create websites that appear legitimate but contain phony log-in pages. These criminals hope victims take the bait to steal money, passwords, Social Security numbers and identity.

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