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Beware Of “Ghost” Preparers Who Don’t Sign Tax Returns

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to avoid “ghost” tax return preparers whose refusal to sign returns can cause a frightening array of problems. It is important to file a valid, accurate tax return because the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for it. Ghost preparers get their scary name because they don’t sign tax returns they prepare. Like a ghost, they try to...
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Educators Can Now Deduct Out-Of-Pocket Expenses For COVID-19 Protective Items

Eligible educators can deduct unreimbursed expenses for COVID-19 protective items to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. COVID-19 protective items include, but are not limited to: Face masksDisinfectant for use against COVID-19Hand soapHand sanitizerDisposable glovesTape, paint or chalk to guide social distancingPhysical barriers (for example, clear plexiglass)Air purifiersOther items...
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2021 Tax Filing Season Begins Feb. 12

The 2021 tax season will start on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, when the IRS will begin accepting and processing 2020 tax year returns. The Feb. 12 start date for individual tax return filers allows the IRS time to do additional programming and testing of IRS systems following the Dec. 27 tax law changes that provided a second round of Economic Impact Payments and other benefits. The additional...
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COVID-19 Text Scam

The IRS is warning of a new text scam created by thieves that trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. The IRS reminds taxpayers that neither the IRS nor state agencies will ever text taxpayers asking for bank account information so that an EIP deposit may be made. “Criminals are relentlessly using COVID-19 and...
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How Teleworking Is Impacting Your Tax Obligations During The COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, many employers are continuing to encourage or require their employees to work from home (i.e., telework). Such remote working arrangements could potentially have tax implications that should be considered. State tax obligations for the employer When an employee works in more than one state, an employer may be obligated to withhold and remit income taxes to...
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IRS provides tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2021

The Consolidated Appropriation Act for 2020 increased the amount of the minimum addition tax for failure to file a tax return within 60 days of the due date. Beginning with returns due after Dec. 31, 2019, the new additional tax is $435 or 100 percent of the amount of tax due, whichever is less, an increase from $330. The $435 additional tax will be adjusted for inflation. The tax year 2021...
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Balance due notices resume

The IRS will resume issuing the 500 series balance due notices to taxpayers later this month. These notices were paused on May 9 due to COVID-19. Although the IRS continued to issue most agency notices, the 500 series were suspended temporarily because of a backlog of mail at the IRS due to COVID-19. The mail backlog is now caught up enough to account for the timely mailed payments. In late...
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IRS to Mail Special Letters to Non-Filers

The IRS has announced that it will start mailing letters to roughly nine million Americans who typically do not file federal income tax returns who may be eligible for, but have not registered to claim, an Economic Impact Payment. The letters will urge recipients to register at www.irs.gov by October 15 in order to receive their payment by the end of the year. Individuals can receive up to...
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Reminder to not cancel IRS check payments in backlog due to COVID-19

Do not cancel any check payments to the IRS while the IRS continues to process its backlog of mail. This is important so that taxpayers avoid any penalties and interest. Payments will be posted as the date received rather than the date the agency processed them. Learn more about IRS operations during COVID-19.
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Failure to Deposit Penalty

The IRS is aware that a small population of employers that reduced their tax deposits in anticipation of claiming the sick and family leave credits, or employee retention credit, may have received a notice stating there was a failure to deposit penalty applicable to the Form 941 on which the credits were claimed. Under Notice 2020-22, employers claiming the new tax credits may reduce their...
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