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How to Know if the Knock on Your Door is Actually Someone from the IRS

Every Halloween, children knock on doors pretending they are everything from superheroes to movie stars. Scammers, on the other hand, don’t leave their impersonations to one day. They can happen any time of the year.

 People can avoid taking the bait and falling victim to a scam by knowing how and when the IRS does contact a taxpayer in person. This can help someone determine whether an individual is truly an IRS employee.

 Here are eight things to know about in-person contacts from the IRS.

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Four Things to Know about Taxes and Starting a Business

 

New business owners have tax-related things to do before launching their companies. IRS.gov has resources to help. Here are some items to consider before scheduling a ribbon-cutting event.

Choose a business structure

When starting a business, an owner must decide what type of entity it will be. This type determines which tax forms a business needs to file. Owners can learn about business structures at IRS.gov. The most common forms of businesses are:

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
  • S Corporations
  • Limited Liability Company

Determine business tax responsibilities 

The type of business someone operates determines what taxes they need to pay and how to pay them. There are the five general types of business taxes.

Tax Pros Must Take Steps to Protect Data from Cybercriminals

More and more, cybercriminals target tax professionals looking to access taxpayer data. These criminals use the information to file fake tax returns. Many tax pros think it can’t happen to them, but it can – and it does. The IRS reminds all tax preparers they have a responsibility to protect and secure sensitive data.

To prevent data theft, the IRS partnered with state tax agencies and members of the tax industry to create the Security Summit. Through this partnership, they are fighting identity theft. While they make progress, criminals need more data to file fraudulent returns. This in turn makes tax professionals, payroll professionals, and employers targets of identity thieves.

Security Summit partners remind tax professionals to take all possible steps to secure data. They can:

IRS Has Options to Help Small Business Owners

Small business owners often have a running list of things to do. These include deadlines, sales calls, employee issues, banking, advertising – and taxes. The IRS can help with the last one.

Here are seven resources to help small businesses owners with common topics:

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Online Courses Help Charities Understand Tax Issues

Charitable organizations have 24/7 access to online courses on Stay Exempt, an IRS website. The IRS created this site to help charities better understand tax issues that affect tax exempt organizations. It offers courses on a wide range of topics that can help these organizations obtain and maintain their tax-exempt status.

The online courses average less than 30 minutes. There is information to help guide an organization through the application process. They can also find courses that cover how to fully meet annual filing requirements. Aside from 501(c)(3)s, there are also courses geared to other 501 organizations, including veterans organizations, social clubs and fraternal organizations.

Some of the courses available include:

Buffalo’s Transportation Museum Began With a Curious Child and a Peek Behind the Curtain

Buffalo’s Transportation Museum Began With a Curious Child and a Peek Behind the Curtain

By Joe Kirchmyer

Their website says that “Jim Sandoro and his wife, Mary Ann, have spent more than 45 years collecting memorabilia, antique vehicles and historic artifacts to visually display the rich transportation history of Western New York.” That statement says a lot, yet somehow, it doesn’t come close to capturing the enormity of that collection, a portion of which is on display at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo.

Taxpayers Who are Victims of Domestic Abuse Should Know Their Rights

Domestic abuse often includes control over finances. An important part of managing finances is understanding one’s tax rights. Taxpayers have the right to expect the IRS to consider facts and circumstances that might affect the individual’s taxes.

Taxpayers have the right to:

  • File a separate return even if they’re married.
  • Review the entire tax return before signing a joint return.
  • Review supporting documents for a joint return.
  • Refuse to sign a joint return.
  • Request more time to file their tax return.
  • Get copies of prior year tax returns from the IRS.
  • Seek independent legal advice.

Taxpayers also have the right to request relief from the liability shown on a joint return. This is known as innocent spouse relief. Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1: