IRS NEWS FOR BUSINESS – December 2020

►UPCOMING WEBINARS

National Tax Security Week, November 30 to December 4.

30 minute webinars at 2:00 pm ET. Open to everyone!

November 30 Cyber Monday: Security Types from the IRS
Click Here to Register
December 1 How to Protect Your Accounts Using Multi-Factor Authentication
Click Here to Register
December 2 Get an Identity Protection Pin
Click Here to Register
December 3 Small Businesses Must Guard Against Identity Theft
Click Here to Register
December  4 Beware of Phishing Scams Targeting All Taxpayers
Click Here to Register

Check Webinars for Small Businesses for updates.

 

►A CLOSER LOOK 

Electronic Signature Options Will Simplify Third-Party Authorizations

  • Sharyn Fisk, Director, Office of Professional Responsibility, discusses how new electronic signature options will simplify third-party authorizations.

 

►GET READY FOR TAXES

Get Ready for Taxes: Get ready now to file 2020 federal income tax returns

  • The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to take necessary actions this fall to help them file their federal tax returns timely and accurately in 2021, including special steps related to Economic Impact Payments (EIP).

 

Get Ready for Taxes: Steps to take now to make tax filing easier in 2021

  • An important first step to getting taxes ready is to gather all tax records. Having records organized makes preparing a tax return easier. It may also help discover potentially overlooked deductions or credits. A special page outlines steps taxpayers can take now to make tax filing easier in 2021. Steps to Take Now to Get a Jump on Your Taxes

 

►TAXPAYER RELIEF INITIATIVE

IRS makes it easier to set up payment agreements; offers other relief to taxpayers struggling with tax debts

The IRS announced a number of changes designed to help struggling taxpayers impacted by COVID-19 more easily settle their tax debts with the IRS.

  • The IRS will automatically add certain new tax balances to existing Installment Agreements, for individual and out of business taxpayers. This taxpayer-friendly approach will occur instead of defaulting the agreement, which can complicate matters for those trying to pay their taxes.
  •  To reduce burden, certain qualified individual taxpayers who owe less than $250,000 may set up Installment Agreements without providing a financial statement or substantiation if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient.

 

ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

Security Summit partners warn taxpayers of new COVID-related text scam

  • The scam text message states: “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …” The text includes a link to a fake phishing web address.
  • This fake phishing URL, which appears to come from a state agency or relief organization, takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the IRS.gov Get My Payment website. Individuals who visit the fraudulent website and then enter their personal and financial account information will have their information collected by these scammers.

 

►TAX TIPS TO SHARE WITH YOUR CLIENTS

Special $300 tax deduction helps most people give to charity this year – even if they don’t itemize

  • The CARES Act, enacted last spring, includes several temporary tax changes helping charities, including the special $300 deduction designed especially for people who choose to take the standard deduction, rather than itemizing their deductions.

New income ranges for IRA eligibility in 2021

  • There are cost‑of‑living adjustments that may affect a taxpayer’s pension plan and other retirement-related savings next year. People should familiarize themselves with these adjustments, so they aren’t caught off guard.

Reminder to all taxpayers: Gift cards are not used to make tax payments

  • Gift cards are a popular and convenient gift for all occasions. They’re also a tool that scammers use to steal money from people. Scammers often target taxpayers by asking them to pay a fake tax bill with gift cards. They may also use a compromised email account to send emails requesting gift card purchases for friends, family or co-workers. The IRS reminds taxpayers gift cards are for gifts, not for making tax payments.

 

 ►NEWS FOR BUSINESSES and EMPLOYERS

Common errors businesses should avoid when claiming employer tax credits

  •  Employers who are filing Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and claiming an employer tax credit should read the instructions carefully and take their time when completing the form to avoid mistakes.
  • Using a reputable tax preparer including certified public accountants, enrolled agents or other knowledgeable tax professionals can also help avoid errors. Mistakes can result in a processing delay or a balance due notice, which could mean a delay or require filing an amended return.

Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center

The Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center has a wealth of resources. Consider this one:

Stages of Owning a Business

►IDENTITY THEFT

IRS to mask key business transcript details; protect taxpayers from identity theft

  • Starting December 13, the IRS will begin masking sensitive data on business tax transcripts. A tax transcript is a summary of a tax return. Transcripts are often used by tax professionals to prepare prior year tax returns or represent the client before the IRS. Lenders and others use tax transcripts for income verification purposes.

Report Identity Theft for a Business

  • If you think someone is using your business name or Employer Identification Number (EIN) to submit fraudulent tax returns or Forms W-2, complete and send to us Form 14039-B, Business Identity Theft Affidavit. This form is for use by businesses, trusts, estates and tax-exempt organizations.

 

►TAX EXEMPT / NON-PROFIT

Tax Exempt and Government Entities Issue Snapshots

  • Issue Snapshots are employee job aids that provide analysis and resources for a given technical tax issue. They are developed through internal collaboration and may evolve as the compliance environment changes and new insights and experiences are contributed.

►NEWS FROM OTHER AGENCIES

Small Business Development Center

  • Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training, on topics including business planning, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, international trade and much more.
  • SBDCs are hosted by leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private sector partners, and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • With nearly 1,000 centers across the nation, there is an SBDC near you. Find your SBDC.

 

►OUTREACH CONNECTION

Free tax content you can share: Outreach Connection

  • If you need to share information about taxes with your staff, clients, customers or colleagues, we have content you can include in your:
    • Website
    • e-Newsletter
    • Twitter, Instagram or other social media
  • We add more items to this page every month. Subscribe now to get email alerts.

 

►e-NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA

e-News Subscriptions

  • The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Click above for information about subscribing.

IRS Social Media

  • The IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, products and services. Connect with the IRS through social media tools.

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