Category Archives: Internal Revenue Service

Beware phone tax scammers!

Did you get a phone call last year from someone telling you they were from the IRS and there was a warrant out for your arrest?

I did. It was one of the more aggressive scams I’ve come across, and rather convincing, with the caller giving me a name, an IRS badge number, and a phone number to call back to arrange for payment. Criminals have developed increasingly sophisticated schemes for convincing people that the IRS–or the police department–is out to get them.

Let’s clarify, right here at the start of tax season:
–The Internal Revenue Service does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers or request information by email, text messages or social media sites.
–The IRS does not call to demand payments, and does not call about taxes at all, without first communicating with you through the U.S. Postal Service.
–The IRS never tells you it is giving your name to local police or other law-enforcement agencies.

Alas, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about these scams before the end of tax season. In the meantime, here’s a column by Kelly Phillips Erb in Forbes , about some of the scams people encountered last year, and information from the IRS on how to smell a scam.

“Nightmare” Republican tax bill brings year-end chaos for homeowners

Homeowners across the country looked to battle the coming $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions by paying their 2018 property taxes in advance. Now the IRS has announced that only property taxes that have been assessed can be deducted in 2017. The announcement did little to clarify who can take a deduction now… Continue Reading

Want to deduct your driving expenses? Tax court says you better keep excellent records.

A Tax Court case this year drives home the point that there are no shortcuts or bypasses for people wanting to take deductions for using a car for business. The taxpayers who went to court reached one dead end after another in their quest for write-offs, but the case provides a roadmap for anyone looking… Continue Reading

Trump’s tax plan benefits — Trump. Surprised?

Now we know what Donald Trump, the presidential candidate who won’t release his own tax returns, wants to do about taxes: Cut them for people like himself. His August speech in Detroit outlined his plans, which fall in line with what House Republicans, including zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan (thanks to Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce )have… Continue Reading

IRS excels at beaurocratese when it screws up

If you sent in an employment tax payment at the April 18 deadline, you did what you were supposed to.  But the IRS sent out notices to many filers that the deposits were late. How did the IRS characterize its own screw-up?  Like this: “Many taxpayers who made employment tax deposits on Monday, April 18,… Continue Reading