DiSabatino CPA Blog

DiSabatino CPA Blog

A blog by Michael DiSabatino CPA with topics on Tax Savings, Business, Management and more...

Understanding Tax Terms: Contemporaneous Records - Why should you care?

IRS-Audit

If you have problems getting to sleep at night and you turn to the IRS tax code for help, you might find some vocabulary that is very foreign to you. One of the more uncommon words used by the IRS is the term "contemporaneous." So what does it mean and why should you care?

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Audit-proof your shareholder loan

loan

Business owners may face a lot of scrutiny if they borrow money from their company and then get audited. Find out how you can prepare.

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Don't get hooked by a phishing scam

emailphishing

Don't get hooked by a phishing scam

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Don't fall for the "tax-deduction" charity scam

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Don't fall for the "tax-deduction" charity scam

The IRS is warning taxpayers about fake charitable organizations tricking people into donating to receive tax deductions.

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Audit Rates Decline for Sixth Year in a Row But don't get complacent...

IRS-Audit

The IRS reported audit rates declined last year for the sixth year in a row and reached their lowest level since 2002. That’s good news for people who don’t like to be audited (which is everybody)!

But don’t get complacent. A closer look at the IRS data release reveals some audit pitfalls you should know about. Here is what you need to know:

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2nd quarter interest rates increase

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2nd quarter interest rates increase

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If You're Expecting a Refund, Read This

refund

The end of tax season is approaching and if you’re getting a refund, here are four useful tips to know.

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Calling the IRS? Let the agency know who you are

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Calling the IRS? Let the agency know who you are

If you need to call the IRS this tax season, be aware that you'll be asked to verify your identity. This is part of the IRS's continuing effort to keep taxpayer data secure. You can help your phone call go smoothly by having the following information handy when you dial:

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Watch out for scams this tax season

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Watch out for scams this tax season

The IRS is warning taxpayers to keep on high alert for the next few months. Scammers may try to get their hands on your money or tax return by collecting your personal or financial data. According to the IRS, its employees will never:

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Beware This Year's Tax-Season Scam

scammer

Scammers were very successful last year with a scheme to pry W-2 pay stub data away from employers. The IRS warned that it may be one of several techniques they use again this year.

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Keep good records for mutual funds

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Keep good records for mutual funds

Brokers are required to report your cost basis to the IRS. Without good recordkeeping, you may not be able to prove you were overtaxed because of incorrect basis reporting by your broker.

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Tax Act News: Paycheck Withholdings Changing Now

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The IRS released new income tax withholding tables that reflect the changes to the tax bracket structure in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in late December. Employers will have until Feb. 15 to update their payroll systems to reflect the new changes, and employees will start seeing the changes in their paychecks after that point.

The TCJA reduces income tax rates for almost all taxpayers. Widespread tax changes like this seldom happen, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your pay stubs over the next few weeks. The danger is that if the changes aren’t done right, you’ll either have too much tax taken out every paycheck, or end up with a big tax bill because too little was withheld. Here are some tips:

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Be Sure It's Really the IRS: Constantly changing scams require your attention

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Believe it or not, pretending to be an IRS agent is one of the favorite tactics of scam artists, according to the Better Business Bureau. The con artists impersonate the IRS to either intimidate people into making payments over the phone, or to send misleading emails tricking people into sharing personal information digitally.

You can defend yourself against these scammers by knowing these simple rules:

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Contractor or Employee?

Contractor or Employee?
Contractor or Employee?
Knowing the difference is important

Is a worker an independent contractor or an employee? This seemingly simple question is often the contentious subject of numerous IRS audits. As an employer, getting this wrong could cost you plenty in the way of Social Security, Medicare taxes, and other employment related taxes. Here is what you need to know.

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IRS PIN Announcement: DO NOT THROW OUT

IRS PIN Announcement: DO NOT THROW OUT

IRS PIN Announcement: DO NOT THROW OUT

If you are one of the unfortunate victims of IRS identity theft you will need a one-time PIN to file your tax return. Without this numeric identifier your 2015 tax return will be rejected. The IRS issues taxpayer victims this PIN in a written notice.

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IRS tax audits cut by budget issues

IRS tax audits cut by budget issues

IRS TAX AUDITS CUT BY BUDGET ISSUES

The IRS reports that its enforcement budget has been cut by $254 million, a 5% reduction from the previous year. As a result...

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Alert! IRS Recognizes the Telephone Scam

Alert! IRS Recognizes the Telephone Scam
Alert! Beware the Telephone Scam
Top IRS dirty dozen tax scam

Each year the IRS announces a dozen tax scams they call the “dirty dozen”. One of them - telephone scams - is on a huge upswing RIGHT NOW. Here is what you need to know.

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Warning: Watch out for aggressive phone scams again this tax season

Warning: Watch out for aggressive phone scams again this tax season

Warning: Watch out for aggressive phone scams again this tax season

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration (TIGTA) is warning taxpayers about one particular category of tax scams that has proven to be very widespread, very aggressive, and very relentless.

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IRS commissioner reveals major concerns

IRS commissioner reveals major concerns

IRS commissioner reveals major concerns

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen recently discussed the major concerns the IRS has as it readies itself for the upcoming tax filing season. The proliferation of tax scams is a big concern with millions of taxpayers already having been taken in by scammers impersonating IRS agents. According to Koskinen, these scammers make threatening phone calls, trying to intimidate victims into providing personal financial information that can be used to steal identities.
A second area of concern is the IRS's involvement in handling the premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. Some taxpayers who were given advances on the credits based on income estimates may find that they may be receiving smaller refunds or owing the IRS money after filing their 2014 tax returns.

Please give us a call to discuss this or any of our other topics with you, so we can address your specific requirements.

DiSabatino CPA
Michael DiSabatino
651 Via Alondra Suite 715
Camarillo, CA 93012
Phone: 805-389-7300
ww.sharpcpa.com

This publication provides summary information regarding the subject matter at time of publishing. Please call with any questions on how this information may impact your situation. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission, except as noted here.  All rights reserved.

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Pay attention to the IRS rules for charitable deductions

Pay attention to the IRS rules for charitable deductions

Pay attention to the IRS rules for charitable deductions

As the year draws to a close, you may decide to donate cash or property to one or more worthy causes. Besides the satisfaction of helping others, there's another reward for your benevolence: a tax deduction on your 2014 return. But the IRS recommends that you keep the following points in mind:

1. You may only deduct contributions made to a legitimate tax-exempt charitable organization.

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