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Tax News

This month's closed case round up includes a couple that fell on desperate times and needed help paying back their taxes, a single father who spent his life in the oil and gas industry, and a client whose health problems took away their ability to work. 

Due to the monumental rise is virtual currency, the IRS has begun looking for ways to tax virtual currency, like Bitcoin, and the taxpayers who are using it. With very few people actually reporting their Bitcoin transactions, the IRS is now using software to try and find these transactions so they can tax and even penalize the taxpayers. In response, a new bipartisan bill has been introduced with the goal of setting guidelines and rules for those who use Bitcoin.

An important tax deadline is coming up and missing it could cause you to collect some IRS penalties. 3rd quarter estimated tax payments (ETP) are due Friday, September 15th. Estimated tax payments are a method of paying the tax on income that is not subject to withholding tax. This can include income from self-employment, business earnings, interest, rent, or other sources. The IRS requires these payments to be made quarterly. If you underpay your estimated tax payments, you will end up having to write a bigger check to the IRS when you file your tax return. If you overpay, you will receive the excess amount as a tax refund once you file. If this is your first time making an estimated tax payment or you aren’t sure if this applies to you, the process is simple.

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about a new phishing scheme that involves a scammer that impersonates the IRS and the FBI and then uses ransomware to take your computer data hostage. The scam comes in the form of an email and uses both the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation emblems.

The IRS is giving Hurricane Harvey victims some tax relief after parts of Texas were destroyed by the natural disaster. Taxpayers in the affected parts of Texas have until January 31st, 2018 to file certain individual and business tax returns. The IRS announced that victims could also wait to make certain tax payments until the new deadline. This new deadline includes additional filing extensions for those who have valid extensions that run out on October 16th.

Newly enacted legislation could mean tax relief for thousands of Oklahomans. In May, Governor Mary Fallin signed the 2017 Voluntary Disclosure Initiative. The Initiative is a tax amnesty program that is meant to help people pay back their state taxes. From September 1st to November 30th, eligible taxpayers can get a waiver of penalty, interest, or other collection fees due on eligible taxes. That is, if the taxpayer voluntarily files all missing tax returns and pays taxes due during the initiative’s time frame.

The Construction industry is finally bouncing back, as builder confidence rebounded in August. According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder optimism in the market, and even the market itself, is strengthening. This is due partly to the rising demand brought on by job and economic growth along with competitive mortgage rates.

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding truckers and owners of heavy highway vehicles that in most cases, their next federal Highway Use tax return is due August 31st. The deadline applies generally to Form 2290 and the accompanying tax payment for the year that begins July 1st, 2017 and ends June 30, 2018. Returns must be filed and tax payments made by the deadline for vehicles used during July. If you used the vehicle after July, the deadline is the last day of the month following the month you used the vehicle in.

Identity theft can happen to anyone, at any time, and despite protections you have, it could drastically affect your finances. Identity theft can not only affect you bank account or credit card, it can also affect your taxes and possible refunds you could receive. If someone gets ahold of your Social Security number or even your Employer Identification Number, they could use that to file a tax return or obtain a fraudulent refund. Most people don’t even find out they are victims of identity theft until they submit their tax return and the IRS tells them someone has already filed using that Social Security number.
The IRS works to stop identity theft from happening but you can help protect yourself. The IRS has provided these simple 8 tips that could help you stop identity theft before it happens.

Not filing your tax return is not only against the law, it could also leave you with a large balance owed to the government with some penalties and interest added on. That’s why you need to always, always, file your tax return, even if you can’t pay your tax liability in full. This can not only help you stay in compliance with the federal government, but it also helps you avoid penalties and other consequences. If you have a balance due, filing your past due return now and paying your tax liability can limit the interest and late payment penalties you have to pay.

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