Beware of Phony IRS Collectors

As Uncle Sam begins to crack down harder on tax matters, scammers are cashing in. As summer sizzles on, the IRS scams are heating up!

The IRS has a program that uses private debt collectors to recover back taxes, and the scammers have taken notice. In April, the IRS started the process of turning over approximately 140,000 seriously delinquent accounts to collectors. As a result, you need to be aware of callers claiming to be or represent the IRS. They’re particularly active this summer!

IRS phone scams are one of the most common kinds of tax fraud, taking the number two spot in 2017. It’s important to be aware that the IRS – as well as collectors employed by the IRS – never makes first contact by phone. The IRS and any assigned debt collector BOTH must send a letter informing you of an account transfer before the debt collector can contact you by phone. At this time, the IRS only has contracted with 4 debt collection agencies: CBE Group, ConServe, Performant and Pioneer Credit Recovery. Unless you receive a letter first, a phone call should be a major red flag! Ask which company the caller represents, get a name and contact number and follow up with the IRS before providing any information. If they badger you about paying immediately, hang up! Payments aren’t made to the debt collector, only to the U.S. Treasury, by check or by check or electronically, on the IRS’s website.

If you have questions about IRS scams, if you’re being harassed by callers, or if anything seems fishy, of course, call us at today at 727-894-2099 or 407-629-5923. Or you can email me, Larry Heinkel at We’re here to help with any tax or IRS concerns. Our team of IRS Enrolled Agents (EAs), Tax Resolution Attorney and CPA helps taxpayers NATIONWIDE. We’re here to provide quality assistance to your most important tax issues.

New Changes to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services I-9 Form

• Newest form has a revision date of 07/17/17 N at the bottom

• New form must be used starting September 18, 2017 or can be used immediately

On July 17, 2017 yet another version of Form I-9 was released.

Through September 17, 2017 employers are permitted to use the prior most recent I-9 form that has a revision date at the bottom of 11/14/16 N but starting on September 18, 2017 employers must use the newer version that has a revision date of 07/17/17 N at the bottom.

Alternatively, employers are permitted to simply start using the new form immediately which is advisable so as to alleviate any concern about forgetting to make the change in September.

The most recent version of the form can be found here:

Below is a list of the minor changes made to the form with a revision date of 07/17/17 N:

Revisions to the Form I-9Read More

How to Save on Taxes by Claiming Florida as Your State of Residence

Snowbirds will have their work cut out for them in proving Florida is their primary residence for over half of the year.

Question: I live out of state, but if I buy a second home in Florida, can I count Florida as my residence for state tax purposes?

Answer: Perhaps. Claiming Florida as your permanent residence could save you a lot of money! We have no income tax (one of only 7 states), while many other states have relatively high state income tax rates. It’s not that easy to do, however, and tax officials in states with large snowbird populations – particularly New York and Minnesota – are getting very aggressive in going after people they consider taxpaying residents.

While state laws may vary, you need to prove that you intend to make the low- or no-tax state your permanent home. An easy way to do that is sell your northern home and moveRead More

Taxes Can Still Threaten Your Retirement

Sadly, it’s becoming clear that you can’t bank on the traditional idea that your tax bill will go down in retirement. A lot of things can get in the way of smooth sailing, so it’s best to get a plan in place – and now is the best time.

When asked what the biggest threats to their retirement plans are, people offer a variety of responses. The most commonly identified threats include outliving their wealth, health insurance costs, nursing home expenses and having to help their children or grandchildren financially. All of these can be major threats to your retirement plans, but there’s one biggie that people tend to forget: taxes.

Not having a clear plan to deal with the possibility  taxes is one of the most serious threats to the finances of retirement-minded people.

We’ve always been told that when we retire, we will be in a lower tax bracket than whenRead More

Changes are Coming in the way Small Businesses Enroll in Obamacare

Be aware, under a rule going to be proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, small firms would no longer use the website to enroll in SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). Instead, beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, employers would instead enroll directly with an insurer, agent or broker offering the SHOP plans.

This move could make it easier for small firms to qualify for tax credits, since they would no longer have to buy group insurance through SHOP to receive it. Firms with fewer than 25 full-time workers can qualify for a tax credit of up to 50% of employer premium contributions. So far, SHOP covers about 230,000 individuals.

However, the ability to comparison shop likely would disappear. Choices would be limited to a single plan or just a few options offered by a single insurer.

Remember, my Tax Problem Solver Team and I are here to help youRead More

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