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Do Your Taxes for Free

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

 

This was posted this morning by the Internal Revenue Service - This is tax tip #16 as posted by the IRS.

Note:  The site will direct you to a list of software providers (As highlighted below) where vendors have software that is free to use. After entering the site there is a help link, "help me find free file software". There are 13 vendors listed. I used the help link using two examples; one with income assumed of  $48,000, and another with assumed income of $10,000.  The first assumption recommended me to OLN software, and the second  to "Turbo Tax".  After entering the recommended sites the software will take you also to their commercial site with the option to purchase additional services.  Unless you have a need for the additional services they in all probability are not necessary.

 

Do Your Federal Taxes for Free

You can prepare and electronically file your federal taxes for free using IRS Free File. It is fast, safe and easy to use. IRS Free File does the hard work for you with either brand-name tax software or online fillable forms.

Here are six facts that you should know about Free File.

1. Free Options for All. If you make $62,000 or less – as do 70 percent of Americans – you can choose easy-to-use software to do your taxes and e-file for free. If you make more than $62,000 can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, it’s free.

2. Free File Does the Hard Work. IRS Free File is a partnership between the IRS and tax software manufacturers that make their products available for free. You don’t need to be a tax expert. The software will help find tax breaks you may be able to claim but might overlook, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software asks the questions; you provide the answers. It will choose the right tax forms and do the math for you. Free File can also help with the health care law tax provisions.

3. Free File on IRS.gov. Access IRS Free File on IRS.gov/freefile to avoid any charges for preparing or e-filing your federal tax return. Once you choose a Free File company, you’ll go to their website to prepare, print and e-file your federal tax return.

4. All Forms and Schedules are Free. Whether you file Form 1040 EZ, Form 1040A or Form 1040, all are free. If you have a mortgage interest deduction, children in college or made money in the stock market, the Free File software will complete the forms and schedules you need.

5. Free Extensions. If you can’t make the April 18 deadline (April 19 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts), you can use Free File to request an automatic six-month extension. Making the request is easy and free through IRS Free File. Just look for “free extensions for anyone” in the company offers. Remember, this is a six-month extension of time to file your tax return, not to pay your tax. If you think you owe, make an estimated payment with your extension request. Tax software will help you make this payment, or you can view other payment options at IRS.gov.

6. Use IRS E-file. Remember, the fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit. If you owe taxes, you can e-file now and set up an automatic payment on any day until the due date. To view your payment options visit IRS.gov/payments.

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  accounting  IRS  Taxes  tips 

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International Fraud Scheme

Posted By George (Clint) Frederick CPA PLLC, George Frederick CPA PLLC, Thursday, November 12, 2015

 Note:  Had the fraud been successful my accounts would have been compromised.  Even though this 'appears' to be a valid offer from a legitimate billion dollar company that is publicly traded.

INTERNATIONAL FRAUD SCHEME

10/17/2015
Good Morning,

Central Glass Co., Ltd would like to employ your services on temporary basis on commission. Please write back for more details.

Juan Cui

Supervisor & Coordinator

Central Glass Co., Ltd

 

I responded with interest in the position thinking it might be fraud; they had my personal email from some source so a response seemed OK.

10/20/2015 - Another email is received with the following after some pleasant introductions:

JOB DESCRIPTION:

With the high demand of our products in your North America, we are currently working on establishing representative offices and sales centers in that region. Until the centers are established, we need a reliable company / individual (irrespective of the business type) that will stand as an intermediary between our customers in your country/region and Central Glass Co., Ltd.

In recent times we have had some good, bad and ugly experiences with our customers in North America, and we have been working out possible strategies to overcome these challenges. Some of these challenges includes (Detail listing followed).
COMPENSATION:

We shall be paying you the sum of $5,000 USD as monthly salary for your services, and you will be entitled to 5% commission of every payment received on behalf of Central Glass Co. Ltd. from our clients/customers. (Note this would be considered a part time position)

Kindest regards,

Takeo Komata; Executive Manager; Central Glass Co., Ltd.

Email: takeokomota@cgc-jp.net

http://www.cgc-jp.com/ 

 

NOTE:  The difference in spelling – Takeo Komata whereas email shows Takeo Komota.

Central Glass Company is listed on the Tokyo exchange.  It has a value of over $1 billion.  A list of the executives show Takeo Kamata is an executive of the company.  I attempted to call Japan to talk personally with Mr. Komata; but not speaking Japanese I couldn’t make it past the switchboard.

I sent a response of continued interest in the position.  I’m curious where this will lead.

On 10/22/2015 I received another email:
To speed up and commence with this process, we shall now proceed to signing of the Memorandum of Understanding. To do this, we require some information from you to prepare the Memorandum of Understanding. Information needed are as follow: (Note:  Requested information consisted of information that is public knowledge and nothing that I felt would jeopardize my accounts.) The email continued:

Upon receipt of the above, we shall send you a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding for signing. As soon as the signing of the MOU is done by both parties, we shall then forward your information to our customers and as well furnish you with their information.

 

On 10/26/2015 I sent an email directly to Takeo Komata as shown on the Central Glass Web Site requesting confirmation of the legitimacy of the offer.  I received no response.

On 10/29/2015 I received another email:
Attached hereto is a signed Memorandum of Understanding by our company. You are required to review, sign and return to us as soon as possible. Upon receipt of the M.O.U., we shall provide you with more information on our customers and supporting document (s). (Note:  The MOU was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Central Glass Company along with his Executive Vice President.

I replied to the email containing the MOU, indicating that I would need to form a separate company, obtain a separate bank account, and pointing out the fact the company internal controls over accounts was very weak.  I did not sign the MOU.

On 10/30/2015 I contacted the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  I also sent by USPS (snail mail) letters to the officers that purportedly signed the MOU.

On 11/3/2015 I received a reply from the FBI: Please report this to our Internet Crime website at www.IC3.gov.  Thank you.

On 11/05/2005 the following email was received:
Thank you for your mail.

My apology for responding late. There was a fire outbreak in one of our ware houses. Properties worth millions of dollars was lost. This is a very big blow for our company at the moment.

The content of your email was clearly understood. We do not have an account in US for now but we are planning to set up one once we begin our liaison office in January. We are in agreement with your suggestion on the MOU. Please proceed to modify and return to us so that we can draft out another MOU and sign.

I did not respond to the last email.  On 11/11/2015 I received the following:


Thank you for your letter of 2nd of November. 
With regard to the offer and the MOU, we did not send you such offer and documents and the corporate email address written on the MOU and the person `Juan Cui' have no relation to our company. Also we recognized the signatures on the MOU as forged ones. It has come to our attention that there are a lot of spam emails being sent at the moment that indicate the sender as Central Glass Co., Ltd. or our officers and employees. 
Please discard these emails and documents you received. 
We apologize for any confusion these documents may have caused. 

Tags:  business  finance  fraud  tips 

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Basic Bookkeeping Tips For Small Business

Posted By Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, August 29, 2014

Bookkeeping is an important and necessary part of owning a small business. However, you probably weren’t a bookkeeper before you became a small business owner. You are bound to make some mistakes along the way. Fortunately, most of these mistakes are pretty easy to fix. Use these basic bookkeeping tips for small business owners to help you learn the ropes and avoid errors.

  1. Choose the best accounting system for your business. There are two main options - cashed based accounting or accrual based accounting. In a cash based accounting method, you count your income when you get it and count your expenses when you pay them. With the accrual based accounting method, you count these things when they happen instead of when they are paid. So what’s the difference? Well, there will be a difference for your business if you keep an inventory or make transactions on credit. If this is true for your business, the accrual method may be a better choice for you. In fact, the IRS may require a business to use the accrual accounting method if they keep an inventory or have more than $5 million in sales. If you don’t keep inventory or deal with credit transactions, a simple cash based accounting system should work just fine for you.

  2. Keep daily records. This is simple, but extremely important. Make an accurate daily record so that you are aware of the financial situation of your business. It doesn’t matter what system you use; just choose one and stick with it. Once your system is in place, it will only take a few minutes to keep up with it each day.

  3. Treat checks with as much care as cash. You probably write a lot of checks, and you get envelopes full of canceled checks back from the bank. It’s easy to fall into a routine and pay little attention when writing checks, but take a moment and slow down. Review all of your checks carefully. If you make a mistake, it is your mistake, not the bank’s mistake. You will have to deal with the fallout. Review cancelled checks personally; this way, you will be aware of any unauthorized checks before anyone else gets the chance to remove them.

  4. Request a bank statement that cuts off at the end of the month. This is useful because it syncs your bank statement with your other monthly records, so you are comparing matching time frames. It’ll be a lot easier to balance your statements and track expenses this way.

  5. Leave a trail. You should be able to retrace your company’s financial activities easily. Keep business and personal accounts separate. Keep your checks and invoices in order, and don’t skip numbers. If you need to go back and check something later, it will be much easier this way.

  6. Use software. Even for a very small business, using a bookkeeping software program will make your record keeping much simpler and more organized. Let’s face it – the time of the old ledger and pen system has come and gone. You can do everything you need to do, and even back up all of your important records, if you do it on your computer.

Originally posted on NAWBO. Written by Kjell Andreassen, a managing partner of Acceler8.

Tags:  accounting  Bookkeeping  HR  NAWBO  Small Biz  Small Business  tips 

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Miscellaneous Deductions Can Cut Taxes

Posted By Rhette Baughman, Arizona Small Business Association, Thursday, August 14, 2014



You may be able to deduct certain miscellaneous costs you pay during the year. Examples include employee expenses and fees you pay for tax advice. If you itemize, these deductions could lower your tax bill.

Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about miscellaneous deductions:

Deductions Subject to the Two Percent Limit.  You can deduct most miscellaneous costs only if their total is more than two percent of your adjusted gross income. These include expenses such as:

+ Unreimbursed employee expenses.
+ Expenses related to searching for a new job in the same line of work.
+ Certain work clothes and uniforms.
+ Tools needed for your job.
+ Union dues.
+ Work-related travel and transportation.

Deductions Not Subject to the Two Percent Limit.  Some deductions are not subject to the two percent limit. They include:

+ Certain casualty and theft losses. Generally, this applies to damaged or stolen property that you held for investment. This includes items such as stocks, bonds and works of art.
+ Gambling losses up to the amount of your gambling winnings.
+ Losses from Ponzi-type investment schemes.

There are many expenses that you can’t deduct. For example, you can’t deduct personal living or family expenses. You claim allowable miscellaneous deductions on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

For more about this topic see Publication 529, Miscellaneous Deductions. You can get it on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

 

This series is brought to you by the Southwest Area Stakeholder Liaison Team covering Arizona, New Mexico & Texas. It is designed for you to share with anyone who will find the information useful. We are interested to hear if you think this information is helpful. Please provide your feedback or topic request to us at sl.southwest@irs.gov and include “Workshop Wednesday” in the subject line.

To access previous editions, click here: Workshop Wednesday Archive links 

 Small business owners, especially new sole proprietors, can find a wealth of information covering their federal tax responsibilities on www.IRS.govThe SB/SE Tax Center is the “Go To” IRS.gov page for everything small business.

 

Tags:  IRS  savings  small biz  small business  tax  taxes  tips 

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Six Tips for People Who Owe Taxes

Posted By Rhette Baughman, Arizona Small Business Association, Wednesday, August 13, 2014



While most people get a refund from the IRS when they file their taxes, some do not. If you owe federal taxes, the IRS has several ways for you to pay. Here are six tips for people who owe taxes:

1. Pay your tax bill.  If you get a bill from the IRS, you’ll save money by paying it as soon as you can. If you can’t pay it in full, you should pay as much as you can. That will reduce the interest and penalties charged for late payment. You should think about using a credit card or getting a loan to pay the amount you owe. 

2. Use IRS Direct Pay.  The best way to pay your taxes is with the IRS Direct Pay tool. It’s the safe, easy and free way to pay from your checking or savings account. The tool walks you through five simple steps to pay your tax in one online session. Just click on the ‘Pay Your Tax Bill’ icon on the IRS home page.

3. Get a short-term extension to pay.  You may qualify for extra time to pay your taxes if you can pay in full in 120 days or less. You can apply online at IRS.gov. If you received a bill from the IRS you can also call the phone number listed on it. If you don’t have a bill, call 800-829-1040 for help. There is usually no set-up fee for a short-term extension.

4. Apply for a monthly payment plan.  If you owe $50,000 or less and need more time to pay, you can apply for an Online Payment Agreementon IRS.gov. A direct debit payment plan is your best option. This plan is the lower-cost, hassle-free way to pay. The set-up fee is less than other plans. There are no reminders, no missed payments and no checks to write and mail. You can also use Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, to apply. For more about payment plan options visit IRS.gov.

5. Consider an Offer in Compromise.  An Offer in Compromise lets you settle your tax debt for less than the full amount that you owe. An OIC may be an option if you can’t pay your tax in full. It may also apply if full payment will cause a financial hardship. You can use the OIC Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you qualify. It will also tell you what a reasonable offer might be.

6. Change your withholding or estimated tax.  You may be able to avoid owing the IRS in the future by having more taxes withheld from your pay. Do this by filing a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. The IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov can help you fill out a new W-4. If you have income that’s not subject to withholding you may need to make estimated tax payments. See Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals for more on this topic.

To find out more see Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process. You can get this booklet on IRS.gov. You may also call 800-TAX-FORM to get it by mail.

This series is brought to you by the Southwest Area Stakeholder Liaison Team covering Arizona, New Mexico & Texas. It is designed for you to share with anyone who will find the information useful. We are interested to hear if you think this information is helpful. Please provide your feedback or topic request to us at sl.southwest@irs.gov and include “Workshop Wednesday” in the subject line.

To access previous editions, click here: Workshop Wednesday Archive links 

 Small business owners, especially new sole proprietors, can find a wealth of information covering their federal tax responsibilities on www.IRS.govThe SB/SE Tax Center is the “Go To” IRS.gov page for everything small business.

Tags:  IRS  small biz  small business  tax  taxes  tips 

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