David M.Green Bookkeeping and Tax Service -

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2017 NNA National Notary Conference Tax Seminar instructor
New Private Debt Collection Program to Begin Next Spring; IRS to Contract with Four Agencies; Taxpayer Rights Protected
IRS and Security Summit Partners Warn of Fake Tax Bill Emails
September 15th Tax Due Dates
Changes in Circumstances and Advance Premium Tax Credits
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2017 NNA National Notary Conference Tax Seminar instructor

I am honored to teach another tax workshop at next year's NNA National Notary Conference in Dallas, TX. It is truly a honor to teach tax and notary seminars around the country.

New Private Debt Collection Program to Begin Next Spring; IRS to Contract with Four Agencies; Taxpayer Rights Protected

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it plans to begin private collection of certain overdue federal tax debts next spring and has selected four contractors to implement the new program.

The new program, authorized under a federal law enacted by Congress last December, enables these designated contractors to collect, on the government’s behalf,outstanding inactive tax receivables. As a condition of receiving a contract, these agencies must respect taxpayer rights including, among other things, abiding by the consumer protection provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The IRS has selected the following contractors to carry out this program:

CBE Group 1309 Technology Pkwy Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Conserve 200 CrossKeys Office park Fairport, NY 14450
Performant 333 N Canyons Pkwy Livermore, CA 94551
Pioneer 325 Daniel Zenker Dr Horseheads, NY 14845

These private collection agencies will work on accounts where taxpayers owe money, but the IRS is no longer actively working their accounts. Several factors contribute to the IRS assigning these accounts to private collection agencies, including older, overdue tax accounts or lack of resources preventing the IRS from working the cases. The IRS will give each taxpayer and their representative written notice that their account is being transferred to a private collection agency. The agency will then send a second, separate letter to the taxpayer and their representative confirming this transfer. Private collection agencies will be able to identify themselves as contractors of the IRS collecting taxes. Employees of these collection agencies must follow the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and must be courteous and respect taxpayer rights.

The IRS will do everything it can to help taxpayers avoid confusion and understand their rights and tax responsibilities, particularly in light of continual phone scams where callers impersonate IRS agents and request immediate payment.

Private collection agencies will not ask for payment on a prepaid debit card. Taxpayers will be informed about electronic payment options for taxpayers on IRS dot Gov/Pay Your Tax Bill. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to IRS, not the private collection agency.

IRS and Security Summit Partners Warn of Fake Tax Bill Emails

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners today issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against fake emails purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act.

The IRS has received numerous reports around the country of scammers sending a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015. Generally, the scam involves an email that includes the fake CP2000 as an attachment. The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.
The CP2000 is a notice commonly mailed to taxpayers through the United States Postal Service. It is never sent as part of an email to taxpayers. The indicators are:
These notices are being sent electronically, even though the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media platforms;

The CP 2000 notices appear to be issued from an Austin, Texas, address;
The underreported issue is related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requesting information regarding 2014 coverage;
The payment voucher lists the letter number as 105C. The fraudulent CP2000 notice included a payment request that taxpayers mail a check made out to “I.R.S.” to the “Austin Processing Center” at a Post Office Box address. This is in addition to a “payment” link within the email itself. IRS impersonation scams take many forms: threatening telephone calls, phishing emails and demanding letters. Learn more at Reporting Phishing and Online Scams. Taxpayers or tax professionals who receive this scam email should forward it to phishing@irs.gov and then delete it from their email account.

September 15th Tax Due Dates

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payment Due September 15th
Calendar Year Corporation and Partnership on Extension are Due September 15th
Federal Payroll Taxes Due September 15th
Calendar year Trust and Estate Tax Returns on Extension Due September 15th

Changes in Circumstances and Advance Premium Tax Credits

There are also some important reminders for taxpayers who receive advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit under the Affordable Care Act.
People who have advance payments of the premium tax credit made to their insurance company on their behalf should report life changes to their Marketplace. Changes in circumstances that should be reported include moving to a new address and changes to income or family size. Reporting these changes will help individuals avoid large differences between the advance credit payments and the amount of the premium tax credit allowed on their tax return, which may affect their refund or balance due.

Some Refunds Delayed in 2017

When considering refund issues, the IRS wants taxpayers to be aware several factors could affect the timing of their tax refunds next year.
A major change will affect some early tax filers claiming two key credits who won't see their refunds until after Feb. 15.

Beginning in 2017, a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until mid-February. Under the change required by Congress in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, the IRS must hold the entire refund – even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC -- until at least Feb. 15. This change helps ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the agency more time to help detect and prevent fraud. As in past years, the IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns once the filing season begins. All taxpayers should file as usual, and tax return preparers should also submit returns as they normally do. Even though the IRS cannot issue refunds for some early filers until at least Feb. 15, the IRS reminds taxpayers that most refunds will still be issued within the normal timeframe: 21 days or less, after being accepted for processing by the IRS.

Major Changes to FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) use to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

There are two major changes to this program:

1.The 2017–18 FAFSA will be available earlier. The 2017–18 FAFSA can be filed as early as October 1, 2016, rather than beginning on January 1, 2017. The earlier submission date will be a permanent change.

2.FAFSA will accept earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, the program will request the 2015 income and tax information, rather than the 2016 information.

Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Louisiana Flood Victims

The Internal Revenue Service today announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to Louisiana flood victims and members of their families.

Participants in 401(k) plans, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, as well as state and local government employees with 457(b) deferred-compensation plans may be eligible to take advantage of these streamlined loan procedures and liberalized hardship distribution rules. Though IRA participants are barred from taking out loans, they may be eligible to receive distributions under liberalized procedures.
Retirement plans can provide this relief to employees and certain members of their families who live or work in the disaster area. To qualify for this relief, hardship withdrawals must be made by Jan. 17, 2017.

IRS Proposes Revised Fees for Installment Agreements

The Internal Revenue Service is proposing a revised schedule of user fees that would take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, and apply to any taxpayer who enters into an installment agreement.

Installment Agreement Fees
The revised installment agreement fees of up to $225 would be higher for some taxpayers than those currently in effect, which can be up to $120. The top rate of $225 applies to taxpayers who enter into an installment agreement in person, over the phone, by mail or by filing Form 9465 with the IRS. But a taxpayer who establishes an agreement in this manner can substantially cut the fee to just $107 by choosing to make their monthly payments by direct debit from their bank account. Alternatively, a taxpayer who chooses to set up an installment agreement using the agency’s Online Payment Agreement application will pay a fee of $149. Similarly, they can cut this amount to just $31 by also choosing direct debit. Proposed Fees
Here is the proposed schedule of user fees: Regular installment agreement: $225 Regular direct debit installment agreement: $107 Online payment agreement: $149 Direct debit online payment agreement: $31 Restructured or reinstated installment agreement: $89 Low-income rate: $43

ACA and Employers: Understanding the Terms Affordable and Minimum Value Coverage

In general, under the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, an applicable large employer may either offer affordable minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value to its full-time employees and their dependents or potentially owe an employer shared responsibility payment to the IRS.
Here is information to help you understand affordable coverage and minimum value coverage.

Affordable coverage: If the lowest cost self-only only health plan is 9.5 percent or less of your full-time employee’s household income then the coverage is considered affordable. Because you likely will not know your employee’s household income, for purposes of the employer shared responsibility provisions, you can determine whether you offered affordable coverage under various safe harbors based on information available to you. Minimum value coverage: An employer-sponsored plan provides minimum value if it covers at least 60 percent of the total allowed cost of benefits that are expected to be incurred under the plan.