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IRS and Security Summit Partners Warn of Fake Tax Bill Emails
September 15th Tax Due Dates
Changes in Circumstances and Advance Premium Tax Credits
Some Refunds Delayed in 2017
Major Changes to FAFSA
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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.

Check Your Tax Withholding this Summer to Prevent a Tax-Time Surprise

Each year, many people get a larger refund than they expect. Some find they owe a lot more tax than they thought they would. If this has happened to you, review your situation to prevent a tax surprise. Did you marry? Have a child? Change in income? Life events can have a major impact on your taxes. Bring the taxes you pay closer to the amount you owe. Here are some tips to help you come up with a plan:


New Job. When you start a new job, you must fill out a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, and give it to your employer. Your employer will use the form to figure the amount of federal income tax to withhold from your pay. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS Website to help you fill out the form. This tool is easy to use and it’s available 24/7.

Estimated Tax. If you earn income that is not subject to withholding you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or rent. If you expect to owe $1,000 or more in tax, and meet other conditions, you may need to pay this tax. You normally pay it four times a year. Use the worksheet in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure the tax.

Life Events. Check to see if you need to change your Form W-4 or change the amount of estimated tax you pay when certain life events take place. A change in your marital status, the birth of a child or the purchase of a new home can change the amount of taxes you owe. In most cases, you can submit a new Form W–4 to your employer anytime.

Changes in Circumstances. If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit, it is important that you report changes in circumstances, such as changes in your income or family size, to your Health Insurance Marketplace. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Reporting changes will help you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance so you can avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

Maryland Power of Attorney for Tax Purposes

The Maryland Comptroller's Office has released the long-awaited Maryland Power of Attorney, Form 548 (POA) and Form 548P, Reporting Agent Authorization (RAA). Use of the new POA and RAA began on July 1, 2016. The Form 548P will replace the use of the Federal Form 8655, which will no longer be accepted. The Comptroller will still accept the Federal Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or a Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, until December 31, 2016. The new Maryland POA and RAA must be used beginning January 1, 2017 - the Comptroller will no longer accept the federal forms after that date.

If a taxpayer currently has a Power Of Attorney on file with the Comptroller's office, the taxpayer is not required to submit a new Maryland POA. The Power of Attorney on file will remain effective until it is revoked by the taxpayer or a new Power of Attorney is filed.