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ACA FORMS WON'T BE REQUIRED FOR FILING INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURNS
2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29, Tax Returns Due April 17
Standard Mileage Rates for 2018 Up from Rates for 2017
Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill
IRS Announces 2018 Pension Plan Limitations; 401(k) Contribution Limit Increases to $18,500 for 2018
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The State of Pennsylvania has released their 2017 tax due date reference guide.

Warning: QuickBooks Phishing Scam


The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about a new phishing scam targeting small businesses. The message looks like an email alert from accounting software QuickBooks with the subject line “QuickBooks Support: Change Request.”
The email is worded to “confirm” that you have changed your business name with Intuit, QuickBooks’ manufacturer. Though you haven’t made such a request, the email contains a link to cancel. Do not click this “cancel” link. It is used as bait. When clicked, the link will download malware onto your device, which scammers use to capture passwords or hunt for sensitive information on your machine. This can ultimately open you up to identity theft.

PENNSYLVANIANS CAN NOW SEND STATE TAX REFUNDS DIRECTLY TO A PA 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

PA Treasurer Joe Torsella announced that, for the first time, Pennsylvanians can deposit their state income tax refund directly into an existing, tax-exempt Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program account. With the new option, all or a portion of a refund can be sent to one or multiple accounts. The process is simple. When completing your PA-40, Personal Income Tax Return, enter code H and the amount in the donation section between lines 32-36. Additionally, submit a PA-Schedule P with your return when donating to one or more Pennsylvania 529 College Savings Program accounts.

Refund Transfers

As Tax Season has officially started we are excited to offer once again refund transfers through Santa Barbara Bank. Our fees are the lowest in the region.

IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource Departments

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.
This week, the IRS already has received new notifications that the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of Forms W-2 or Social Security number.


The W-2 scam first appeared last year. Cybercriminals tricked payroll and human resource officials into disclosing employee names, SSNs and income information. The thieves then attempted to file fraudulent tax returns for tax refunds. This phishing variation is known as a “spoofing” e-mail. It will contain, for example, the actual name of the company chief executive officer. In this variation, the “CEO” sends an email to a company payroll office or human resource employee and requests a list of employees and information including SSNs. The following are some of the details that may be contained in the emails:

Kindly send me the individual 2016 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review.
Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary).
I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees wage and tax statement for 2016, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap.

Five Reasons to Choose Direct Deposit

Easy, safe and fast — that’s direct deposit. It’s the best way to get a tax refund. Eighty percent of taxpayers choose it every year. The IRS knows taxpayers have a choice of how to receive their refunds.


IRS Direct Deposit:

1. Is Fast. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and use direct deposit. Use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file federal returns for free. Use direct deposit for paper tax returns, too.

2. Is Secure. Since refunds go right into a bank account, there’s no risk of having a paper check stolen or lost in the mail. This is the same electronic transfer system used to deposit nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.


3. Is Convenient. There’s no need to wait for a refund check to come in the mail.


4. Is Easy. Choosing direct deposit is easy. With e-file, just follow the instructions in the tax software. For paper returns, the tax form instructions serve as a guide. Make sure to enter the correct bank account and routing number.

5. Has Options. Taxpayers can split a refund into several financial accounts. These include checking, savings, health, education and certain retirement accounts. The U.S. Treasury Department offers a retirement account. It’s called a MyRA account. Designate all or a part of a refund to a new MyRA account. Simply mark the “savings” box in the refund section of the return. Use IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), to deposit a refund in up to three accounts. Do not use Form 8888 to designate part of a refund to pay tax preparers. Taxpayers should deposit refunds into accounts in their own name, their spouse’s name or both. Avoid making a deposit into accounts owned by others. Some banks require both spouses’ names on the account to deposit a tax refund from a joint return. Taxpayers should check with their bank for direct deposit rules. There is a limit of three electronic direct deposit refunds made into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. The IRS will send a notice and a refund check in the mail to taxpayers who exceed the limit.

February 1st through February 7th Enrolled Agents Week in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

February 1st through February 7th Enrolled Agents Week official proclamation from Governor Tom Wolf Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


New Due Date for FBARs

The new annual due date for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for foreign financial accounts is April 15. This date change was mandated by the Highway Act, which also mandates an extension of the filing deadline. To implement the statute with minimal burden to the public, FinCEN will grant filers failing to meet the FBAR due date of April 15 an automatic extension to October 15 each year. Accordingly, specific requests for this extension are not required.
The due date for FBAR filings for foreign financial accounts maintained during calendar year 2016 is April 18, 2017, consistent with the federal income tax due date.

Federal Tax Refunds in 2017

Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file an accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
The IRS still anticipates issuing more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, but there are some important factors to keep in mind for taxpayers.

Beginning in 2017, a new law requires the IRS to hold refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit 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 IRS 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 – including returns claiming EITC and ACTC. The IRS will begin releasing EITC and ACTC refunds starting Feb. 15. However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27 (assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit). This additional period is due to several factors, including banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits. After refunds leave the IRS, it takes additional time for them to be processed and for financial institutions to accept and deposit the refunds to bank accounts and products. The IRS reminds taxpayers many financial institutions do not process payments on weekends or holidays, which can affect when refunds reach taxpayers. For EITC and ACTC filers, the three-day holiday weekend involving President’s Day may affect their refund timing.

Business E-Filing For Partnership, C-Corp, S-Corp and Non-Profits will be down after December 26th

Business E-Filing will be down from December 26th until the start of tax season January 23rd