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June 2017 Archives

IRS warns taxpayers not to rely on its own website

Georgia taxpayers may think that they can depend on the official IRS.gov website, but the Internal Revenue Service itself has stated that this may not always be the case. Instead, taxpayers need to refer to official publications. Content like frequently asked question lists may appear on the IRS website, but they don't constitute law, and following them could place people in danger of noncompliance.

IRS issues warning about new telephone scam

The Internal Revenue Service has warned taxpayers in Georgia and around the country about a new telephone scam. According to the agency, callers posing as representatives of the IRS tell potential victims that attempts to contact them using certified mail have been unsuccessful and they must make an immediate payment using a prepaid debit card to avoid arrest. The callers are said to be adding an air of credibility to the scam by claiming that the prepaid debit cards are connected to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

IRS addresses estate tax exemption portability

Estate planning professionals in Georgia and around the country will likely welcome news that the Internal Revenue Service has made it easier for a surviving spouse to receive the unused portion of the deceased partner's estate tax exemption. Under Revenue Procedure 2017-34, the executors of individuals who died in 2011 or later will have until January 2018 or later to make what are known as portability elections. The executors of estates of individuals who died on or after Jan. 2, 2016 have two years to make portability elections under Revenue Procedure 2017-34. The new rules went into effect immediately.

Will your tax debt be discharged under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to give the debtor a fresh start by discharging most debt. Tax debt under a bankruptcy is very complex. Sometimes, it can be discharged, but it depends on multiple factors, such as the type of tax, whether the debtor filed a return and the type of bankruptcy. For example, payroll taxes or penalties for fraud are not generally dischargeable. 

How to handle a tax error

Georgia residents may believe that their tax returns won't be audited after they receive a refund check. However, this is not necessarily the case as the IRS has up to three years to audit most returns. Those who receive a refund that seems too large may wish to keep the check and mention the possible error to the government. This is because the IRS may ask for the money back plus interest if a refund was mistakenly issued.

Some believe IRS needs more funding

Georgia residents may have heard that watchdog groups believe the IRS needs more resources to effectively do its job. This was according to testimony given to a House subcommittee by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. It was also the opinion of a tax advocate who also gave testimony on May 23. However, neither had actually seen the budget before coming to this conclusion.

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