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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.

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.

Debts that can cause income tax refunds to be held back

Every year, taxpayers in Georgia and around the country who were expecting to receive federal income tax refunds are sent what are known as offset notices instead. The Bureau of Fiscal Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, sends these notices out when refunds are being withheld because taxpayers owe certain types of debt. The agency can also garnish Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in similar situations.

How to recognize an IRS agent

It is possible that a Georgia resident will be visited by an IRS agent. However, it is important to understand whether or not a person claiming to be an agent is a legitimate representative of the IRS. There are three main reasons why an agent may want to visit with a taxpayer. First, a caseworker may make a routine unannounced visit to remind a taxpayer about his or her tax obligations.

People may start receiving IRS calls

Up until recently, Georgia residents could be fairly certain that if someone was calling them in relation to a debt owed to the Internal Revenue Service, the individual calling was a scammer. However, a change made by the IRS in April 2017 means that debt collectors hired by the IRS may be calling people who owe money in an effort to collect unpaid taxes.

IRS to conduct fewer audits in 2017

Taxpayers in Georgia and around the country are less likely to receive an audit notice in 2017 than they were in previous years due to belt-tightening at the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers rely on the money collected by the IRS to fund federal agencies and pay for entitlement programs. However, congress has slashed the agency's funds in recent years. This has led to budget cuts and layoffs in virtually all IRS departments, and fewer auditors mean fewer audits.

When you are unable to pay your taxes

Some Georgia residents are financially unable to pay their IRS bills because of not having anything left to pay towards their bills after their other expenses. If you owe back taxes and are unable to make payments to the IRS because of your limited income, you may qualify for a "currently not collectible" status with the IRS.

5 commonly overlooked tax deductions

Tax forms have all been mailed, and the deadline for filing starts to loom for many people. As you prepare to file your 2016 taxes, your goal is to limit your obligations to the government and maximize a refund if you are getting one. Every year, millions of American miss tax deductions that should reduce the amount they owe the government without realizing it.

How to properly resolve federal tax matters

Most Georgia residents understand that the best way to avoid the wrath of the IRS is to file a tax return and pay taxes on time. However, those who don't follow those rules aren't necessarily going to be sent to jail. Typically, the IRS would rather work out a solution without spending a lot of time and money. Criminal investigations are generally the final step after other methods of resolving a case are not effective.

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