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Tax season brings cybersecurity threats to personal information

Individuals and business owners in Georgia naturally take communications from the Internal Revenue Service seriously, but the agency warns that cyber criminals often take advantage of people's willingness to comply with tax requests. Criminals will attempt to access personal and financial information or load malicious software onto computers.

IRS wins legal battle with Coinbase

Georgia residents may have heard about the crypto-currency called Bitcoin. Even if they haven't heard of it, the IRS certainly has, and the organization has won a court order to get the identities of those who own 14,355 accounts at Coinbase. Those accounts have accounted for roughly 9 million transactions between 2013 and 2015. A federal court judge ordered the information to be turned over in a ruling made on Nov. 28.

What to know about a tax lien

If a Georgia resident fails to pay a federal tax bill in a timely manner, the IRS may place a lien on that person's property. This helps to ensure that the government will get the money that it is owed. Tax liens are only imposed after a taxpayer has been notified of the existing balance and has been given a chance to pay it.

How to pay taxes on time

In 2015, 10 million people were hit with failure to pay estimated tax penalties in Georgia and across the nation. This was an increase from 7.2 million in 2010. While penalties differ for each taxpayer, it could add hundreds of dollars to a tax bill. Those who derive income both from an employer and side gigs may benefit by increasing their withholding or making payments throughout the year.

Why 401(k) contribution increases benefit workers

In 2018, Georgia employees and others in America will be able to contribute up to $18,500 into their 401(k) accounts. This is an increase of $500 from 2017 limits. Although an extra $500 per year may not seem like much, it could result in an extra $70,000 in a retirement account for a 30-year-old who contributes the maximum amount. A 40-year-old who contributes the maximum amount would have an extra $34,712.

IRS won't accept silent returns

Georgia residents and other taxpayers didn't have to disclose whether they had health coverage when filing their returns in 2017. However, the IRS says that it will not process electronically filed returns that don't address health care status in 2018. If a filer sends in a paper return, it may be suspended until adequate information is provided. Refunds may be delayed until a tax return has been processed.

IRS may be unreliable for tax advice

According to a national advocate for taxpayers, people in Georgia and across the U.S. should not rely on much of the information provided on the Internal Revenue Service website. Specifically, the Frequently Asked Questions page and other guidance on the site listed as unofficial may not be accurate when it comes to actually filing taxes. There are three categories of guidance provided by the IRS.

IRS grants extensions to those affected by Harvey

The Internal Revenue Service has announced tax relief for people and businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey. As another hurricane might be hitting Georgia, taxpayers in that state might soon be seeing a similar announcement in the future. The IRS has said it will automatically provide penalty and filing relief to any taxpayer whose address of record with the IRS is located within the disaster area. Individuals who live in the area, therefore, are not required to contact the IRS to secure relief.

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