IRS Lists Ways to Avoid Common Reply

IRS Lists Ways to Avoid Common Errors for Millions of Taxpayers Meeting the April 15 Deadline




WASHINGTON — The tax filing deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Internal Revenue Service has already received 90 million individual tax returns – roughly three out of five returns expected to be received in 2015.

For the millions of taxpayers who will file in the next two weeks, the IRS offers the following reminders:

File electronically. Filing electronically, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information. And best of all, there is a free option for everyone.

Mail a paper return to the right address. Paper filers should check IRS.gov or their form instructions for the appropriate address where to file to avoid processing delays.

Take a close look at the tax tables. When figuring tax using the tax tables, taxpayers should be sure to use the correct column for the filing status claimed.

Fill in all requested information clearly. When entering information on the tax return, including Social Security numbers, take the time to be sure it is correct and easy to read. Also, check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.

Review all figures. While software catches and prevents many errors on e-file returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.

Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting direct deposit of a federal refund into one, two or even three accounts is convenient and allows the taxpayer access to his or her money faster. Make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or deposited into the wrong account.

Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. E-filers can sign using a self-selected personal identification number (PIN).

Attach all required forms. Paper filers need to attach W-2s and other forms that reflect tax withholding, to the front of their returns. If requesting a payment agreement with the IRS, also attach Form 9465 to the front of the return. Attach all other necessary schedules and forms in the sequence number order shown in the upper right-hand corner.

Keep a copy of the return. Once ready to be filed, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records.

Request a Filing Extension. For taxpayers who cannot meet the April 15 deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late filing penalties. Either use Free File or Form 4868. But keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due April 15.

Owe tax? If so, a number of e-payment options are available. Or send a check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury.”

Taxpayers may find additional help and resources on IRS.gov, including the IRS Services Guide.

Options Available to People Who Owe Tax, Part Two Reply

Easy E-Pay and Payment Agreement Options

Taxpayers who owe, but can’t pay the balance in full, do have options. Some taxpayers may qualify for payment plans and other relief.

In many cases, those struggling with unpaid taxes qualify for one of several relief programs, including the following:

Most people can set up a payment agreement with the IRS online in a matter of minutes. Those who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest can use the Online Payment Agreement to set up a monthly payment agreement for up to 72 months. Taxpayers can choose this option even if they have not yet received a bill or notice from the IRS. With the Online Payment Agreement, no paperwork is required, there is no need to call, write or visit the IRS and qualified taxpayers can avoid the filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien if one was not previously filed. Alternatively, taxpayers can request a payment agreement by filing Form 9465. This form can be downloaded from IRS.gov and mailed along with a tax return, bill or notice.

Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. This is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier, a free online tool available on IRS.gov. Details on all filing and payment options are on IRS.gov.

Options Available to People Who Owe Tax, Part One Reply

E-Pay and Payment Agreement

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that it’s easier than ever to pay their taxes electronically, and for those who can’t pay on time, quick and easy solutions are available.

Taxpayers who owe taxes can now choose among several quick and easy e-pay options, including the newest and easiest, IRS Direct Pay. Available options include:

Direct Pay.

Available at IRS.gov/directpay, this free online tool allows individuals to securely pay their income tax directly from checking or savings accounts without any fees or pre-registration. No need to write a check, buy a stamp or find a mailbox. Payments can even be scheduled up to 30 days in advance, and the tool is available round the clock. Any taxpayer who uses the tool receives instant confirmation that their payment was submitted.

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

This free service gives taxpayers a safe and convenient way to pay individual and business taxes by phone or online. To enroll or for more information, call 800-316-6541 or visit www.eftps.gov.

Electronic funds withdrawal. E-file and e-pay in a single step.

Credit or debit card.

Both paper and electronic filers can pay their taxes by phone or online through any of several authorized credit and debit card processors. Though the IRS does not charge a fee for this service, the card processors do.

Taxpayers who choose to pay by check or money order should make the payment out to the “United States Treasury.” Also, print on the front of the check or money order: “2014 Form 1040”; name; address; daytime phone number; and Social Security number.
To help insure that the payment is credited promptly, also enclose a Form 1040-V payment voucher.
The IRS advises taxpayers to file either a regular income tax return or a request for a tax-filing extension by this year’s April 15 deadline to avoid stiff late-filing penalties.

Next,Part Two:

Taxpayers who owe, but can’t pay the balance in full

Tax Refunds Reply

Tax Refunds Reach Almost $125 Billion Mark; IRS.gov Available for Tax Help


WASHINGTON — Almost 40 million tax refunds worth nearly $125 billion have been issued as of Feb. 20, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics released today. The average refund is $3,120.


The IRS has processed nearly 50 million returns, about one-third of the total individual federal income tax returns the agency expects to receive this year, with almost 83 percent of those returns resulting in refunds. More than 92 percent of refunds have been directly deposited into taxpayer accounts. The IRS recommends direct deposit as a safe, quick way for taxpayers to get their refunds.

The IRS also recommends taxpayers who have yet to file explore the numerous online tools and resources available on IRS.gov, which taxpayers visited almost 160 million times so far this year.

Longer wait times on IRS phone lines and at IRS offices mean it’s more important than ever for taxpayers to use IRS online tools and resources on IRS.gov.

IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam

Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information



IR-2015-31, Feb. 18, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned return preparers and other tax professionals to be on guard against bogus emails making the rounds seeking updated personal or professional information that in reality are phishing schemes.


“I urge taxpayers to be wary of clicking on strange emails and websites,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “They may be scams to steal your personal information.”


Specifically, the bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture your username and password. This email was not generated by the IRS e-services program. Disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.


Phishing made this year’s Dirty Dozen list of IRS tax scams. The full list is available on IRS.gov.


Phishing is a scam typically carried out with the help of unsolicited email or a fake website that poses as a legitimate site to lure in potential victims and prompt them to provide valuable personal and financial information. Armed with this information, a criminal can commit identity theft or financial theft.


If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov.


In general, the IRS has added and strengthened protections in our processing systems this filing season to protect the nation’s taxpayers. For this tax season, we continue to make important progress in stopping identity theft and other fraudulent refunds.


It is important to keep in mind the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS has information online that can help you protect yourself from email scams.