Communication from the IRS

Now that Tax Day has passed, some consumers may open their mailbox to find a letter from the IRS. The IRS will always communicate via mail, so it is essential to read the letter carefully and in its entirety. The IRS may reach out for various reasons, including a change in your refund, a question regarding your tax return, a request for more information, or a balance is due.
If the request is for an audit, give our team a call, we are always available to assist you throughout the entire process.
It is important to respond timely to any request sent via the IRS and act accordingly. If a balance is requested, pay as soon as possible to avoid further issues. Options for payment installments can be found on the IRS website.
The IRS will only reach out via email, phone calls, or emails claiming to be the IRS should be considered fraudulent.

Tax Benefits for Small Business Owners

The IRS focuses on small business owners and provides tips and tax benefits to help them get the most out of their operations.
First, many small business owners can claim the home office deduction. To qualify, a business owner must use a specific room in the home exclusively for business.
To claim the credit, filers should use Form 8829 Expenses for Business Use of Your Home. This form calculates the credit based on the expenses of home operations related to personal and business use. Additionally, businesses can often deduct business-related food and beverage purchases. To qualify, the owner or one employee of the business must be present at the time of sale. Note that grocery or convenience stores do not qualify for this deduction. Look for more information on the IRS website.

Recovering from Identity Theft

Identity theft can be prevented in many ways, but if you are a victim, there are a few ways to recover your information and ease the financial burden. Once you discover that your identity has been stolen, contact your local law enforcement, freeze your credit, and place a fraud alert on all accounts. Once all necessary parties have been contacted, review your credit and debit charges for anything fraudulent and report them to your financial institutions. Work to handle your disputes as quickly as possible to recover any changes to your credit score. Next, change login information on all websites that contain your personal information. Protecting your data is essential, and identity theft is likely to occur through an internet security breach. Stay on top of your credit reports and banking information for the next few months after the theft occurs. You will want to contact the credit bureaus and banks to ensure all fraudulent charges have been removed and any new accounts will be rejected as fraud.

Gig Economy Income

The IRS recently sent a news release reminding taxpayers that all income must be reported, including such from the gig economy. The gig economy is where workers earn money from on-demand roles, services, or goods.
Gig economy jobs include grocery delivery, creative or professional services, or transportation.
Taxpayers may find that jobs in the gig economy provide more flexibility, allow for additional pay, and provide a better work-life balance. In the last few years, these types of roles have become more common, although the process of declaring the income may be confusing.
These jobs are often short-term and can be performed via an app or website. Employers from these roles will issue a  Form 1099-K or 1099-MISC. This income must be noted on your tax return. Provide all income to our tax professionals, and we will ensure that it is correctly recorded and submitted as required by the IRS.

Protect Your Information Online

The IRS urges everyone to dedicate time to securing and storing their personal information to avoid becoming a victim of cybersecurity scams. As Tax Day approaches, many of us are sending and storing information on our personal computers or other devices. 
We ensure that any information sent to Expatriate Tax Services is stored safely and securely. Before the data reaches us, it is imperative to review the safeguards you have in place.
Passwords: Be sure to use unique passwords across all your online profiles. Use special characters or numbers to make your password more complex.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams: Pay attention to the emails you receive. The IRS notes that it will never contact its customers via email. Review any email to ensure that the email address is attached to a real domain. Delete any potential scams immediately and do not respond.
Utilize Anti-Virus Software: Be sure your personal computer is equipped with an anti-virus program. These programs scan your device for potential threats and keep your personal information secure.
Expatriate Tax Services stays up to date with security measures and requirements provided by the IRS. You can trust us with your personal information.