The new tax laws may affect your taxes drastically. If you are like us and don’t like the kind of surprises that involve having to pay out money, make sure your withholding is sufficient to cover your taxes.
The IRS Withholding Calculator is the best tool for this. It is surprisingly easy to use, as well. You will need information from your previous year’s tax return, along with your most current pay stub.
You can do a checkup at any time, and the calculator will advise you on what to withhold in order to get caught up by the end of the year. This is very useful in case your situation changes.
You can find the calculator at https://www.irs.gov/W4App. You can also find this link on our Resources page, along with a Form W-4 that you can download and fill out.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to avoiding tax scams. Here’s what taxpayers need to know to determine whether an encounter — in person, over the phone or by email — is an impostor or an actual IRS employee:
The IRS Does Not:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- Demand taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have someone arrested for not paying.
- Threaten to revoke someone’s driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status.
The IRS Does:
- In general, first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Normally initiate contact with taxpayers through mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
- Present official identification when visiting a taxpayer. Taxpayers have the right to see these credentials, and – if they would like – the representative will provide them with a dedicated IRS phone number for verifying the information and confirming their identity.
- Call or visit a home or business under certain circumstances. This includes when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or criminal investigation. Even then, taxpayers will generally receive several letters from the IRS in the mail first.
- Assign certain cases to private debt collectors, but only after written notice is given to the taxpayer and their appointed representative.
- Offer several payment options. Payment by check should be payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent directly to the IRS, not a private collection agency.
For more information, visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/heres-how-taxpayers-can-protect-themselves-from-scammers.
First class postage is going up to 50 cents on January 21. If you’re like us, you’ll want to run out and buy a couple hundred Forever stamps to save $2.00!
Our annual update letter is going out today. If you just can’t wait for yours, you can find it at http://www.heatherrchamberscpa.com/resources/ .
Inspired by today’s Google Doodle, here is a photo of our collection of one-, two-, and three-hole punchers. While not quite 131 years old, they have been around a good while.
Heather, Melody and Tracy are performing in October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard. This moving and hauntingly beautiful theatrical experience was composed by Curtis Heard using the poetry of Leslea Newman. Catch the last performance on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Art Theater of Long Beach. For more information click on the poster above or visit firstchurchlb.org/octobermourning