What should you do if you get a call claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account?

If there is a problem, SSA will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, SSA will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with them. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed.

Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Social Security employees also will not:

  • Tell people that their Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information.
  • Contact people to demand an immediate payment.
  • Ask people for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card or gift card.
  • Demand that people pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.

Be cautious about providing personal information to someone who calls you and asks for:

  • Cash;
  • Retail gift cards;
  • Prepaid debit cards; or
  • Wire transfers.

Never provide payment to callers over the phone.

  • If you receive a suspicious call or are unsure of the identity of someone alleging to be from Social Security: Hang up;
  • Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards; and
  • Report details of the call to the Office of the Inspector General.


Adapted from SSA.gov

Identity Protection Pins (IP PINs) Issued

This past week taxpayers began receiving letters that contain their IP PIN for use when filing their 2019 tax returns. An IP PIN is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers that helps prevent the misuse of their Social Security number on fraudulent federal income tax returns.

If you lost your CP01A letter (the notice containing your IP PIN) and need an IP PIN, you can go to Get an IP PIN or Retrieve Your IP PIN. Users must validate their identities. If unable to validate, you should call the identity theft line at 800-908-4490 to have the information mailed. If you moved after Jan. 1, 2020, you will need to file a paper return without an IP PIN.

Adapted from TAXPRO Weekly

IRS Announces Opening of Filing Season

The IRS announced that it will begin accepting individual 2019 returns on Jan. 27, 2020, and business returns beginning Jan. 7, 2020.

The IRS cannot issue refunds claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) before mid-February. It is anticipated that the earliest EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards starting on February 28, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return.

From TAXPRO Weekly

Use “Where’s My Refund?” to Check the Status of Your Federal Refund

Where’s My Refund? gives you personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return.  Use the IRS2Go app or IRS.gov to access Where’s My Refund? 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Where’s My Refund? will activate within 24 hours AFTER the IRS receives an e-filed return or four weeks after a return is mailed.  The Where’s My Refund? includes a tracker which will track a refund through three stages: 1. return received, 2. return approved, 3. refund sent.

To use the Where’s My Refund?, you will need to provide your Social Security number, filing status, and the EXACT amount of your refund.  Where’s My Refund? is only updated once every 24 hours, so no need to check more than once a day.

The IRS continues to say that they will issue 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days; however, do not count on getting a refund by a certain date – as it is possible that your return may require additional review.

Where’s My Refund?

IRS waives penalty for many whose tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short in 2018

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is waiving the estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year.

The IRS is generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 85 percent of their total tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold is 90 percent to avoid a penalty.

For more information, visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-waives-penalty-for-many-whose-tax-withholding-and-estimated-tax-payments-fell-short-in-2018

IRS reminds employers, other businesses of Jan. 31 filing deadline for wage statements, independent contractor forms

IR-2019-08, January 29, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminds employers and other businesses of the Jan. 31 filing deadline that applies to filing wage statements and independent contractor forms with the government.

To continue the story, click the following link: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-reminds-employers-other-businesses-of-jan-31-filing-deadline-for-wage-statements-independent-contractor-forms

IRS Kicks Off 2019 Tax-Filing Season

The IRS successfully opened the 2019 tax-filing season today!  The IRS started accepting and processing federal tax returns for the 2018 tax year.  The IRS expects refunds to start going out the first week of February and refunds to be paid by mid- to late February like in previous years.

For more information visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-kicks-off-2019-tax-filing-season-as-tax-agency-reopens-use-irsgov-to-avoid-phone-delays.

As of October 1st, Some Sellers Will Be Required to Collect Sales Tax on WI Sales

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., that a state can require out-of-state sellers without a physical presence in that state (i.e., remote sellers) to collect and remit sales or use tax on sales delivered into that state.

Beginning October 1, 2018, Wisconsin will require remote sellers to collect and remit sales or use tax on sales of taxable products and services in Wisconsin…

For more information visit: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/Businesses/remote-sellers.aspx