IRS Warns Consumers About New Phone Scam
The IRS is warning consumers about a very sophisticated phone scam that has been targeting taxpayers— especially recent immigrants— throughout the country.
Often using fake IRS badge numbers and names, the perpetrators inform victims they owe money to the IRS which must be paid immediately through pre-loaded debit cards or wire transfers. Victims who refuse are told they face arrest, deportation and/or suspension of business/driver’s license.
The IRS will never ask anyone for a credit card number over the phone. If consumers receive such a call, they should call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to verify any claims of money owed. They can also report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
For more information, click HERE or call Scharf Pera & Co., PLLC at 704-372-1167.
NC Prepares for Final Tax Free Weekend for Appliances
This weekend (Friday 11/1 – Sunday 11/3) will mark the final weekend North Carolina shoppers can enjoy tax-free shopping on qualified Energy Star appliances. More details in this article from the Charlotte Observer.
IRS not issuing liens or levies, enforcement actions limited, during shutdown
As America continues to feel frustration over the current partial government shutdown, here are two good articles that let you know exactly what services the IRS can and cannot perform for the time being:
How the Government Shutdown Affects Taxpayers and Tax Practitioners
The failure of Congress to agree on a continuing spending resolution on Monday led to the first federal government shutdown since 1995–1996. The shutdown involves a large number of federal government functions, including many affecting taxpayers and tax practitioners.
According to the Journal of Accountancy, for starters, the shutdown brings a stop to all IRS taxpayer services, such as responding to taxpayer inquiries. During the shutdown, all IRS audits and examinations will stop. All non-automated collection activity will also stop. To find out more and how the shutdown affects you, click HERE.
At Least One Employee and $500K in Annual Revenue? Then You’ve Got a Deadline Coming Up 10/1/13!
If you have at least one employee and generate at least $500,000 in annual revenue, there is another healthcare requirement that applies to you–and you must act by October 1, 2013. As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act, you are required to send a notice to all employees via first-class mail or electronically* by October 1, 2013 informing them about the new government-run health insurance exchanges. The notification requirement applies to any business regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the letters must be sent to all employees, full-time and part-time and regardless of their benefits plan status. You are not required to provide a separate notice to dependents covered under the plan who are not employees.
The letters must let the employees know that the exchange exists and provide other details to help employees understand how the exchange could help them. The letters must also be sent to any new employees who get hired after October 1, 2013 and within 14 days of the employee’s start date. The Department of Labor has released sample notices in order to help employers satisfy this notification requirement. Employers who offer health insurance to all or some of their workers can find a sample notice here while businesses that do not offer health insurance coverage will use an alternative notice found here.
While most health insurance providers are preparing this letter for their clients, you should contact your provider if you haven’t already received notification.
As always, feel free to contact Scharf Pera & Co., PLLC today if you have questions regarding this information.
*Electronic transmission is required to meet the Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor rules.
Scharf Pera Participates in the 2013 NCACPA Day of Service
We had an amazing time at Charlotte’s Loaves and Fishes Food Bank participating in the “2013 NCACPA Day of Service” event sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. Pictured are members of the Scharf Pera staff from left to right:
Richard Sponholz (System Administrator), Linda Mas (Staff Accountant), Robin Williams (Staff Accountant), Marcus Hughes (Staff Accountant), Kelly Roberts (Staff Accountant), Robert Phillips (Managing Member), AJ Spring (Staff Accountant), Jayne Frazier (Managing Member), Lori Moose (Administrative Assistant), Brandon Hall (Staff Accountant), Loaves & Fishes volunteer, Susanne Hicks (Staff Accountant) and Julie Clay – the event organizer with TIAA-CREF. We appreciate all of those who helped us with donations and especially the amazing staff and volunteers from Loaves and Fishes for the amazing work they do.
New IRS Regulation Makes Restaurateurs Rethink Automatic Tips
Restaurant owners may need to rethink the practice of adding automatic tips for large parties. A new IRS regulation that starts in January now identifies automatic gratuities as service charges. That means payroll tax withholding! Find out the details in this Wall Street Journal article.
Treasury/IRS Announce Legal Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage. To find out more information about the ruling and its implications, click HERE.
Scharf Pera & Co., PLLC Prepares For Annual Day of Service!
On September 20, 2013, Scharf Pera & Co., PLLC will be participating in the NCACPA’s 2nd annual “Day of Service.” This is a special day set aside for our employees to join forces to support a local charity. This year we will be helping to stock the shelves at Charlotte’s Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry. Loaves & Fishes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nondenominational organization which provides a week’s worth of nutritious groceries to individuals and families in a short-term crisis. In 2012, Loaves & Fishes provided groceries to 126,803 people.
If you would like to help our efforts with food donations, please bring them to our office by September 19, 2013 and we will be happy to deliver them for you. Currently, Loaves & Fishes priority needs are canned meats, 100% juice, canned fruit, canned pastas (such as Spaghettio’s) and cereal.
Proposed small employers’ health insurance premium tax credit rules issued
The IRS has issued proposed regulations governing the Sec. 45R credit for small employers that offer health insurance coverage for employees . The biggest differences involve the amount of the credit, the fact that employers must obtain the insurance coverage through an exchange, and a new two-year limit on taking the credit. Read all about it HERE.