March 2015 Tax Snacks
Tax Snacks: Bite-size tax news and information on the fly
- • Individual 2014 tax returns are due
• Last day to make contributions to an IRA for the 2014 year
• Partnership 2014 tax returns are due (for calendar year entities)
• First quarter 2015 estimated income tax payments are due for individuals and calendar year C-corporations
The Maine Secretary of State is warning that many Maine businesses have received official-looking documents that falsely appear to have originated from the state government, requesting payment of $125. Because this amount is relatively modest and comparable to some filing fees and other amounts that legitimately are owed to the state on an annual basis, this hoax, similar to ones before it, is likely effective. More information can be found here.
A lot of people are owed a lot of money by the IRS. However, the window on claiming some of it before it permanently becomes part of the US Treasury is closing fast. One of the most common examples of how this would apply involves a person who had taxes withheld from wages but believed (rightly or wrongly) that a 2011 tax return was not required. Even if no tax was due, the only way to reclaim the withheld tax is to file a return. For the 2011 tax year, the last day that can occur (due to the statute of limitations) is generally April 15, 2015. More information can be found here.
We often warn readers to avoid phony but realistic-looking notices that call for action, sometimes by scammers posing as the IRS. But many taxpayers are receiving notices asking them to verify their identities with the IRS, and these notices are legitimate.
In these cases, the IRS is processing a taxpayer’s return, and has some reason to suspect that the return is phony and/or an identity theft attempt is being made. More specifically, someone is attempting to hijack someone’s tax payments as a refund. In response, and before further processing the refund, the IRS reaches out to the taxpayer at their last known address and poses some questions that only the true taxpayer should know. Only then will they process the refund. More information may be found here.
Please note, as we have pointed out numerous times before, that one marker of a valid IRS communication is that it arrives by mail rather than e-mail or phone. This does not necessarily indicate it is legitimate, but it greatly increases the likelihood. This notice will arrive by mail.
Disclaimer of Liability: This publication is intended to provide general information to our clients and friends. It does not constitute accounting, tax, or legal advice; nor is it intended to convey a thorough treatment of the subject matter.