John E. Morin, CPA

 

News and Events

Safeguard
Your Refund – Choose Direct Deposit

Direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund.
Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to
your refund faster than a paper check.

Here are four reasons more than 80 million taxpayers chose direct deposit
in 2013:

1. Security. Every year the
U.S. Postal Service returns thousands of paper checks to the IRS as
undeliverable. Direct deposit eliminates the possibility of a lost, stolen or
undeliverable refund check.

2. Convenience. With direct
deposit, the money goes directly into your bank account. You will not have to
make a special trip to the bank to deposit the money yourself.

3. Ease. It’s easy to choose
direct deposit. When you are preparing your tax return, simply follow the
instructions on the tax return or in the tax software. Make sure you enter the
correct bank account and bank routing transit numbers.

4. Options.  You can deposit
your refund into more than one account. With the split refund option, taxpayers
can divide their refunds among as many as three checking or savings accounts and
up to three different U.S. financial institutions. Use IRS Form 8888, Allocation
of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases), to divide your refund. If you are
designating part of your refund to pay your tax preparer, you should not use
Form 8888. You should only deposit your refund directly into accounts that are
in your own name, your spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account.

Some banks require both spouses’ names on the account to deposit a tax
refund from a joint return. Check with your bank for their direct deposit
requirements.

Check the instructions in your tax form for more information about direct
deposit and the split refund option. Helpful tips on both are also available in
IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. Publication 17 and IRS Form 8888
are available on IRS.gov or by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM
(1-800-829-3676).


Additional IRS Resources:


IRS YouTube Videos:

IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam

IR-2014-53, April 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — As the 2014 filing season nears an end, the Internal Revenue Service today issued another strong warning for consumers to guard against sophisticated and aggressive phone scams targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, as reported incidents of this crime continue to rise nationwide. These scams won’t likely end with the filing season so the IRS urges everyone to remain on guard.

The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.

People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile - apparently to scare their potential victims.

Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

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