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Archive for Barry Fowler

One Of The Latest Tax Scams To Be Aware Of And How It Works

Tax Scam, IRS Scam, Barry Fowler, Tax Blog, Tax Advisor, Houston, Texas, USA, TaxConnections

I have written frequently about the multitude of tax scams.

And once again, the scammers have found a way to play to and outwit your insatiable curiosity. Here’s one of the latest scams to be aware of, and how it works.

Scammers know that more and more people are screening and not answering calls from unrecognized or private numbers. So now, the crooks have developed software that allows them to display irresistible ‘fake’ numbers. Read more

No Matter How Long It Has Been Since You’ve Filed Your Taxes, You Are Not Alone

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Houston, Texas, USA, TaxConnections

Yet there are many people who are contemplating not filing this year because they didn’t file last year. Taxation Solutions is a team of professionals that frequently encounters clients who, for various reasons, have not filed tax returns for one, two, or several years.

Believe me, you are not alone. There are thousands of people who haven’t filed in multiple years. But, let me tell you, you’ll enjoy getting a good night’s sleep once you get back on track with the IRS. Most people don’t realize the energy required to carry the burden of delinquent taxes. We are devoted to helping taxpayers make things right with the IRS. Read more

Claiming Parents As Dependents On Income Taxes

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Houston, Texas, USA, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

As more and more Baby Boomers are caring for elderly parents, the question often arises: “Can I claim my parent(s) as dependents on my taxes?” The answer to that is, “It depends.”

The IRS does allow parents to be claimed as dependents if certain requirements are met. The IRS always has requirements.

To meet the support requirements necessary to claim your parent as a dependent on your tax return, you must cover 51% or more of their support costs. These costs include food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs. Read more

Do Not Let Cryptocurrency Crimp Your Relationship With The IRS

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Houston, Texas, USA, TaxConnections

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming more popular as a form of payment and as investment. However, there has been little attention paid to how this virtual currency will be treated by the IRS until now. In fact, the IRS is taking a much closer look and has established some tax guidelines.

According to an article published in accountingtoday.com, “For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property and not currency.” They add, “The fair market value of the virtual currency on the date of receipt determines the taxpayer’s basis.”

Some businesses are actually paying employee wages in virtual currency instead of U.S. dollars. Read more

An Unexpected Refund From The IRS Spells S-C-A-M

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Houston, Texas, USA, TaxConnections

If you happen to notice an automatic deposit made in your bank account from the IRS or you get a refund check in the mail that you weren’t expecting, you are likely the victim of the latest tax scam.

On February 13th, the IRS released a warning to alert taxpayers to a fast growing new scam that uses stolen taxpayer’s information to fraudulently file taxes then deposit refunds into real bank accounts.

Once Deposit Is Made, The Criminals Make Contact

The IRS makes it clear that the criminals use a variety of tactics to get the fraudulent refund from the taxpayers. And, as the IRS points out the tactics are probably evolving, so you’ll want to stay alert.

In one version of the scam, criminals posing as debt collection agency officials acting on behalf of the IRS contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error, and they asked the taxpayers to forward the money to their collection agency. Read more

Is Your Cryptocurrency IRS Approved?

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, Houston, Texas, USA. TaxConnections

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are becoming more popular as a form of payment and as investment. However, there has been little attention paid to how this virtual currency will be treated by the IRS until now. In fact, the IRS is taking a much closer look and has established some tax guidelines.

According to an article published in accountingtoday.com, “For federal tax purposes, virtual currency is treated as property and not currency.” They add, “The fair market value of the virtual currency on the date of receipt determines the taxpayer’s basis.”

Some Businesses Are Actually Paying Employee Wages In Virtual Currency Instead Of U.S. Dollars Read more

How Soon You Will See Results Of The New Tax Brackets

Moving Forward With New Tax Law

It will be awhile before we all understand the ins and outs and the subtleties of the new tax code. While it is being studied and while the IRS is implementing the changes I’ll do my best to help you understand how you may be affected when you file taxes for 2018. The time to take advantage of any benefits that might have been gained for the 2017 filing period has passed.

For example, in 2018 the charitable deduction has doubled for a married couple filing jointly from $12,000 to $24,000. Had you acted quickly you could have established a donor directed fund or you could have increased your charitable giving by year end and taken a larger deduction on your 2017 taxes.

Read more

How Soon You’ll See The Results Of The New Tax Bracket

Barry Fowler, Houston, TX, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

If you’re an American taxpayer who gets a paycheck, I imagine you’re pretty anxious to see how the new tax code is going to put more money into your pockets each pay period.

The IRS says they should have everything ready to reflect the changes by February. So, you could be seeing extra cash if you are in the top five tax brackets with your February paycheck. Read more

Avoid Holiday Shopping Ho-Ho-Hoaxes

Barry Fowler, Tax Connections

Package Theft

You may find it hard to believe, but according to delivery services like the USPS and UPS, some 23 million recipients each year don’t get their holiday goodies because thieves steal them right off the doorsteps. There is an easy way to prevent this. Simply arrange for a delivery that requires a signature upon receipt. Other options include sending gifts to the recipient’s workplace or have them delivered to a pickup location operated by the carrier. For example purchases made through Amazon can be delivered to an Amazon Locker location and retrieved by using a pickup code. There’s no extra fee to use the service, which can be selected during checkout. Amazon has about 2000 secure locations in more than 50 cities. Read more

Holiday Fraud Awareness Reminders

Fraud Alert: this reminder comes at a timely moment as we head into the busy and hopefully joyous holiday season. With all the distractions of the season, it’s easy to forget about the devious schemes some people on this planet use to con others out of their hard earned cash.

Complete strangers commit the most common cases of fraud via the telephone and Internet. However, it’s not uncommon to hear about other crimes committed by trusted employees, financial advisers, tax preparation officials and even family members. You simply must be alert and learn how to recognize when a con is happening. Read more

IRS Has Not Yet Released Date For Accepting 2017 Tax Returns

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor

It seems that a whole lot of taxpayers are anxious to get their taxes in to the IRS!

I’ve never seen the IRS issue a statement that they have yet to determine the date when they will be accepting tax returns; however, they’ve done just that this year.

Below, I outline various reasons that could be responsible for this sudden frantic rush:

Read more

Still Unsure If You Were Affected In The Equifax Breach? Plus, Ways To Protect Your Data

Barry Fowler, Tax Advisor

The recent Equifax breach affects over 143 million American taxpayers.

As you might imagine, this could wreak havoc for those affected and you may not even know you’ve been affected until you go to file your taxes next year.

The data breach gave hackers access to the Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers of people around the world, and as mentioned above 143 million American taxpayers. Criminals can use all of that date to steal identities, so there are sure to be consequences in the short term and long term. One of those long-term ramifications could be that a criminal will use your personal information to file a bogus tax return in 2018.

Read more

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