IRS Warns of Continued Scams, Varied Tactics as the Tax Deadline Nears

IR-2016-62, April 13, 2016
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning that scammers may try using the April 18 tax deadline to prey on hard-working taxpayers by impersonating the IRS and others with fake phone calls and emails. Even after the tax deadline passes, taxpayers should know the telltale signs of a scam and tips to protect themselves from a variety of phone scams and phishing emails.
(Excerpts shown below, but click here for the full article
Some examples of the varied tactics seen this year are:
  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals (see news release IR-2016-34)
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone (IR-2016-40)
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry (IR-2016-28
There are some important reminders for taxpayers nationwide about these schemes.
The IRS Will Never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.


Related Items:
  • www.irs.gov/identitytheft
  • Fact sheet FS-2016-1, IRS, States and Tax Industry Combat Identity Theft and Refund Fraud on Many Fronts
  • FS-2016-2, IRS, States and Tax Industry Urge Taxpayers to Join the Effort to Combat Identity Theft
  • FS-2016-3, IRS Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works
  • FS-2016-4, How New Identity Security Changes May Affect Taxpayers for 2016 
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Customer Care Hours through April 23rd

Customer Care Hours through end of Tax Season: 
January 18 through April 20 (Wednesday)  8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern
April 21 & 22 – (Thursday and Friday)  8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern
Saturday April 23 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern 


During the Off-Season:
April 25 – December 31
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday
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US Module ver 8 Delivered 4-15

An update to US Federal individual module was delivered this morning, version 8.

CALCULATIONS
     a) Marketplace coverage affordability worksheet - a change was made 
        so that lines 2 through 11 are not completed for married filing 
        separate filers.
     b) Asset worksheet - corrected an issue with the automobile limitation 
        for vans placed in service in 2014.

FORMS
     a) No change

PRINTING
     a) Corrected a minor printing issue on 1040 worksheet 3.

ELECTRONIC FILING
     a) Disabled diagnostic 69 regarding Form 8958.
     b) Corrected an issue causing diagnostic 374 to trigger erroneously for
        certain returns


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Possible Delays for Prior Year Returns

Possible Delays for Prior Year Returns
In order to ensure rapid processing of 2015 returns leading up to the last few days of the filing season, we will accept and hold 2013 and 2014 returns for up to 48 hours. Due to the substantial volume of returns and the final rush to the filing deadline, the priority will be given to the current year returns. Prior year returns will be transmitted AFTER all current year returns are processed.

Normal processing of prior year returns will resume on Tuesday, April 19th
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How to Read Validation Errors, Track E-files, and Manage Rejects

How to read validation errors and track e-files.
After you run Diagnostics in TaxWise, the first errors displayed are electronic filing errors. These errors are displayed in red, hyperlinked text. Click the link to jump to the affected form and entry. There, you can correct the problem and run diagnostics again.
Once e-file errors are cleared, validation errors can occur in the diagnostics window.
  • The error begins with wording that appears like a web address (“http://www.irs.gov/efile). Ignore the web address in the error.
  • ‘Element’ means a field on that particular form.
  • ‘The value’ means the entry that you typed in that field or that calculated into that field
  • Refer to this example validation error:
    ‘http://www.irs.gov/efile:OtherExpenseDescription element is invalid – The value is invalid according to its datatype ‘http://www.irs.gov/efile:ShortDescriptionType’ – The Pattern constraint failed.
    • This section of the error, OtherExpenseDescription’, refers to the field of the form that contains the invalid entry
    • ‘The value’ section of the error refers to the text typed into that particular field
  • Click the link and it will jump you to that field so you can fix the error. If the link doesn’t automatically jump you to the error, you will need to manually navigate to the error.
NOTE: A large portion of validation errors are punctuation. Be sure to check for stray periods, hyphens or quotes in a field.
Be sure to track your e-filed returns and see the exact field causing the IRS reject. Click here for instructions.

Manage your rejects and outstanding acknowledgements and bank acknowledgements.
In TaxWise, follow these steps:
  • As acknowledgements are received, review and correct rejects timely.
  • Use the Management Reports to verify acceptance status of your e-files. Acceptance SummaryAwaiting IRS/State Acks SummaryOutstanding Rejected Returns, and IRS Extension Summary are some excellent reports to utilize to verify the acceptance status of your returns.
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