Passports Denied for Delinquent Taxpayers

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires the Secretary of State to deny a passport (or renewal of a passport) to a seriously delinquent taxpayer (i.e., generally, a taxpayer with any outstanding debt for Federal taxes in excess of $50,000). It also requires the IRS to enter into qualified tax collection contracts with private debt collectors for the collection of inactive tax receivables.

Tax-Related Identity Theft: Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses a stolen Social Security Number (SSN) to file a tax return to claim a fraudulent refund. Although identity theft affects a small percentage of tax returns, it can delay a taxpayer's refund and have a major impact on the victim's peace of mind.

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2016 Mileage Rates

Effective January 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates are revised as follows:

  • Business Rate = 54 cents per mile (down from 57.5 cents)
  • Medical and Moving Rate = 19 cents per mile (down from 23 cents)
  • The Charitable Rate remains unchanged at 14 cents

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Individual Mandate Reporting Requirements for 2015

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the individual shared responsibility provision, also referred to as the individual mandate, calls for each individual to have minimum essential health coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. The individual mandate applies to individuals of all ages, including children. Therefore, an adult or married couple who can claim a child or another individual as a dependent for federal income tax purposes is responsible for making the payment if the dependent does not have coverage or an exemption.

The individual mandate became effective on January 1, 2014 and applies again to each month in calendar year 2015. If you and your dependents have minimum essential coverage for each month of 2015, you will indicate that by checking a box on your 2015 federal income tax return. If you qualify for an exemption, you are required to attach a form to your tax return to claim that exemption. If you do not have minimum essential coverage for each month of 2015 and are required to make the individual shared responsibility payment, the payment is calculated and made with your tax return.

IRS Reports Email Scams Jump 400 Percent

The IRS reported that phishing and malware incidents have jumped 400 percent so far during the 2016 filing season. The Service has renewed its warning against email scams designed to trick taxpayers into thinking they are official communications from the Service or others in the tax industry, including tax software companies.

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Employer Mandate Noncompliance Carries Stiff Penalties

An important reminder with respect to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015.

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