Beware of IRS Phone Scams
The IRS is warning of several aggressive phone scams taking place nationwide. The scams often threaten deportation, wage garnishments, arrest, driver’s licenses revocation, and IRS Agent visits, amoung other threats. These scams increase in frequency during the winter filing season.
Some characteristics of the scams include:
Scammers’ use of fake names and IRS bade numbers
Scammers may have the ability to recite the last four digits of a victim’s social security number or know other facts such as an address
Scammers have the ability to generate the IRS toll-free number on your caller ID display, making it appear the IRS is calling
Scammers sometimes will follow-up with an email claiming to the be IRS
If the IRS does need to contact you regarding your account, they always send written notification via U.S. mail first. The IRS also does not ask for credit card, debit card, or prepaid card information over the phone. If you receive a call you think might be a scam, never give out personal information. Contact our office if you do receive an IRS letter. The local IRS office in Marquette can help with account inquiries.
IRS Identity Verification Letter
To combat the recent increase in identity theft, the IRS is sending correspondence to taxpayers when the IRS suspects a return might be fraudulent. The IRS will send out Letter 5071C to request identity verification before they will process the tax return. Letter 5071C will be sent through the U.S. Postal Service to the address on the return. The IRS will not request such information view email, nor will they call you without first sending out Letter 5071C. The letter instructs taxpayers to either visit a secure IRS website, www.idverify.irs.gov, or call a toll-free number which would be provided on the letter. Before using the website or calling the IRS, be sure to have your current year and prior year tax return in front of you. The IRS will ask a series of questions to confirm your identity. If you receive this letter and have any questions, feel free to contact our office.
The following link provides more information on Letter 5071C directly from the IRS.
ACA – 2016
The penalty for going without insurance is rising yet again for 2016. The penalty is the higher of 2.5% of your yearly household income (less the filing threshold) or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child under 18).
The penalty for having no health coverage in 2015 is the higher of 2% of your yearly household income (less the filing threshold) or $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18).
In 2014, the penalty was calculated on 1% and $95 ($47.50 per child under 18) respectively.
The open enrollment period for 2016 coverage ends on Janurary 31st, 2016. Changes can only be made to coverage after this point if a life changing event (change in income or family size) occurs.
We’d like to remind clients to plan conservatively when deciding on how much of their estimated premium tax credit they want applied to their monthly health insurance premiums when signing up for coverage. The formula used to estimate the credit is very sensitive to income and family size changes. Estimating your premium tax credit wrong could result in a big tax bill when you file your return. Taking a portion of your estimated credit is a good strategy to help avoid owing when you file your tax return. The credit is reconciled when your return is filed so you don’t lose out on the credit by not applying it to your health insurance premiums monthly. Feel free to contact our office with any questions.
Michigan’s Minimum Wage Increasing
Effective May 27, 2014, Public Act 138 of 2014, the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act, replaced our previous minimum wage act and enacted the rates below.
A training wage of $4.25 per hour may be paid to employees 16-19 years of age for the first 90 days of their employment.
Minors 16-17 years of age may be paid 85% of the minimum hourly wage rate.
* The 85% minimum hourly wage rate would be below the Federal minimum wage rate of $7.25