Avoiding IRS Identity Theft: How to Recognize Phishing Scams

Avoiding IRS Identity Theft and Phishing Scams

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Tips to Recognize IRS Identity Theft and Avoid Phishing Scams

What is the easiest way for an identity thief to steal your personal information? Simply ask for it.

According to the IRS, each day, people fall victim to phishing scams through emails, texts, or phone calls and mistakenly turn over important data. In turn, cybercriminals try to use that data to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other crimes.

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), state tax agencies and the tax industry as a whole urge you to learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams. The IRS has put out a series of helpful awareness tips about combating identity theft, including this one containing tips for safe holiday online shopping. This article contains basic tips to help you avoid being victim of IRS identity theft.

Contact Columbus, Ohio based tax lawyer at Porter Law Office, LLC today if you believe you have been the victim of IRS identity theft.

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IRS encouraged to overhaul offer in compromise public files

Offer in Compromise Digital File Retention

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Dusty old offer in compromise public inspection files a thing of the past?

TIGTA recommends that IRS keep offer in compromise public access files as electronic copies to better manage the retrieval, movement, retention, and destruction of files.

The tax attorney at Columbus, Ohio-based law firm Porter Law Office, LLC assists taxpayers with resolving tax debts through the offer in compromise program. An offer in compromise, or OIC, allows you to settle your federal tax debt with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for less than the full amount you owe.

If you cannot pay your tax liability in full, and the amount offered represents the most the IRS could expect to collect within a reasonable time, an offer in compromise may be a legitimate option. The tax attorney at Columbus, Ohio based Porter Law Office, LLC has in depth experience settling tax debts under the IRS’s offer in compromise program.

Contact Columbus, Ohio tax lawyer Matthew R. Porter, Esq. LL.M. for a free evaluation of your eligibility to resolve your debt pursuant to an offer in compromise.

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ITIN Application Process Changes from PATH Act of 2015

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ITIN Program Changes Require Renewal

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced today important changes to help taxpayers comply with revisions to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (“ITIN”) program.

The ITIN program changes require some taxpayers to renew their ITINs beginning in October. These changes are required by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (“PATH”) Act enacted by Congress in December 2015.

The new provisions, along with new procedures to help taxpayers navigate these changes, are outlined in IRS Notice 2016-48, which was released today.

Porter Law Office, LLC is a Certifying Acceptance Agent (“CAA”) in Columbus, Ohio that assists taxpayers with ITIN applications (Form W-7). If you need an ITIN contact our office today.

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IRS Statute of Limitations on Tax Debt | Is it Really 10 Years?

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The collection statute expiration date (CSED) ends the government’s right to pursue collection of a liability.

By law, the IRS statute of limitations on collecting a tax debt is 10 years.

Did you know that the IRS only has 10 years to collect a tax debt? According to federal tax law, Internal Revenue Code (“I.R.C.”) Sec. 6502, the length of the period for the IRS to collect is 10 years after “assessment” of a tax liability.

An assessment is nothing more than the recording of your tax debt in the IRS’s records. When you file a tax return, an assessment is automatically entered based on the tax liability shown on Line 44 of Form 1040.

If you have questions about the 10 year IRS statute of limitations on collecting a tax debt, or the circumstances that would toll the 10-year statute, contact the experienced tax lawyer in Columbus, Ohio for a consultation today.

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Pro Football Players Win Municipal Income Tax Appeals

The Ohio Supreme Court recently decided two cases involving municipal income tax refunds for professional football players. The Columbus, Ohio tax lawyer at Porter Law Office, LLC regularly assists Ohio residents and nonresidents with understanding and complying with their state and local tax obligations.

Contact the tax attorney at Columbus Ohio-based Porter Law Office, LLC for a consultation today.

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Appeals to Lower Property Taxes Drop to Pre-2008 Levels

Franklin County Auditor, Clarence Mingo, recently announced that 2014 complaints to lower property taxes were the lowest since 2007.

In 2007, 3,307 complaints were filed in Franklin County challenging the auditor’s property tax valuation. In 2014, that number was 4,093. To put these figures in context, during the height of the recession in 2010, there were a record 13,605 complaints filed.

For more information on filing an appeal, contact the Columbus, Ohio real estate tax lawyer to discuss your Franklin County property tax appeal.

What this means is that out of the nearly 445,000 parcels of property in Franklin County, Ohio, 99% of property owners did not file an appeal to lower property taxes assessed against the parcel. The auditor indicates that the reduced appeal numbers mean the Franklin County real estate market is improving.

The real estate tax attorney at Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Law Office, LLC is experienced with analyzing property valuations and securing real estate tax reductions before the county boards of revision and other Ohio appellate courts. For more information, review a recent article addressing the procedure for filing an appeal to lower your property taxes.

Contact an Experienced Real Estate Tax Lawyer

Real Estate Tax Attorney in Franklin County, Ohio

The next opportunity to file a complaint to lower property taxes in Franklin County, Ohio will be from December 2015 through March 31, 2016. There are strict rules that must be followed when filing a property tax valuation appeal. The Franklin County real estate tax lawyer at Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Law Office, LLC has in depth experience helping real estate owners reduce their Ohio property taxes. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio real estate tax attorney today to discuss your particular Ohio property tax appeal options.

Mobile Offices to Help Owners Appeal Property Taxes?

The Board of Revision is hosting mobile offices for Franklin County residents to assist with file applications to appeal property taxes.

Property owners who feel their property value is too high may file appeal property taxes by filing a complaint against valuation with the Board of Revision. Again this year, the Franklin County Board of Revision will host three “mobile offices” throughout Franklin County to assist property owners file their appeals.

The deadline to file property tax appeal in Franklin County is Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

Contact the real estate tax attorney at Porter Law Office, LLC in Columbus, Ohio to discuss filing an appeal of your property taxes. 

Mobile Office Schedule

The Franklin County Auditor’s mobile offices will be at the following places:

  • Wednesday, March 18 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Westerville Public Library;
  • Wednesday, March 25 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Upper Arlington Public Library; and
  • Thursday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gahanna – Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Is the Mobile Office Really Helpful?

The Franklin County Auditor’s Office and the Board of Revision seem to be offering a good public service with these mobile offices. But, as an attorney, it is interesting that a government agency is providing this kind of assistance to people with whom it may become an adversary. After all, the audit sets the value of your property. And, once the property tax appeal is filed, the property owner is required to prove the value to the Board of Revision. If proof is not provided, the Board of Revision will deny the complaint. The real estate tax lawyer at Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Law Office, LLC is experienced with analyzing property valuations and securing real estate tax reductions before the county boards of revision and other Ohio appellate courts.

If you believe that the value of your property is too high, and you are uncomfortable with using one of these Board of Revision mobile offices to appeal property taxes. For an independent review of your property tax appeal, contact the Columbus, Ohio real estate tax lawyer for a free consultation.

Contact an Experienced Real Estate Tax Lawyer

Real Estate Tax Attorney in Franklin County, Ohio
 

There are strict rules that must be followed to appeal property taxes and contest the valuation. The Franklin County real estate tax lawyer at Columbus, Ohio-based Porter Law Office, LLC has in depth experience helping real estate owners reduce their Ohio property taxes. If you are considering utilizing these mobile offices, you may want to consult a real estate tax attorney first. Porter Law Office, LLC can assist you throughout the property tax reduction/appeals process. Contact the experienced Columbus, Ohio real estate tax attorney today to discuss your particular Ohio property tax appeal options.

 

Do You Need an ITIN?

Who needs to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

You need an ITIN if you are not eligible to get a social security number but must provide a taxpayer identification number on a U.S. tax return or information return. Examples include the following:

  • A nonresident alien individual eligible to get the benefit of reduced withholding under an income tax treaty.
  • A nonresident alien individual not eligible for an SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return or who is filing a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund.
  • A nonresident alien individual not eligible for an SSN who elects to file a joint U.S. tax return with a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  • A U.S. resident alien (based on the substantial presence test) who files a U.S. tax return but who is not eligible for an SSN. For information about the substantial presence test, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
  • An alien spouse who is claimed as an exemption on a U.S. tax return but who is not eligible to get an SSN.
  • An alien individual who is eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. tax return but who is not eligible to get an SSN. To determine if an alien individual is eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. tax return, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, and Publication 519.
  • A nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher who is required to file a U.S. tax return but who is not eligible for an SSN, or who is claiming an exception to the tax return filing requirement.
  • A dependent/spouse of a nonresident alien U.S. visa holder, who is not eligible for an SSN.

ITINs are for federal tax reporting only and are not intended to serve any other purpose. The IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers (SSNs).
An ITIN does not provide authorization to work in the United States or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

When and how do I apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

You need an ITIN as soon as you are ready to file your federal income tax return, since you need to attach the return to your application. To apply for an ITIN, complete Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. See the related Instructions for Form W-7 (PDF) for documents needed and where the application is to be submitted. Refer to the website Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for specific information.

There are exceptions to the requirement to include a U.S. tax return with the Form W-7. For example, if you are a nonresident alien individual eligible to get the benefit of reduced withholding under an income tax treaty, you can apply for an ITIN without having to attach a federal income tax return. For a complete list of exceptions to the requirement to attach an income tax return, refer to the Exceptions Tables in the Instructions for Form W-7 (PDF).