The IRS, the states and the tax industry are committed to protecting you from identity theft. We’ve strengthened our partnership to fight a common enemy – the criminals – and to devote ourselves to a common goal – serving you. Working together, we’ve made many changes to combat identity theft, and we are making progress. However, cybercriminals are constantly evolving, and so must we. The IRS is working hand-in-hand with your state revenue officials, your tax software provider and your tax preparer. But, we need your help. We need you to join with us. By taking a few simple steps, you can better protect your personal and financial data online and at home.

Please consider these steps to protect yourselves from identity thieves:

Keep Your Computer Secure

  • Use security software and make sure it updates automatically; essential tools include:
    • Firewall
    • Virus/malware protection
    • File encryption for sensitive data
  • Treat your personal information like cash, don’t leave it lying around
  • Check out companies to find out who you’re really dealing with
  • Give personal information only over encrypted websites – look for “https” addresses.
  • Use strong passwords and protect them
  • Back up your files

Avoid Phishing and Malware

  • Avoid phishing emails, texts or calls that appear to be from the IRS and companies you know and trust, go directly to their websites instead
  • Don’t open attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is
  • Download and install software only from websites you know and trust
  • Use a pop-up blocker
  • Talk to your family about safe computing

Protect Personal Information

Don’t routinely carry your social security card or documents with your SSN. Do not overshare personal information on social media. Information about past addresses, a new car, a new home and your children help identity thieves pose as you. Keep old tax returns and tax records under lock and key or encrypted if electronic. Shred tax documents before trashing.

Avoid IRS Impersonators. The IRS will not call you with threats of jail or lawsuits. The IRS will not send you an unsolicited email suggesting you have a refund or that you need to update your account. The IRS will not request any sensitive information online. These are all scams, and they are persistent. Don’t fall for them. Forward IRS-related scam emails to phishing@irs.gov. Report IRS-impersonation telephone calls at www.tigta.gov.

Additional steps:

  • Check your credit report annually; check your bank and credit card statements often;
  • Review your Social Security Administration records annually: Sign up for My Social Security at www.ssa.gov.
  • If you are an identity theft victim whose tax account is affected, review www.irs.gov/identitytheft for details.

Publication 4524 (Rev. 9-2015) Catalog Number 48359Q Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service www.irs.gov

Question: What is a 401k plan Third Party Administrator?

Answer: A Third Party Administrator (or TPA) is an organization that is hired by the 401k plan sponsor (YOU, the company sponsoring the Plan) to run many day-to-day aspects of your retirement plans. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring eligibility (who is eligible & when?)
  • Verifying contributions to the Plan arewithin legal limits
  • Helping you interpret your Plan (answer questions about whether certain transactions are allowed)
  • Preparing employer and employee benefit statements (the government requires that certain notifications be provided to employees annually and in certain other situations)
  • Assisting in processing all types of distributions from the plan (needed to distribute the account balance that former employees are entitled to)
  • Preparing loan paperwork for plan participant (if your Plan allows loans)
  • Testing the plan each year to gauge your Plan’s compliance with all IRS non-discrimination requirements as well as plan and participant contribution limits (because there are often limits & rules that apply to how much the Owners & Stockholders can add to their own accounts)
  • Calculating the amount of the Company’s tax-deductible contribution to the Plan based on your Plan Design and your Company’s tax-saving goals
  • Calculating how the Company contribution is allocated among the eligible employees
  • Calculating Employees’ vested percentages (for Profit Sharing Plans)
  • Preparing and filing annual returns (very similar to Tax Returns) and reports required by IRS, DOL or other government agencies.

Question: Why use Beasley, Mitchell & Company’s services?

Answer: Beasley, Mitchell & Company is a well-known Tax, Consulting and Retirement-plan leader, providing excellent service at competitive prices. Beasley, Mitchell & Company is a locally-owned and operated team of over 50 highly qualified professionals, and our Retirement Plan Team is ready to help you maximize the Tax & Wealth Accumulation opportunities available from wisely utilizing your Retirement Plan.

2015PrideInTheProfession 01    2015PrideInTheProfession 03    Paul-ePlus Demeber First edition

Laughter, applause, and even some tears filled the room at the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown earlier this month during the annual Pride in the Profession awards luncheon. The program began with the recognition of the scholarship award recipients. Due to generous contributions from firms, members and sponsors, the Society awarded $26,800 to 12 accounting students from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. The awards included a one-time memorial scholarship in honor of Daniel Mackie, founder of the Albuquerque firm Mackie Reid and Company.

2015PrideInTheProfession 04During the Outstanding Member Awards portion , which are a highlight of the annual event, the crowd gave a standing ovation to the two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Don Beasley and C. Jack Emmons.

 

 

 

 

Our clients are reporting an increasing frequency of phone calls from scammers claiming to be IRS.  Here are some helpful tips to protect yourself.

The IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also 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 know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.

At Beasley, Mitchell & Co. we are here to help.  If you are unsure of whether the call you received is legitimate, collect the name and phone number and tell them your CPA will handle the matter, then hang-up and call us… we’ll be glad to check it out for you.

 

By

Jeanette Wisner,

Certified Fraud Examiner

Senior Accountant

 

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