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Privacy and the sharing of personal information have many concerned when being contacted by a caller stating that they represent the IRS. Per John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement: "We are evaluating our contacts with taxpayers, outside of the examination context, to determine whether they present risks with respect to phone scams and other such threats."

The new changes will mitigate any risk taxpayers may take when providing personal information over the phone. Deputy Commissioner Dalrymple, stated the policy change clearly in his memo, dated May 20, 2016, "Effective immediately, all initial contacts with taxpayers to commence and examination must be made by mail, instead of the telephone, using the appropriate initial contact letters."

Implementing written correspondence as the initial contact in case examination will establish the validity of the communication received by the taxpayer. The Deputy Commissioner elaborates on the new policy change throughout the memo, indicating the following:"Employees will use the appropriate initial contact letters listed in the Internal Revenue Manual ( IRM ) to notify a taxpayer when a return is selected for examination, and will not make initial contact by telephone."

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Prepaid debit cards already have enough controversy surrounding them, and this latest bit of news about tax refunds being frozen for prepaid debit card users isn't going to do any favors for the industry.

Several news outlets, including ABC News, are reporting that the reason for this "funds freeze" is because the IRS is teaming up with the financial industry to crack down on tax fraud.

The problem is, of course, is that this is affecting the nation's poorest Americans...and they are finding that they have very little recourse.

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The federal administration has been taking a number of initiatives in order to reduce the corporate practice of tax inversion. However, statistics indicate that these initiatives are not having the required effect.

Tax inversion refers to the practice of a company moving its legal base offshore while retaining most operations in the US. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies are continuing to move base to lower-tax destinations overseas, and are taking over US companies after doing so. They are taking advantage of lower tax rates in these tax havens. Typically, in these lower-tax havens like Ireland, corporate tax rates are in the mid-teens. That is in sharp contrast to the United States corporate tax rate, which hovers at 35%.

Not only are these companies saving on the taxes that they have to pay because they have now shifted legal base overseas, but they also enjoy profits from the mergers that they're able to bring about from their overseas bases. A number of companies have overseas bases that are used to save on taxes.

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Posted on in Tax Audits

According to news reports, many physicians who waited till April 13 to file taxes may have become victims of tax fraud.

Many doctors have reported being surprised when they attempted to file the taxes on April 15, and found out that their taxes had already been filed. Filing fraud taxes on behalf of another person is a simple tax fraud scheme that is fairly common. In these schemes, the person then pockets the refunds that the victim was eligible for.

This scheme is fairly simple to operate. The fraudster will access a company's W-2 database, which provides all the data about employees of the firm, their earnings, as well as personal data. With all that information, a person can find it very easy to file returns on behalf of the employee. In fact, some fraud schemes use fraud software that actually automates fraudulent and tax return filing. Some payroll systems are much more vulnerable to hacking than other types of systems.

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