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AustinBusinessLawyer.info is a business law blog published by the business, tax, and health care lawyers at TexasBusinessLawyer.biz (AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.).  Our blog presents commentary and information regarding the laws and regulations applicable to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs); as they relate to the myriad of business transactions, contracts, and agreements every business owner, shareholder, member, physician, and/or health care provider must consider.

23.04.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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From renting spare rooms and vacation homes to car rides or using a bike…name a service and it’s probably available through the sharing economy.  Taxpayers who participate in the sharing economy can find helpful resources in the IRS Sharing Economy Tax Center on IRS.gov.  Here are six things taxpayers should know about how the sharing economy might affect their taxes: 1. The activity is taxable. Sharing economy activity is generally taxable. It is taxable even when: The activity is only part time The activity is something the taxpayer does on the side Payments are in cash The taxpayer receives an information return – like a Form 1099 or Form W2 2. Some expenses are deductible. Taxpayers who participate in the sharing economy may be able to deduct certain expenses. For example, a taxpayer who uses their car for business may qualify to claim the standard mileage rate, which is 58 cents per mile for 2019. 3. There are special rules for rentals. If a taxpayer rents out their home or apartment, but also lives in it during the year, special rules generally apply to their taxes. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool, Is My Residential Rental Income Taxable and/or Are My Expenses Deductible? to determine if their residential rental income is taxable. 4. Participants may need to make estimated tax payments. The U.S. tax system is pay-as-you-go. This means that taxpayers involved in the sharing economy often need to make estimated tax payments during the year. These payments are due on April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15. Taxpayers use Form 1040-ES to figure these payments. 5. There are different ways to pay. The fastest and easiest way to make estimated tax payments is through IRS Direct Pay. Alternatively, taxpayers can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. 6. Taxpayers should check their withholding. Taxpayers involved in the sharing economy who are employees at another job can often avoid making estimated tax payments by having more tax withheld from their paychecks. These taxpayers can use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov to determine how much tax their employer should withhold. After determining the amount of their withholding, the taxpayer will file Form W-4 with their employer to request the additional withholding. IRS YouTube Videos: Your Taxes in the Sharing Economy – English | ASL For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
As MD Anderson has learned the hard way over the past couple years HHS' interpretation of Mandatory versus Addressable HIPAA compliance rules and regulations can vary from the business practices of many Physicians, Hospitals, and other Health Care Organizations. HIPAA provides many compliance rules that health care organizations must follow.  Those must follow rules are commonly referred to as "Mandatory".  Mandatory rules and requirements must be implemented to avoid HIPAA compliance problems.  There are however another set of rules and requirements that are not listed as Mandatory.  Instead these rules and requirements are listed as "Addressable".  Addressable rules have been treated by many Health Care Organizations as optional or merely suggestions by the government. HHS however has made it clear in pursuing large fines against MD Anderson that the Addressable rules and requirements are more mandatory than optional. HHS has ruled in the MD Anderson case that Addressable rules and requirements, specifically in the MD Anderson case the use of encryption techniques to secure electronic protected health care information, are MANDATORY unless the health care organization can demonstrate reasonable reasons why any particular Addressable rule and requirement does not need to be followed. In the MD Anderson case a laptop and a few thumb drives were lost or stolen.  As a result the unencrypted electronic protected health information was disclosed to unauthorized persons.  MD Anderson contended that since encryption was an Addressable rule and requirement it was optional and therefore MD Anderson was not at fault for the unauthorized disclosures. HHS says MD Anderson is wrong.  HHS says Addressable rules and requirements such as encrypting electronic protected health information is MANDATORY, and NOT optional, unless the health care organization can demonstrate a reasonable basis for why the Addressable rule and requirement in question does not need to be followed. HHS ruled MD Anderson had not made any showing of a reasonable basis for not following the Addressable encryption of data rule, and therefore levied substantial penalties on MD Anderson. MD Anderson is appealing to the courts, but their legal fight seems to be an uphill battle. Best practice for any physician or health care organization is to treat Addressable rules and requirements, such as encryption of data, as Mandatory, unless they have some very strong and reasonable reasons why any specific Addressable rule and requirement does not need to be followed. For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
28.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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Many people claim the child tax credit to help offset the cost of raising children. Tax reform legislation made changes to that credit for 2018 and later.  Here are some important things for taxpayers to know. Credit amount. The new law increases the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. Eligibility factors for the credit have not changed. As in past years, a taxpayer can claim the credit if all of these apply: the child was younger than 17 at the end of the tax year the taxpayer claims the child as a dependent the child lives with the taxpayer for at least six months of the year Credit refunds. The credit is refundable, now up to $1,400. If a taxpayer doesn’t owe any tax before claiming the credit, they will receive up to $1,400 as part of their tax refund. Earned income threshold. The income threshold to claim the credit has been lowered to $2,500 per family. This means a family must earn a minimum of $2,500 to claim the credit. Phaseout. The income threshold at which the child tax credit begins to phase out is increased to $200,000, or $400,000 if married filing jointly. This means that more families with children younger than 17 qualify for the larger credit. New credit for other dependents. Dependents who can’t be claimed for the child tax credit may still qualify for the new credit for other dependents.  This is a non-refundable credit of up to $500 per qualifying person. These dependents may also be dependent children who are age 17 or older at the end of the tax year. It also includes parents or other qualifying relatives supported by the taxpayer. More information: Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families Tax Reform Small Business Initiative For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
25.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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There are several changes to the 2018 Form 1040. However, taxpayers who file electronically may not notice the changes as the tax return preparation software guides people through the filing process. The IRS worked closely with its partners in the tax return preparation and tax software industries to prepare for tax reform and tax form changes affecting tax year 2018, including the Form 1040. This ongoing collaboration ensures that taxpayers can continue to rely on the IRS, tax professionals and tax software programs when it’s time to file their tax returns. Here are five things taxpayers need to know about the 2018 Form 1040. The 2018 Form 1040 replaces Forms 1040,1040A and 1040EZ with one 2018 Form 1040 that all taxpayers will file. Forms 1040A and 1040EZ are no longer available. Taxpayers who used one of these forms in the past will now file Form 1040. The 2018 Form 1040 uses a “building block” approach and allows taxpayers to add only the schedules they need to their 2018 tax return. The most commonly used lines on the prior year form are still on the form. Other lines are moved to new schedules and are organized by category. These categories include income, adjustments to income, nonrefundable credits, taxes, payments, and refundable credits. Many taxpayers will only need to file Form 1040 and no schedules. Those with more complicated tax returns will need to complete one or more of the 2018 Form 1040 Schedules along with their Form 1040. These taxpayers include people claiming certain deductions or credits, or owing additional taxes. Electronic filers may not notice any changes because the tax return preparation software will automatically use their answers to the tax questions to complete the Form 1040 and any needed schedules. For taxpayers who filed paper returns in the past and are concerned about these changes, this year may be the year to consider the benefits of filing electronically. Using tax software is convenient, safe and a secure way to prepare and e-file an accurate tax return. More information: About the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Questions and Answers About the 2018 Form 1040 Get Ready for Tax Filing Season Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals IRS Tax Map For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:  
21.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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Federal law requires a person to report cash transactions of more than $10,000 by filing IRS Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business. The information on the form helps law enforcement combat money laundering, tax evasion, drug dealing, terrorist financing and other criminal activities. Who is covered By law, a “person” is an individual, company, corporation, partnership, association, trust or estate. For example, dealers in jewelry, furniture, boats, aircraft or automobiles; pawnbrokers; attorneys; real estate brokers; insurance companies and travel agencies are among those who typically need to file Form 8300. Tax-exempt organizations are also “persons” and may need to report certain transactions. A tax-exempt organization doesn’t have to file Form 8300 for a charitable cash contribution. Note, however, that under a separate requirement, a donor often must obtain a written acknowledgement of the contribution from the organization. See Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, for details. But the organization must report noncharitable cash payments on Form 8300. For example, an exempt organization that receives more than $10,000 in cash for renting part of its building must report the transaction. What’s cash For Form 8300 reporting, cash includes coins and currency of the United States or any foreign country. It’s also a cashier’s check (sometimes called a treasurer’s check or bank check), bank draft, traveler’s check or money order with a face amount of $10,000 or less that a person receives for: A designated reporting transaction or Any transaction in which the person knows the payer is trying to avoid a report. Note that under a separate reporting requirement, banks and other financial institutions report cash purchases of cashier’s checks, treasurer’s checks and/or bank checks, bank drafts, traveler’s checks and money orders with a face value of more than $10,000 by filing currency transaction reports. A designated reporting transaction is the retail sale of tangible personal property that’s generally suited for personal use, expected to last at least one year and has a sales price of more than $10,000. Examples are sales of automobiles, jewelry, mobile homes and furniture. A designated reporting transaction is also the sale of a collectible, such as a work of art, rug, antique, metal, stamp or coin. It is also the sale of travel and entertainment, if the total price of all items for the same trip or entertainment event is more than $10,000. Reporting cash payments A person must file Form 8300 if they receive cash of more than $10,000 from the same payer or agent: In one lump sum. In two or more related payments within 24 hours. For example, a 24-hour period is 11 a.m. Tuesday to 11 a.m. Wednesday. As part of a single transaction or two or more related transactions within 12 months. Examples of reporting situations Automobile dealerships If a husband and wife purchased two cars at one time from the same dealer, and the dealer received a total of $10,200 in cash, the dealer can view the transaction as a single transaction or two related transactions. Either way, it calls for only one Form 8300.   A dealership doesn’t file Form 8300 if a customer pays with a $7,000 wire transfer and a $4,000 cashier check. A wire transfer is not cash.   A customer purchases a car for $9,000 cash. Within 12 months, the customer pays the dealership cash of $1,500 for accessories for that car. The dealer doesn’t need to file Form 8300, unless they knew or had reason to know the transactions were connected. Taxi company Weekly lease payments in cash from a taxi driver to a taxi company within 12 months is considered the same transaction. The taxi company needs to file Form 8300 when the total amount exceeds $10,000. Then, if the company receives more than $10,000 cash in additional payments from the driver within 12 months, the company must file another Form 8300. Landlords Landlords need to file Form 8300 once they’ve received more than $10,000 in cash for a lease during the year. But a person not in the trade or business of managing or leasing real property, such as someone who leases their vacation home for part of the year, doesn’t need to report a cash receipt of more than $10,000. Bail-bonding agent A bail-bonding agent must file Form 8300 when they receive more than $10,000 in cash from a person. This applies to payments from persons who have been arrested or anticipate arrest. The agent needs to file the form even though they haven’t provided a service when they received the cash. Colleges and universities Colleges and universities must file Form 8300, if they receive more than $10,000 in cash in one or more transactions within 12 months. Home builders Home builders and contractors need to file Form 8300 if they receive cash of more than $10,000 for building, renovating or remodeling. When to file Form 8300 A business must file Form 8300 within 15 days after the date the business received the cash. If a business receives later payments toward a single transaction or two or more related transactions, the business should file Form 8300 when the total amount paid exceeds $10,000. Each time payments aggregate more than $10,000, the business must file another Form 8300. How to file A person can file Form 8300 electronically using the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s BSA E-Filing System. E-filing is free, quick and secure. Filers will receive an electronic acknowledgement of each submission. Those who prefer to mail Form 8300 can send it to Internal Revenue Service, Federal Building, P.O. Box 32621, Detroit, MI  48232. Filers can confirm the IRS received the form by sending it via certified mail with return receipt requested or calling the Detroit Federal Building at 866-270-0733. Taxpayer identification number Form 8300 requires the taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the person paying with cash. If they refuse to provide it, the business should inform the person that the IRS may assess a penalty. If the business is unable to obtain the customer’s TIN, the business should file Form 8300 anyway. The business needs to include a statement with Form 8300 that explains why the form doesn’t have a TIN. The business should keep records showing it requested the customer’s TIN and give the records to the IRS upon request. Informing customers about Form 8300 filing The business must give a customer written notice by Jan. 31 of the year following the transaction that it filed Form 8300 to report the customer’s cash transaction. The government doesn’t offer a specific format for the customer statement, but it must: Be a single statement aggregating the value of the prior year’s transactions, Have the name, address and phone number of the person who needs to file the Form 8300 and Inform the customer the business is reporting the payment to the IRS. A business can give a customer who only had one transaction during the year a copy of the invoice or Form 8300 as notification if it has the required information. The government doesn’t recommend using a copy of Form 8300 because of sensitive information on the form, such as the employer identification number or Social Security number of the person filing the Form 8300. A business may voluntarily file Form 8300 to report a suspicious transaction below $10,000. In this situation, the business doesn’t let the customer know about the report. The law prohibits a business from informing a customer that it marked the suspicious transaction box on the form. More information: Publication 1544, Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000 IRS Form 8300 Reference Guide Guidance for the Insurance Industry on Filing Form 8300 Form 8300 and Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000 FAQs for Indian Tribal Governments regarding Non-Casino Cash Transactions Over $10,000 - Form 8300 For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:  
WASHINGTON –The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance that provides a safe harbor method for determining depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles that qualify for the 100-percent additional first year depreciation deduction and that are subject to the depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the additional first year depreciation deduction applies to qualified property, including passenger automobiles, acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2027. In general, the section 179 and depreciation deductions for passenger automobiles are subject to dollar limitations for the year the taxpayer places the passenger automobile in service and for each succeeding year.  For a passenger automobile that qualifies for the 100-percent additional first year depreciation deduction, TCJA increased the first-year limitation amount by $8,000.  If the depreciable basis of a passenger automobile for which the 100-percent additional first year depreciation deduction is allowable exceeds the first-year limitation, the excess amount is deductible in the first taxable year after the end of the recovery period. The guidance provides a safe harbor method of accounting for passenger automobiles. The safe harbor allows depreciation deductions for the excess amount during the recovery period subject to the depreciation limitations applicable to passenger automobiles.  To apply the safe-harbor method, the taxpayer must use the applicable depreciation table in Appendix A of IRS Publication 946.  The safe harbor method does not apply to a passenger automobile placed in service by the taxpayer after 2022, or to a passenger automobile for which the taxpayer elected out of the 100-percent additional first year depreciation deduction or elected under section 179 to expense all or a portion of the cost of the passenger automobile. Taxpayers adopt the safe harbor method of accounting by applying it to deduct depreciation of a passenger automobile on their return for the first taxable year following the placed-in-service year. For more information on the additional first year depreciation deduction, see TCJA, Depreciation. For information about other TCJA provisions, visit IRS.gov/taxreform. For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
12.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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The Texas Supreme Court rendered a decision on the issue of a contractual waiver of punitive damages in a case alleging fraud. This case was based on a transaction involving the purchase of a new airplane that actually contained repaired engines. The plaintiffs in the underlying case were successful in the trial court on a fraud claim and received an award of punitive damages.  However, there were limitations of punitive damages contained in two applicable agreements. The purchase agreement provided that Bombardier will not be liable for punitive damages arising out of “services rendered or delivered under this Purchase Agreement.” The second agreement, a management agreement, stated “Neither party hereto may be held liable to the other party for any indirect, special or consequential damages and/or punitive damages for any reason.” In upholding the validity of the waiver of punitive damages case, and reducing the judgment, the Texas Supreme Court explained: "As the plaintiffs point out, we have held that 'fraud vitiates whatever it touches.' . . . We have never held, however, that fraud vitiates a limitation-of-liability clause. We must respect and enforce terms of a contract that parties have freely and voluntarily entered." The Court continued, "And the plaintiffs 'cannot both have [the] contract and defeat it too.' . . . Rather than seeking rescission of the agreements based on Bombardier’s fraudulent conduct, the plaintiffs have tried to enforce the agreements, seeking an award of actual damages, while at the same time seeking to strike the limitation-of-liability clauses to receive an exemplary damages award." The Court reasoned, "In balancing the competing interests between protecting parties from 'unintentionally waiving a claim for fraud' and 'the ability of parties to fully and finally resolve disputes between them,' we believe parties can bargain to limit exemplary damages. We note that the purchasing parties did not waive a claim for fraud; they only waived the ability to recover punitive damages for any fraud. As such, the valid limitation-of-liability clauses must stand." The case is Bombardier Aerospace Corporation v. SPEP Aircraft Holdings, LLC, The Texas Supreme Court's Opinion can be found here. Full Article At: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - Brian R. Gaudet For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
12.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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The IRS offers several payment options where taxpayers can pay immediately or arrange to pay in installments.  Taxpayers can pay online, by phone, or with their mobile device and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers should pay in full whenever possible to avoid interest and penalty charges.    Here are some electronic payment options for taxpayers: Electronic Funds Withdrawal. Taxpayers can pay using their bank account when they e-file their tax return. EFW is free and only available through e-File. Direct Pay. Taxpayers can pay directly from a checking or savings account for free with IRS Direct Pay. Taxpayers receive instant confirmation after they submit a payment. With Direct Pay, taxpayers can schedule payments up to 30 days in advance. They can change or cancel their payment two business days before the scheduled payment date. Taxpayers can choose to receive email notifications each time they make a payment. Credit or debit cards. Taxpayers can also pay their taxes by debit or credit card online, by phone, or with a mobile device. Card payment processing fees vary by service provider and no part of the service fee goes to the IRS. Telephone numbers for service providers are at IRS.gov/payments. Pay with cash. Taxpayers can make a cash payment at a participating retail partner. Taxpayers can do this at more than 7,000 locations nationwide. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/paywithcash for instructions on how to pay with cash. Installment agreement. Taxpayers who are unable to pay their tax debt immediately may be able to make monthly payments. Before applying for any payment agreement, taxpayers must file all required tax returns. They can apply for an installment agreement with the Online Payment Agreement tool, which also has more information about who’s eligible to apply for a monthly installment agreement. Anyone wishing to use a mobile device should remember they can access the IRS2Go app to pay with either Direct Pay or by debit or credit card. IRS2Go is the official mobile app of the IRS and is available for download from Google Play, the Apple App Store or the Amazon App Store. Taxpayers can also visit IRS.gov/account and log in to their account. From here, they can view their taxes owed, payment history, federal tax records, and key information from their most recent tax return as originally filed. More information: Filing for Individuals e-File Options for Individuals Paying Your Taxes What to Expect for Refunds in 2019 Tax Reform: Basics for Individuals and Families Multimedia Center: IRS on Social Media For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
11.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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Most public companies have developed long-term compensation programs that measure performance metrics over time (often over three years), and that typically reward senior executives for meeting clearly identified benchmarks. These plans seek to align the interests of employees with those of owners (i.e., shareholders in the public markets).    Alignment, along with the retentive value of long-term incentives, has proven to be a successful way to ensure “pay-for-performance” and continuity within an organization. But what about the compensation plans within private companies, including family offices? Whether led by a family member or another governance structure, a comprehensive compensation program that aligns stakeholder interests is critical to a successful organization. Following the public company model, rewarding key executives for value enhancement is the cornerstone of a pay-for-performance approach to compensation planning. Pay-for-performance clearly incents internal stakeholders and aligns the interests of the family office in providing the capital for those who are directing its investments (and upon whose performance the compensation depends). Further, pay-for-performance has become an integral tool for family offices to attract and retain top talent. Most compensation programs have a three-pronged goal to incent, motivate and retain. Prudent investment, coupled with a properly structured compensation program, enables organizations to satisfy those three prongs because the ability to tie compensation directly to profitability incents and motivates and is often an expectation of top talent. The long-term nature of many family office investments fosters retention. Here are some key considerations and best practices for the development of compensation plans that enable family offices to engage and retain top level talent. Compensation factors A well-thought-out compensation structure for executives comprises three elements: base salary, annual bonus, and long-term incentive plans (LTIPs): Base salary. Seemingly obvious, but meaningful base compensation rewards a professional’s time and efforts since, without guaranteed success of every initiative/transaction, compensation cannot be solely tied to successful outcomes. Otherwise, most professionals will seek to limit risk. Annual bonus. Although annual bonuses tend to be discretionary (see chart below), annual bonuses are useful if there are certain specific objectives that leadership would like to see achieved.  For example, specific HR or operational objectives are common. Long-Term Incentive Plans (LTIPs). These plans intend to incent and retain talent by enabling them to create wealth alongside the family through metrics that align professionals with owners.  More recently, family offices have begun to allow (or even require) their senior-most executives to co-invest (with their own funds or funds lent by the family office), which cultivates a sense of ownership and further aligns the interests of all parties. Vesting. Due to the long-term nature of successful initiatives/transactions, family offices often require several years of vesting even after value has been created. See full article at NixonPeabod, by Jarret Sues, Mark Rubin, and David Toth For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:
09.02.2019
AttorneyBritt - Gary L. Britt, CPA, J.D.
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Taxpayers should choose their tax return preparer wisely.   This is because taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their income tax return. That’s true no matter who prepares the return. Here are ten tips for taxpayers to remember when selecting a preparer: Check the Preparer’s Qualifications. People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool helps taxpayers find a tax return preparer with specific qualifications. The directory is a searchable and sortable listing of preparers. Check the Preparer’s History. Taxpayers can ask the Better Business Bureau about the preparer. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, people can check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, they can check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, taxpayers can go to the verify enrolled agent status page on IRS.gov or check the directory.  Ask about Service Fees. People should avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition. When asking about a preparer’s services and fees, don’t give them tax documents, Social Security numbers or other information. Ask to E-File. Taxpayers should make sure their preparer offers IRS e-file. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and use direct deposit. Make Sure the Preparer is Available. Taxpayers may want to contact their preparer after this year’s April 15 due date. People should avoid fly-by-night preparers. Provide Records and Receipts. Good preparers will ask to see a taxpayer’s records and receipts. They’ll ask questions to figure things like the total income, tax deductions and credits. Never Sign a Blank Return. Taxpayers should not use a tax preparer who asks them to sign a blank tax form. Review Before Signing. Before signing a tax return, the taxpayer should review it. They should ask questions if something is not clear. Taxpayers should feel comfortable with the accuracy of their return before they sign it. They should also make sure that their refund goes directly to them – not to the preparer’s bank account. The taxpayer should review the routing and bank account number on the completed return. The preparer should give you a copy of the completed tax return. Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes Their PTIN. All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. By law, paid preparers must sign returns and include their PTIN. Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS. Most tax return preparers are honest and provide great service to their clients. However, some preparers are dishonest. People can report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If a taxpayer suspects a tax preparer filed or changed their return without the taxpayer’s consent, they should file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. More information: Understanding Tax Return Preparer Credentials and Qualifications Tax Topic 254 - How to Choose a Tax Return Preparer Choosing a Tax Professional How to Make a Complaint About a Tax Return Preparer How to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity IRS Tax Pro Association Partners For help with your legal needs contact a business, tax, and health care law attorney at the offices of AttorneyBritt. Review-Like-Follow AttorneyBritt On:

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